There I Was in Mister Orpheum's Office|
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
Video Deteriora Sequor's LiveJournal:
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|Sunday, January 15th, 2017|
|Drive-By: Do You Feel Like a Hand of Solitaire, Donald?
These days it's tough to figure out what's real news*, so I'm not sure if it's true the President Trump's first diplomatic meeting as president will be a meeting with Putin in Reykjavik. My first thought was whether we could build a wall in time to keep him from coming back, but I guess not. My next thought is that maybe he's going to defect, but we couldn't be that lucky, could we?
Oddly enough the thriller "The Manchurian Candidate" is about a red-bashing politician who turns out to be an unwitting, brainwashed Communist sleeper agent whose spymaster is his mother (played in the movie by Angela Lansbury at Peak Evil, although she wasn't much older than the actor playing her son). It would explain a lot really.
*OK, fake news about the Russian hookers, but I wouldn't mind if it *was* true, I have a problem with Putin paying Trump to piss on the Constitution.
|Thursday, January 12th, 2017|
|Drive-By: Picket Sign
I guess "Hyperion to a Satyr" would be a little too subtle, so I guess I'll have to add Obama and Trump photos and "Look upon that picture, and on this."
|Monday, December 26th, 2016|
|Friday, December 23rd, 2016|
|Saturday, December 17th, 2016|
|Main or Madness?
Every time I think I'm out they pull me back in...err, I mean, once again I did not sign up for Yuletide, because I don't really LIKE Yuletide. But once again I am doing a couple of treats. This means I get to write what I want, only for prompts that I think I can do something with. And the prospect of not getting a story...well, it's like your Aunt Ethel NOT giving you any socks. You can survive the absence better than having to do the Dance of Gratitude.
I think each of the treats will be over 1,000 words. One of them is utter farce, the other a sweet sentimental little slice of life vignette. I saw both of them on the pinch hit list, so their main gift will be written with great speed, but sometimes that means the writer's mind has been Concentrated Wonderfully. If either one goes on the pinch hit list after a second default, I'll try to pick it up, of course. But if that doesn't happen, should I post both to Madness? Or the sillier one to Madness and the less silly to main?
|Drive-By: It's Hamleting Out There
A couple of inches of snow fell overnight, and it's raining now--the too, too sullied slush is melting, thawing, and resolving itself into a dew. I still had to Keep Up With the Joneses and go out and shovel an hour ago because the maintenance man for the apartment building a few doors down was shoveling.
I didn't around to buying another bag of rock salt, but I found that there was an almost-full bag in the rock salt bin (it's a metal cylinder with a hemispherical top; the circular push-in part has fallen out though--it still looks like an embarrassing Dr. Who prop).
|Tuesday, December 6th, 2016|
|Drive-By: B7 Prescience
I'm clearing out old paper files. I turn over the pages and print on the blank side, so some sheets of paper, like Melanie Griffin in Working Girl ("a head for business and a bod for sin") are business on one side and fannish on the other.
This is from the script of the B7 episode "Horizon":
KOMMISSAR: So you're a Resister. Some malfunction of the genes, I suppose. It throws up a Resister about every hundred thousand. Mostly they're detect in infancy.
BLAKE: I was a late developer.
|Saturday, December 3rd, 2016|
|Sunday, November 13th, 2016|
|We All Take a Bow, Including the Cow, Though Business is Lousy and Slow
If you have access to PBS.org, I really recommend watching the London production of "Gypsy" before they cycle it off. Imelda Staunton is just amazing, and it's a very fresh interpretation. Usually everybody just does what Rose* wants either because it's easier to go along, or because they're genuinely afraid of her, but Staunton is incredibly sexy. She sings wonderfully, although she's kind of uncertain in her first number, which made me nervous when I first heard the CD.
However, because of contemporary conditions (reminds self that this is not FFA, so I don't have to go to the US Elections post) I can't help thinking of this production as an allegory, with Staunton as a tiny insane Hillary Clinton dragging her terrible act around an America that is sick of vaudeville and prefers the cheap thrills of burlesque. OK, not a perfect allegory, AFAIK the real Gypsy Rose Lee was a pretty cool person and not at all like Donald Trump.
*Ethan Mordden has a whole riff about how stupid it is to refer to the character as Mama Rose, because her daughters call her Mama and everyone else calls her Rose or Madame Rose. I'm not sure this is valid--I mean, nobody in Hamlet ever calls the King Claudius but that's still his name and title, but whatever.
|Saturday, November 12th, 2016|
|Friday, November 11th, 2016|
Link is to a petition to support Keith Ellison as chair of the DNC; obviously it's going to make a big difference to conventional politics who administers the Democratic party.
If you have the chance, consider becoming a member of one of two groups with a well-earned poor reputation:
1. Union officials
2. Civil servants.
Union members earn a lot more and have much better working conditions and benefits than non-members. However, in the past unions have done a lot to keep those good jobs for white men, and to hold back useful technologies. Union officials who aren't thieves, racketeers, or bigots could do a lot to improve unions' reputation and profile. Remember what I said last time about going for jobs nobody wants? Every union local has a ton of gruntwork and a perpetual shortage of new grunts.
Agencies are going to face budget cuts, and the only way they can get through their workload is with smart, energetic, hard-working people. Errr, which is not 100% of their current census. Even if they're not hiring now, take the test, they have to hire from the list, so if you get a good score they have to hire you even if they don't like your race, sex, or orientation.
Oh, yeah, forgot to mention--block associations have ALL the information about local things, and if they hand a clueless city councilperson an explanation of how to vote about something complicated, there's a good chance that the city councilperson will agree.
|Thursday, November 10th, 2016|
|Things to Do in America When Your Party's Dead
Nobody could do all of these things, and I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but there are some things that can be done right now, and things that have to be done over the long haul.
1. It really shouldn't to the same extent, considering the amazing ability to connect with anyone with an e-mail address, but politics basically runs on money. And if you don't have any, well, you can put the loose change from your pocket in a change jar and give away $5 when you get to $5. Believe me, any campaign or organization or cause you were planning to donate to will happily take $5 every two months from you. And once you get on one sucker list, you will never be alone, because every other sucker list will hit you up daily or several times a day. Just ignore them when you get annoyed.
2. I learned a Valuable Life Lesson when I was a high school senior. For reasons that now escape me I wanted to work on the yearbook. I immediately secured a power base as the Senior Pictures Editor because nobody else wanted to do it. And later on I earned actual money doing paste-ups and mechanicals, which I learned how to do because of those goddamn pictures. Which were, as we now say, about the size of an icon.
3. Every September, without fail, Vogue magazine runs a gushing editorial about how thank goodness, now you can wear frilly ruffly clothes instead of those awful plain ones! followed the next year by thank goodness, now you can wear elegantly tailored clothes instead of those awful frilly ruffly ones! And the readers fall for it EVERY TIME. The electorate is constantly engaged in Throwing the Bums Out, forgetting a) who elected them and b) that the new Bums are probably not that different from the old bums. But to the extent of genuine Bum superiority, we have two years to work on who we want to run for the House in 2018; there's a passable chance of the Democrats being able to take back the majority.
4. A cunning conspiracy is in place to make local politics REALLY boring, but, as they say, All Politics Is Local. If you can stand going to City Council meetings, you will be one of the first to know that a proposal has been made to give lavish tax abatements to the rat poison factory to be built on the pontoon over the lake. Which means you can help mobilize opposition.
5. In Batman's origin story, he camps around in a bat costume because he thinks it will frighten criminals, who are a "superstitious and cowardly lot." Well, actually, that's politicians for you. Most of them will cheerfully switch directions more often than a zumba class in a tornado if they think they can get two votes or $3.22 in campaign donations out of it. On a prominent issue, they might pick a position and stick to it, but on an obscure issue, enough signatures on an e-mail petition can move the needle.
6. This is America, so whatever it is you're interested in, there is probably at least one organization doing it. Probably there was one and a bunch of people stalked out in disgust. Check first to see you're not inventing the wheel. Of course if the people are SUCH wankers you can't stand it, then you may have to be the one to ankle.
7. Electoral politics isn't the only way to go. If you don't think you have a reasonable chance of getting government to provide benefits to people in need, there are a LOT of organizations working to get food to hungry people and improve the food system. Right now, I'm liking Food and Water Watch for their opposition to fracking, and Union of Concerned Scientists for their climate change work.
8. Right now, there probably is enough STUFF to go around, but it isn't distributed equitably. If we keep wasting and fucking up, there might not be enough stuff to go around, in which case we are going to have to learn to waste less, share more, and develop skills.
9. It's not the eighteenth century anymore. Smile Less, Talk More.
10. DON'T MOURN, ORGANIZE!
|Drive-By: Eat Your Chana Masala, Children in America Are Starving
I'm planning to be back later with some actual posts, but I just got the Quaker Action magazine from the American Friends Service Committee (afsc.org) which has a lot of interesting materials on community work and being an effective ally.
Worldvisiongifts.org's catalog has options of donating for "urgently needed clothing and more", for chldren in America, "nutritious food for hungry kids in America," and "school supplies for US classrooms." It's a Christian organization, so if that's a DNW for you I suspect Heifer International will also have options for donating in the US. There are also US-based anti-hunger organizations like Feeding America.
|Sunday, November 6th, 2016|
I've decided that The Crown is actually the third part of a trilogy about British politics: Yes, Minister, followed by Yes, Prime Minister, and now Yaaaas, Queen.
|Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016|
Looking forward to Tuesday, when Littlefinger loses the Game of Thrones.
|Sunday, October 23rd, 2016|
Much Ado About Nothing Fantasy AU: Don Johns and Dragons
|Thursday, October 20th, 2016|
Thanks to a truncation in a post:
FACEBO: something that only looks like social media, and its polite Russian cousin: SPACEBO.
|Thursday, July 21st, 2016|
|They Were the Footsteps of a Gigantic Termite
Today I could find HGTV on the exercise bike at the gym! That's not a given, sometimes it's at Channel 2, sometimes it isn't. Today I watched an episode of "Flip or Flop," where two real estate brokers who tapped out selling houses now buy and renovate houses for resale. Apparently they buy the houses without an inspection, and sometimes sight unseen. They were shuttling back and forth between two houses. In *both* of them it came as a complete surprise when they knocked down the walls that the plumbing and electricity were clapped out, although I thought that the estimates of the additional cost their contractor (who looks like the guy in American Gothic, although with a sawzall instead of a pitchfork) were implausibly low. I mean, $4,000 to completely repipe a four-bedroom house?
So at first I was yelling at the screen: this just happened to you! How stupid are you guys? And then I realized that they're the Jam Watsons of home rehab. Much of the cozy enjoyment comes from, at any rate, being smarter than THEM, and part of what HGTV pays them for is goofiness.
|Sunday, July 17th, 2016|
HILLARYC LINTON: protagonist of Wuthering Heights sequel
|Monday, July 11th, 2016|
|The Brexit Club
Not sure who's the jock or the princess, everyone in politics is the criminal, no one is a brain, and Britain is the basket case.