do you ever get that feeling that your stats are wildly unbalanced
like say someone created you as a game character and you’re supposed to be a rogue but in their infinite wisdom they have consistently used up all your skill points on magic or some shit that isn’t really relevant to your class (like you can’t even equip the appropriate armor and weapons, that’s how mismatched your stats are)
but you’re too far into the game to start over so you just kind of stumble around dying a lot and hoping your party bails you out because you don’t even have enough money to buy healing items
that metaphor may or may not have gotten away from me
This might explain why I can recite the last line of Jane Eyre word-perfect if jerked awake from slumber but can GET LOST ON MY WAY TO THE GODDAMN GROCERY STORE (which is six blocks away) (in the neighbourhood I have lived in for 12 years)
“What may emerge as the most important insight of the twenty-first century is that man was not designed to live at the speed of light. Without the countervailing balance of natural and physical laws, the new video-related media will make man implode upon himself. As he sits in the informational control room, whether at home or at work, receiving data at enormous speeds — imagistic, sound, or tactile — from all areas of the world, the results could be dangerously inflating and schizophrenic. His body will remain in one place but his mind will float out into the electronic void, being everywhere at once in the data bank. Discarnate man is as weightless as an astronaut but can move much faster. He loses his sense of private identity because electronic perceptions are not related to place. Caught up in the hybrid energy released by video technologies, he will be presented with a chimerical “reality” that involves all his senses at a distended pitch, a condition as addictive as any known drug. The mind, as figure, sinks back into ground and drifts somewhere between dream and fantasy. Dreams have some connection to the real world because they have a frame of actual time and place (usually in real time); fantasy has no such commitment.”—Marshall McLuhan, The Global Village, page 97 (via vagabondbohemia)
We’ve finished the first half of Archaeospain’s program at Monte Testaccio in Rome, where we examine an artificial mound that was created by centuries of discarded broken amphorae. In ancient times, amphorae were the main containers used for the transportation and storage…
I found myself enormously reassured by the sight of two men strolling the street hand in hand. At first I thought my sense of relief and comfort stemmed from sexual politics - gay men being less likely to hassle me or something - but then I realized it was something far simpler. I feel an identical sense of reassurance at the sight of a young woman in hijab behind a bank counter, or at the local Ace Hardware’s DIY Sukkot Special.
I suppose I’m reassured by the reminder that here difference is normal, that regardless of whether I myself share any given difference, there’s a community where it’s the default. For an instant it’s a glimpse of that unknown yet deeply familiar Eden: that place where everyone has a home.
“Often in literary criticism, writers are told that a character isn’t likable, as if a character’s likability is directly proportional to the quality of a novel’s writing. This is particularly true for women in fiction. In literature, as in life, the rules are all too often different for girls. There are many instances in which an unlikable man is billed as an antihero, earning a special term to explain those ways in which he deviates from the norm, the traditionally likable. The list, beginning with Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, is long. An unlikable man is inscrutably interesting, dark, or tormented, but ultimately compelling, even when he might behave in distasteful ways. This is the only explanation I can come up with for the popularity of, say, the novels of Philip Roth, who is one hell of a writer but who also practically revels in the unlikability of his men, with their neuroses and self-loathing (and, of course, humanity) boldly on display from one page to the next.
When women are unlikable, it becomes a point of obsession in critical conversations by professional and amateur critics alike. Why are these women daring to flaunt convention? Why aren’t they making themselves likable (and therefore acceptable) to polite society? In a Publishers Weekly interview with Claire Messud about her novel The Woman Upstairs, which features a rather ‘unlikable’ protagonist, Nora, who is better, bereft, and downright angry about what her life has become, the interviewer said, ‘I wouldn’t want to be friends with Nora, would you? Her outlook is almost unbearably grim.’ And there we have it. A reader was here to make friends with the characters in a book and she didn’t like what she found.
Messud, for her part, had a sharp response to her interviewer.
For heaven’s sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert? Would you want to be friends with Mickey Sabbath? Saleem Sinai? Hamlet? Krapp? Oedipus? Oscao Wao? Antigone? Raskolnikov? Any of the characters in The Corrections? Any of the characters in Infinite Jest? Any of the characters in anything Pynchon has ever written? Or Martin Amis? Or Orhan Pamuk? Or Alice Munro, for that matter? If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities. The relevant question isn’t ‘Is this a potential friend for me?’ but ‘Is this character alive?’
Perhaps, then, unlikable characters, the ones who are the most human, are also the ones who are the most alive. Perhaps this intimacy makes us uncomfortable because we don’t dare be so alive.”—Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist (via brutereason)
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography podcast: Sweeney Todd, legendary murderer and barber
On 21 November 1846 Lloyd began serializing The String of Pearls in The People’s Periodical and Family Library. The eighteen-part serial has usually been attributed to Thomas Peckett Prest, but Helen Smith has argued persuasively that it was actually the work of James Malcolm Rymer. It was set in 1785, suggesting that the author may have read the newspaper account of the murdering barber of 1784. The story concerned Sweeney Todd, a barber in Fleet Street (the name may have been borrowed from Samuel Todd, a pearl-stringer who lived near Fleet Street in the 1830s) who murders wealthy clients for their valuables by throwing them from their chairs through a trapdoor into a cellar. Todd’s neighbour Mrs Lovett then cuts up the bodies to make them into pies.