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GAH. Been trying to write a post about recurring female characters and recurring male characters in SPN all night, and every time I try it ends up longer than War and Peace and impossible to put in any kind of coherent order.

It all boils down to the fact that, all other things being equal, as an audience we expect the young, hot, FEMALE recurring character to have been introduced primarily as a love interest for one of the male characters. But, as an audience, we expect the young, hot, MALE recurring character to have been introduced primarily for plot reasons, and further that it is extremely unlikely that the main purpose of said male character is to be a love interest for one of the male leads.

And this is the short (non-spoilery, non-SPN specific) version.... )

(And all that said, I have seen some truly vile reactions to female characters that I DO believe are rooted in misogyny. All I ask is that people accept this isn't always the case - that sometimes people have valid reasons for their reactions, even if you don't agree.)
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... it's the dreaded holiday pictures!

I've finally gotten around to uploading the pictures of my trip to France/UK (and yes, that was a year and a half ago. I procrastinate a lot - it's part of my charm). Now they are all-webified, I thought I might share a few, and you can all join me in daydreaming about being there instead of here.

First up, a few from France.

title or description

Statues along the side of the Louvre.

American Cemetery, Musee d'Orsay, and Notre Dame of Bayeux )

Hope that worked. I tried to resize them down slightly to avoid breakage of friends pages, and if I managed it correctly it's a small miracle. Bear with me while I fix it.
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Prompted by [personal profile] fialleril's comment on this comic, I give you:

The Last (Sith) Supper

Free Image Hosting at


Full image under the cut )

I love the Internet. There are photoshop tutorials for everything.
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Apparently Anonymous hacked into Sarah Palin's yahoo email account, with which she had been conducting official business, possibly in order to avoid being subject to subpoenas. Ah, Anonymous. If you keep going like this, I'm going to suspect you are in this for something other than the Lulz. Is that a hint of a conscience I see there?

Anyway, I highly recommend this account of the ensuring reaction from the Republican party and supporters. Choice quotes:

Still, it's really a wondrous, and repugnant, sight to behold the Bush-following lynch mobs on the Right melodramatically defend the Virtues of Privacy and the Rule of Law. These, of course, are the same authoritarians who have cheered on every last expansion of the Lawless Surveillance State of the last eight years -- put their fists in the air with glee as the Federal Government seized the power to listen to innocent Americans' telephone calls; read our emails; obtain our banking, credit card, and library records; and create vast data bases of every call we make and receive and every prescription we fill and every instance of travel and other vast categories of information that remain largely unknown -- all without warrants or oversight of any kind and often in clear violation of the law.

The same political faction which today is prancing around in full-throated fits of melodramatic hysteria and Victim mode (their absolute favorite state of being) over the sanctity of Sarah Palin's privacy are the same ones who scoffed with indifference as it was revealed during the Bush era that the FBI systematically abused its Patriot Act powers to gather and store private information on thousands of innocent Americans; that Homeland Security officials illegally infiltrated and monitored peaceful, law-abiding left-wing groups devoted to peace activism, civil liberties and other political agendas disliked by the state; and that the telephone calls of journalists and lawyers have been illegally and repeatedly monitored.

This is snarky political commentary at its finest. I am in absolute awe of Greenwald.

(Slightly related - did I mention I ran across an Anonymous protest while I was in Perth? I turned around, and there they were. And yes, I squeed - it's not everyday the topic of your research paper appears in front of you. Unfortunately, by the time I had my camera out, they were moving on. Got a few pictures, but nothing spectacular.)

Only 17% to go...
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Micheal Palin for President

Ah, Pythons.
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It's so good to be back with my internet connection! *hugs internet*

Generally, I like that my job involves a reasonable amount of travel; I like going places, and the combination of plane flights and forcible separation from the internet means that I get a chance to make inroads in my depressing large to-read pile of actual, physical books. But every so often - like when you've been to 5 states in 2 weeks - it's really nice to get back home.

Still, I did make an impressive dent in my book stack. Finished all the Miles Vorkosigan books (except for the first two books about Cordelia, which I have yet to order from Amazon since it is bloody impossible to find any Miles books in Australia), and am up to the last Dresden Files book (and I think this is one of the rare series which has improved steadily as it progresses - I liked the first few well enough, but I'm loving the later ones).

Combine that with travelling across to Western Australia for the first time, actually figuring out how to use some of the functions on my fancy new camera for the requisite tourist-snaps (5 functions down, 300 to go), and attending two conferences, and I've had a reasonably productive few weeks.

Recs tomorrow, I think. Or perhaps Wednesday, since I have a dinner tomorrow night. We'll see. *yawn*
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Exam is over. Yay! I shall commence the celebration by bringing you more recs. This time, crossovers, as promised.

Crossover recs under the cut )

I've decided the hardest part of this reccing business is deciding which fics to leave for next time. So may shiny fics on my list, especially crossovers. If I tried to do them all at once, this post would never end.

Let me know if this format is working for people.
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I think I am forever doomed to associate Olympic closing ceremonies with studying; in 2000, I was studying for the HSC* (and ask me how bitter I am that I couldn't go to the games because of it), in 2004, I had undergrad uni assignments, and now, 2008, I am frantically cramming for postgrad exams. Funny, how some things never change.

*Higher School certificate, for non-Aussies. Massive, massive exams at the end of secondary school, which have probably cause more nervous breakdowns than all other exams in our state combined. The degree those exams are hyped is unbelievable.


Aug. 24th, 2008 05:32 pm
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I volunteered to be tagged by [personal profile] deaka for one of those interest memes, so here goes. (Why yes, I am procrastinating, how could you tell?)

Under the cut )

Anyone who wants to play, let me know.
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It's Official: Stargate Universe is new series.

I wonder what their definition of a 'younger demographic' is? And is it wrong to suspect that this is just code for '18-25 male' demographic? Especially with "creators Wright and Cooper plan to “break new ground in the relationships between mostly young and desperate explorers, thrust together and far from home”.

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The results are in, and Star Wars narrowly won the poll for the first set of recs.

Before I get started, a couple of notes on the way I label fics. If a fic is, in either my opinion or the authors, predominantly gen-focused but also includes either het or slash pairing, the fic will be tagged both 'gen' and 'het'/'slash'. Anything that does contain ship will also be labelled with the pairing, so nobody should be scared for life by reading anything they don't care for. And if I haven't included a rating, assume it's PG - PG-13 at the most.

I'm working my way through some of my older fics here, so if I've rec'd these before, I apologise. I'm just getting my tracking system in order, so from here on in I'll be able to keep track of what I have and haven't rec'd. I'm also trying to get a balance between authors, genres, and timeframes (taking into account my obvious biases, of course!).

And now, on with the recs! )

Enjoy! Up next week - Crossovers.
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I was thinking about Star Wars AUs tonight, specifically those where Luke is raised by Vader. It occurred to me that, in this situation, I could see a lot of similarities in parenting style between Vader and John Winchester (apart from the Vader-being-evil thing, of course). No, hear me out.

Both are characters whose defining moment is the loss of their wife. This loss is the single most powerful driving force - no pun intended - in their lives. Both are devoted to destroying those who have hurt their family. Both have little tolerance of physical weakness. Neither encourage disagreement. Both appear isolated from 'normal' society. Both tend to be rather black-and-white in their views, especially of good & evil. John clearly impressed his moral universe - demons bad, humans good - on his children early. Vader tried to do the same, the first time he was face to face with Luke. Both want their children to carry on in their footsteps. And, arguably, both think they are acting for the greater good.

Before I get slaughtered by the John Winchester fen, let me be clear that I am not equating John with Vader, nor do I think he was an OMGEVOL!parent. I just think that, in this situation, parent!Vader could be a little like parent!John, amped up to the max.

OK, I'm extrapolating a bit here, and some of these points are debatable depending on your view of the characters, but still. Not a complete stretch?

And now I really, really need to go to bed. Stupid Olympics.

([personal profile] deirdre_c, I think I need your Supernatural/Star Wars icon!)
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Someone on a work message board describing Supernatural:

"That show with the two gay brothers. They fight ghosts."

Fandom, it's not just you.

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The last week or so, I've been determinely updating my delicious account with fics I've been meaning to rec. But since this is me, my collection of fics tend to be... eclectic, especially in terms of fandoms. (No, seriously - I have 70-odd fics bookmarked, and 22 fandom tags. Even allowing for crossovers, that's a lot.)

So before I launch into a reccing frenzy, I thought I would ask you lovely folks what you would prefer to see. And since I should get some value out of this paid account thingy, there is a poll.

[Poll #1241674]

Heads Up

Aug. 13th, 2008 09:02 pm
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Heads up, Doctor Who fen.

In case you didn't already know, BBC has a bunch of old-school Doctor Who eBooks online, including 'Human Nature' and 'Lungbarrow'.

/Public Service Announcement
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Orson Scott Card is at it again.

Most of it is just the usual all-women-should-be-barefoot-and-pregnant-TEH-GAY-is-destroying-life-as-we-know-it-Jim bullshit, but there are a few gems that are just too batshit to ignore. Like the part where he encourages the married couples of America in a Holy Crusade against the government )


I'm really, really glad I never bought any of his books. I'd hate to think I financed this crazy in any way.


Jul. 29th, 2008 06:38 pm
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I've was watching The Dresden Files (TV show, not books) recently (Why was it cancelled? Why? *sob*) and in a brief break between episodes I got a random spurt of inspiration for a in-progress fic. I scribbled off the phrases before I lost my train of thought and then realised Huh. Wrong POV. The rest of the fic is 3rd person limited, and I'd written this in 1st. No biggie, easy to change.

But it started me thinking... why did I default to writing it in first person? There was nothing in the fic itself that required it. Then it dawned on me - I wrote it in the first person because I was watching a TV that is in the first person. Mystery solved.

Except The Dresden Files isn't written in the first person, since it's a TV show. I'm not sure it even makes sense to think about a first-person POV TV show, barring 'Blair Witch' gimmicks. But it does have a narrator.

I'm not sure when I started to equate the idea of a narrator in a show with first person narration in a book. On one hand, it makes sense; the narrator is (generally) talking directly to the audience using the first person. It (can) give the same direct insight into the main character's thoughts. I'm also tempted to say that shows with narrators also tend to be tightly linked to the storylines of the narrator, (versus, say, an ensemble show) but I'm making this assumption from a sample size of two (The Dresden Files and The Invisible Man). Not exactly a huge statistical pool. On the other hand, the show freely uses scenes where the protagonist is not present, although only when required for dramatic purposes (by which I mean it is usual for Harry to be present, unless there is a pressing, plot-related reason for him being there - having been kidnapped, for instance, and the show needing to show to audience how Murphy found him).

Regardless, I've found that watching shows with narration has the same effect on my writing as reading things in the first person - it shunts my brain directly into 'first person' mode.

What do you guys think? Is there an equivalent to (written) POV in TV shows, and is it a function of direction, camera-work, writing, or something else?


Jul. 28th, 2008 03:42 pm
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It would be nice if I could stand up for more than 10 minutes without feeling like I'm going to pass out. On the other hand, all this time off work has given me plenty of time to catch up with the latest fandom kerfuffles. Wow.

To make myself feel even slightly productive, I have a rec:

Out for Blood by [personal profile] superbadgirl
Supernatural/NCIS crossover. Long and plotty gen (38,000 words), with the added bonus of Dean and Tony whumping. Yummy.
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Is anyone else going through a period of fandom withdrawl right now? Looking back over my last entries I'm noticing a marked absence of content, and, despite the crazy work and uni and professional and social commitments, I'm going to pin the blame on my general lack of fannish interest at the moment.

That isn't strictly true - I still like fandom as much as ever, but I'm feeling a general sense of... exhaustion with my usual sources. It's been a while since a new fandom caught my eye, and while I always cycle back to my old fannish haunts eventually, new texts (or shows or movies) keep my fannish motivation up. Which is where the insane commitments thing comes in; I don't have time for new obsessions right now. *sigh*

Eh. enough of that. I bring you some educational and edifying links instead:

Music piracy no match for Avril Lavigne Because I get so damn sick of the same 'Piracy is evil' paranoia that is trotted out by the music and movie industry, this from the manager of Avril Lavigne:

"I do not believe that the record label owns the song, the publisher does not own the song, even the artist does not own the song... It is the emotion that a fan attaches to that song, to that lyric that makes it popular. What the record business needs to do is to monetise the behaviour of that fan."

And bold, because this is a concept that needs to catch on. While I'm not quite sure about the idea of monetising fan behaviour (or, for that matter, erasing the idea that producers own content), it is damn nice for someone in the industry to be not talking about fans of their products as if they were the enemy.

Oh, and the Mother who's baby videos were removed for copyright infringement strikes back. This is also something we need to see more of. If she wins, of course.

And finally, Worth1000 had a challenge to incorporate Star Wars characters into classic works of art. Check it out - there's some brilliant stuff, as always.


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