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While I was trying to compile lists for my previous post, I looked up François Périer, who played supernatural chauffeur Heurtebise*, and noticed he’d also played a burglar in a 1946 romantic-comedy-fantasy, Sylvie et le Fantome, in which Jacques Tati plays a ghost. I wish Youtube had a better copy than this fuzzy one with the sound out of synch, but what I’ve been able to see is rather charming. It was an interesting decision to play the ghost, Alain, without dialogue, but then he is Jacques Tati.

ETA – according to Wikipedia, the special effects in this movie weren’t double-exposure – they set up and filmed Pepper’s Ghost effects for all Tati’s scenes. :O

*Pretty sure Orphee is where Tim Burton got the idea for the running gag in Beetlejuice that suicides become civil servants in the afterlife.


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There’s been a “five movies to watch if you want to understand me” meme going around on Facebook, and sovay noted it recently on Dreamwidth. I’ve begun trying to pick five – it’s tricky to select movies that I think explain something about myself, rather than ones I simply like; and then, I think one of the things about myself that I might need to convey is a sort of fragmented way of looking at things, which might be easier to get across if I could individual scenes to the list, i.e. “Jamaica Inn, but just the bit where Sir Humphrey is weirdly polite about tying up the heroine,” “Orphee, but only the scenes with Heurtebise,” or “the “Freedonia’s going to war” sequence from Duck Soup.”


Then there are tv shows – I was quietly, wrigglingly obsessed, for part of the early ‘nineties, with a 1976-78 low-budget Grenada tv show called The Ghosts of Motley Hall that YTV was re-running. It was the work of Richard Carpenter, better known for Robin of Sherwood, and I think part of the reason it fascinated me was that I couldn’t quite figure out who, besides myself, had been the target audience for a children’s gothic/folk-horror britcom shot on a single set (though I’ve since come to believe that sort of thing was probably quite normal for 1970s UK television). Even then, it was very specific bits that touched me – mainly the conversations between Bodkin (Arthur English) and Matt (Sean Flanagan), and perhaps the ghosts’ wry affection for Mr. Gudgin, who can’t see them.


So, mentioning those things, but leaving them off the official list:


 The Old Dark House (1932) 

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953)

Subway (1985)

Ghost in the Shell 2 – Innocence (2004)


For the fifth movie, I’m torn between two documentaries,both from 1965, each containing footage from older works:

 Buster Keaton Rides Again, or The Epic That Never Was.



I’m not entirely sure what this list and it’s notes say about me, except that I evidently like ghosts.


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Posted Chapter 7 of “Cooling Their Heels” on Saturday, but Andrew’s opinion after reading it was that the fic was now “coasting,” so I’ve added an eighth to try and move it a little to the finale I want. Yes, this is one of those “I came up with the ending first” stories. Still, at least it hasn’t run out of steam yet.
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I know this one’s bad enough without borrowing trouble, but I can’t help think that the chatrooms full of disaffected young guys must be currently buzzing over the age of the shooter and resolving that if an older man just set a new record for victims, they’ve just got to try and outdo him, for the sake of their own fragile masculinity…
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 We tried going to Nuit Blanche this year, but Andrew got overwhelmed by the crowds pretty quickly, so we saw exactly one thing that was part of the show, a performance piece at the Art Gallery of Ontario which turned out to involve a lot of shouting, so we retreated to the Dutch Old Masters room, then went for pizza. It was after that we tried to navigate a crowded sidewalk and Andrew decided he’d had enough; probably just as well, as his leg started bothering him while we tried to find a streetcar stop and then a cab. On the upside, I hadn’t visited the Old Masters in a while and looking at them up close, seeing the individual brushstrokes, as opposed to looking at them in photographs in which they look impossibly polished and realistic, made me think “I could do this.” I’ve no idea if this burst of confidence was warranted, but at the pizza place I took some snapshots that I think could translate well to that painting style.

The earlier part of the day was pretty good too. Andrew found two jackets at the thrift store, including a tuxedo jacket he was very pleased with (and wore out later to Nuit Blanche), and we tried a diner in Parkdale, Peter’s Corner Cafe, which we’d never gone into before even though it’s been there for years, and it was pretty good (my gyro was serviceable, but Andrew got the Montreal smoked meat on rye and says it was almost as good as what they serve at Kaplansky’s.)
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 I don’t know whether I’ve mentioned this before, but there’s Ea-Nasir fanfic. AO3 has more than a half-dozen anfics for a 4,000-year-old customer complaint. My favourite is the one in which Nanni’s scribe, Sit-Sin, patiently talks him out of sending a letter that’s just “Ea-Nasir is a jackal’s bastard,” writ twenty times.
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 I’m on the cusp of blocking another high-school acquaintance from my Facebook friends list. Trouble is — the guy’s parents were from East Germany, and he currently lives in Vietnam. He has perfectly good reasons to mistrust Communist governments. But it’s getting so that every time I hit “share” on a post about standing up to the alt-right, he swamps me with comments about the evils of Marxism, and I have poor debate skills, so I suspect replying that I don’t think North America is currently threatening to slide too far to the left right now, or that protesting against fascists is not a slippery slope to holding mass trials of all the people you suspect of bourgeois tendencies, will just rile him up more. 

I’m keeping an eye on him; if he starts going over to the comment threads of my friends who don’t know him, he’s cut. The frustrating thing is that I barely spoke to him in high school, we just ran in the same circles, but I feel like I have to keep him on my page out of some combination of old loyalties and fear that ignoring him will just “prove I’m living in an intellectual bubble,” or something. Smarter heads than I have pointed out that the latter is a fallacy trolls often use to force themselves on people. But I don’t believe he’s an actual troll, just that he’s had more personal experience with one problem with the other.

On a lighter note, has anyone ever written a Terry Pratchett/Don Marquis crossover? Because I’m picturing a page of interaction between Archie the Cockroach and Death, and... well, if nothing else, there’d be no trouble telling whose dialogue is which.
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 “Bill,” from the musical Showboat, is kind of a gender-swapped “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun,” describing the beloved entirely in negatives; that works if you’re Shakespeare and the cliché you’re deconstructing is the Petrachan sonnet. I’m not sure what “Bill” is the opposite of – a beautiful man in a Leyendecker illustration, probably (there may be some kind of working-class pride intended in the list of sports he does not excel at being golf, tennis, polo, and rowing.)


The problem with this kind of thing is that you’re always left wondering just what the beloved *does* have going for them. Sex, maybe. That’s probably what Shakespeare was implying, and the lyrics to “Bill” date from the early twentieth century and would have to be even more covert. “It’s surely not his brain that makes me thrill.”


Given that within the context of the musical, the character is performing the song, but is really thinking about her husband who’s just run out on her because he can no longer deal with the fact she’s mixed-race, I can’t feel too optimistic about “Bill’s” negative virtues, but the song’s been stuck in my head for days and deconstructing the lyrics doesn’t help.


My brain, gentlefolk.

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copperbadge, as usual, has interpreted this as "choose a historical pirate and write a piece from their point of view:"
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 Haven't posted in a while, in part because whatever writing steam I have has been diverted into finally starting another fanfic. I've enjoyed the Doctor/Companion dynamic in the most recent season of Doctor Who, enough to try writing around it. The Doctor and Bill aren't really the central characters in this story, just part of the ensemble/PoV, but then that's often how it works on the show. While I'm not really knowledgeable enough to write a convincing archeological expedition, let alone one taking place on another planet in the far future, I take some pride in their troubles not involving a curse.

As always, there are scenes I actually want to write, and then there are far more scenes that have to be written in order to get the characters to the place where the fun scenes can happen, but I've completed and posted four chapters so far -- serializing these things sometimes (not always) forces me to keep going until they reach a conclusion. And it's fun to write something for a popular fandom, because then people actually read it.


Aug. 23rd, 2017 09:53 pm
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 I'm a permanent hiiiiire
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gorgon painting 
Apotropaic #5, oil on glass.

Went for a somewhat more realistic style this time.

I painted over a framed copy of one of those creepy Ann Geddes babies-in-costume pictures. I think this is an improvement.


Aug. 16th, 2017 09:43 am
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Literally one week left on my probation, and this morning I overhear them talking about a new hire. I really hope this is just me being paranoid.

ETA - OK, it's now Thursday and I'm still employed. Next Monday is the annual staff summer BBQ, and I can't see them being cruel enough to drop me immediately after, so if I get through tomorrow without being told not to bother coming in Monday, I'm probably all right. 

Reiterating that this is probably just needless anxiety on my part.

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From a comment on this thread:


“The closest fictional counterpart to Donald Trump is the female lead's boyfriend. You know the one. The guy who is such a fucking asshole with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, that you don't feel bad for wanting the movie's protagonist to break them up. But, because the writers assume the audience are idiots, they make him so over-the-top horrible that you can't understand how a nice, sweet girl like the female lead would ever tolerate dating this asshole. And then because you are bored, you start to wonder if maybe she isn't so great, maybe because she is presented as just a cipher with just a few symbols of being someone that the protagonist should be dating... what if she is actually just as much of an asshole as her boyfriend? Yeah, that's Trump and America right now.”

In lighter news
, I wonder whose job it is to tweet on behalf of the sharks.

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 Went to bed last night glad that at least the civic and state authorities had agreed that Nazis marching in the streets was an emergency, woke up to find one of said Nazis had rammed a car through a crowd and killed at least one person. The cynic in me thinks that since the victim was (a) a local, and (b) white, young, and attractive, her murderer may actually get convicted.

For or those of us outside the US, or the immediate vicinity of Charlottesville, here's a link to a list of possible donation/support sites. I've seen friends on DW posting similar lists as well.

Here in Toronto, going to try and get the upcoming BBQ in memory of the Christie Pits Riot, if they can get the date pinned down.
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I like that La Machine asked the cathedral to host the giant spider specifically so it could echo Louise Bourgeois' giant-spider sculpture Maman, across the street.

ETA -- it's not like churches haven't hosted art projects before involving, oh, say, a live stag.
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Now in oil on canvas. I painted it in my bathroom though.
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medusa on bathroom mirror
Apotropaic #1, 2017. Lipstick on Bathroom Mirror


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