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Random - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Random
Nothing great and organized just now. So, random stuff.

  • Even devoted Democrats have to be disappointed in the debate on Thursday--what a one-sided, miserable showing. Kerry didn't even need to try hard. You can't blame Bush's lousy performance on being up against a really good debater, because Kerry didn't bring out any big guns. I'm conservative, but no fan of Bush (I'm undecided in the race so far, but leaning toward Kerry if he can convince me that he actually has a workable plan for winning the war and respect for the troops; so far I'm convinced of neither)... but sheesh. I don't want the sitting president of the United States to look that bad in a public argument.

  • Here's the reason Lucas-bashers seem so prevalent on the internet: it's not worth a fan's time or energy to actually argue with them. I came by this realization when I saw another one on metaquotes, and understood that I just had no interest in engaging. And then I realized that this is why the bashers seem as loud as they do compared to fans (and yes, I'm hereby declaring, in public, that bashers are the opposite of fans--imagine :boggles:). Fans just have better things to do, like discussing the movies and enjoying ourselves. And watching grass grow and getting root canal work done.

  • Speaking of enjoying myself with SW, I'm doing research to expand the nature myth essay I did awhile back, and I'm really finding neat things about dying gods and harvest festivals of the fall. Sigh. I wish my higher academic degree was in something academic. I feel like I paid for a real degree and got a trade school skill. Nevertheless, I can still play, right? And Mr. Lucas has given us a nice, pretty, shiny toy to turn around. Vegetation gods... wandering goddesses... harvest and sacrifice and dismemberment... (Fern grins in total happiness.)

  • My other realization of the day is that the male/female taste difference isn't what I always heard--romance vs. action, which made me feel odd, as I've always been a girl and always preferred action-y films. To the contrary, action/adventure seems to be pretty well split down the middle. No, the division is between romantic comedy and weird slapstick. In physical therapy last Wednesday, there were four guys working out at the same time as I was, and they asked for Deuce Bigalow. Today, they convinced the PTs to run Something About Mary. :shakes head: What the--?

  • Guys... are really low-riding jeans really all that attractive on women? Okay, yes, they look half-pulled-off, which is a kind of crude sexual reference, but just aesthetically, I can't think of a less attractive place to split the female body.
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Comments
ashtur From: ashtur Date: October 4th, 2004 06:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Um... if there are movies that sound less appealing to me than those two, I'm not entirely sure what they are...

(of course, I may just be the exception that proves the rule)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2004 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, good. So it's not some weird Y-chromosome thing. Just maybe a frat-rat jock sort of thing.
sophonax From: sophonax Date: October 4th, 2004 06:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
As a devoted Democrat, I'm pissed off because I FINALLY thought I was getting through to a few people with my debunking of the Bush-is-an-idiot myth, making a good argument that a President who knows exactly what he's doing by slamming the "intellectual elite" is far, far more dangerous than a genial moron who just doesn't like the English language much.

After the debate, NO ONE's going to listen to me when I say Bush isn't an idiot.

Low-riding jeans seem to be on their way down the trend scale. Huzzah!
rikibeth From: rikibeth Date: October 4th, 2004 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just when I finally broke down and bought a pair and decided I really liked the way they made my butt look, too.
buongiornodaisy From: buongiornodaisy Date: October 4th, 2004 06:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hate low-riders merely because I fail to see the neccessity of buying a specific kind of underwear to wear underneath them.
likeafox From: likeafox Date: October 4th, 2004 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I suppose non-Lucas bashers are like R/hr-ers... we know we're right, so we just can't be arsed to argue. ;P
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2004 07:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
More or less. I tried to engage them once, but after a month or so, I was pulling a dark!Willow, "Bored now."
prettyveela From: prettyveela Date: October 4th, 2004 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
(I'm undecided in the race so far, but leaning toward Kerry if he can convince me that he actually has a workable plan for winning the war and respect for the troops; so far I'm convinced of neither)...

I hope he convinces you on the next debate.

If not, I'll have to kidnap you or something :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2004 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
The problem is that neither is really a cultural conservative, which I am (Bush makes noises, but fundamentalism is no more conservative culturally than radical leftism--they're both radical movements with apocalyptic fervor, and I would very much like to be back in a calmer domestic environment). I very much want a president who behaves with dignity and wisdom, is well-spoken and well-read, and who believes in the old Puritan work ethic rather than in quick fixes.
sophonax From: sophonax Date: October 4th, 2004 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm curious as to how you define "cultural conservative"...I want to know how close it is to my definition of "intellectual conservative."

It's extraordinary how hard it is for people to get that you can want to make society better without completely destroying all the good things that it has yielded (like OMG books written by dead white males! what are they THINKING?).
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2004 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's extraordinary how hard it is for people to get that you can want to make society better without completely destroying all the good things that it has yielded (like OMG books written by dead white males! what are they THINKING?).

That would be a large part of my definition of "cultural conservative." I sometimes think I'm the only single, childless voter in the country who votes primarily on education issues (neither of the candidates, to my mind, really shines at this). John Sealis, in the story I just wrote ("Making the Crossing"), pretty much has my opinion... Yes, for heaven's sake, add new stuff. The more the merrier. But don't throw away the old stuff. And don't assume that it's okay to make ethnic and racial slurs against people just because they happen to be Dead White Males. (Which is also a sexist slur, come to think of it. Most of my favorite thinkers in history happen to have been men.)

I also have issues with a lot of post-sixties emotional sloppiness masquerading as openness. The rampant public displays of affection are going to drive me crazy one of these days. I dislike the uninvited use of my first name, and, even more, the use of pet names by anyone not an intimate acquaintance. There's a restaurant right across the street from where I work and it's convenient for me, so I've been loathe to leave, but one more "Sweetie" or "Honey" in place of "Ma'am" or "Miss" and I'm taking my business elsewhere. I prefer to be treated with some level of dignity, and not patronized. I know they don't mean any harm, so I spend a lot of the early part of my meal with my jaw clamped against a complaint that would only make their lives more difficult. It doesn't make things pleasant.

I dislike the sexual culture that's sprung up since the sixties, with no-fault divorce and so on, and would like to re-strengthen the family and get fathers back home where they belong, certainly my most traditionally conservative viewpoint, and one that I rarely dare to address in real life because I don't want to deal with the response of, "How dare you? Single mothers are legitimate and complete and there's NOTHING WRONG with it! Strong women don't need men! I have a right to have a child even if I haven't gotten married!" And so on. That I grew up without a father wins me no points in this argument, since it never seems to be about the children. That my mother agrees with me leaves them stunned sometimes, but rarely changes anyone's mind. After all, once you have a kid, you're pretty much emotionally committed to the decisions involved with that, and the more people are emotionally committed, the more common it becomes, and the more normalized.
lilac_bearry From: lilac_bearry Date: October 4th, 2004 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I dislike the sexual culture that's sprung up since the sixties, with no-fault divorce and so on, and would like to re-strengthen the family and get fathers back home where they belong, certainly my most traditionally conservative viewpoint, and one that I rarely dare to address in real life because I don't want to deal with the response of, "How dare you? Single mothers are legitimate and complete and there's NOTHING WRONG with it! Strong women don't need men! I have a right to have a child even if I haven't gotten married!" And so on.

Amen! This is why I call myself a "familyist" as opposed to "feminist" or wutevre. :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2004 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah... unfortunately, feminism was the first liberal thing I just walked away from in total disgust. I absolutely believe in equality, in equal pay for equal work, in women's rights to pursue happiness in ways that seem fit to them (provided, as with men, that they don't hurt other people in the process--my rights end where yours start, and yours end where mine start). I don't believe in all of this "male ideas" vs "female ideas" and the notion that logic is a "patriarchal structure." It occurs to me that I probably would do more good to reclaim the word and change contemporary feminism--get it back to the idea of including women in the traditional American rights rather than this weird, quasi-mystical victimization business it's on now--but honestly, I don't care that much. My main women's issue right now, and one I have no idea how to handle, is that I think the workplace needs to be radically restructured, so that women can marry and have children at a time that's actually healthy to do so without being forced to choose whether they want a career or a family. And men need to be given more time with their children as well. This industrial revolution mindset (home vs. work) isn't doing us any favors. But I'm definitely not an expert in labor issues, so I don't know that I could do a lick of good.
sixth_light From: sixth_light Date: October 4th, 2004 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, maybe part of the conservative backlash that appears to be happening in the Western world ATM is because a lot of people hold those opinions you've stated, but the liberal/moderate politicians aren't saying it, because they're scared of losing the minority votes, and driving people right. At least, that's what appears to be happening in my country. The fundamentalists go "we stand for family values!" and the moderates are left hanging. (Of course, what the fundamentalists of both sides _actually_ stand for is intolerance and bigotry, but you can't say that, because it's intolerant to call people intolerant. Apparently. Even if they are.)

I have to say, though, any politican who harps on about family values has lost me. "Family values" by itself means nothing. Tell us what youmean by that, and then, maybe, we can decide if we agree with your version of them.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: October 4th, 2004 09:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know, maybe part of the conservative backlash that appears to be happening in the Western world ATM is because a lot of people hold those opinions you've stated, but the liberal/moderate politicians aren't saying it, because they're scared of losing the minority votes, and driving people right.

Oh, yeah. It's almost certainly why. Our "conservative backlash" here doesn't have much in the way of teeth--Lord, how I love the Dead White Male invention of Checks and Balances, which usually stop up the gears of the government whenever it wants to do something really wacky--but the far right groups are instructive. They do follow Hitler. Far left groups don't follow Hitler, but they're perfectly happy with Stalin. Radical racial groups on both ends thrive on rage and violence after being told by various folks that they shouldn't take pride in themselves. No one can live like that indefinitely. And guess what kind of environment Hitler rose in? Weimar Republic intellectuals found nothing admirable in Germany except for the countryside, and harped on it all the time, and people got really, really pissed off. Then along comes a moron with a toothbrush mustache who tells them to take pride in themselves. And next thing you know, ethnic cleansing. You can't just keep telling people to be ashamed of who they are and where they came from.

This book on dying gods that I'm reading is actually about dying gods in twentieth century literature, and the kind of world-weary attitude that the writers were showing from about 1904 on--using a renewal myth ironically to show that there is no hope in the future and no value in the past--is quite frankly disturbing, and didn't exactly give us a century of unbroken peace.

Of course, what the fundamentalists of both sides _actually_ stand for is intolerance and bigotry

Definitely. I was talking to my cousin this weekend--also a moderate conservative in a radically liberal academic environment--and he brought up the fact that saying one might have a qualified support of Bush or support the war in Iraq in general (if not specific actions) is a sure way to be scoffed and ridiculed, called names, and generally put down. It's all about the rage, and if you don't happen to share in it, it's because you're too stupid to see that you were duped. (And when you live in academia, the 'S'-word is about the worst thing people can think of to say about you, hence the constant harping on "Bush is a moron.")
sonetka From: sonetka Date: October 4th, 2004 09:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
The last bit makes me very uncomfortable too, especially considering the amount of time I've spent hanging out in fertility clinic waiting rooms; a large (though obviously not the biggest) percentage of my fellow patients are single women who are trying to get pregnant via donor sperm - and almost all of the time, it's anonymous. Now, I only know what I know of these women through waiting-room conversations, but I will say that most of them look pretty comfortably off and about five to ten years older than I am (I'm twenty-five). So it's not even a financial factor, because they seem like they'll be able to provide for a child pretty well, but it still seems really ... off. I can understand being single-by-necessity (the father died/ran off/was rendered incapable in some way) but what they're doing is guaranteeing that their future child will have no father.

It never seems to bother them - I ask occasionally (very tentatively) and the answers I get are always "Well, I have brothers the child can look up to if it's a boy" or, most commonly, "It shouldn't make a difference." A common theme is the biological-clock one. Now, I understand the urge itself - God knows I'm not blaming anyone for that - but it's odd how seldom the answers are about loving children; it's more like they're adding an accessory - ee! It'll be so CUTE! Ding! Time to graduate. Ding! Time to have a baby. That sort of thing. There's no sense of a baby as a gift, so to speak, which makes them rather odd ducks among the population of a fertility clinic, since the rest of us have been driven by cold necessity to realize just how much of a miracle (and NOT a "right") a baby is, and just how much effort and love and (hopefully) two-parenting they deserve from us.

Sorry for the ramble, but that's been something I've been taking special notice of lately, obviously.
ivylore From: ivylore Date: October 5th, 2004 01:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Now, I understand the urge itself - God knows I'm not blaming anyone for that - but it's odd how seldom the answers are about loving children; it's more like they're adding an accessory.

Do you think perhaps that's because it's easier to list off pragmatic and logical reasons rather than tell the truth, out loud, to a perfect stranger.

I've been married for almost 8 years, I'm 30, and just beginning to feel the pull. It's pretty potent at times. It's like being in love with a dream, or a part of your future, imagining yourself as a parent, imagining your own flesh and blood and wanting to touch it, to mother it. These feelings kind of rise up out of the blue as a reaction to children on television, at the mall, seeing friends become mothers.

However, I'm sure most women can't imagine vocalizing any of this to someone they don't know well. We're a society on the defensive so much of the time - it almost seems more acceptable to spout of logical facts and practical assessements than what's in our hearts to justify a choice we make, particularly if we feel it will come under scrutiny.

Does that make sense?

Ivy

may_child From: may_child Date: October 4th, 2004 10:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I dislike the sexual culture that's sprung up since the sixties, with no-fault divorce and so on, and would like to re-strengthen the family and get fathers back home where they belong,

I agree with what you're saying here, except for the part about no-fault divorce. IMO, repealing no-fault divorce or otherwise making divorce more difficult to obtain would not be a good idea -- social policy cannot make a bad marriage into a good one, and part of the reason the divorce rate increased so dramatically after the liberalization of divorce laws was because people who had been stuck in miserable marriages (many of which began with shotgun weddings) for twenty, thirty, even forty years could finally move on.

IMO a better idea would be to make it more difficult to get married, or at least try to impress upon people that marriage is not an extension of dating -- it is a serious commitment that you should not enter into lightly.

And so on. That I grew up without a father wins me no points in this argument, since it never seems to be about the children. That my mother agrees with me leaves them stunned sometimes, but rarely changes anyone's mind.

I, for all intents and purposes, grew up without a father as well. I was two when my parents split up (which is the delicate way of describing it) and I did see him while growing up, but not that often. It was definitely a struggle for my mom to raise me and my sister by herself, and she's told me that she thinks she and my father should have, and certainly could have, worked out their problems. More startlingly, my father has said pretty much the same thing.
sreya From: sreya Date: October 5th, 2004 04:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I dislike the uninvited use of my first name

Funny, I was just thinking the other day how I REALLY wish my professors wouldn't call on us using our first names. Is it really so hard to call on Mr. ____, Mrs. ____, or Ms. ____ instead of treating us like grade schoolers and using our first names?

I don't know, guess I just feel like, in LAW SCHOOL of all places, I'd like to be treated a little more professionally, a little less familiarly. Especially if you're not even going to be able to remember my name 3 weeks after class ends anyway. :~/
straussmonster From: straussmonster Date: October 5th, 2004 09:07 am (UTC) (Link)
I, being fairly young (and looking younger than I am), always seem to get called 'hon', although that was more in Chicago than over here on the fringes of New England, although I still do get some of that, too. Eh, I don't mind; I get a little more of the same in Texas, but it's totally just a cultural thing there, and one rolls with it.

I also play in a discipline (musicology) that's fairly conservative in the canonical sense--but is currently *still* recovering from having been WAY too conservative, and is now trying to strike a nice balance. Being a dead white male of considerable artistic stature has been no guarantor in that field--I could rant about that for hours...
From: nothing_gold Date: October 4th, 2004 09:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lowrise jeans work aesthetically only for women like me, those burdened with extremely short torsos.
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: October 4th, 2004 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fans just have better things to do, like discussing the movies and enjoying ourselves. And watching grass grow and getting root canal canal work done.

I've had four root canals in one sitting, and it's still more fun than dealing with even one basher. At least with the root canal you're anesthetized. ;) In any case, I think you're absolutely right - I can't think of a single person in the part of fandom I've constrained myself to (mostly here and a_p_'s board) who wakes up every day and goes "gee, I haven't eviscerated myself yet today - what's the latest editorial over on TFN now?" We'd rather, you know, actually enjoy the movies, and of course that won't happen if you spend all your time defending it against each slam that comes along. Which makes the bashing even more amusing, because without being able to use the excuse that they're defending their opinion against "gushers" like us, it just looks so much more like them being utter blustering blowhards about the whole thing. And of course the simple fact that in the end we're the ones enjoying ourselves, and they're the ones devoting their time to proving their true fan-ness by whining about every aspect of it.
may_child From: may_child Date: October 4th, 2004 10:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here's the reason Lucas-bashers seem so prevalent on the internet: it's not worth a fan's time or energy to actually argue with them. I came by this realization when I saw another one on metaquotes, and understood that I just had no interest in engaging. And then I realized that this is why the bashers seem as loud as they do compared to fans (and yes, I'm hereby declaring, in public, that bashers are the opposite of fans--imagine :boggles:). Fans just have better things to do, like discussing the movies and enjoying ourselves. And watching grass grow and getting root canal canal work done.

And ironing shirts. And darning socks. And scrubbing cat barf out of their carpets.

I decided to leave TF.N. I realized it was poisoning my love of SW, and damned if I'm going to let a bunch of whiny, bitchy, entitlement-addled malcontents do that to me.
From: st_sophie Date: October 5th, 2004 03:50 am (UTC) (Link)

Hello - and I agree about the jeans!

Hi, I'm sophie (st. sophie on the quill, too), and I just wanted to say that I love your fics, especially Shifts and the 'of a sort' series! I've been reading your journal for a little while now (sorry if that sounded stalker-ish) to see when you update shifts, and thought I might as well post.

I'm from Australia, and every teenage girl I know seems to own a pair of low-rise (hipsters) jeans - and I hate them! At my school we don't have to wear uniform in year 12, and all these skanky girls wear the least amount of clothing possible, with visable g-strings and all. So flattering. *headdesk* I'm really quite sick of that type of person who gives all teenage girls a bad name. The worst person I've heard wearing them, though - Hermione and Ginny in bad fics. Urgh.

Oh, and totally agree about the girls-love-romance thing - I'm much more of an action flick person. Although sometimes a bit of fluffy romance is quite nice.

~ Sophie
From: 88l71 Date: October 5th, 2004 09:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Guys... are really low-riding jeans really all that attractive on women? Okay, yes, they look half-pulled-off, which is a kind of crude sexual reference, but just aesthetically, I can't think of a less attractive place to split the female body.>>

Well, it depends on the woman IMHO. Some can pull it off (pun unintended) quite well.

-Tim
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