selenak: (Holmes and Watson by Emme86)
( Feb. 23rd, 2017 08:05 am)
In which Elementary continues to educate me on things I didn't know in its case of the week.

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They died today, here in Munich: Sophie Scholl, Hans Scholl, Christoph "Christl" Propst. Students who had grown up within a totalitarian system, who all, as children and early adolescents, had been true believers in the ideology they were were brainwashed with by almost everything around them. And yet they saw through it. And yet they came to reject it. And yet they gave their lives for saying "No. No. This is not right. Resist."

For this, they were arrested, put on trial as "enemies of the people", called every vile name in the repertoire by the authorities, and eventually beheaded. Today. All those years ago. I just was at the university where they were leaving their handtyped, hastily printed leaflets when they were captured. I know many of the words on those leaflets by heart. They still make me cry. Now more than ever.



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I had stopped watching The Good Wife in early season 6, not because of the backstage drama, which I only heard about later, but because after the fabulous fifth season, the show seemed to me to lose nearly all the qualities that had made me love it, and when watching something provides you with more irritation than anything else week after week, it's time to get out. I never got the point of hate watching.

Otoh I do have fond memories of a lot of things about The Good Wife, and thus I tuned in for the new spin-off, The Good Fight, centred around Diane Lockhart, the first two episodes of which are now available for watching.

And the verdict is... )
selenak: (Norma Bates by Ciaimpala)
( Feb. 21st, 2017 10:27 am)
And the final season begins.

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selenak: (Flint by Violateraindrop)
( Feb. 20th, 2017 06:10 pm)
It's a bit late in the game, but I wish I had an Eleanor Guthrie icon to use. Not that I'll ever get tired of Flint of course.

Trust me )
In which the episode manages a delicate balance re: a certain branch of health care, introduces a new character and furthers the arc plot development.

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Directed by Sally Wainwright, broadcast on British tv last month and available on dvd to continental types like yours truly, this movie about the Brontes focuses on the roughly two years in which they wrote their novels (breakout novels, in Charlotte's case, the only one of the siblings to survive a few years longer; all the novels we have, in in Anne's and Emily's), years that were also framed by their brother Branwell's drinking himself to death.

A story about writing and messy intense family relationships? You bet I liked it. )
selenak: (Flint by Violateraindrop)
( Feb. 15th, 2017 04:49 pm)
Watched somewhat belatedly, due to RL business.

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selenak: (Eva Green)
( Feb. 11th, 2017 12:35 pm)
You know, I'm happy there will be a movie version of Eileen Atkins' play VITA AND VIRGINIA, starring Eva Green as Virginia Woolf, and Gemma Atterton as Vita Sackville-West. But you know why I just linked the article about this upcoming movie that's on "The Mary Sue" and not, say, the article in "Variety" or the article in "Hollywood Reporter" on the same subject? Because both of them refer to Vita Sackville-West as a socialite, whereas the Mary Sue calls her, correctly, a novelist. (She also was a poet, biographer and gardener.)

Now I'm aware Vita Sackville-West's books have by and large fallen out of favour by now. In fact, the probably best read of her writings in the last two decades were texts she didn't mean for publication, such as Portrait of a Marriage, her account of her affair with Violet Trefusis and her son Nigel's comments on his parents' marriage, her correspondance with her husband, Harold Nicolson (btw, the Sackville-West/Nicolson marriage is extremely interesting an example of two bisexuals, both more on the gay side of the Kinsey scale but not exclusively, having a decades long intense relationship with each other that after the first few years doesn't involve sex anymore) and of course her correspondance with Virginia Woolf. And there are ample reasons to call Vita a snob. And of course there's a reason why Virginia Woolf's books have become literary canon while Vita Sackville-West's have not. But she was without the shadow of a doubt a very profilic writer, who put a great deal of her time into creating these books. Which is why these "socialite" and "society girl" labels annoy me. (Not to mention that she probably spent far more time stomping around mud-deep in her gardens than going to parties in Belgrave.) I suspect the article writers only heard "aristocrat" and "inspired Orlando" and immediately jumped to the (wrong) cliché of Vita the cheery flapper.

On the bright side of things, I really do want to watch this movie, especially since the Vita/Virginia affair was non-tragic, downright light-hearted, and benefiting both parties, and not-tragic lesbian affairs are still rare in fictionalized reality tales. Also, hooray for the actresses!
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24 hours at JFK: long detailed article about two of the Iraquis detained when the ban first struck.


Anti Trump Poems : because if humor and poetry won't save us all, they sure as hell will help us make it through these times.



Ron Rosenbaum tells the story of the Munich Post, and its long refusal to sugarcoat anything Hitler did. Ostensibly the article is Rosenbaum's take on whether or not you can make comparisons between 45 and The Guy From Braunau, but really the story of the Munich Newspaper that fought Hitler from the very start when he was just an also ran small time demagogue in Munich to the time they were closed and, to use a Steve Bannon term, "shut up" in 1933 at his command is at the heart of it.
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A happy and a sad one. Today is composer John Williams' birthday, and I can think of no better tribute than this A Capella rendition:




Sadly, it's also the day we learned Richard Hatch has died. I have no feelings about the original Battlestar Galactica one way or the other, but I thought he was excellent as Tom Zarek in the rebooted BSG, and if the writing in s4 simplified Zarek into one dimension, that wasn't Hatch's fault. Favourite Zarek memories: his debut in Bastille Day, of course, and each and every scene he subsequently had with Laura Roslin, especially during their uneasy team-ups in early s2, and early s3. Unsurprisingly, one of my few BSG stories is a missing scene from the Pegasus arc between Roslin and Zarek, Interlude. Hatch's willingness to embrace the new BSG and graciousness to old and new fans alike also contrasted sharply with the behavior the original Starbuck. From what I've read of him, he always struck me as a gentleman in the best sense of the word. Farewell, and thank you for one of the most interesting recurring characters in the new BSG,Mr. Hatch.
selenak: (John Silver by Violateraindrop)
( Feb. 7th, 2017 02:55 pm)
In which plans are made and foiled, and Robert Louis Stevenson readers get another thrilling "OMG it's SPOILER!" moment.

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Which is all about the humanizing of authority figures, and also about the impending doom of rationalizations, if that's the right English word.

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Because we need to look at something beautiful in between the Orange Insult To Everything: a pic spam of something I witnessed the other weekend, the balloon festival known as "Montgolfiade" at the Tegernsee.

berm Horizont photo 2017_0129Montgolfiade0145_zps9f1klivh.jpg


Enjoy more beneath the cut )
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selenak: (Holmes and Watson by Emme86)
( Feb. 4th, 2017 10:25 am)
In which we find out what can happen when Holmes & Watson keep turning down a client for lack of time and for convenience, and it's not pretty. Also, good episode!

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In which things come to an end more or less as I expected for the character featured in this finale I was most invested in. As for everyone else, well...

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selenak: (Resistance by Aweeghost)
( Feb. 1st, 2017 11:04 am)
My battle with Darth Real Life ended with a truce, meaning I have a bit more breathing room this month, but not that much, though in a good way - there's a literary festival to attend to. Mind you, after all the horrible events of last month and the expectation of the rest of the year following suit it's good to have some events to look forward to. Other than the festival this month, I have a wonderful one in March: I'll travel to New Zealand! (With the AP.)

Back to January: my one big interruption was when I took part in the Munich edition of the Women's March on January 21st, which I hadn't planned to but couldn't do otherwise, or I might have exploded. In Munich, there were between 500 and 700 people marching, both Americans abroad and Germans, in glorious sunshine, having a break from daily horrors and expressing solidarity with the millions in the US standing up to The Orange One. (Since as John Oliver once said he gets an orgasm every time he reads his name, I'm determined to go with synonyms, just in case.)

Catching up with tv:

Call the Midwife 6.01. and 6.02: good as usual, though I question a spoilery plot device. )

Vikings 4.15 - 4.17: Spoilery comments ensue )

Black Sails 4.01: Pirates, you're back! Season opener talk ensues. )

More during the remaining week, I hope, but remember: it's only a truce, Darth Real Life is not yet defeated!
This was the big one, the über-ambitious one, the „I want to write the ULTIMATE Penny Dreadful story" one.

To establish background: like many another watcher, the Penny Dreadful season 3 and show finale left me dissatisfied with our heroine’s fate. However, in my case fannish ire was strangely missing because I immediately saw it as a great set up for what would surely work as the perfect finale, pulling the various themes, dynamics and pot threads the show had established together. Seriously, my immediate reaction to watching was to check when we’d get season 4, because I was so absolutely sure this was the set up, not the pay off. When I found out this was indeed meant as the series finale, I knew I had to write what was in my head, but not at once. I knew it had to be a Yuletide story, and one that while using what I thought Vanessa should do next (yes, next; bless genre shows and their possibilities re: a certain state) as its central arc still also worked as an ensemble story, bring the remaining regulars (with two exceptions, I’ll get to this in a moment) together for a common goal while also exploring their shifting dynamics. Oh, and of course, this being meant as a finale story, it would have to pay homage to the show’s past and gone characters as well.
Now, since the show had established an Egyptian connection from the pilot onwards and had thankfully sent Ferdinand Lyle there in s3, the answer to how to pull all this off to me obvious from the start: use both Egyptian mythology and an Egyptian adventure setting. My one fannish regret was that I couldn’t include Lily, but there was just no way this could have been done without going off into a different story which would have to be about Ethan finding out what happened re: Brona. The other surviving Penny Dreadful regular who’d been there from the start but isn’t in my story is Dorian Grey, but a) he wasn’t needed in any way, b) the ending the show had given him was perfect, down to the, ahem, framing, and c) he’s my unfavourite.

Below you’ll find the result of these ponderings. And I am really proud of it.

Falling Towards Apotheosis (18025 words) by Selena
Chapters: 13/13
Fandom: Penny Dreadful (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Vanessa Ives/Sir Malcolm Murray, Ethan Chandler/Vanessa Ives, Vanessa Ives & Joan Clayton, Mina Harker/Vanessa Ives, Vanessa Ives & Claire Ives, Vanessa Ives & Peter Murray, Caliban & Vanessa Ives, Madame Kali | Evelyn Poole/Sir Malcolm Murray, Ferdinand Lyle & Sir Malcolm Murray, Ethan Chandler & Sir Malcolm Murray, Sir Malcolm Murray & Victor Frankenstein, Ethan Chandler/Hecate Poole, Vanessa Ives/Alexander Sweet | Dracula, Catriona Hartdegen & Sir Malcolm Murray, Sir Malcolm Murray & Dr. Florence Seward
Characters: Vanessa Ives, Sir Malcolm Murray, Ferdinand Lyle, Ethan Chandler, Victor Frankenstein, Caliban | John Clare, Madame Kali | Evelyn Poole, Hecate Poole, Alexander Sweet | Dracula, Catriona Hartdegen, Dr. Florence Seward, Joan Clayton, Claire Ives, Mina Murray, Peter Murray, Kaetenay (Penny Dreadful), Jeanne d'Arc | Joan of Arc, Sir Geoffrey Hawkes
Additional Tags: Epic, Post-Canon, Dysfunctional Family, Team as Family, Friendship/Love, Ancient Egyptian Literature & Mythology, Canon Compliant, Yuletide, Yuletide 2016, Fix-It
Summary:

As Vanessa's true plan to defeat Dracula is revealed, she and her friends find themselves on an epic quest that involves the living and dead alike.


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