beccaelizabeth: fizzgig from The Dark Crystal is having a shouty tantrum made of sharp teeth. (tantrum)
I have done another draft of my dissertation.
eyes blurry. blergh.

I fixed all the can't and isn'ts to be the long versions. Only one teacher actually cares about that but since I'm always being told to be more formal I can flippin well fix that. As long as I don't run out of word count. Which I haven't if and only if the 10% wiggle room rule still applies.

I know exactly what I need to fix next, there's a paragraph currently highlighted in bright red which says basically I need to summarise the thing from the thing and oh yeah it's kind of important given how much I rely on it later. But the thing from the thing is currently in the big blue box of all the things, which is under two notepads, the TV remotes, and my breakfast. So I'm ... actually remembering I haven't had anything to eat since before midnight, so I'll probably just eat the breakfast... but I was stopping to have a sulk about having to physically move things. Have they not heard of ebooks? For why all this paper! Boxes! Photocopies! No Keyword Search! *grr arrgh*

yeah, I know, how did people manage before all this all? we all be cyborgs now, if we can afford it. pretty cool.

I also have to go through my notes, which are part typed, part writ on paper, and find all the flippin page numbers and whether it was Chapman or Newman who said that thing, though it's probably Chapman because I just got annoyed with Newman and can only remember the thing where he thinks Doctor Who jumped the shark approximately when I was born. :-p

Drat it all.

On Wednesday I'll ask what mark I'd get if I just handed the stupid thing in right now.
... as opposed to in two and a bit weeks.
Oh arse.

... also needing to ask how to hand the thing in. Contradictory information is in my notes. Think it's electronic upload, but the box of all the things has to go somewhere, and that's not electronic.



of course the most tricksy bit this week will be being awake at mid day when I am, currently, happily turned about nocturnal, but that particular challenge I have had to deal with rather a lot. Have practiced many times turning up on two hours sleep. Cannot this time cancel if it turns out to be none hours sleep though. May have to get driven to the door in that case. Road crossing, not my strong suit when awake super late.

... you know, sometimes I wonder what I could be like if I didn't have to deal with all this THIS.
and I remember what everyone expected of me when I was a teenager, with Cambridge being rather more than just that place I fell down the stairs onto coconut matting in my interview skirt.
... and then I remember if I wasn't this me, with the disabilities and nocturnal habits and internet dependency and everything else, then I wouldn't care about the same things or think about them the same ways or, you know, be me, basically.

Still, it would be nice to just... sleep, when most people do, and get up when the shops are open, and go do social whenever it happens because I just can, and to feel awake enough to do all those things.
Strange and new, but nice.
At least to try out.



Sod it. I read waaaaaaay more fanfic this way. So that works out.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Am doing reading about Doctor Who. It's becoming frustrating because so many of these people weren't watching the same show I was. Also, they try and make general and sweeping statements that apply to all of Doctor Who. It's 50 years of canon now, there's very very little you can say that applies to all of Doctor Who. Any attempt to make such statements will erase something.

In many cases it manages to erase a whole gender, since I keep finding article after article that talks about the Doctor's companions as always being women.
Also, specifically, being miniskirt wearing screamers of no particular intellectual distinction or personal agency.
Furthermore, they're alleged to be got rid of by 'frequently' marrying them off.

The exact count of the Doctor's companions is disputed, not least because of arguments over how much of UNIT count and when. My list comes up 26 female, 15 male, and two male voiced robots. Read more... )
beccaelizabeth: animated: Oz from Buffy the vampire slayer, looking at a piece of paper, then up at viewer, puzzled. (studious)
I am cranky, coughing, and nauseous, and I had to go back to bed in the middle of trying to make notes because I felt too ill. This is highly inconvenient. I don't have the time for this. So then I get more cranky, and aim it at texts.

I have been reading

Garner, Beattie and Mc Cormack (2010) Impossible Worlds, Impossible Things : Cultural Perspectives on Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures
Cambridge Scholars publishing.

The Regeneration Game: Doctor Who and the Changing Faces of Heroism
John Paul Green

This chapter focuses on the articulation and rearticulation of masculinity and British heroism through the use of 'regeneration' in the popular science fiction series Doctor Who.


I'm very glad to have got hold of this book because it gives me something to argue with, Read more... )

Each of the Doctor’s regenerations offers a performance of masculinity, although rarely does the Doctor fulfil (thankfully) dominant images of masculinity. It is still a case of intellect over might, although throughout the series the Doctor has aligned himself with male companions who have been, or are, in active military service.


This is the bit I want to poke quite a lot. Because at first glance I felt like agreeing, but then I had a think about it. Because by what definition is the Doctor's masculinity not the dominant model?
Read more... )

I feel, since the rise of the Detective, the triumph of intellect over might is the standard model. And the dominant model of masculinity, at least in a ton of the media.

Read more... )



So the flaw in this argument is once again the thing where women are also doing the same things. If and when they are. Women are being detectives, but are they being this kind of cranky intellect detective? I don't watch detectives (unless they're steampunk RDJr ) so I don't have a great deal to draw on.

but I'm going to bet they are, even if you need to watch the numbers carefully before making an argument about the 'rise of' or the 'era of'. Because most things, lately, women get to do. They even on occasion get to do them in networks of other women that talk to each other. Which is pretty cool.


Gender is a stupid game I don't wish to play, so it irritates me when so many things do. Read more... )


I'm not saying there's equality. Just counting and Bechdel consistently shows actually there's less women and they don't get to talk to each other about the same range of things. But the borders of possibility are nice and wide now, and I reckon numbers is most of the remaining difference.

plus how things get seen. where's my stereotypes icon... nope, doesn't seem to be here... well it wasn't very good anyway. But, stereotypes: People can see the exact same things done by a man and a woman and they'll read them differently through the filters of pre-existing stereotypes. Read more... )



... the cake jumping thing could not be called stereotypically masculine. And while both RDJr's Sherlock Holmes and the Doctor dress up as women that one time, that's not exactly part of the standard model either. So there's quirky bits.

Plus the times gender as a discourse gets raised within the text it's all about how bad the Doctor is at performing it. Trying to be a 'normal bloke' with Craig in The Lodger? Hilarity ensues. But what you really see there is the masculine version of how gender performance is always class specific. Read more... )


So what I've been arguing I guess is that the Doctor is a particular stereotype of masculinity, and a socially and culturally dominant type. Not even getting into the 'Time Lord' / Lords Temporal House of Lords hence aristocracy connection, he's a knowledge professional of independent means who never has to worry where the next meal is coming from. He assumes the right to talk to Monarchs, is friends with Prime Ministers, and his best mate is a Brigadier (not a Sergeant he also spent time with). He acts like he owns the place and backs up that authority by knowing more than you do. His intellect is the boss of, well, everyone. And that's a kind of masculinity. Compared to the Sherlockian detective, it's a very common kind of masculinity that is the boss of all it surveys. And he's friends with people in military service because he's being the kind of person who traditionally aims them.




Thoughts? Discussion? Telling me I'm wrongity wrong wrong?

I'm likely to get in an argue with myself later anyway.


... quite a lot later. I'd rather like to go back to bed again. Or at least get another paracetamol.

working

Dec. 2nd, 2012 04:33 pm
beccaelizabeth: When you say words a lot they don't mean anything.  Or maybe they don't mean anything anyway and we just think they do. (literature)
today I am doing the reading
for pretty much the entire semester
at once

I ... really miss the opportunity to have done this in its right place, alongside example texts, with weeks and weeks to think about it. But I was busy being ill so that didn't happen. *big sigh*

so today I'm reading and taking notes on ALL THE THINGS. And zombies. The zombies make the rest of it substantially better.
... this theory stuff is all going 'hey, people have lives! and they write about them! surprise!'
and they're all pointing out how memory is mostly made up, and people make a narrative out of a stream of random stuff, and they use language, and woah, does that mean it's all secretly made up?
if tis made up, then so is being human. we mostly bump along being done to, life kind of happens, and then being thinking beings we make up a story about it (and mostly post it to the internet)
and that's how we figure out what it is to be human
and that's the neat part.

but this theory stuff we've been given, it keeps getting stuck on the divide between truth and fiction, and how can anything be true? and myself, I reckon it's all fiction, and I don't care, because that's how we put the meaning in it. lives are full of made up stuff, like justice and mercy and love, and rather the better for it. but these theory papers, they never get that far, they're all sitting there making stoned Keanu noises about how you never really know anything. woah.

... I'm so bored. bored bored bored.
... yet I have already got more work done today than I have all semester.

Meds suck. ... depression sucked pretty bad too, but meds seriously suck.



Now I'm wondering if I can quote Hogfather in my Life Writing assignment or if I'll just run out of words if I try it.
... oh dear, I need to double check how the word count thing works this year, they were making noises about changing it last year and I've been away.

... *gets back to work* ...

Ma studiez

Aug. 27th, 2012 01:23 pm
beccaelizabeth: When you say words a lot they don't mean anything.  Or maybe they don't mean anything anyway and we just think they do. (literature)
I still have not got a letter inviting me back to college for another year.
At this point I'm pretty sure the computers think I've finished.
*big sigh*

So I was checking the announcements and there's one about the Higher Education Learning Zone being out of use this week because enrolment (which is handy because they didn't bother telling me where to enrol elsewise).
They keep changing the names of bits of the library, because calling it a library apparently isn't the done thing when you remove most of the books, conceal them in a Book Zone, and cram as many computers as humanly possible in the remaining space. I tend to ignore the names, they be boring. But this announcement used the acronym.

I had not noticed, I learnz in HELZ.
Granted, it's one of the upper HELZ, but still
*facepalm*

I have to go back to college next week.
I have done absolutely bugger all reading this summer.
Read more... )

So I pretty much want to say screw it to the whole thing.

Instead, I must battle the forces of frelled computing and college admin and their ridiculous rules about enrolment and finance that simply do not work with part time students and, oh yes, the thing where the money might not work this year, which is an even greater possibility than in every other year.

And then I must think of something - anything - to say for several thousand words about Doctor Who.

... my brain isn't even giving me dial tone.

*swears*
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Explore the significance of Dr Caligari’s glasses.




Germany had entered the First World War as a conservative country dominated by military, aristocratic and bureaucratic elites. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles involved Germany admitting 'war guilt' and making financially ruinous reparations. The Weimar Republic was established as a liberal, democratic, constitutional state, but the time was characterised by social unrest and political divisions. [Aitken, 2001, pp50-51] In 1920 Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari was written by Janowitz and Mayer, and directed by Wiene. The story of a psychiatrist obsessed with a mythical doctor, directing a somnambulist to do murder, it was filmed using a highly stylised Expressionist mise en scene, and became a classic of German Expressionist film. Later Kracauer saw in the film symptoms of the German national soul, tendencies that led to the rise of Hitler and the Second World War. His 1947 book From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film made Caligari part of an explanatory myth about a people torn between tyranny and chaos. Elsaesser (2000) calls it a historical imaginary, an explanation for German history woven from symbols. Kracauer saw in one early horror film a collection of themes that reflected all the tensions of the time. He also believed that the potentially revolutionary message of the film, revealing and overthrowing the tyrant, was defused and contained by the frame story that portrayed the narrator as insane. But a more ambiguous reading is possible, especially if you focus on Dr Caligari’s glasses.

Read more... )
beccaelizabeth: Captain Jack Harkness smiles after Ianto propositions him (Jack stopwatch smile)
M1058 (1112) National Cinema 10 Credits
Essay (Essay): 80% Pass (Provisional)

80%
!

(The grade boundary to get a First is 70%. A 2:1 is 60%, etc etc. So I'm doing quite a lot well to get 80%.)

My essay on the significance of Dr Caligari's glasses was a resounding success.

In a semester that also saw my worst mark ever, both for a single assignment and a unit, this is somewhat of a relief. Have not lost brain. *phew*

(I have had this window open half an hour while I poke the page with my grades on just to be sure it hasn't changed.)

okays, happy dance time, :-D

Reading

May. 20th, 2012 05:43 am
beccaelizabeth: When you say words a lot they don't mean anything.  Or maybe they don't mean anything anyway and we just think they do. (literature)
I have done almost all the reading.
There are 5 sides of A4 left to read, plus skimming the references for anything actually interesting. and I cannot make my brain stick to the page for even one more page. I have been trying, and I think the last page took me an hour. :-pppppppppppppp to these pages.
I have read the Kracauer, Eisner, and Elsaesser stuff talking about Caligari, and a couple chapters in each that weren't just Caligari. I have read enough to have a rough idea what each is talking about. Except instead my brain has turned to mush and all I can say for sure is they all talk rubbish about rubbish.
Also, there is far too much oedipal all over the place.
Seriously, if I ever get a time machine, Freud is history.
It doesn't make sense, it doesn't add anything to anything, and the whole of the multi page argue is based on the idea the film doesn't make enough sense without inventing extra motives for people, which is bollocks.
Caligari felt like killing some dudes because the writing in the air told him to. He runs an asylum. He be crazy dude. And then dudes start getting dead and other dudes investigate it. It's not hard!

I need to watch the film again and pick a couple of frames and do the print screen thing and stick them in a document and then start writing an essay.

... how much do I not want to start writing an essay.

I mean, right now, I look at my vague plans to go do an MA after this BA, and I think that maybe I'll just slam my head against the wall repeatedly, because that will be just as much fun.

It's one of those moments when I look at the entire subject I have chosen to study and think, really, when you get right down to it, 99% of it is balls.
And the other 1% is really obvious.



*big sigh*



Oh, also, I was reading something about the Hand of Orlac and alienated labour and recognising the other in oneself, and I went off on a brain tangent about Angel and Lindsey. So I have been trying to study while trying to not think about pretty, pretty tattooed lawyer dudes. That could work better. But I had an idea, only it was several chapters ago, so I'll get back to it if I think of it again.

Mostly, if you poke a text to see what it says about gender, class, ethnicity, disability and maybe religion, and tie it to contexts of production and reception, that's pretty much the interesting bits.
There's also stuff about Brechtian defamiliarisation techniques and some things about Bakhtin and the carnivalesque and maybe some Foucault and discourses and panopticon and then getting into weird stuff that's kind of like the Matrix about simulacra and how things are always already the story of a thing and not the thing itself, because language.
and I may have studied other stuff in the course of the last six years but that's the bits that stuck.

omg how did I spent six years on this stuff?

*headdesk*



PS am going to fail at diss prep and poss at dissertation because writing about Doctor Who seemed like a really good idea but there is really a lot of Doctor Who and now I don't know what I should write about anything ever. And I'm sure I put hours in to the prep part but I don't know where they went. And also bugger.
beccaelizabeth: When you say words a lot they don't mean anything.  Or maybe they don't mean anything anyway and we just think they do. (literature)
I like electronic submission. In the old rules, I'd have had to go in to college. And I'd have had to do it before about 5pm. Now? I have 57 minutes left of the 16th, so I am still plenty in time.
Actually the computer thinks I have another two weeks.
But I wasn't going to use the extension this time.
So, I have uploaded my short story and critical commentary, even though I've no idea if the critical commentary is at all the sort of thing that's meant to go in a critical commentary.
balls to it all.

yes, in sensible people land one finishes the essay substantially before 56 minutes before deadline, puts it aside, and goes back later to see if you wrote 'I am a fish' several hundred times on accident.

:-ppppppppppppppppppppppp to sensible.

... okay, I would have been more sensible if insomnia hadn't eaten quite so many hours.
given the computer's idea of a deadline, it could well be I still have time to go back later and upload different versions. I don't know.

or, at this precise minute, care.



Also, I read the introduction to the Frank O'Connor book I got out yesterday, or at least read it the quick way looking for anything remotely relevant. Read more... )

I'm not so sure outsiders write about isolated lonely people and that's the essence of the short story as a genre. But I'm willing to write with that as a theory, given we have 500 words and I am fed up of this unit.

Not fed up of writing short stories, just of this unit about short stories. I still don't know what we were supposed to learn. Unless it was in the general category stuff I learned when I was the age everyone else in the class appears to be.
(yaay fandom, writing masterclasses ongoing)
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have run out of vegetables. It's annoying. I couldn't figure out how I could run out. My Tesco food arrived this week. But then I checked, and Tesco won't sell me the steam bags of vegetables any more, they have vanished. So I have run out. And I'd already cooked the things that go with vegetables when I realised. So that was a very boring meal I just had half of.


In better news, I have finished reading the Reader for The Short Story.
... which I should have done weeks ago, but it's so boring.
It spends most of its time talking about how The Short Story does not mean just stories that are short, oh no, nor does it mean tales, or sketches, or stories by them other dudes over there who are clearly doing it wrong. The Short Story is a genre. ... now if any two of the writers could agree which writers were in or out, I might have a better idea which genre.
Some of them count Poe, some of them only count him as a theorist and think his stories are popular. Yes, it's the kind of theory writer who uses popular as a rude word. Everyone counts Chekhov, which is nice. ... I can never spell that dude right, the usual way I write it is the other guy.
But then people go on to talk about people who copy Chekhov, which according to someone is everyone ever, only they're all Doing It Wrong.

You know what I think about the short story?
It is a story which is short.
The teacher and these theory people are making up rubbish about The Short Story when they might mean modernist short stories, impressionist short stories, or even on occasion magical realist short stories. But the genre splits into many genres whenever different people talk about it, so it is not a bloody genre.

It is especially not lyric poetry, and the book that spent many many pages explaining which poems were novels and which were secretly Short Stories was in fact off its nut.

Also, the science fiction short stories I was bringing in, or the ghost stories others brought in, or any number of other stories we all were encouraged to bring in, would not be short stories by the theory dudes definitions, and yet we studied them.

:-ppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp

I will write 500 words just as soon as I get a quote from Frank O'Connor rather than a sentence of a powerpoint slide that mentions Frank O'Connor thinks short stories are about isolation.

Then I will forget about this stupid theory stuff and keep on writing stories that are short.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I woke up with thoughts on why when non-genre writers come up with something that is science fiction but they're all It's Not Science Fiction it doesn't tend to work.

Or, more broadly, on why the rules of genre need to be understood by writers, because they're part of the understanding of readers.

Read more... )

So genre is a long history of texts to reference, that will have built patterns and expectations and a shorthand the reader is drawing on. But it is also a set of writing and reading tools, techniques that foreground different aspects, and ways of approaching decoding the story. If you approach a new genre without familiarising yourself with all that, you're just not going to be communicating what you think you're saying, let alone giving the experience your readers thought the packaging promised.

If a writer thinks they can somehow walk into a genre, pick up on whichever tropes have caught their eye, and otherwise have a clean sheet to start from... language doesn't work like that. Not at the word sized unit, and very much not at the level of story.

We're all working on palimpsests, and we need to understand what we're overwriting.

Short story

Feb. 7th, 2012 02:56 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I sat down to do reading for The Short Story.
Then I put the computer on to look up Labov's story whatsits again, which the reader keeps telling us to pay attention to without sparing the six words to remind us what they are.
Then since it was on I might as well do the free writing we were supposed to do in class last week (I ate breakfast instead). Read more... )

I don't think I should post it because (a) it's not very good and (b) things for lessons should not look like they've been copied off the web.

The assignment is only 1000 words of short story. I could polish this for that. Then it must be careful to avoid the plagiarism software.
I could polish lots of things for that.

I don't know how to write about my process though. 'Having read everything in front of my eyes for at least thirty years, this is what comes out of my head' isn't quite what they're looking for.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I was reading a newspaper comments thread (again. yes. sorry.)
this time about an article on a sociology course about Jay-Z.
I know nothing about Jay-Z.
But the comments were often going on about how it's a terrible thing to study because hip hop is full of misogyny, homophobia, crime etc etc etc
... I wonder if they've ever studied English, or Cultural Studies, or indeed read most texts produced in Western culture.

The point of English & Cultural Studies thus far, the method of study in most units, is:

Take a text. Read it. Find out how it sucks. Notice the places that are racist, sexist, homophobic, and really weird about disabled people. Pull it into tiny raggedy pieces until you can see all the sharp edges.

Go 'hmmmm'.

Take your new found knowledge and, now you can identify texts full of gross examples formed in earlier historical periods, aim your toolkit at stuff closer to home.

See current texts. Radio, television, magazines, books. Every area, pop culture through fancy literary award stuff.

Pull it into tiny raggedy pieces and see sharp edges that, on close examination, are pretty much the exact same issues, in new clothing.

Realise it all sucks.



... this is why I've got fed up of studying. 'It all sucks' is not a conclusion I want to stop at. I just keep finding more isms all over all everything anyway. Boo.


So! Whatever text you want to start with, whether it be Homer of the Classics or of the Simpsons, whatever the artist being studied that the commentariat are currently bemoaning, Lady Gaga studies or Jay-Z in sociology, the important thing is the toolkit. You learn to sift it for attitudes, to connect it to conditions of production and consumption, to find how art is shaped by the world of artists and readers, and what fucked up things sneak into it when you're not looking. In my current degree course we've studied everything from Greek tragedy up to postmodern graphic novels, and to be honest I've hated most of it, but hand me a text and ask me to hunt down the attitudes to women, ethnicity, disability and queerness therein, and I'll be all over that. And if what you learn from studying these things is that they are in fact fucked up, well, welcome to Cultural Studies. All ur ideologies belong to competing discourses. Big mess all over the place. Learn the toolkit and you can find where the tensions are at and what particular big messes are all over this one.


We also studied much about class. Since class never made much sense to me, I'm not so hot at analysing for that. But you don't usually go far wrong in the last couple hundred years by reading a text as if it's all about How Middle Class White Heterosexual Men Are The Bestest. And if you find that turns out to be difficult, and if there is in fact a completely different bestest in this one, well that's a delightful surprise.
And you know what kind of artists most reliably draw the commentariat's ire?
... the ones that might just possibly have a different idea of bestest. On account of not being the standard one.

Which suggests to me tis exactly the sort of class we need more of.*



*as long as I don't have to do it. Two semesters, an essay, and a dissertation to go, and then I'm sooooo out of here.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Mendoza, Sexual and consumer desire in Goblin Market Read more... )
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
At least: Three texts, two genres, two blocks of the course.
Pick a topic: Gender, Women, Sisters

Block One:
Sarah Stickney Ellis, The Women of England, their Social duties, and Domestic Habits (1839)
Christina Rosetti, Goblin Market (1862)
and a bit of useful comparison to Rosetti's In An Artist's Studio (1856)
Block Two:
Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White (1860)

all I've got for Block Three is that there's not many women in Heart of Darkness because, the Marlow character says, basically, they're better off out of it. They have a happy happy world and telling them true things would just be mean. Or something. But I don't need any from Block Three.

Okay:

Ellis Read more... )

Goblin Market Read more... )

The Woman in White, Read more... ) published a bit before Goblin Market. Perhaps I could write about it first? Read more... )

So it took me like an hour to write up that summary bit. on the plus side, I'll be able to fill a three hour exam. On the minus side, I'm fairly sure all that all wouldn't get me very good grades.

Study is hard.

Also, at least this semester, both annoying and boring.

I know there's a ton of texts being weird about women. Look at the poor fragile women, aw look at them being all caring and doing nurse stuff and also things to do with food, there they are in their nice neat place. Yuck.

I want to go back to watching Doctor Who or, I don't know, martial arts movies. They're weird about women but there's more kicking arse mixed in.

I'm so going to fail this semester.
beccaelizabeth: animated: Oz from Buffy the vampire slayer, looking at a piece of paper, then up at viewer, puzzled. (studious)
So, having been awake long long times, I realised it was 10 in the morning and I hadn't talked to mum for a bunch of time. So we talked. I described the flat we're viewing this week, mum forbade me from moving there, which was pretty much what I was thinking only more so. We talked more. We talked more. Mum hung up for five minutes. She called back. We talked more. Mum hung up and redialed because it was nearly an hour. We talked more. It was past 1pm and we were still talking. And we always have the same conversation! We talk how difficult mum's jobs are, we talk housing, we talk government and disability, we talk all the same things all the time. For hours! So that was a long conversation.

Then I tried finishing the reading about Goblin Market.
Theology is complicated. Which, duh. Read more... ) I'm not even a Christian! Why I got to know this all?
Well I don't, I'm just doing reading about a poem.
... and getting a bit sulky about it, because now I'm thinking of more interesting religious bits than of gender bits, and I need to do an exam about gender.

The end of Goblin Market don't make sense if it's about drug addiction. Read more... )

Mostly though, the more I poke it, the more I find most convincing the assertion of the original poet, who says it's just a fairy tale. It don't mean. It just has a story.

This suggests I'm in the wrong subject again.

I know, I know, everything has a moral or ideological position if you poke it. It's just if you poke them hard enough they don't make no sense.
:-p


Okay, I only have to have a coherent opinion on Friday between 10am and 1pm. Read more... )


Thing I do like about Goblin Market: It's an adventure story with lives in danger and lives saved BUT it don't depend on hitting to fix it. Hitting is what the bad people do. Good people bring fruit juice. Saving the world with fruit juice should work more often.



Now it feels weird that my studious/puzzled icon is a guy. But my girl icons are either angry or angrier or nice reporter people. Or Zatanna with hugs or bunnies. They are not icons for poking stupid poems unless I'm particularly wanting to throw things across the room.

... some of these essays will probably get the angry icons. very odd mirrors, they are.



okay, I'm done for the day.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I do not like today so far. It has either been a really long day or a short one. I woke up at midnight and went back to sleep at six and then woke up at 0900 from something that had decided it was a nightmare without anything much happening in it, it was just really creepy. It was about a flat above a Tesco store that was a firetrap and had a child ghost in it. That might sound like a nightmare but all that had happened so far was talking to some of the Tesco worker people about the flat. Weird that I woke up so creeped out.

I did paperwork stuff today. Or I tried to. I tried filling in the confirmation of benefits form the PTG people sent. I don't know why they sent it when I sent my benefits letter. But my memories of sending things don't appear to be matching theirs so now I need to fill in a form and take it to the benefits office. I don't know when I can do that second part. Blergh. Also I tried to renew my railcard but it didn't work I think. Either that or it'll charge me repeatedly. I'll wait a bit and see exactly which variety of mess I need to fix. But! The person who has been leaving me messages saying to contact them urgenty finally replied to my replies to them. I don't know why they kept saying CONTACT!!! and then not telling me how but pressing reply never did worked. Now they told me that it isn't actually them I need to contact, it's the finance people. And, wonder of wonders, they included a phone number. So I phoned them and said the thingy is in the post. They say if it hasn't worked in a few weeks I should phone the thingy people and chase it up. That's easier said than done. But in a few weeks it will be next year so I can worry about it then. For today I have successfully phoned the finance people to say what I already said only with more chasing.

Also today I read a thing on Goblin Market about the Eucharist and how it is sexy. I don't know. Religion is weird. I mean, if it's pagan I get it, pagan is meant to be sexy, but I didn't think the bread and wine bit was sexy. Only now there's this paper quoting lots of things where Christian theologians are talking about how there's this great desire to get some Jesus in you. And how it all connects hungry and erotic. And how this makes the bit that looks like sister incest lesbianism be secretly about Jesus.
Personally I thought it was a poem about fruit and goblins and addiction, but what do I know?

I have one week and a couple of days before the exam, and only a couple of days before I have explaining to the teacher what I'm doing in the exam, and I don't know, it's all stupid and annoying and I think I got stupid when I wasn't looking and I've forgotten how to do this subject I've been doing since 2002. :-p

I am in such a grump today. And I feel queasy. And I tried eating but had to stop with half the food not ate. Which is annoying. And a waste. And I don't usually do throwing food away once I've cooked it, except come to think I have been a bit lately, plus I throw away food that went past date when I wasn't looking quite a lot. :-(

I packed the bags, I have the books, I have a day to do.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Feeling of impending doom can take a hike. I had both sleep and study. Granted, about two hours of each, and I've been up since 0200, but that's an improvement over what I expected. I ate food, I packed food, I packed my computer (which crashed this morning but worked once I turned it off and on again), I didn't unpack my books since last week. I am ready to go.

And it's the last lesson. Next time is only a revision lesson with individual appointments, and then there is only an exam.

... I'm increasingly convinced I've forgot how to write in academic, or what sort of thing goes in exams. It's also a problem that I really, really, really don't care any more, it's all made of stupid and made up rubbish. Read more... )
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
One trouble with trying to read up on The Woman in White is there's a lot of bollocks said about madness. Also a lot of use of the word oedipal, about people that are not father and son, and use of the word incest, about people who are not in fact siblings. Marian calls Walter her brother sometimes, and he ends up her brother in law. What a shocker. Hmmm, there's also a Walter section talking about Laura as "Mine to love and honour as father and brother both." That follows a Marian section talking about how desperate things were for them because they had no father or brother to be on their side. Also Walter says "The sad sight of the change in her from her former self, made the one interest of my love an interest of tenderness and compassion which her father or her brother might have felt, and which I felt, God knows, in my inmost heart." Rats, I might have to concede they have a point on this one. It's meant to differentiate his love from mad ill Laura, which is all neutral and caring, from his love for her as his wife, but he do use the words a bunch. It's a bit creepy, really, he marries the useless one they've been treating as a child. There's a lot about brothers, and Brothers, and the Brotherhood. But mostly they're invisible brothers mucking up history, and then killing people. Sisters are right in the middle doing lots of stuff. So there's lots of essays about sisters, which will link in an essay with sisters in Goblin Market. I'd rather research something else entirely but the easiest way to access essays at the moment isn't our Athens logins, which seem to have been neutered, but to ask the teacher to go grab them for us. Is no good. Shall stick to the ones she already got.

The oedipal bit is because the bad guy is older than the good guy. I don't think they really need to go there based on just that.

And then there's all the bit about madness. I just gave up on an essay for a bit because it's starting to go on about (a) how very mad Anne Catherick is and (b) how scary mad people are. As for (a) their evidence is that she 'in her delirium' believes things which ironically turn out to be true. She loves Laura like a sister, which is in fact biologically true. But because she was in the asylum this essay goes 'Anne is mad, Anne believes mad things, isn't is sad how they turn out to be true?' Whereas I go 'Anne was in the asylum because a powerful man believed she knew secrets, Anne believes she knows secrets, Anne believes a thing that turns out to be true. Hmmmm, maybe she wasn't delusional.' I mean I'll grant she has problems with anxiety, but having been locked up, and knowing she is in fact being followed, and the teensy little problem at the end where we only have the bad guy's word for it that she died before he got around to killing her, she really do have just cause for a great deal of anxiety! So she's a bit fluttery and worried all the time. Surprise! She has a lot to worry about! And while people go on about how she's really kind of stupid, that doesn't make her mad, that makes her possibly learning disabled and possibly just ignorant. So I'll go as far as anxious and learning disabled, but mad? What's the sane response to knowing men want to lock her in a mad house?

As for madness itself being scary... grow up and get over it. Really. Low end estimates for how many of us go there are 1 in 4. Mental illness is a common experience. It's scary the way any illness is scary, in that you don't want it happening to you, and it makes people a bit unpredictable, but hello, everyone is unpredictable, there's just an illusion of predictability that's not true in experiments or lived experience. And if they're just saying that someone being very anxious tends to make people around them very anxious, well that's true enough, but they're talking a lot of mystifying bollocks around and beyond that. It's like they just say the word 'madness' and suddenly it's all inexplicable and rabbit hole. :-p

The actual scary people in the book are (1) abusive husbands (2) best friends of abusive husbands who are probably abusive husbands too (3) rich people who can get the law to do what they tell it to, especially when they happen to also be (1) and (2). The allegedly mad person doesn't do anything scary. It's scary to be alleged to be mad, since they then get locked up for the crazy person behaviour of claiming to be themselves. That means not that madness is scary but that men misusing the label madness are scary.

Stupid essays. Vaguely stupid book. Annoyance now.



The exam won't have a question on the depiction of 'madness' in the texts we've studied but there's enough of it in enough places to be very very annoying because Victorians categories were bloody unhelpful. It's like there's the category people, and the category madness, and you leave the one to be the other. Wrong wrongity wrong wrong. Yuck.

... oh my essay language is totally working there. :eyeroll:
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Am doing reading for Victorians and Victorianism. 'In Darkest Africa', chapter 6, 7 and 8. It's really creepy. It keeps on going on about how they're the first people to see things, the only ones who ever went there, and then when they find other people there already they shoot them. Their plan for making camp along their route is to go find a village, move in, and pull down any bits they aren't using so as to build defences with. And it describes the locals in the usual stupid-lazy-cowardly-vicious stereotype while describing all the stupid lazy cowardly and vicious things the writer is doing while pissing about on someone else's continent. It complains about how the locals aren't even raised to try and keep promises while making plans to go shoot the locals they've made agreements with, including ones they just swore to be blood brothers with, if they feel like it, or if there's too many delays, or if they need to teach someone a lesson. It's grotesque.

I really hope I'm a different sort of human to these humans I keep reading about lately. If not, can I opt out of being human? There's so many kinds of monsters in these skins.


He's such an idiot. Read more... )

Persepolis

Nov. 12th, 2011 11:37 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Today I read Persepolis, which we'll be studying from Wednesday for Contemporary Narrative.
I kind of can't deal. This whole unit has been grisly death, war, persecution and (attempted) suicide. I think I'm going to have to prioritise my mental health above getting a decent grade and just leave the things in the lessons and not do much studying outside of that. Which will mean putting in only about a quarter of the work, maybe less, but if there were a lesson that required me to repeatedly bang my head against the wall I'd opt out of that, and I think that would hurt less.
Humans suck. Humans are stupid and selfish and evil. Not all of them, just the ones we've been reading about in that lesson.

I'm going to have to go watch Doctor Who instead, I can't deal with that other view.
Because I'd rather live in the hopeful places, thanks. Even if the other stuff is 'reality'.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have read 23/31 of this tedious rubbish and it is now talking about castration fantasies, where teenage males dreams of sex involve sticking it in and breaking it off so it stays there. and this somehow has to do with an umbrella and a woman's moustache. and how reading someone's diary is in fact exactly like rape.

At this point, if I could erase one person from the timeline, I think it would be Freud. The influence on lit crit is pure poison.

they're not even talking about symbols that exist in the text, they're talking about how there isn't any symbol therefore all this made up gubbins must be true.

I'm embarrassed by my topic area, really I am.

Read more... )

Oh sod this, I'm going to go buy lunch.


ETA: I read the rest of it. It descends into utter babble, and ends by talking about the author's rib injury. Which they feel has something to do with all that Freudian garbage they've just been spouting.

Can I have those hours back?
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
am reading a long thing about the sensation novel, nerves, and gender identity. (it says it will also be about homosexuality, but I suspect it will be rubbish before then). It reckons that all the characters are described as having problems with nerves, being nervous, having a nervous face or whatever the hell else. It reckons that women describe it as a sign of their femininity, and men as a sign of their immaturity. It concludes from that that everyone is a little bit feminine, and goes off on... oh dear, thirty pages of waffle about gender confusion in the sensation novel and how it extends to the reader, who is assumed by the novel to be male but is also made nervous and hence made feminine. However I would say that men and women are all nervous sometimes therefore in the terms set out by this book they're all a bit immature. Women aren't expected to grow out of it, hence the permanent association with femininity. But then they all do grow out of it by the end, without stopping being women. Well, some of them get dead instead, but on the whole, they get better by the end. In the main male character its a sign he went off to Be A Man and came back all Manly. Which happened because he deliberately sought out situations that could make a reasonable person nervous ie getting shot at. So the reader, assumed male or otherwise, seeks out situations that will play on their nerves, in order to get over them and get more mature. It's very tidy that way and doesn't involve gender confusion at all. Which is why you can't make an essay out of it and we have to read this rubbish instead.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I went to college. I've been awake since midnight, so turning up for 1pm lessons was quite good going. Still being awake and not run over is good too. Read more... )
(I want to invent a college curriculum where students can study all these fancy words we look at without ever once reading about suicide. A non depressing version! Is that really so hard? Is it really impossible to study all U rated source texts? Read more... )

I don't know. I think I'm sulking because life should be less upsetting. Or because I don't want to look at the upsetting bits.

And, okay, I can see why we've studied all the stuff we've studied, I just... blergh. Once I get done with this degree I will keep reading/watching the Shakespeare and the stuff from Myth & Medievalism and reading like Byron and all from Revolution and Reaction and maybe reading detective stories except I'd already read the Sherlock Holmes and didn't like anything newer than that and ... oh, my list stops there, I think... er, that's not a very long list from that many years studying, then. But I can see the value in having read widely from lots of different times and of seeing films from a bunch of different eras and all that.

I'd just kind of like to be less creeped out for my grades.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
... because I cannot throw it across the room on the laptop.

"if held to a mirror - that is if read backwards - the body of the word golden might be seen as the imperfect reversal of goblin"

*blinks and gapes*

This, we study for university?
Read more... )

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