|Emma (nextian) wrote,|
@ 2008-01-30 02:15 pm UTC
This set is even longer, by the way.
schiarire questioned the foundations of my existence, but also other things.
(1) Name a book, play, poem, or song (or one of each) you'd kill to have written. Why?
I am going to pick stuff that I think that, theoretically, were I seven thousand times more brilliant, I could have written, because these are the ones that make me most bitter about my lack of having written them.
Poem: This is the only easy one! Dulce Et Decorum Est, by Wilfred Owen. The reasons are obvious.
Book: Mm, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Rewriting Regency history, you're doing it best.
Play: The Lion in Winter, and basically what this is coming down to is I Wish I Were British And Older, so have an American choice:
Song: I shy away from Sondheim only because musicals don't, um, count, and pick a song ... from ... another musical. But. "Come Back to Me," by Lerner & Lane. (Lerner was the lyricist to My Fair Lady and Brigadoon, and screw all of you, I like "Almost Like Being In Love." So much so that I ... completely ripped it off for my current favorite of my own songs. *shame* Lane, nobody knows at all, but he did discover Judy Garland.) Anyway the song:
Have you gone to the moon? Or the corner saloon, or to rack and to ruin?
Mademoiselle, where in hell can you be? gfsljhfgk,g internal rhymes, spiraling melody, saloons and france and "rack and ruin", blues notes, superfast tempo !!!
(2) Where does the ways of tea and failure come from?
Avatar! It's describing Uncle Iroh (and suddenly I cannot remember if you have seen this show, so consider this general free exposition) who is only less cool than, say, Grant, because he is fictional. He was a big general and wise in the ways of the world, and when Zuko, his nephew of adorable fail, told his dad that he was going to go train with Uncle Iroh instead of trying to commit genocide, his dad was all, "That's perfect. He can teach you the ways of tea and failure."
These are the only ways I have ... especially if you consider "tea" a euphemism for everything, which, at this point, I kind of have to. A RIDDLE: What brings the Doctor back to life, is Henry King's answer to all problems, and is frequently confused with an orgy by the deadmentalking!Marquis de Sade? AN ANSWER: True love. But also, tea.
(3) You've got all these artistic talents and projects going on, but it seems like they're -- at least to some degree -- separate from your day-to-day life of physics & calculus. Why?
What -- Ji -- you -- you mean you can read/write/create and have it not be a relaxation?
Honestly, I have this bizarre belief that doing what you're good at all the time is cheating. Ideally I would do only things that I love but that do not love me in my school-time (visual arts, math, science, theater) because the stakes are low, and if I fail everything then I will come crawling back to the arts/reading/philosophy that I am actually good at, because that is what I am going to be stuck trying to capitalize on for the rest of my life until I develop other talents, fast. Eventually the bloom will be off the rose and I will have to market some of my life for money. I would rather it be Math and Science because I do not do Math and Science in my free time and thus none of my leisure brain will ever have to work.
I -- I guess this doesn't make sense. I'd never really noticed it before. THANKS FOR THE EXISTENTIAL CRISIS JI
(4) What's something wonderful you learned/were exposed to because you took Spanish that you probably wouldn't know about otherwise?
The Orange Revolution! (Seriously. I missed Yuliya, though.) The Best Song Ever! Or this, still stuck in my head after my first day of Spanish. (The teacher who played this for us is now sadly deceased, but she was a scary, fantastic old lady who fled Spain during WWII. "¡Yo no soy españa!" she would say, getting very passionate. "¡Soy un ciudadano del mundo!" She played it on an actual record player and it would always take her ten minutes to set it up.) Also, Neruda. He is not very good in English but in motherfuckin' Spanish he is a golden god of love poetry.
In a more whacked-out note, I developed a taste for writing sentences that go "Her eyes fluttered closed. Meanwhile the bus was orange and enormous..." or "Her hands folded tightly in her lap. Nevertheless the man across from her was tall." Because that is an okay thing to do in Spanish. If I could pull it off, I would spend my life writing like I was writing in translation from the original Spanish, but I can't pull it off because I am not bilingual!
(5) This one's perhaps a bit sillier, but perhaps not. What makes you feel pretty?
White skirts, scoop necks, big necklaces, long thick black coats, my hair all loose and doing its thing, dark red lipstick, spy boots, pretty toenails, and poet dresses. Obvs not all at the same time
bonus: 5 favorite [new] songs off the mix I sent you? This helps the learning process for future mixes!
In no particular order,
1. I Think I Need A New Heart (which I had been seriously jonesing for, thank you for psychically knowing this...?)
2. Close Your Eyes -- We Are Blind (EMMA: Who is this Alaska in Winter? That is Beirut's voi-- oh.)
3. Your Biggest Fan. (Bonus points because I thought I didn't like Voxtrot.)
4. I'll Be A Writer (although ... "the dogs i have kissed"?)
5. Photo Booth (this has an interesting similarity to the previous. i think possibly they are the same song in disguise)
This makes me sound very country/western, but I will have to live with that.
Also 6. Communist Love Song is one of my all-time faves, but as you know I already had it. Also previously possessed: Every Thug Needs A Lady, All My Little Words, but neither of those would have made the list. IS THIS HELPFUL, MA'AM?
jesuitfluff asked Deeply Intriguing Questions that prompted the world's longest tl;dr on the patriarchy, so "listen from your core" under the cut:
1. Your srs views on
"Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her." There's a reason this sentence is vitriolic in the original context.
I am a white girl, born to a family who's been entrenched in San Francisco for over a hundred years. My great-great-great-odd-grandfather, who I do think was awesome, was called the "richest Jew in the West" before he died. I know every wealthy family in the area and if I don't my dad does. I found out this summer that I could get a job basically anywhere I wanted -- people would bend over backwards, because my parents are their friends, or they know me from school (the Right Schools, I guess), or because I'm a Jew and so are they. We live in a network of the bright and brilliant. In my more sarcastic days I call it the Vast Jewish Conspiracy, because, well, it's fairly close. In more accurate terms, it is the Vast Hereditary Wealth Conspiracy, the hidden aristocracy, and although my father did not inherit the money he's using to send me to college, he made it because of the connections that he had through his father.
And this is what shames me and makes me want to shake people until their teeth come out of their head for suggesting that America doesn't have a problem with privilege, or that this problem is purely racial. Simply by dint of birth, even if I had turned out to be the most useless person in existence, I would still be able to get a good job and healthcare and a good education and afford to raise kids and send them to good schools, so long as I wanted to. This is fucking ridiculous. It should not be true that someone like me could get into Stanford and Yale because of her parents, but someone like [several names redacted], with vastly superior grades and brains, can't. Hell, it shouldn't be true that someone born where I was, in San Francisco, should be able to live free of doubt and fear as a queer girl, but someone born in the Midwest should struggle and fight even to acknowledge it to themselves. I am constantly in the process of taking nothing for granted. I am fighting the patriarchy. But I am the patriarchy, the aristocracy, the hidden privilege, and by my very existence I undercut the idea of equality in America, and this makes me so angry that I want to spit nails.
I can't join the army -- queer and out, mildly overweight and very bad at physical exertion, going rapidly blinder -- but when I express the desire to do it so that some inner-city kid who hasn't had my education but has every bit of my worth doesn't go die instead of me, I get weird, angry looks from my peers. This makes me sick to my stomach. I am not worth more because I have been more educated or because I come from a wealthier background. I am worth less, because I have not had to struggle for what I am. It should be our generation, our class, who has to go and fight, because it is our liberty to be rich and complacent and stupid about things that matter that we are protecting.
There is a whole second post in here, about the aspects of my heritage that I do love, but it is harder to admit the parts I enjoy about being a part of the class I am than the parts I really, really hate, so I think I'll skip it for now. When my aunt's book comes out maybe I'll seize the opportunity then.
2. Why should I watch Supernatural?
You shouldn't watch SPN! Nor should you watch SG:A nor Torchwood. They are all dreadful shows whose fandoms I adore, in a horrified sort of way. But especially not SPN, because it is like Buffy, only without Joss Whedon and with no ladies, so there is really no appeal. And, you know, you will find yourself wanting the two main characters to sleep together. Can't help it! Nothing to be done! It's like the Petrellis! Why can't they keep their chemistry inside? But I think possibly if I was a better American I would love SPN anyway, so that is why, caveated, you should watch SPN: it loves its home count-ree!
3. Bertie Wooster crossed over with this Doctor House: hilarious or terrible?
CAN YOU IMAGINE IF STEPHEN FRY WAS ON HOUSE INSTRUCTING THE DOCTOR ON THE PROPER WAY TO BEHAVE, SIR. YES VERY GOOD SIR. ALL OF HOUSE'S PROBLEMS: GONE IN A FLASH OF SEXUAL TENSION. in other words ilu for this idea
4. If there was one thing I could write for you, what would it be?
THE ABOVE CROSSOVER. I mean. Um. I think this is an unfair question, because I have never successfully written anything for you. I will answer this question when I have made Alexander Hamilton make out with Aaron Burr for the first time. Fair trade?
5. What one phrase, word, piece of observation have you ever written and then stopped, riveted, and thought, that's amazing, I can't believe that came out of me?
There is one obvious answer to this question which I refuse to give (That Goddamn Thomas Paragraph Which I Will Never Top) but there is a slightly better one, which comes from my one-act, and I can't promise that it'll make sense out of context, but then the whole context is up over at endofstories. Iphigenia goes down to Hades and meets the three fates (personified by Antigone, Clytemnestra, and Medea) and spends the entire play freaking out about how she's obviously fated to do this, to do that. She finally decides that she will make a courageous stand against the gods! which mostly amuses the gods, who clarify:
ANTIGONE: (She puts an arm around Iphigenia’s shoulder, sister to sister.) The thing is, people always make the wrong assumptions about us. They think it’s a terrible battle to break free of Fate. They think it’s like my father. It isn’t like my father; it’s like me. All you have to do, to break free of fate, is ask. Politely.
It's a line that made me cringe every night -- it's badly phrased -- but it's the summation of the play's ideology. The thing about the play's ideology is that I didn't know what it was until I wrote this line, though. So -- yes. Ask. Let go of the gods. They're not holding on to you.
You can still ask me questions! but the reason for the length in these answers is that I wasn't doing anything else with my time cough cough homework, so I can't promise you I'll be as interesting/terrifyingly dull about them.
In deeply unrelated news, Aristotle is still the most annoying creature ever to have existed, easily beating mosquitoes. I mean he actually said "if everyone believes it it must be true" and meant it. ARISTOTLE, IF ALL YOUR FRIENDS TOOK HEMLOCK, I WISH YOU'D TAKEN IT TOO.