Don't Go where I Can't Follow

Obligatory Statement on LJ

I've been crossposting between LJ and DW since the servers were being moved to Russia; I've also deactivated my auto-renew account for lj because I don't want them to have access to my financials. I don't think the recent LJ TOS statement will be legally enforceable in the US, but I also don't foresee any organizations going to the mattress about it either.  That said, if LJ ups and closes shop, all my stuff is at my DW account: caitri.dreamwidth.org. 

Good night and good luck, I guess.
Cait Yatta!

Picard is the Star Trek Fusion Fic I Always Wanted

Having seen Picard as "Firefly Season 2" and now being unable to not see it, I spent all episode identifying the characters: Formerly idealistic soldier who is now a cynical captain on a biddy boat for hire (Rios/Mal); the hilarious badass pilot (Rios hologram/Wash); loyal bamf second-officer who is constantly frustrated by her CO but will still move heaven and earth to save his ass (Zoe/Raffi); innocent doctor who is in WAY over their head (Simon/Agnes); super-powered waif (River/Soji); the narc who is after her (Narek/The Operative LOOK THEY EVEN JUST SPELLED "Narc" WEIRD OKAY); the former powerful member of the current government who is now on the outs and also a spiritual mission (Book/Picard); the scary merc (Seven/Jayne).

Oh! and Super sinister government assassins: Tal Shiar/Blue Sun Company.

And I guess this leaves Elnor as the super-cute Mary Sue we all wanna be??? I mean.... tragic backstory, total bamf, kiiiiiiiinda adopted by Picard, always the prettiest.... It checks out.

THIS IS THE BEST AU EVER, Y'ALL!
Cait Yatta!

Reading, Thinking, Reacting

 Warning for unedited and unpolished word vomit.

Last week I started reading Janine Barchas's The Lost Books of Jane Austen, a study on popular editions of Austen that are largely "lost" because they were read to bits with few survivors. Eg. there was an edition in the late 1800s that was printed as a promotional by a soap company, and if you sent in x number of soap wrappers they would send you a book as a reward. Fascinating stuff, but early on Barchas describes her study as "bibliographical slumming" because she's studying popular works (never mind that Jane Austen is part of the canon; if this was a study of popular Shakespeare editions this same method of analysis would no longer be slumming and we all no way). A colleague scolded me for repeating the phrase, however, because "slumming" is such an ethnically and class-coded term, which is fair.

But I also contemplate the problematic ways that I as a human am read because of who I am now, which is as a tenured professor at a top university. It's assumed (and not just by this one person; it's happened with other people in other incidents too) that I don't know anything about working class life and so on, despite the fact that, you know, I grew up backwoods and blue-collar and so on. Frankly I know WAY the fuck more than a number of colleagues about problems of class and abuse in the US because I have fucking lived through it. And I have gotten to a point where I need to figure out how to much more openly address these issues in a useful way.

This weekend I picked up several books from the library. I got two volumes of Milosz's prose after talking to Todd last week; apparently the reaction of both of us in the wake of political goings-on was a desire to read/reread the work of a poet about how to intellectually survive in a totalitarian regime. I had also requested the new biography Becoming Beauvoir a while back and it finally came. It is very good and imminently readable, and it was very surprising to me to hear that most of the WW2 experiences of Beauvoir and Sartre are recounted as explicating varied love affairs (which honestly needs a chart to track) than anything else. So I suppose that survival is also about reading and fucking and loving, which I guess is helpful in its own peculiar way too. 
Cait Yatta!

Writing Intentions

 I finally got an AO3 account because that's where everyone lives these days, and I'm hoping to start writing seriously again this year. I've said that off and on for years, but this time maybe it'll actually happen. For one thing, I've finished my diss. For another, I had a meeting with my boss where she told me to figure out how to channel my energies into non-academic things so I don't burn out, as her goal as an admin is to keep me healthy and functional (literal words I've never heard from another boss ever). So anyway: Intentions for fic. Here's hoping.
Cait Yatta!

"The Sun" by Czeslaw Milosz

 

The Sun

by Czeslaw Milosz


All colors come from the sun. And it does not have
Any particular color, for it contains them all.
And the whole Earth is like a poem
While the sun above represents the artist.

Whoever wants to paint the variegated world
Let him never look straight up at the sun
Or he will lose the memory of things he has seen.
Only burning tears will stay in his eyes.

Let him kneel down, lower his face to the grass,
And look at the light reflected by the ground.
There he will find everything we have lost:
The stars and the roses, the dusks and the dawns.

Warsaw, 1943

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Cait Yatta!

The Wind

The wind is a palpable thing here. There's nothing but corn for miles and miles and miles, so it has nowhere to go but onwards, ever onwards. So it whistles and it roars. (In the warmer months when we have thunderstorms, the rolls of thunder do the same thing, creating a constant dull roar that is surprisingly soothing when it's distant and astonishingly menacing when it's on top of you.)

I have very mixed feelings about being in a place so flat, but here we are.

~

So far the theme for 2020 seems to be, still, "I am so tired." I had hoped to be so much more rested during winter break. I had hoped for some down time in the new year. Welp. Perhaps I'll feel better after this week--I have an article draft due Wednesday and an exhibit opening on Friday wherein I have to talk in front of people on purpose. Oops.
Cait Yatta!

Contemplations and Hope

 2019 was A LOT, y'all. I finished my diss, graduated, moved cross-country, and started a new job I love. I lost friends and made new ones.



Publications:

*With Kate Ozment, "Digital Enumerative Bibliography as Preservation of Feminist Labor."

*“James T. Kirk, Ideal Citizen.” In: Assessing the Kelvin Timeline of Star Trek: J.J. Abrams’ Final Frontier. Ed. Matthew Wilhelm Kapell and Ace G. Pilkington. McFarland& Company, Inc., 2019. Pp. 166-177.

*“Shiny Happy People.” Outside/In Gains A Soul. Ed. Robert Smith. ATB Publishing, 2019: 241-243.

~

So much of this year was an exhausted blur, really. But thinking about it, what I'm proudest of this year was pushing back on bullshit to take care of myself. Now, I've paid for that in a few ways, mostly in lost friends (or "friends") but I also think I'm so much healthier for it. So yay adulthood, I guess.

Now the next step of course, going into 2020, is going to be pushback on a bigger scale. The world is a mess, y'all, and we need to fix it. But I look around, and actually, so many people are prepared to do that. These last few years have been awful, but what we've fought every step of the way. So: We'll keep fighting.

***

I want to write an essay, a proper one, on how Fandom Saved My Life. This was such a rough decade in so many ways, personal and professional. Fandom was what got me through it. Writing fic for the first time in ages helped save my sanity. I think a few times fan friends saved me just by being there or listening in the darkest hours. Reading fic has become a huge comfort when I'm exhausted and depressed. So to friends and fans--thank you, thank you, thank you.