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April 24 2014
kenmacleodblog @ : From the archives of Atlantis
To review the memoir of an activist who lived well to the left of official Communism is usually to begin with an apology for its subject's obscurity, and for the difficulty of explaining to the average reader the weight given in the text to storms in teacups and brawls in backstreets. All the more so when the activist concerned was a leading member of an organization usually (though in this case imprecisely) referred to as Trotskyist.
No such apology is needed for Daniel Bensaid's An Impatient Life (Verso, 2013)
. Quite the contrary. At the time of his untimely death in 2010 Bensaid was France's best-known Marxist public intellectual, and his cast includes a surprising number of names known even in Britain. Many of his minor characters went on to achieve remarkable things in intellectual, cultural or political life, not only in France (and not only on the left). His major arguments are about questions that concern us all, or should. The events he lived through, from the Algerian War of Independence through May 1968 to the rise of a new anti-capitalism and a new Latin American left, continue to shake the ground we walk on. The personal element is related with an eye for the telling detail, the sore spot and the tender touch that would credit a good novelist.
Nonetheless, Tariq Ali is right to say in his foreword that 'Reading much of this material today is like delving into the archives of Atlantis.' (The foreword is followed by an eleven-page list of abbreviations.) Sebastian Budgen, who kindly sent me this review copy, has written an informative and moving overview
of Bensaid's life for fellow Atlanteans.
For those unfamiliar with that world beneath the waves, two aspects of Bensaid's memoir may stand out. The first is the remarkable structure: almost every chapter begins with a personal recollection, stage by stage from childhood on, and expands into an erudite theoretical reflection that brings us sharply to the present -- in fact to our
present, beyond the narrator's death. From love to Leninism, journalism to Jewishness, Bensaid always has something interesting and original to say.
The second is the truly amazing range of individuals and events that were influenced and affected by the activists and actions noted and footnoted on Bensaid's pages. For anyone interested in the recent past, it's a sustained series of surprising revelations of how the world was in fact changed from the one Bensaid was born in to the one we live in. If we want to change it further, we have a lot to learn from Bensaid's unrepentant self-criticisms.
andrewducker @ : Interesting Links for 24-04-2014
Original post on Dreamwidth
- there are
comments there.Tags: animated_gif
nancylebov @ : App to help with color-blindness
You can get a translation by clicking the CC at the lower right.
Kazunori Asada created Chromatic Glass
, an app which makes colors that some people have trouble seeing show up better.
Asada's Brighter and Bigger
app, which uses a smart phone for magnification, doesn't seem to be well known in English, but it's available in English. A fast check
turned up other magnifying apps, and I don't know whether his is better. This review
doesn't mention any apps which have magnification for distant objects, which is something Asada's app does. Asada's app also has optimization for different vision diseases.
A while ago, I noticed that Japanese color printing was unusually good, and wondered whether color blindness was less common there. It turns out that it is, but the difference is 1 in 20 Japanese men have color-blindness vs. 1 in 12 Americans men, which doesn't seem like enough to affect a culture.
The video has a world-wide map of color-blindness prevalence (doesn't specify type) at 2:52. It's color-coded.
Asada wrote the piece about van Gogh possibly being color blind
This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1046029.html
. Comments are welcome here or there.
comments so far on that entry.
supergee @ : William H. Patterson Jr. (1951-2014)
of the two-volume Heinlein biography has died. He did finish it; the second volume will be out in June
Thanx to File 770Tags: memorial
supergee @ : But hurt
looks at the tabu against beginning a sentence with "but" or "and." I do it myself, and I defend it with an argument from near-divine authority: The Authorized Version of the Bible does it all the time. Good enough for the King James Gang, good enough for me.Tags: rules
supergee @ : Dope menace
Republican says that the president isn't allowed to pardon drug fiends. Charles Pierce
points out that the real problem is electing morons.Tags: war on some drugs
supergee @ : Homeopathic urine and antivaxxers
on the reservoir someone allegedly wee-weed in. You know what W.C. Fields said. ( Read more...Collapse )Tags: purity of essence
supergee @ : Not cute
makes the reasonable point that we should not encourage teenage boys to pester women who are not interested in them. Idiots attack.
Thanx to Pandagon
oursin @ : Both read Middlemarch day and night, but she reads black where I read white...
Suffering from insomnia in the stilly watches of the night, my mind went to an article I read recently (?by that woman who just produced a whole book on her life with Middlemarch, or possibly by someone inspired by/reviewing it?) which said something like 'though Eliot was not as good on men as women' -
To which I was
(And 'But why always Dorothea?' - verb. sap.)
It adduced Will Ladislaw, and personally I have never been on board with the Ladislaw-hate (he is charming talented hot young man who is not an alpha-male type and has already undergone a significant maturation process, who is crazeee about her, what is not to like?) and Dorothea/Lydgate as OTP. Because it is our considered opinion that to a significant degree Dr Tertius deserved Rosamund because of his unthinking masculinist assumptions about marriage and what help and comfort between spouses actually meant. We are not at all persuaded that even with a less egocentric helpmeet he would be The Ideal Husband, even without the 'dissecting things is a fun way to spend evenings by the conjugal fireside' hobby.
Either Dorothea would turn into doing for him what Casaubon hoped she would be for him, only for SCIENCE rather than musty old mythologies, like those Victorian spouses to scientists who learnt German to translate relevant texts, catalogued their specimens, edited their articles and monographs for stylistic coherence, took up watercolours in order to illustrate these, and got no credit for their contributions: i.e. unpaid research assistant/secretary/PA/editor.
Or, I have just thought of an AU sequel in which Dorothea does marry Lydgate but conflict arises between his desire to Do Research and her belief that he should use his medical gifts for the benefit of the suffering poor; and that's before they find themselves at odds over the Contagious Diseases Act, 1864.
But, anyway, how can you possibly say that Ms Evans Couldn't Depict Men. Pray what gender are Mr Casaubon, Mr Brooke, Lydgate, Fred, Bulstrode, Rev Farebrother, Sir James, not to mention the plethora of vividly depicted peripheral characters from Rev Cadwallader to Raffles and the seedy low-lifes who sell Fred the vicious nag? They are just as convincing as Rosamund, Celia, Mary, Mrs Cadwallader, the landlady of the Green Dragon, etc etc.
This entry was originally posted at http://oursin.dreamwidth.org/2081844.html. Please comment there using OpenID. View comments.
Tags: gender, george eliot, marriage, masculinity, middlemarch
kateelliott @ : Spiritwalker prints available from Julie Dillon
As many of you already know, I commissioned the fabulous (and Hugo-nominated) artist Julie Dillon to do the illustrations for the illustrated short story The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal (a coda to the Spiritwalker Trilogy). [Both print and pdf formats available.]
I also commissioned two color illustrations, both of which are now available for purchase at Julie Dillon’s INPRNT store.
( Visuals below.Collapse )
You can read a little more about each illustration:
“Rising from the Sea of Smoke” at A Dribble of Ink
Amazons at the Orbit Books web site
Mirrored from I Make Up Worlds.
nineweaving @ : Mammoth!
My post-apocalyptic Cloudish story "Down the Wall" (the one about the city under godblitz) will be turning up in pretty swell company
. Thank you, alankria
, for asking!
April 23 2014
tsuki_no_bara @ : look, avengers! and bucky meta! oh, and i got fed at work
i haven't posted on wednesday all month. weird!
today was administrative professionals day or some such thing - or at least we celebrated it today in my office - all the admin staff got lunch (they ordered in thai, which was yummy) and a gift card. which is cool. altho the gift card also comes with a $3.95 "purchase fee", which i guess they take out when you buy something, so you're basically paying for the privilege of using a gift card that someone else bought you. hmph. altho i shouldn't look free money in the mouth. i mean, come on, free money. and it's always nice to be appreciated.
ooh, i can buy comics.genderswapped avengers cosplay
- 40s era ladies (and one guy) in smashing avengers cosplay and really fabulous hair. so, so nice. agent coulson even has captain america trading cards, because of course she does.
and two bits of bucky-related meta/commentary/headcanon - a short bit about enlisting vs being drafted
, and a longer bit about him as steve's protector, and the work he did during the war
. slightly spoilery for catws at the end, but mostly about cap 1. (should i warn for tumblr?)
rdj is now on twitter, which means he's started posting non-spoilery pics from avengers: age of ultron
. see the tiny chair
Tags: all the feels
Current Mood: i'm having ALL THE FEELS
Current Music: the americans
, avengers assemble
, captain america
, new job big office
sovay @ : It seemed to last for days
We have a stove. All four burners work without needing to be lit by hand. The oven works. The broiler works. None of it has been inhabited by small animals or encrusted in years of ignored grease. It was delivered this afternoon by subcontractors from Sears; when they left, they took the old one away. For the first time since we moved here in October, I will be able to bake without using the toaster oven.
(I will probably still make
lasagna in the toaster oven, because I want to see if I can. But after that, I don't know, I could make cookies or a pie or something. Or broil a chicken. Or bake noodles and cheese. This is going to be awesome.)
Current Music: Placebo, "Lady of the Flowers"
nineweaving @ : Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakspere
Happy 450th birthday.
All our thanks.
grrm @ : Gathering No Moss
Life just keeps getting weirder and weirder.
(I wish I COULD
buy five copies for my mother, but alas, she passed away in 1998).
This is pretty cool. Even without the cover.
kate_nepveu @ : quick follow-up to Hugo reactions post
Still discussion happening in my Hugo reactions post
, if that was a thing that interested you at the time; it seems to have had a slow trickle out onto Twitter, sped up today by John Scalzi linking
to it and other criticisms of his position from Shweta Narayan
, Arachne Jericho
, and Rose Lemberg
I explained why I took a somewhat different approach than those posters in a comment on my old post
, but the criticisms of Rose Lemberg, and SL Huang
, about the idea of "merits" generally, are important and worth reading as a broadly-applicable matter. (To be clear, I also recommend Shweta and Arachne's posts as powerful and important, they're just a little more focused on the specifics of this discussion.)
A link roundup is being maintained by Stefan Raets
I'm going to again err on the side of caution and screen anon comments; I will unscreen them as soon as I can if they're consistent with the policy statements in my profile
. So far I haven't had to keep anything screened; I will say so if I do. But, if you have substantive comments rather than something about these links, I'd appreciate it if you took it to the original post
, because I hate split discussions.
And now, I must go wash dishes. comment(s)
| add comment
) | linkTags: books
james_nicoll @ : Enter Mutants and masterminds 3rd Edition
Setting: Steel City, a city much like Detroit on one of the Great Lakes, in the Concord setting (an old homegrown campaign from the 1980s). The city hasn't had a sanctioned team of supers in a generation but happily a mass Origin is going to give the city a chance to address that lack.
Rather unfortunately from the point of view of the government, the Origin happened at an Occupy Steel City rally, so the mix of characters is going to be broader than the government might prefer.
Also posted at Dreamwidth
, where there are
comment(s); comment here or there
james_nicoll @ : Exit 13th Age
Schedule conflicts mean yet more long gaps between sessions so our 13th Age campaign is shutting down.
Also posted at Dreamwidth
, where there are
comment(s); comment here or there
.Tags: 13th age
grrm @ : For The Record
I seem to have to repeat this every year or so. Okay, sure. There are always folks who come in late, who never got the memo.
I AM NOT ON FACEBOOK.
I AM NOT ON TWITTER.
I have a website, and I have this Not A Blog, right here on Live Journal, and every so often (rarely) I post on other people's blogs and websites, or on certain bulletin boards and news / discussion sites. But that's it for my internet presence.
There are accounts on Facebook and Twitter that carry my name, I know. Some just repost the things I post here. Others are more actively malignant, making up all sorts of crap and trying to make them seem like my own words. They're not.
Accept no substitutes. This is where I hang out, nowhere else.
desperance @ : Don't flirt your fuzzy tail at me, you're still a fucking rat
I have been keeping sacks of birdseed out on the clubhouse lobby, in the open air, convenient for access but sheltered from any occasional rain.
Until some sharp-toothed sharp-brained creature that I take to have been a squirrel chewed through the plastic of the sack and chowed down on more than its fair share of seed.
Since then I've been keeping the seed in a heavy plastic lidded bin. That'll show ya, squirrel, thought I.
Until today, when I find the determined little sod has gnawed a hole all through the bloody plastic.
So now I'm keeping it in the clubhouse, under lock and key. And cursing the sodding squirrel every time I have to fiddle with keys, from now to the indeterminate future.
hatam_soferet @ :
There is something quasi-orgasmic about working with real gold leaf. I may be launched on a New Plane of Deliciousness.
This entry also appears at http://hatam-soferet.dreamwidth.org/783242.html. people have commented there, and you're welcome to join them. I've disabled LJ comments for the time being because of excessive spam.
crowleycrow @ : Not a new grammar whiz
Start/finish this clip from a magazine article any way you wish:
"designed for the people professors at MIT"