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January 2012

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Jan. 28th, 2012

icon 3 by iamsailing

On human aliens

I watched The Reichenbach Fall yesterday. (I had actually begun to sort of promise myself that I wouldn't watch it, seeing as it seems to have traumatised the entire fangirl population of the internet, to the point where they had to start writing sweet, fluffy denial!fic to purge themselves of the experience.) Anyway. This isn't about that.

This is about the moment when John stands at Sherlock's grave and tells him this: "...you were the best man, the most human... human being that I've ever known".

Which was so similar to another eulogy delivered by another short, blond human to his taller, darker and significantly more alien friend that I just had to go "IIIIIIHHHH!":

"Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... human."

Between that and John calling Sherlock Spock in The Hounds of Baskerville, I'm quite happy with the level of intertextuality in my fandoms these days.

Jan. 24th, 2012

So, I was in class today...

...and we were doing philosophy of science. My teacher was talking about ontological relativism. Which, in my head, somehow transformed into ornithological relativism. Naturally, I had to make a LOL about this:

Jan. 19th, 2012

You know you're an academic when...

My university (Lund University in the south of Sweden) has a new search system for articles and books. And it's so awesome. It's so efficient. It's so dynamic. It's so user-friendly. If it were possible for a search system to be fluffy, it most assuredly would be, too. God knows I'm not in the habit of praising or promoting commercial products, but this just makes the scholarly part of me squee with joy (if scholarly parts do that - on second thoughts, they probably just nod approvingly).

Jan. 14th, 2012

To tumble or not to

So... I got myself a tumblr (http://towishonspacehardware.tumblr.com/). I suppose that's why I had that long, self-absorbed rant in the previous post - I secretly wanted to have one. I'm contributing it all to academic curiosity, of course, not some primal urge to re-blog pictures of cats. Hmm.

I also watched the Unification double episode of Star Trek TNG tonight, and as lovely as it was to see Mr Nimoy in his familiar, pointy-eared role, I must say that the highlight was undoubtedly Worf singing Klingon opera. XD

Jan. 12th, 2012

The staring contest of Filth. Also, hipsters.

I've been holed up at home in bed for four days now, nursing a cold of spectacular proportions. It showed signs of receding yesterday as well as today, but on both these occasions it simply cruellt dug its slimy claws back into my poor cough-wracked body.
This time of convalescence has also resulted in a period of complete inactivity and neglect regarding any basic everyday chores such as dishwashing, doing the laundry, or showering. I find I am in a staring contest of sorts, pitted against myself, daring myself not to pick up crumpled tissues that have fallen to the floor, or to deal with the towers of unwashed plates that are occupying my desk, drawer and bedside table. It's a bit like when you were 9 or 10 and went without a shower for a week or more, just to see how filthy you could get.

On a different note, I (unfortunately) realised that I can actually continue the theme of "internet savvy I haven't got" started in my last post: I do not have a tumblr account. I've only visited the site on a few occasions. I've also never used Twitter, and I have visited that site on even fewer occasions. When it comes to tumblr, it's pretty much a hopeless venture as far as I'm concerned: Everyone is posting their hipster-y, internet trending stuff on there in what feels like an aimless attempt at self expression, all trying to outshine one another in uniqueness. It just seems pointless, and unlikely to succeed. If the criteria for "uniqueness" are those such as the tumblr crowd set (it's, admittedly, hard to describe those criteria, as they are very much implicit, but visit the tumblr of your regular hipster and you'll know instantly what I mean), I have no way of succeeding in showing how unique I am if I tried to do what they are doing. Not a chance. I would fail (un)spectacularly. And, by the rules of logic (God, how I love logic when it's doing what I want it to), if a group of people adopt a set of rules defining uniqueness, by definition they're not being unique when they adhere to them.

See, I never really got the hang of subcultures. In theory, yes, but I never figured out how to really be, for instance, a goth, or a hipster, or whatever. I would remain just slightly off-kilter, a bit too awkward and motley in my expression, not fitting the criteria quite properly. My clothes would not be quite right, or I would be too loud, or I would not quite master the jargon. Granted, a certain variation exists within every subculture, as does further sub-grouping, but I stuck out in a way that wouldn't be classified as a known brand or genus. I felt like I was somehow being too original.
Perhaps this is what every young person in a subculture such as emo or hipster secretly feels: that they haven't got the right balance between original and conventional self-expression. I wouldn't be surprised. After all, every subculture originally starts out as a counter-reaction, as something truly earnest and heartfelt, but after a while it becomes habitual and institutionalised. Albeit in sometimes seemingly un-institutional forms (yes, tumblr, I'm looking at you). All human behaviour is admittedly more or less conventionalised (making up that wonderfully annoying thing called culture), but I can't help wondering at the paradox here: in our quest to fulfil that Universal Imperative: "Be Yourself", we sometimes look to "alternative" ways of being that are actually just another set of conventions. Where is there room for a more spontaneous self-expression? I do agree with the poststructuralists that "the True Self", from which springs genuine thoughts and actions, is a mere discursive construction, but all the same I feel that there could be a little more room for spontaneity in certain circles.
Anyhow, this ended up being a rant, and I'm not sure I actually got to say anything I meant to. I'm actually not sure I really meant to say anything in the first place.
Actually, I'm just going to make myself some cocoa and watch the last four episodes of Fringe, season 1 (Leonard Nimoy OMG OMG OMG!!!). For better or for worse, I'm stuck with me, with all the idiosyncrasy and dirty plates it brings.

Jan. 7th, 2012

On tinkering, style sheets and Foucault

I'm finally gonna see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy tomorrow, and I'm really psyched about it. It's already managed to include most of my favourite male actors in the cast, and it's directed by (Swede!) Tomas Alfredson, who did a beautiful job with the film version of Låt den rätte komma in, the best Swedish suburbian vampire narrative that was ever published. Ehm, yeah, probably the only one, also, but that's beside the point. :P

On a completely different note, one thing that I continue to feel a bit ashamed about is that I still haven't customised my LiveJournal. That is, properly customised it, using proper know-how about graphic design, CSS and whatnot. The main reason being that I haven't got that know-how. I'm still using one of those pre-made themes that Livejournal provides (which probably is the most "alternative" way of doing it these days, though, when everyone else seems to be fiddling around with code). Is web design a mandatory skill for fangirls, I wonder? The Livejournals I visit when reading fic or posts on pop culture etc are always beautifully personalised, making me feel slightly self-conscious about my own journal. This sort of gets me thinking a bit about the old-and-worn concept of Culture, and how not acting according to the unwritten "rules" of one tends to make you feel a bit uncomfortable: an instinctive, physical sensation. "Culture is in the body", Bourdieu said. I would like to add, "Culture is also in the <body>". Har har.

Speaking of French thinkers, I'm reading an introduction to the work and methodology of Michel Foucault right now. I wish I could take a TARDIS trip back in time to 1979 or so; there is such a lot I want to ask and discuss with him. Also, I'd go to a Joy Division gig while I was there (while I was then? Temporal grammatics can be a bit imprecise) - it seems a waste not to make the most of a visit to a bygone era.

Jan. 5th, 2012

icon 1 by iamsailing

When awesome meets legendary... or was it the other way around?

I squeed when I saw THIS:
"Exclusive: Here’s another update on writer/director J.J. Abrams’ much anticipated Star Trek sequel — which is really No. 12 among the Captain Kirk/Mr Spock star fleet movies – coming out on May 17, 2013 from Paramount. I’ve learned that hot British film actor Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast in a lead role in the film. No word yet on whether he’ll be a hero or villain."
(http://www.imdb.com/news/ni20561470/)

Iiiiiiihhhh!! If this is true then it seems that the Fandom Gods are truly conspiring to bring all fandoms of relevance together into a bright, hot, glowing nova of AWESOME. Thank you, Fandom Gods.

Dec. 24th, 2011

THE FUTURE

...has been on my mind a lot this past week, making me more than a little anxious. 
  Most of the time, I exist quite happily in an ever-constant, self-contained Now, fueled by fiction, tea and more fiction. Then, every now and then, I look up for long enough to realise that I don't seem to be heading anywhere, have a brief think about where I would like to be the next few months, and make a grand and impulsive decision to get there.

  I had such a moment a week or so ago: I realised that I will have finished my Bachelor's degree in June, and that I will have to find myself a nice and suitable British Master's course for the autumn (Master's because I am far too enamoured with my subject to stop studying it, and British because I miss the UK, quite badly). I went online, consulted the Guardian's University League table, had a brief look-around the websites of the various institutions, and decided that University of Sussex would be the one for me. They've got a one-year Master in Media and Cultural Studies, which is right up my alley. 

  Being England though, it obviously costs (spoiled and idealistic Swede that I am, I keep expecting education to be a human right and thus free of charge - silly, I know...), which no doubt has caused its fair share of stress for me over the past few days, and brought about a whole lotta brooding along the lines of "Do I have enough academic merits for a scholarship?" or "Have I got any original research ideas to contribute to my field of study?". Which all more or less boil down to "Am I clever enough?" 

  And as there isn't really any logical way to counter such enquiries yourself (you can't, after all, possess conclusive, irrefutable proof of your own proficiency/lack thereof), it seems to me that I'll just have to wait for the reappearance of that deeply irrational, stubborn drive that makes me raise a proud middle finger to all naysayers (they're mostly in my head, actually...) and go SCREW YOU, I'M DOING THIS! Which I have no doubt will be a great aid to me in my writing of application letters and the like. That would be a lovely Christmas present.

Dec. 8th, 2011

Fic trolling...?

There is a certain author (no user names mentioned) on the Kirk/Spock fanfiction archive (ksarchive.com) that has been steadily uploading fic for the past few months. Fic that is so over-the-top, so sickeningly sweet, so abysmally written that to liken it to Harlequin romance would be doing it a great favour (and Harlequin romance a great disservice). It rarely gets any reviews, K/S readers being a fairly discerning bunch. But I now have to ask myself, is the person hiding behind the pen name something other than a rabid slash fan with delusions of authorhood? What if the person is rather deliberately out to take the mickey, and make readers squirm in their seats from embarrassment and indignation? What if the person is actually - TROLLING? Perhaps I've been hanging around 4chan and the cheezburger network too much. But I nonetheless feel that it bears thinking about. Trolls are, after all, a cunning and ingenious sort, constantly on the lookout for new ways to spread their trolldom.


Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Dec. 5th, 2011

That particular brand of dismay...

...which comes from losing half of one's (fanfic) Favourites in a laptop reboot is not, admittedly, as great as the discomfort which arises upon watching a particularly bad episode of Star Trek TOS season 3. But it still stings.

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