[sticky entry] Sticky: meta masterpost

Apr. 24th, 2012 03:10 pm
anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (Default)
I've been thinking for awhile of putting all my serious meta together in some easily accessible place, since I get asked for particular links often enough, and I've posted enough that it's inconvenient to search my meta tag. It's very much a work in progress right now, but I tried to include the ones that people most often ask me about, use the most recent links, and add a brief description for each, as my titles tend to the unhelpful.

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anghraine: luke and leia watching a giant spiral galaxy in esb; text: the skywalker twins (luke and leia [the skywalker twins])
If you're at all like me, you already know that scientists have discovered a rocky, Earth-sized planet around Proxima Centauri, but I had to scream about it some more.

THESE ARE THE STARS I WAS TALKING ABOUT.

Cool red stars like Proxima Centauri are by far the most common, but of course also difficult to see. And it turns out that they tend to have planets!!

It’s awesome, because—okay, since our sample of life-supporting planets = 1, we’ve had to sort of fumble around with “well, this is what we have, and it works, soooo.” So we’ve tended to look for hulking stars like our sun, which is a pretty rare type. People thought for awhile that red dwarfs would be too cold and weird (aka not weird enough), but it’s turned out that they do have habitable zones and might be the best place to look for Earth-like planets. And they’re E V E R Y W H E R E. Proxima b is in the habitable zone around Proxima Centauri :D

Ofc, that habitable zone requires an orbit much nearer to its chilly star (apparently Proxima b orbits at 5% of the distance that the Earth does), which makes lots of things very different. It completes its much shorter orbit at ~11 days, is tide-locked, and probably gets blasted by radiation (red dwarfs tend to be tempestuous, but Proxima Centauri is pretty chill by M-type standards). On average the temperature would be ~-40 F (brr) but not if it has a good atmosphere with water, which it may or may not. It’s in a kind of odd location without much materials for formation (esp as it’s at least a bit more massive than Earth), so if it formed further out, it probably would have water, but if it formed where it is, it’s likely very dry.

And all of this is right here—I mean, Proxima is still too far to actually travel to, but it is literally the nearest star in the UNIVERSE. What are the odds??

(Maybe pretty good, idk. BUT IT’S AWESOME.)
anghraine: vader stopping a blaster with his hand; text: just another skywalker family holiday (anakin [skywalker family holiday])
Stolen from [personal profile] beatrice_otter .

Post the first line from your 25 most recent fanfics and try to find a pattern.

[A few of these are, inevitably, for my fave show The Borgias, so warning for conscious, consensual sibling incest]

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ugh

Aug. 6th, 2016 12:55 pm
anghraine: vader's pyre; text: redemption (anakin [vader's pyre])
I've gone to some effort to cut "why is YOUR FAVE popular when MINE isn't, what is wrong with people, and you could be writing/drawing/analyzing mine but you're NOT" out of my life.

Yet all the blocking in the world can't get rid of it!

I mean, sure, smallest violin for being a fan of fandom bicycle OTCs and at least moderately popular ships, but it's so profoundly annoying. That absurd Beatles argument, fandom edition.

In fact, the fandom edition is slightly worse, because it almost invariably comes with "if you'll put in effort for your fave, why not mine?" Or even worse, "if you like your fave, why don't you like mine?" Because...they're polar opposites in every conceivable way...? Why on earth would it follow that my fondness for tormented villains with some level of principle/feeling + harsh and/or dangerously temperamental heroes would translate into a fondness for wisecracking heart-of-gold companions?

I mean, I usually like them well enough, and want them to succeed and be happy insofar as I care at all, but that's—not much. I don't dislike Ron or Sokka or whomever, but I'm not really interested either. 

And while individual maps of favoured tropes vary, I think it's safe to say that "you care about X, why don't you also care about someone completely different?" is never going to be anything but irritating.

*sigh*

Aug. 5th, 2016 03:02 pm
anghraine: brightened leia from esb with a shadow (leia [shadowed])
There are much greater concerns with coverage of the election, but...

- Paul Ryan = Speaker Ryan
- Bill Clinton = (former) President Clinton
- Ted Cruz = Senator Cruz
- Barack Obama = President Obama
- John Kasich = Governor Kasich
- Bernie Sanders = Senator Sanders
- Lindsey Graham = Senator Graham
- Hillary Clinton = Secretary Clinton

Secretary, y'all. 

Okay, fine

Aug. 4th, 2016 02:00 pm
anghraine: text: i've had it with these motherfucking sith (samuel l. windu)
I grew up poor and still approach financial matters as we did in my childhood, i.e. avoid spending anything unless absolutely necessary. I buy groceries with the utmost reluctance, even when I’m not the one paying.

But I finally caved and got a paid account with the Washington Post. I'm increasingly disenchanted with NPR and NYT, and WaPo has been doing God's work this cycle. A dollar for this month, ten dollars a month afterwards.

Bleh. (Yet worthwhile!)
anghraine: luke with lightsaber and leia with blaster; text: children of war (luke and leia [children of war])
Tumblr user bookwormusings responded to the previous post with:

So what you're saying is that people writing and defending fantasy seem to perceive dragons as more realistic than gender equality and poc/lgbt representation?

I replied:

Rather the opposite. I’m objecting to the specific argument, made by people criticizing fantasy for being non-representative, that if authors can make up DRAGONS and MAGIC, they can make up POC and LGBT people in quasi-historical settings too!

The argument lumps marginalized people who actually existed in with universe-altering departures from reality. The existence of marginalized people is not a departure from reality. It’s what reality is and was.

On a lesser note, it’s also simply a bad argument on the writing level. The idea that if you depart from reality in one way, anything goes–it’s terrible, terrible advice that nobody with the faintest concept of good writing will accept. Fantastic settings have to be grounded in reality to work. Otherwise it’s meaningless esoterica. The issue is what’s being presented as reality, not that it is.
anghraine: leia holding a blaster in anh; text: girls & guns (leia [girls and guns])
Sometimes, it seems like every discussion about how fantasy (especially high fantasy) tends to be focused on white, straight dudes rehashes the exact same points:

Person A: It’s just being historically accurate!

Person B: …there are dragons.

Person A: Yes, but–

Person B: DRAGONS.

There’s some variation depending on which work comes up in discussion, but the basic rebuttal is “the setting includes something that blatantly diverges from the basic laws of reality; therefore, there’s no reason not to diverge from reality in much smaller matters.” I do understand it, but I … um, don’t agree. And I actually dislike it quite a lot.

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anghraine: luke and leia against a yellow background, swirly circles between them; text: bonds of spirit (luke and leia [bonds of spirit])
I responded to this picspam with:

Luke and Leia are visually paired in a lot of interesting ways, especially considered it wasn't conceived as a twin thing until ROTJ. I think Luke-Leia was always built on likeness.

Han and Leia definitely have commonalities, but ultimately it's a relationship about struggling to cross boundaries, and it's framed that way visually. Luke and Leia are framed as a natural pair. Neither ever stop to think of the oddity of princess-farmboy; they just fit. It works, and nobody needs to think about why.

I'm putting it strongly, but—that's part of the reason that the treatment of them as opposite counterparts is so ??????? They're framed together in opposition to Han, visually and dynamically, so often. They're given incredibly similar lines, sometimes simultaneously. I think it's also why ... people joke about the twin twist, but ultimately it works. You can look at these two tiny, unflinching idealists shouldering terrible trauma, and saying, tomorrow I'll grieve but today we carry on, and believe they've got the same blood in their veins.

anghraine: the map of gondor on either side of a picture of italian mountains; text: gondor (between the mountains and the sea)
Tumblr user erunyauve made this post, which argued that Tolkien's insistence that Elves are "immensely strong" isn't supported by the suggestion in LOTR that Aragorn and Boromir are the muscle of the Fellowship, or a line in the Silmarillion about the distinction between Sindar and Noldor.

I responded:

Hm, I read the evidence rather differently.

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anghraine: leia as rosie the riveter; text: we can do it (leia [riveter])
I've already had to hear people going on about how Hillary's a DINO, despite being more liberal than 70% of Senate Democrats and "hardcore liberal" according to On The Issues. Maybe y'all don't know what is actually typical of Democratic politicians, or subsuming Hillary into her husband, or infected by the miasma of relentless right-wing scandalmongering, or reducing her to the single issues where she is centrist and ignoring that she's firmly in the left wing of the party the other 93% of the time. 

But all of that said? Nothing can ruin my happiness right now. I'm over the moon about HRC, happy with Bernie, happy with Bill (two men who are not my favourite people), happy with Michelle (a woman who is one of my favourite people), with Secretary Albright, with Nancy Pelosi, with President Obama, Senator Kaine, Barney Frank, completely charmed by Jerry Emmett, and awed by Sybrina Fulton, Lucia McBath, and Geneva Reed-Veal. What a day. 
anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (Default)
A Tumblr anon asked:

I don't know if you answered this before but do you think Mr. Collins proposal or Mr. Darcy's first proposal was more insulting?

My response (predictably):

Mr Collins. Darcy manages to stop short of 1) itemizing her dowry, 2) saying nobody else would ever want to marry her, and 3) insisting that no means yes because women are sadistic liars.

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anghraine: darcy (orlando seale) and cher (alicia silverstone); text: darcy & woodhouse for galactic domination (darcy/emma [world domination])
antskog at Tumblr asked:

How do you feel about Romola Garai's Emma?


My response:

I liked it, with reservations.

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anghraine: leia c. esb; text: you'll never know how tough it is to be the one who isn't chosen (leia [not chosen])
When I received this (17 February 2016), I had just reblogged a Leia post and grumped in the tags about what I considered JJ Abrams' "cop-out" in respect to Leia's potential as a Jedi. (When asked about it, he didn't defend his marginalization of her abilities, but pinned the choice on Leia herself.)

An anon asked:

You know, I always wanted Leia to become a Jedi ever since I watched the original trilogy. I don't see it as a cop out that she isn't one, however. Mainly because I can see her not wanting anything to do with her father to contrast the 'I am a Jedi like my father before me.' And once her son started to fall down a similar path, I'd guess she actively wanted nothing to do with that. If it was a choice she made to contrast all of that, I think that makes sense too. So I'm OK either way


My response:

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anghraine: concept art of anakin skywalker; text: anakin (anakin)
aka, I’ve talked about this a million times, but I wanted to stick all my thoughts in one place. Also, specifically kicked off by @steinbecks’ fascinating take on him here.

Warning: I am aggressively indifferent to non-film material apart from novelizations and scripts. EU material, past and present, does not enter into my interpretations.

Okay. I think that how we understand Anakin’s identity as Darth Vader is … often flawed. Vader’s sense of his identity seems to get subsumed into Yoda’s, Obi-Wan’s, and Palpatine’s sense of his identity. But the whole idea of Anakin-in-the-past and Darth-Vader-in-the-present as ontologically separate is not an idea that Anakin himself ever subscribes to.

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anghraine: anakin in rots looking down; text: lost (anakin [lost])
caerrigor at Tumblr asked:

Have you ever seen people explain why they think Kylo Ren is a whiny entitled MRA dudebro? Because I feel like I've only seen them take it as read and go from there.

The closest things I’ve seen to reasons are

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anghraine: leia and luke at the end of esb; text: warchildren (leia and luke [war])
An anon asked:

I love that we see into the mind of a former stormtrooper thru Finn's perspective. Yet I can't help but wonder why he shows no concern stabbing his fellow stormtroopers, probbaly to death, when he objected to killing before. I get the situations are different (helpless civilians who didn't deserve it). But Finn doesn't seem to mind potentially killing those who've been brainwashed and kidnapped just like he was. I would think he'd hesitate before killing anyone, let alone people similar to him


My response:

I loved that too!

I’ve seen a lot of people raise that concern, but honestly, I’m a bit “???” about the whole thing. Finn may or may not empathize with other stormtroopers in general, but he takes a firm zero tolerance policy towards people trying to kill him. That’s perfectly reasonable and justified.

For me, the situations really are different–so different as to be completely incomparable, in fact. Finn doesn’t object to killing; he objects to unprovoked slaughter. There’s no reason for that horror to carry over to fighting in the defence of his life and the lives of his loved ones. It could, for someone who came out the other side a pacifist, but it’s never remotely suggested that that’s Finn. He doesn’t shrink from violence; he just refuses to be a tool of mass murder.

Really, if he stopped to think of all the philosophical ramifications he would be dead.
anghraine: vader and luke dueling in esb (anakin and luke)
An anon at Tumblr asked:

Star wars questions: I've only seen the original trilogy and force awakens so far. And I was wondering - is it ever considered morally right for a Jedi to kill? I would think not, that murder is something only people on the dark side would use. Yet Obi Wan and Yoda seemed to imply that want Luke to kill his father for the greater good etc And I've always been surprised by this. Why do Jedi seem to approve of murder yet not associate it with dark or evil? Unless Jedi don't frown on murder?

My response:

Killing and murder are not the same thing, though I think the Jedi walk a pretty damn narrow line there.

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anghraine: tarrlok glowering through his hair; text: lost (tarrlok [lost])
At Tumblr, I received a submission from someone called Fladow, in response to this post:

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anghraine: text: i've had it with these motherfucking sith (samuel l. windu)
At Tumblr, I responded to a conversation about how TFA creates a completely different experience if you know the wider context from the novelization/script/interviews.

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anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (Default)
I thought I'd crossposted this one, but maybe not? Anyway:

Anon:

How accurate is the costumes and hairstyles in P&P 2005? I have yet to read the book (I know, I know, bad fan, but now I've watched all the movies and miniseries, so it's next on my list since I still want more Elizabeth and Jane in my life), so how does the costumes go with the descriptions in the book?

Me:

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anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (Default)
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