levity: (bring it)
Quote of the day: "I am contemplating the passage of a bill that would make it punishable for husbands to give unsatisfying sex to wives."
- BUT WHY LIMIT IT TO THE WIVES, is the real question. No, the real question is how people can exist who make Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago seem reasonable. Amusing is a given, but reasonable?!

Said it before, saying it for what will not be the last time, but dear gods, I hope: the RH Bill is not about abortion. The RH Bill is not about population control. The RH Bill is about- spoilers ahoy- reproductive health. It is about teaching people about safe and responsible sex and about sexual health and it is about providing access to contraception for anyone who needs it and it is about improving maternal health care delivery, and goodness knows those are all totally unnecessary things. If you do not support the RH Bill, it means you want women to die and families to have more kids than they can provide for and children to be miserable. End of. It also means, as is the case with people who think GMA's politics and economics were viable and who hold that Marcos wasn't such a bad guy after all, that I can in good conscience completely disregard any opinion you will ever have.

I am probably preaching to the choir, but sometimes a girl needs to vent.

---

I made my pop music playlist! I don't even care that it's more than half absurd and embarrassing, because what is embarrassment and how do you feel it, and because I can't stop listening to We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together, never mind that I don't know how many evers there are in the title. It's snippy and banal and disdainful and on principle I approve wholeheartedly of anything that drips with condescension for stupid boys who think that listening to obscure indie records and dissecting every single thing makes them better than you. I love the spoken "Like, ever" at the end of the chorus- I love that you can hear her eyeroll and I love that demonstration that sometimes it's just not worth it to expend effort on vocabulary. My entire playlist makes me happy, but that's probably because I define pop music as "anything that could have been annoying but instead makes you grin like mad". Well. If music has any other purpose I don't know it. (Rhetorical, but also the point.)
levity: (Jolteon and Togepi)
"How do you work with that looming over you?" "We all work with that looming over us, or have you forgotten there's a dead dog orbiting above our heads?" SHOW, WHY ARE YOU SO ADDICTIVE.
levity: (bring it)
The notion of cancer as an affliction that belongs paradigmatically to the twentieth century is reminiscent, as Susan Sontag argued so powerfully in her book Illness as Metaphor, of another disease once considered emblematic of another era: tuberculosis in the nineteenth century. Both diseases, as Sontag pointedly noted, were similarly “obscene—in the original meaning of that word: ill-omened, abominable, repugnant to the senses.” Both drain vitality; both stretch out the encounter with death; in both cases, dying, even more than death, defines the illness.

But despite such parallels, tuberculosis belongs to another century. TB (or consumption) was Victorian romanticism brought to its pathological extreme—febrile, unrelenting, breathless, and obsessive. It was a disease of poets: John Keats involuting silently toward death in a small room overlooking the Spanish Steps in Rome, or Byron, an obsessive romantic, who fantasized about dying of the disease to impress his mistresses. “Death and disease are often beautiful, like . . . the hectic glow of consumption,” Thoreau wrote in 1852. In Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, this “hectic glow” releases a feverish creative force in its victims—a clarifying, edifying, cathartic force that, too, appears to be charged with the essence of its era.

Cancer, in contrast, is riddled with more contemporary images. The cancer cell is a desperate individualist, “in every possible sense, a nonconformist,” as the surgeon-writer Sherwin Nuland wrote. The word metastasis, used to describe the migration of cancer from one site to another, is a curious mix of meta and stasis—“beyond stillness” in Latin—an unmoored, partially unstable state that captures the peculiar instability of modernity. If consumption once killed its victims by pathological evisceration (the tuberculosis bacillus gradually hollows out the lung), then cancer asphyxiates us by filling bodies with too many cells; it is consumption in its alternate meaning—the pathology of excess. Cancer is an expansionist disease; it invades through tissues, sets up colonies in hostile landscapes, seeking “sanctuary” in one organ and then immigrating to another. It lives desperately, inventively, fiercely, territorially, cannily, and defensively—at times, as if teaching us how to survive. To confront cancer is to encounter a parallel species, one perhaps more adapted to survival than even we are.

This image—of cancer as our desperate, malevolent, contemporary contemporary doppelgänger—is so haunting because it is at least partly true. A cancer cell is an astonishing perversion of the normal cell. Cancer is a phenomenally successful invader and colonizer in part because it exploits the very features that make us successful as a species or as an organism.


- from Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies. So far, the only complaint I have about this book is that I will never be able to write it myself. Between him and [livejournal.com profile] guede_mazaka, I am turning into a very bitter person.

Perhaps my favorite thing about this book is that Mukherjee gets it, the all-consuming perfect terribleness of cancer, the way we aren't even close to a viable long-term solution. There is no witty conclusion, because there isn't the space.

---

Tumbling problems aside, I still have not yet managed to stop listening to Marina & The Diamonds, part because, as with all the favorites you know you're going to like thirty seconds in, it's like those two albums have my name written all over them. The bright smiling anger and the satire and the performativity, the cheerful wink and nod at the construction of her whole image and the simultaneous deconstruction, the plucky synthetic pop and the clear fuck-off I do what I want and the consequences are all mine air. Oh well.

---

Waging a war against our printer. Losing.
levity: (daydream team)
HOLY CARP APPARENTLY THE REAL ABBE FARIA DIDN'T DIE OF A CATALEPTIC SEIZURE SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE BOWELS OF THE CHATEAU D'IF. HOLY CARP HOW AM I ONLY LEARNING THIS NOW.

(This of course begs the question, Who did? Because Edmond Dantes had to have gotten out somehow- Oh, wait.)

AND HOLY CARP APPARENTLY ABBE FARIA PIONEERED THE FORERUNNER TO INCEPTION REAL LIFE IS THE BEST THING.

I'm not even going to wonder why this is my life anymore. Theoretical cardio is kind of like physics with a heart (there is no punch line), but practicals always suck. Augh.
levity: (that free will thing was a bugger)
Three drive-by fic recs:

1. The Only John Wayne Left in This Town

By his tenth birthday, Clint's hands are more callous than finger. He's the best shot anyone has ever seen, and the best banjo player in the state. Two roads diverge on an Iowa highway overpass, and Clint, being a stubborn little fuck, takes both.


The one that manages to do Americana without glossing over anything and that is a love letter to country music.

2. A Partial Dictionary of the 21st Century

He actually kind of liked Star Spangled Man, back when he was doing recruitment performances, but of course it was always a little embarrassing too. He's sort of grateful nobody's dug that one up and tried to do some kind of mix with it, because sometimes when DJs see him at a club they'll do a riff on the Star Spangled Banner (though in Steve's humble opinion nobody will ever top Jimi Hendrix's cover).

At any rate, this one night he's out at a bar where a woman is doing an unplugged set, just her and a guitar, which should be kind of hokey but she's really good. For her last song she says, "My grandfather had this song on a record, and he used to play it for me as a kid," and then she opens with something that sounds awfully familiar.

Steve stares at her, because that's the song. Who's strong and brave, here to save the American Way?

But it's slow, and sad, and not all the lyrics are the same -- because the song was about him but more about this mythical hero who would do it all, and --

She's left out the line. The song was always just a lot of questions about who will fight for America or save America or give his all in battle, but in the original, there was an answer: The Star Spangled Man.

And she's left the answer out. So it's not an anthem to raise money for a war or get enlistment numbers up. It's a cry out for help. Who'll rise and fall, give their all for America?

(She's left out a lot of other stuff too, about the goose-stepping goons and the Krauts and all that guff, which is just as well.)


The one that is, in contrast, not Americana at all. Steve Rogers was never my favorite, but this fic gets both the earnest sincerity of the kid from Brooklyn who hated bullies and the stiff-upper-lip sort of handwringing confusion of the super soldier out of time, shake and serve.

3. never give all the heart

"Don't you think they've got a point, though?" Dustin asks. His voice is carefully casual but when Mark glances up at him his expression is nothing but. "Don't you think you're getting a bit… overwhelmed?"

Mark blinks. "Excuse me?"

"You're running yourself ragged, Mark, me and Chris both think so-"

"It's Chris and I," says Mark.

"What?"

"It's 'Chris and I both think so', not me and Chris," Mark tells him. "And thank you, but I think I've got this under control." 

Dustin doesn't pursue the matter, but out of the corner of his eye Mark can see Dustin still looking at him long after Mark has turned back to his code. On some level Dustin has a point, but it's not something that Mark can let himself concede. It boils down to one thing – to Yinsen in his last moments, face preternaturally peaceful, reaching for Mark and saying, don't waste your life. And Eduardo, Eduardo saying, I didn't sleep, Mark, perpetually under fire from all sides without a modicum of the respect that Mark and Iron Man have enjoyed.

There are stakes here that Mark himself is only beginning to realise the magnitude of. And his response – his only possible response – must be to press on. 


The one that is my favorite sort of fic, plotty and smart and with a pitch-perfect Mark Zuckerberg voice and quietly heartbreaking in all the right places.

---

Things I have: an addiction to writing, and absolutely zero imagination. This is my curse.

---

Things I really wish someone would write, or, to be more accurate, things I wish someone had written as of yesterday:

- the Captain America version of The Kids Aren't All Right, the fake journalism fic that pastiches 1940s radio news reports and press releases and Star-Spangled Man touring ads and editorials. The one that looks at what it means to make Steve Rogers a symbol of- okay, the US, but also of the military-industrial complex that runs the US that runs wars, and of whatever it is that induces the idea that war can be anything better than justified. The shining ideas of heroism in contrast to, well, war, and the whole thing where in the end superhero stories (and war stories) are about values and ideas of power that are no longer valid.

- the Prometheus fic that makes it clear that it's a Lovecraft story wrapped up in visually stunning sci-fi trappings, where your creators of life are cosmic horrors that, if you tried to understand them, you'd go mad, and the fact that sometimes they look just like you and me makes no difference. Or it can be about Vickers and David, two different versions of the perfectly engineered child, because some performances steal movies, okay.

- Albert de Morcerf and Beauchamp and Franz d'Epinay, Paris society's new blood, young and bright and good enough to play the game, but nowhere near insightful enough to know what it means, or what it can do. Eugenie Danglars and her glittering fuck-you to the world, Valentine de Villefort who grew up trusting no one, knowing that all everyone saw in her were her name and her fortune and who found herself falling for the first man who cared for neither, Maximilien Morrel the out-and-out military man who entered the service in the first place to keep away from the power-brokering, to have a career where things were straightforward and honor meant something, but then again, what did he know of the French military when he entered. Haydee who went after revenge just as viciously as the benefactor she found herself tied to (and isn't that its own tangle of thorns), but who had to be the beautiful Greek slave girl to do it. And at the heart of it all the roiling mess that is barely post-Napoleonic France, the tension and the thrum of the idea of revolution.
levity: (bring it)
Juan Ponce Enrile is a rockstar. And also, still, a living reminder of what it's like when brilliant people are astoundingly competent, and completely amoral.

Quote of the day is Noynoy thanking the defense for showing us all the truth. I've forgotten how addictive Philippine politics can be.
levity: (bring it)
Juan Ponce Enrile is a rockstar. And also, still, a living reminder of what it's like when brilliant people are astoundingly competent, and completely amoral.

Quote of the day is Noynoy thanking the defense for showing us all the truth. I've forgotten how addictive Philippine politics can be.
levity: (mes que un club)
I am beginning to understand how people become addicted to soap operas. There is nothing new or smart or inspiring in this impeachment trial, and more often than not I just want to yell at everyone on the screen to show some common sense (or, if Miriam, just to shut up), but I can't tear my eyes away. I would like to say that it's just to see Enrile and Fariñas own everyone else and make side comments to each other in Ilokano, but it can't even be explained away by that. I want to see a conviction, and that's it.

I just have to say: watching the senators pitch in their votes of convict/acquit is kind of like watching a penalty shootout. A very slow penalty shootout. It's at 10-2 to convict now. Livestream is here, if anyone's looking. Speech of the day so far goes to- I can't believe I'm saying this- Lito Lapid.


ETA: 15-3 and it's Bong Revilla and it's 16 to convict.


ETA 2: !!!!!

Yesss.
levity: (mes que un club)
I am beginning to understand how people become addicted to soap operas. There is nothing new or smart or beautiful in this impeachment trial, and more often than not I just want to yell at everyone on the screen to show some common sense (or, if Miriam, just to shut up), but I can't tear my eyes away. I would like to say that it's just to see Enrile and Fariñas own everyone else and make side comments to each other in Ilokano, but it can't even be explained away by that. I want to see a conviction, and that's it.

I just have to say: watching the senators pitch in their votes of convict/acquit is kind of like watching a penalty shootout. A very slow penalty shootout. It's at 10-2 to convict now. Livestream is here, if anyone's looking. Speech of the day so far goes to- I can't believe I'm saying this- Lito Lapid.


ETA: 15-3 and it's Bong Revilla and it's 16 to convict.


ETA 2: !!!!!

Yesss.
levity: (humans need fantasy to be human)
Can you imagine the Premier League without Dider Drogba? I can't.

---

Took 204 removals, passed 204 removals, end of. The parents bought us drive-through Starbucks to celebrate, which: DRIVE-THROUGH STARBUCKS. MOST WONDERFUL THING EVER CREATED. Sorry walang Starbucks sa bundok namin. For the first decade-and-a-bit of my life the most convenient Starbucks was in Luisita in Tarlac, two-plus hours away from home, so forgive if sometimes the presence of a Starbucks seems to me to be the most amazing thing.

---

Watched Hogfather for the first time, completely out of season. It was on TV. If I were to pick a Discworld book to adapt to film, it wouldn't be Hogfather, simply because I'd have no idea where, and how, to start. They managed to pull off DEATH and Susan and- albeit to a lesser extent- Jonathan Teatime (it's pronouced Te-ah-tim-eh), which are the important parts, and Hex, which is not so much but is a very amusing bonus. At the end of the humans need fantasy to be human, to be the place where the falling angel mettes the rising ape exchange, Susan says, "But people have got to believe in those, or otherwise what's the point?" and instead of saying MY POINT EXACTLY DEATH skips ahead to YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN'T TRUE. OTHERWISE, HOW CAN THEY BECOME? and it should not have worked, it should have been too heavy-handed to work, especially in film, but it did, so I am happy.

---

Also also how come no one ever told me that The King is Dead is a completely brilliant album, the perfect Decemberist mix of folk rock and guitar-based rock n' roll and narrative songs.
levity: (humans need fantasy to be human)
Can you imagine the Premier League without Dider Drogba? I can't.

---

Took 204 removals, passed 204 removals, end of. The parents bought us drive-through Starbucks to celebrate, which: DRIVE-THROUGH STARBUCKS. MOST WONDERFUL THING EVER CREATED. Sorry walang Starbucks sa bundok namin. For the first decade-and-a-bit of my life the most convenient Starbucks was in Luisita in Tarlac, two-plus hours away from home, so forgive if sometimes the presence of a Starbucks seems to me to be the most amazing thing.

---

Watched Hogfather for the first time, completely out of season. It was on TV. If I were to pick a Discworld book to adapt to film, it wouldn't be Hogfather, simply because I'd have no idea where, and how, to start. They managed to pull off DEATH and Susan and- albeit to a lesser extent- Jonathan Teatime (it's pronouced Te-ah-tim-eh), which are the important parts, and Hex, which is not so much but is a very amusing bonus. At the end of the humans need fantasy to be human, to be the place where the falling angel mettes the rising ape exchange, Susan says, "But people have got to believe in those, or otherwise what's the point?" and instead of saying MY POINT EXACTLY DEATH skips ahead to YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN'T TRUE. OTHERWISE, HOW CAN THEY BECOME? and it should not have worked, it should have been too heavy-handed to work, especially in film, but it did, so I am happy.

---

Also also how come no one ever told me that The King is Dead is a completely brilliant album, the perfect Decemberist mix of folk rock and guitar-based rock n' roll and narrative songs.
levity: (inconceivable!)
Natalo ang Bayern sa Chelsea at kinasal si Mark Zuckerberg. Sumasabog Tumblr ko.

---

I've always wanted to see a goalkeeper take a penalty. Translation: four for you Manu Neuer, you go Manu Neuer. Will never stop grinning at the fact that Bayern's goalie scored on Petr Cech, regardless of results.
levity: (inconceivable!)
Natalo ang Bayern sa Chelsea at kinasal si Mark Zuckerberg. Sumasabog Tumblr ko.

---

I've always wanted to see a goalkeeper take a penalty. Translation: four for you Manu Neuer, you go Manu Neuer. Will never stop grinning at the fact that Bayern's goalie scored on Petr Cech, regardless of results.
levity: (humans need fantasy to be human)
Yesterday my mother and I went to Cardinal Santos to be part of the cheering squad for my grandmother's cataract operation. Tito Angel turned the waiting time into coffee and picnic time, which I suppose is par for the course for family, and afterwards Lola Emma was irritated that we'd all had merienda while she was under general anaesthesia, so we went to the newly-opened Pancake House right beside the hospital's parking lot, and it was right there on the wall beside the Deathly Hallows poster, the iconic You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies. I grinned like a loon the entire time.

This is the really annoying thing about fandom: it sneaks up on you. It's like that overused Neil Gaiman quote, where you're going about your perfectly good life and one day a friend of yours goes on and on about this brilliant professional athlete with a childhood growth hormone deficiency while this major international tournament for a sport you always knew existed but never really cared about is going on in the background, and the next thing you know Argentina's kicked out of the World Cup after losing to Germany four-nil and something inside of you twists and you're searching for all the old articles and all the fic alike because you need everything- you need to see more of this person and you need story like breathing and who cares if you haven't eaten anything but Nutella in two days. (I did this. My advice is not to, but if you're intent on it, make sure you buy the largest jar of Nutella there is, for easy consumption.)

Or reading the thousand love stories of werewolf teachers and overlarge black dogs, or of time-displaced super soldiers and genius billionaire playboy philanthropists, or of angels with bookshops and demons with Bentleys who have lived far too long and far too much to be anything but somewhat human. Or unable to think of Istanbul without feeling nostalgic for something you never had, or of Krispy Kreme without grinning through gritted teeth. Or laughing your head off whenever someone says "Don't let me detain you", or mentions marlin or trout.

It's ridiculous. I walked past the punk prophet genius billionaire traitor poster in the Taft MRT station for four months and it didn't mean anything, and now I'm listening to Somebody That I Used to Know on repeat and going through all the Andrew Garfield pictures and I make stupid faces when people mention chicken and I don't even think The Social Network is a fantastic movie. It doesn't manage to portray misogynistic characters without being a misogynistic movie and it doesn't say anything we don't already know about technology and how futures are seen and shaped and how those ways have changed but there was Mark saying that he'd wanted to work with Eduardo because Eduardo was his best friend during the Winklevii's deposition and then looking at Eduardo's empty chair and there was don't fish eat other fish and there was Mark's panicked phone call, if one domino goes all the other dominoes go, while on the other end Eduardo's putting out the fire threatening to consume his bed and all around falling to pieces and there was that fucking hallway scene, I need you out here, please don't tell him I said that and what do you mean get left behind, I cannot watch that scene without feeling physically ill because if those idiots had just listened to each other- and there was eighteen thousand dollars, will that get you through the summer and I was your only friend and everything that had changed in Eduardo between those two scenes and there was sorry my Prada's at the cleaners along with my hoodie and my fuck-you flip-flops, gods, Eduardo, I love you so much and there was Erica Albright's entire breakup speech-

And I don't know if lots and lots of great moments can make up for things like, say, Eduardo's little speech on Asian girls, or the entire Christy Lee groupie/jealous harpy dismissal thing, but sometimes you have feelings and then, as they say, fandom happens to you. It is an amazing fandom. I love it to pieces.
levity: (humans need fantasy to be human)
Yesterday my mother and I went to Cardinal Santos to be part of the cheering squad for my grandmother's cataract operation. Tito Angel turned the waiting time into coffee and picnic time, which I suppose is par for the course for family, and afterwards Lola Emma was irritated that we'd all had merienda while she was under general anaesthesia, so we went to the newly-opened Pancake House right beside the hospital's parking lot, and it was right there on the wall beside the Deathly Hallows poster, the iconic You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies. I grinned like a loon the entire time.

This is the really annoying thing about fandom: it sneaks up on you. It's like that overused Neil Gaiman quote, where you're going about your perfectly good life and one day a friend of yours goes on and on about this brilliant professional athlete with a childhood growth hormone deficiency while this major international tournament for a sport you always knew existed but never really cared about is going on in the background, and the next thing you know Argentina's kicked out of the World Cup after losing to Germany four-nil and something inside of you twists and you're searching for all the old articles and all the fic alike because you need everything- you need to see more of this person and you need story like breathing and who cares if you haven't eaten anything but Nutella in two days. (I did this. My advice is not to, but if you're intent on it, make sure you buy the largest jar of Nutella there is, for easy consumption.)

Or reading the thousand love stories of werewolf teachers and overlarge black dogs, or of time-displaced super soldiers and genius billionaire playboy philanthropists, or of angels with bookshops and demons with Bentleys who have lived far too long and far too much to be anything but somewhat human. Or unable to think of Istanbul without feeling nostalgic for something you never had, or of Krispy Kreme without grinning through gritted teeth. Or laughing your head off whenever someone says "Don't let me detain you", or mentions marlin or trout.

It's ridiculous. I walked past the punk prophet genius billionaire traitor poster in the Taft MRT station for four months and it didn't mean anything, and now I'm listening to Somebody That I Used to Know on repeat and going through all the Andrew Garfield pictures and I make stupid faces when people mention chicken and I don't even think The Social Network is a fantastic movie. It doesn't manage to portray misogynistic characters without being a misogynistic movie and it doesn't say anything we don't already know about technology and how futures are seen and shaped and how those ways have changed but there was Mark saying that he'd wanted to work with Eduardo because Eduardo was his best friend during the Winklevii's deposition and then looking at Eduardo's empty chair and there was don't fish eat other fish and there was Mark's panicked phone call, if one domino goes all the other dominoes go, while on the other end Eduardo's putting out the fire threatening to consume his bed and all around falling to pieces and there was that fucking hallway scene, I need you out here, please don't tell him I said that and what do you mean get left behind, I cannot watch that scene without feeling physically ill because if those idiots had just listened to each other- and there was eighteen thousand dollars, will that get you through the summer and I was your only friend and everything that had changed in Eduardo between those two scenes and there was sorry my Prada's at the cleaners along with my hoodie and my fuck-you flip-flops, gods, Eduardo, I love you so much and there was Erica Albright's entire breakup speech-

And I don't know if lots and lots of great moments can make up for things like, say, Eduardo's little speech on Asian girls, or the entire Christy Lee groupie/jealous harpy dismissal thing, but sometimes you have feelings and then, as they say, fandom happens to you. It is an amazing fandom. I love it to pieces.
levity: (inconceivable!)
Walang hiyang ICBM launch ng North Korea na iyan.
levity: (inconceivable!)
Walang hiyang ICBM launch ng North Korea na iyan.
levity: (that free will thing was a bugger)
So the parents put Ang Babae sa Septic Tank on while we were having lunch, and maybe if I'd seen it any other day I would have been resolutely unimpressed by it just because everyone else thought it was wonderful, but it's today and I suppose I still feel something too close to bruised and sore and miserable for comfort, so it made me laugh.
levity: (that free will thing was a bugger)
So the parents put Ang Babae sa Septic Tank on while we were having lunch, and maybe if I'd seen it any other day I would have been resolutely unimpressed by it just because everyone else thought it was wonderful, but it's today and I suppose I still feel something too close to bruised and sore and miserable for comfort, so it made me laugh.
levity: (Default)
The brother: How do you disprove the existence of an electron?

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