In other news I broke inspirobot:
It keeps giving me images that are actually inspirational.
Films watched this weekend:
• The DUFF, a teen film which I am at least 15 years too old to appreciate. Every beat was thoroughly predictable, down to the inspirational speech at the end. The only difference between this and teen films of my youth is that this one has internet bullying instead of just ye olde fashioned bullying and a mean girl that wants to be a reality star. But literally everything else was generic American teen film about quirky white middle class girl who doesn't quite fit in & etc. etc.
• La-La Land - I get the feeling that with this one the style is the substance. Beautiful use of colour and lighting and shot framing, for which we can thank Linus Sandgren who won the Academy Award. Gorgeous film to look at. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are reasonably good actors. But if you're casting a musical I think it might be a good idea to cast leads who can sing and dance at least better than I can, and I found much of the first two thirds of the film tedious.
Tedious white hipsters struggle with the idea that they might have to get grown up jobs and compromise by doing terrible things like actually promoting their work, sigh, but because it's a Hollywood film they end up with the dream jobs anyway. Gosling's character, Sebastian, was especially annoying. I found the scene where Mia was horrified to realise the band Sebastian had joined was playing fun music that people enjoyed especially eye-roll worthy. I believe it's meant to be at least in part an homage to musicals of the 50s, but instead of feeling like an homage it just felt regressive, uplifting white hetero mediocrity to some sacred thing. It never seems to quite know whether it wants to be Singing in the Rain or 500 Days of Summer, without the satire that livened up either.
I can see why my friend who liked it called it a three star film, though for me it was only a two star experience. Still, some of the sequences were enjoyable and I liked the parts John Legend was in.
Painful this has been cancelled over far more violent and far less deserving fare. But I also, once again, came late to the party. I did the same thing with Farscape.
This is what it is about in the words of one of its' creators, the same guy who created and wrote Babylon5.
"We started out at one point talking about how evolution involves creating ever greater circles of empathy: You belong to your family, then you belong to your tribe, then two tribes link up and now you have empathy for your people on this side of the river, and you're against the people on the other side of the river... on and on through villages, cities, states and nations... So what if a more literal form of empathy could be triggered in eight individuals around the planet... who suddenly became mentally aware of each other, able to communicate as directly as if they were in the same room. How would they react? What would they do? ... What does it mean? And what would the world think about people with this ability? Would they embrace it, or hunt them down...? It would give us a perfect platform to do a show that was loaded with action, big ideas, some amazing stunts that no one's done before, and play to a planetary audience."
This is the best show I've watched this year. I'm half tempted to buy the DVD and rewatch. But I can always just re-stream at some point.
Anyone know of any Sense8 fanfic? I think I may need to find some Sense8 fanfic after tomorrow...
Jamil Anderlini in the Financial Times (6/21/17), “The dark side of China’s national renewal“, writes:
To an English-speaking ear, rejuvenation has positive connotations and all nations have the right to rejuvenate themselves through peaceful efforts.
But the official translation of this crucial slogan is deeply misleading. In Chinese it is “Zhonghua minzu weida fuxing” and the important part of the phrase is “Zhonghua minzu” — the “Chinese nation” according to party propaganda. A more accurate, although not perfect, translation would be the “Chinese race”.
That is certainly how it is interpreted in China. The concept technically includes all 56 official ethnicities, including Tibetans, Muslim Uighurs and ethnic Koreans, but is almost universally understood to mean the majority Han ethnic group, who make up more than 90 per cent of the population.
The most interesting thing about Zhonghua minzu is that it very deliberately and specifically incorporates anyone with Chinese blood anywhere in the world, no matter how long ago their ancestors left the Chinese mainland.
“The Chinese race is a big family and feelings of love for the motherland, passion for the homeland, are infused in the blood of every single person with Chinese ancestry,” asserted Chinese premier Li Keqiang in a recent speech.
This is a highly perceptive, and troubling, article that merits reading in its entirety.
In this post, I will focus on some key terms.
First of all, front and center, what is this mínzú 民族? It can mean lots of things: nation, nationality, people, ethnic group, race, volk. This is not the first time that mínzú 民族 has erupted on the international stage. One of the most notable instances was four years ago, emanating right here from the University of Pennsylvania. The incident is well recounted by R.L.G. in “Johnson” at The Economist (5/21/13), “Of nations, peoples, countries and mínzú: Differing terms for ethnicity, citizenship and group belonging ruffle feathers“:
DID Joe Biden insult China? The American vice-president has a habit of sticking his foot into his mouth, and in this case, the recent graduation speech he gave at the University of Pennsylvania inspired a viral rant by a “disappointed” Chinese student at Penn, Zhang Tianpu. What was Mr Biden’s sin? Was it Mr Biden’s suggestion that creative thought is stifled in China?
You cannot think different in a nation where you cannot breathe free. You cannot think different in a nation where you aren’t able to challenge orthodoxy, because change only comes from challenging orthodoxy.
No, that wasn’t it.
The source of the insult is a surprising one: Mr Biden called China a “great nation”, and a “nation” repeatedly after that. Victor Mair, the resident sinologist at the Language Log blog, translates Mr Zhang’s complaint.
In this sentence, “You CANNOT think different in a nation where you aren’t able to challenge orthodoxy”, he used the word “nation”. This is what really infuriated me, because in English “nation” indicates “race, ethnicity”, which is different from “country, state”. “Country, state” perhaps places more emphasis on the notion of the entirety of the country, even to the point of referring to the idea of government.
Mr Mair explains:
The weakness in Zhang’s reasoning lies mainly in his confusion over the multiple meanings of the word mínzú 民族…. [M]ínzú 民族 can mean “ethnic group; race; nationality; people; nation”. Coming from the English side, we must keep in mind that “nation” can be translated into Chinese as guó 国 (“country”), guójiā 国家 (“country”), guódù 国度 (“country; state”), bāng 邦 (“state”), and, yes, mínzú 民族 (“ethnic group; race; nationality; people; nation”).
It is clear that, when Biden said “China is a great nation”, he was respectfully referring to the country as a whole. Yet the sensitivity to questions of ethnicity in China, especially with regard to the shǎoshù mínzú 少数民族 (“ethnic / national minorities”), e.g., Uyghurs, Tibetans, and scores of others, caused Zhang to take umbrage over something that the Vice President never intended.
In a later post about smartphone zombies, Cant. dai1tau4 zuk6 / MSM dītóu zú 低頭族 (“head-down tribe”), “Tribes” (3/10/15), I wrote:
The first word I think of when I see 族 as a suffix is Mandarin mínzú, Japanese minzoku 民族 (“nation; nationality; people”), which is formed from 民 (“people; subjects; civilians”) + 族 (“family clan; ethnic group; tribe”). The term is a neologism coined in the late 19th century by Japanese thinkers to match the Western (especially German) concept of “nation”.
… I have assembled a large amount of material concerning the absence of mínzú / minzoku 民族 as a lexical item corresponding to “nation” in China before it was introduced from Meiji [1868-1912] Japan.
When we prefix mínzú 民族 with shǎoshù 少数 (“few; small number; minority”), we have shǎoshù mínzú 少数民族 (“minority; national minority; ethnic minority”). Here it gets really tricky, because, as Anderlini points out in his article, there are officially 56 ethnic groups (mínzú 民族) in China, of which 55 are shǎoshù mínzú 少数民族 (“minorities; national minorities; ethnic minorities; ethnic groups”), with the 56th being the dominant, majority (over 90%) Hàn mínzú 汉民族 (“Han nationality; Han ethnic group”). Consequently, when Chinese politicians talk about the blood of the Chinese race, it’s important to know whether they are are referring to Hàn mínzú 汉民族 (“Han nationality; Han ethnic group”), Zhōnghuá mínzú 中华民族 (“Chinese nation / people”, where Zhōnghuá 中华 is understood as “Central cultural florescence”), or something else. In each case, we need to judge carefully whether they meant to include all the ethnicities within the sovereign territory of the PRC or in the whole world, or whether they were referring specifically to individuals of Han ethnicity within the sovereign territory of the PRC or in the whole world. Often, for politicians, as for poets, ambiguity is desirable, or at least convenient.
There are no less than half a dozen other words for “(the) people” that are in common use in Mandarin. I won’t go into all of them here, but will mention only one: rénmín 人民, as in rénmínbì 人民币 (“RMB; people’s currency”) and Rénmín rìbào 人民日报 (“People’s Daily”). This term, rénmín 人民, does not get involved with race, ethnicity, nation, and so on, but emphasizes the population as a whole.
As for “Zhongguo / China”, that too is a huge can of worms, for which see this incisive paper by Arif Dirlik:
[h.t. John Rohsenow, Bill Bishop]
But on the other hand, I'm feeling quite well-rested!
Let's see. I've been watching more Critical Role. I'm halfway through! I mean, I've watched over 50 episodes now, only 50 more to go, and they're making more every week! Ah heh. Heh.
The "new" opener they revealed at episode 50 is pretty amazing, I have to admit. ( Plot things. )
I also just watched another bootleg copy of "Hello, Dolly!"--This one filmed from much closer to the stage, with more audience reactions. And it's a very good production! They went a little low on "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" for their Dolly, which was a shame, but overall it was a terrific cast and really solid performances. The humor really landed this time, which was awesome. I also have a copy of a more recent show with Bette Midler as Dolly (!!) but I haven't seen it yet.
It's a little ironic considering the most recent Captain Awkward letter on terrible matchmaking, but I do love this show. It's ridiculous and its premise is that nobody knows what they actually want except for Dolly Levi, but what the heck. Its songs still make me happy, especially when the cast nails them, which this cast did.
I think I'm going to check out the David Campbell "Company" I got in the same lot of bootlegs. Ahhhh, feels.
1. I found out about this via the League of Women Voters. This act, introduced in both the Senate and the House, has the stated purpose "To require States to automatically register eligible voters to vote in elections for Federal office, and for other purposes."
Among other things, it would automatically register eligible voters via information they provide to various government offices, such as the DMV. A number of states have take this kind of legislation up, and a few have passed it, but it would be wonderful to have this on a federal level, for all states.
It's S. 1353 in the Senate and H.R. 2876 in the House. Call your reps and ask them to support this act by co-sponsoring it.
What we're seeing right now in Washington with the AHCA is what happens when the elected officials are not sensitive to the needs of their constituents. To force them to care, we have to make it easier for those constituents to make their voices heard in the voting booth.
2. There is a new friending meme going around, so if you've already posted at 2017revival and addme and are still thinking "I need more people", you can try that. Boost it, anyway, would you? These things only work if they get shared.
Anyway, I want to get rid of my last few tabs, so bear with me.
The Frog Log Saves Wildlife in Your Pool
Here's what happens when lightning doesn't hit the ground
The Last Picture Show
America’s Short-Lived ‘Black Army on Wheels’
What vampire bats can teach us about cooperation
The Green Energy Revolution Will Happen Without Trump
The fact is: Facts don’t matter to climate deniers
The Canadians helping refugees start anew
What's the Problem With Al Jazeera?
White People Keep Finding New Ways to Segregate Schools
London tower blocks evacuated as 34 buildings fail fire tests
Insurers Battle Families Over Costly Drug for Fatal Disease
Trump won't hire poor people for a top post - many Americans agree
Science Says Summer Is Going to Be Ruined for Many Years to Come
How Charlottesville, Virginia’s Confederate statues helped decimate the city’s historically successful black communities.
To Make Sense of American Politics, Immigrants Find Clues From Lands They Left
Venezuela's Maduro confronts perils of his reliance on the military
Bill Cosby Is Planning Town Halls About Sexual Assault And The Law, Spokesman Says (Gross!)
'No doesn't really mean no': North Carolina law means women can't revoke consent for sex
Nursing Home Workers Still Posting Nude and Vulgar Photos of Residents on Snapchat
Psychologists Open a Window on Brutal C.I.A. Interrogations
Cotton Jenny | I'm Gonna Hire a Wino | Out of the Frying Pan (And into the Fire) | Delta Dawn | Lady Takes the Cowboy Every Time | Cruel Summer | Stay Young | Good Vibrations | Nobody | Boys of Summer
( And one I associate with summer both because of how I first heard it and the contents )Meme list
'Because every great show deserves a great parody' (per the Exec. writer/producer), the comedy website Funny or Die has released season 1 of 'The Canadians,' about two American spies living undercover in Canada with their daughter Paper and their son who appears only with a big question mark over his face in the opening credits, but otherwise never appears in any episodes.
Each 'episode' is 2-3 minutes long. It's all quite hilarious.
SEE ALL THE SHINY HERE!
(Her baby Yondu -- yes, I wrote a fic with a small child version of Yondu in it, HUSH -- is the cutest thing I have ever seen. THE ENORMOUS RED EYES!)