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Jun. 24th, 2017 10:14 pm
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome

Cap Hill Pride, Seattle, 2017-06-24, Brought To You By T-Mobile; 7646
© Bill Pusztai 2017

An interesting couple of hours at Cap Hill Pride (Seattle) this year. Often recently Prides have left me feeling .. meh, why bother? but this year was different. Perhaps it's the political climate. Perhaps it's my internal weather.

I was reminded, after many years of not experiencing it, of that feeling of being an embarrassment to one's acquaintances who are concerned with looking normal/safe for the benefit of their heterosexual associates or family. That feeling of being too gay or too far out there or just too weird. Or maybe not rich, or pretty, or well-enough-connected. I spent most of my 20s and 30s there, how could I have forgotten this? And I was suddenly attuned to all the people at Pride who were walking around with that wariness about them. Gay Shame Day.

Oh yeah, that's why I make the kind of art I make. I've been going through a period of why do I even do this? and this afternoon that flipped like a switch. Suddenly my head is crowded with ideas I want to try out.

And the moment that spoke the loudest to me was the angry, loud, antiaesthetic lesbian punk band. Yup. I'm feeling that. <3 <3 <3.

ratcreature: RatCreature is thinking: hmm...? (hmm...?)
[personal profile] ratcreature
I'm wondering what the English equivalent for the German "Aktionismus" is.

In German this is a usually pejorative term to describe activities somebody (often people in a position of power but accountable to the public, more rarely subordinates under pressure from above) undertakes to be visibly seen as "doing something" to address a problem, but the actions are not well thought out, unlikely to really solve or improve the situation, but are (at least from the perspective of the speaker making the charge of something being "Aktionismus") done wholly or partly to provide cover against the accusation of inactivity or indifference.

Like when you hastily implement "security theater" measures against a real security threat, because you can't think of any actual solution to improve security for real, but not doing anything and admitting to having no solution would be politically very costly. Opponents then might accuse you of "Aktionismus".

So "Aktionismus" is a general term for hasty, thoughtless responses of this type, used by opponents of the actions. It is often coupled with "blind" as in "blinder Aktionismus" to emphasize the lack of plan or vision to arrive at a real solution.

It is similar to the accusation that something is merely a "symbolic action" but that implies more a deliberate gesture lacking concrete results, whereas "Aktionismus" is more of a harmful flailing around.

"Aktionismus" has also some sort of specialized meaning for some performance art movement from Vienna, and apparently the word "actionism" exists in English in the translation for that Austrian art, but it doesn't seem to be used in the colloquial sense. But clearly this is a common phenomenon (and accusation) in politics, so there ought to be an English term.

(no subject)

Jun. 20th, 2017 09:30 pm
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome

Summer Solstice 2017; 7646
© Bill Pusztai 2017

May the power of the people who would do us ill diminish with the length of the days. May their strength to harm drain from them. May their followers disperse. May their excess material wealth fall away from them and never return. May their arrogance and spite drain from them. May their ability to harm us be taken away altogether by the spirits of the dead by the end of Samhain Night. May they spend their remaining days repairing the harm they have done. May the seeds and fruit set this season mature fully in wisdom, compassion and grace.

(no subject)

Jun. 20th, 2017 07:08 pm
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome
Spirited Away, dir Hayao Miyazaki and Kirk Wise, 2002, Japan. I think this is the second time I've seen it. It occurred to me while watching it how much this style refers back to the Art Nouveau illustrative style of 100 years ago (especially I'm reminded of some children's books from my mothers childhood), which in turn drew heavily on Japanese art of 50 or 100 years earlier still. And so on.

(no subject)

Jun. 19th, 2017 09:39 am
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome
Pather Panchali, dir Satyajit Ray, 1955, India.
Aparajito, dir Satyajit Ray, 1956, India.
Apur Sansar (The World of Apu), dir Satyajit Ray, 1959, India.

This was my introduction to the works of Satyajit Ray, who is one of the most acclaimed filmmakers in Indian film history and probably one of the best ever anywhere. Flawless storytelling, with many subtleties and a deep compassion for the internal lives of the characters at every stage of life.

(no subject)

Jun. 17th, 2017 04:12 pm
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome
Дом за вешање / Dom za vešanje / Time of the Gypsies, dir Emir Kusturica, UK/Italy/Yugoslavia, 1988. Not an easy film to watch. It's set in Roma culture and is neither a condemnation nor an apologia, quite unsentimental, but the plot is pure soap opera drama. Plenty of squalor, disaster, betrayal, death, love, fighting, and a bit of magic - for 140 minutes. The film was much awarded and I wonder how much of that was political, since it came out at a time when it was fashionable for celebrities to say noble things about the "poor maligned gypsies". 

Wonder Woman

Jun. 16th, 2017 08:00 pm
ratcreature: Squee!! (squee!!)
[personal profile] ratcreature
Wonder Woman has finally opened here this week so now I have watched it. It's actually the first of the recent DC films I bothered to watch.

It was a lot of fun! Though I very much wanted to throat-punch the guys sitting two seats to my right who would not stop talking. WTF. Since they did not sit directly next to me I couldn't even shush them. What kind of obnoxious person does that in a cinema?

Also the slow motion fight scene inserts got on my nerves very quickly. I suppose it does allow to see dramatic fight poses clearly or something, like you would in a comic panel, but the effect did not work for me.

3 Good Things

Jun. 15th, 2017 08:26 pm
jjhunter: Watercolor tomato resting on radiating stalks of lettuce (tomato)
[personal profile] jjhunter
1. I went to parkour class tonight for the first time in several months, and had an awesome time. \o/

1a. So did my friend M- from work - her very first parkour class ever. ("Thanks so much for the invite! A little bloody but so fun!")

2. Last week I paid off the last of my student loans.

3. We have sugar snap pea plants growing up our back porch railings, and one has almost reached the top.

(no subject)

Jun. 14th, 2017 08:48 pm
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome
Cronos, dir Guillermo del Toro, 1993, Mexico. I wouldn't have noticed had I not watched them within a week of each other, but Cronos is in many ways a speculation on the same themes as Dracula. The differences are more interesting than the similarities: undeath forced upon the victim or a contagion versus being chosen, an unspoken mystical origin versus a mechanism and proto-science, no sort of redemption versus some kind of acceptance in the world of the living. I can also see it as a speculation on the idea of clinical immortality at the price of harvested body parts.

(no subject)

Jun. 13th, 2017 11:30 pm
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome
Take a Chance, dir Alfred J. Goulding, 1918, USA. Harold Lloyd, silent.
Captain Kidd's Kids, dir Hal Roach, USA, 1919, silent. Harold Lloyd.
Safety Last, dir Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, 1923, USA. Harold Lloyd.

Well, there. I've sat through three Harold Lloyd films, including the one where he's hanging off the clock. Now let us never speak of this again.

The Lamp, dir Roman Polanski, 1959, Poland. Only seven minutes long, but full on magic realism. Very admirable.


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