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About crazyfish

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    On planet Jupiter, shooting the shit with Zeus
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    Fishing stars, seeing stars, pissing stars. Realmente life est wunderbar.

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  1. crazyfish


    hah! Obviously, you haven't heard me talk!
  2. uh-oh, you thought it was something else ... that isn't good. I'm going to have to rework that.
  3. Probably too late now that the story is nearing the end, but ah well, any discussion about the story should go here. [sharedmedia=stories:stories:3557]
  4. Whom we love is as much a statement about those whom we reject. In the glut of romantic fiction out there, a lot of books gloss over the rejection inherent in the romantic love because really why do we want to feel sad for the poor sod when there's a ooey gooey love to gush over. We gloss it over. We find ways to minimize it. Or we turn the rejected character into an asshole, someone who deserved it, a crazy idiot, or worse, an other. This brings me back to the book I was reading Bitter Eden. The story is much about pure love as it is about the cruel rejection that made the love possible. Warning, there are spoilers. Actually it's the whole plot summary. Either way you're warned. The narrator Tom is a masculine, single, POW, and by default straight. He first bonds with the married Douglas, who is effeminate and mothering. No one in the prison camp really likes the fragile Douglas. Even the self-identified gay prisoners don't like him. Tom eventually comes to accept Douglas because underneath his fussy mothering ways, Douglas is loyal and honorable. After a year of being Douglas' 'mate'(all platonic), Tom is more open to his queer side. He's part of a theatre group run by a gay pow. He regularly submits himself to have his portrait drawn by another gay prisoner who 'studies his face but draws his genitals.' Then he runs into another british pow, married Danny, who's a man's man and is for all intents and purposes straight. Danny is simply more fun. The bond between Tom and Danny is natural, quick, and goes deeper because they both share wounds of childhood traumas. And oh, Danny can't stand Douglas in the slightest. Tom rejects Douglas for Danny. Make no mistake, the rejection is cruel and pure aggression. And you know if Tom hadn't learnt to accept Douglas, he would not have had the capacity to love Danny. The latter half of book is sweet as much as it is bitter, Tom and Danny blossom albeit in their sly not-overtly sexual way while Douglas goes insane. Throughout the latter half of the book, Tom grapples with his responsibility in Douglas' demise. Yes every man is responsible for his own heart, but was the rejection necessary for true love to flower? I kept hoping the men would look beyond myopic delineations of his and mine and use the spark of love to forge something more universal. You know like a brotherhood of sorts, but that wish is a fantasy really. When the death, hunger, torture, stare at you daily, the urge to possess something for yourself only is all that there is. The rejection speaks to the struggle between the feminine vs the masculine that permeates the whole book, and how being masculine means the rejection of femininity. When Tom decides to play Lady Macbeth, the experience almost breaks their relationship as the pair go to absurd lengths to re-affirm their masculinity. The irony is while Tom is more willing to explore the queerer side of himself and Danny much less so, it's Danny who wants to continue the relationship after the war ends. But Tom is too afraid. He gets married and doesn't speak to or hear from Danny again until after his death. A sad book yes, but a real and touching book. Douglas' tragic end rings through to the last pages when Tom in his older years is trying to find some resolution to his complicity. Not only did he let Douglas down, he let Danny down big time. It's sad how it takes extreme circumstances to discover hidden dimensions of yourself, but as soon as the pressure goes away and the situation returns to the mundane, your expanded horizons shrink back and everything resets to a bland and stifling normal. In the end Tom wishes to go back to the Bitter Eden of the pow camp. The possibility of creating a new Eden in the midst of his homely, freer, normal is not one he seriously grapples with, and that's just sad.
  5. crazyfish

    Bitter Eden

    Through NetGalley I got a copy of Bitter Eden by Tatamkhulu Afrika. I'm still working my way through it, but I would definitely recommend it if you're looking high brow queer fiction.. Yeah, yeah. it's literary fiction, but this is the literary fiction done right. Deep and vivaciously haunting with its imagery, yet without the dreary pretentiousness or unlikable characters associated with literary fiction. No, the book isn't easy to read, but you would want to slow down anyway to enjoy its every word. The story is simple enough,set in WWII , a first person's account of a South African POW captured by first by the Italians in North Africa and gets transferred to Europe. There's quite a bit of bleakness and frankness about death. There's a cruel betrayal. but also there's a lot of affirming male bonding and queer happenstances in his all-around male milieu.
  6. The story is a bit on the unconventional side. There's no central plot, just a series of vignettes in Yinka's week, which culminates to a tragic conclusion. There are strong paranormal, mystery, and romantic elements. I'm still tweaking this, so I'm interested in you guys think.
  7. I'm with Bieber on this one. Was that an interview or a deposition?
  8. The gardener must have pissed him off, planted the wrong color roses or something .
  9. I dunno. It's not at all clear that the drug will save the kid. And if the drug causes a deadly reaction in the kid, and are the parents going to turn around and say, "EVIL DRUG COMPANY killed my baby." Are they going to scurry a battalion of lawyers to demand compensation? As for cost of drug development ... If aspirin was discovered today, the FDA won't approve it. If penicillin was discovered today, the FDA won't approve it. The precautionary principle doesn't help so much when it comes to finding new drugs. But no one wants to be one shafted with birth defects because their mom took thalidomide. The paternalism of the FDA policies denies dying patients their human right to try experimental drugs, literally adds millions to the cost of drug development. I'd happier if FDA become more of an auditing agency than an approval agency. And let the public decide how much they want to gamble with their health. But most people don't see it my way. They prefer to have a big daddy in the person of the government making things safe for everybody, so that they don't have to think, or rather so they know whom to blame when shit goes wrong. I just wish more people saw that deadly costs associated with guaranteed security.
  10. I have so many unfinished books on my kindle. I can't just read one book at a time. Here's the top three on my library list. Kinder than Solitude by Yiyun Li. Tender is the Night by Fitzgerald. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.
  11. As much as I might not mind teenagers watching porn, I do mind if they start getting desensitized and start looking for harder videos to get off on. Before the internet, finding the harder videos was relatively difficult. In this day and age, 'three girls, one cup' is one click away.
  12. I have listened to the first 15 minutes of the music video

    for four hours straight today.
  13. Say what you think but come with a spirit of dialogue. Authors want to communicate. They want to discuss their work. But if you come after them in attack mode, the communications shut down. I'm a weak and silly and vain. If you attack me, I'll shut down, I raise up walls and whatever nuggets of heavenly wisdoms will be cast to the swine. Yeah poor me, stupid me. However, gush over so and so in my story and follow that with a 1000 page evisceration of my story, I'll read it all. I take it all gladly! Yeah, my fickle self. Show that you care. Show that you are genuinely interested helping me, and I'll swallow up every one of your criticisms gladly! But you might say, it's not your job to handhold authors. Honesty! Truth! In my day we ate nails for breakfast! Yeah well ... what are you interested in? Dialogue or Venting? Increasing the chances of making said story better or the chances the story remains the same unpalatable dreck? Decide what you want and proceed accordingly. Of course not all authors can handle criticism even if you serve it with buckets of sugar. Some will shut down, others will open up. As long as you've done your part to ensure good vibes along the way, what more is there? After all just as authors are obligated to take all criticism with graceful politeness, the reviewer is just as obligated to take all responses to their opinion with graceful politeness.
  14. Hmm. I don't know how theatre works. But I suspect that it will be a tough thing to be an academic. I can only speak from my background in an STEM field. Even though funding is easier to get, (professors rely on slave worker grad students to do research), faculty positions in the stem are elusive. At least in my field, 70% don't remain in academia. Given our skillset, it's a little easier (only a little) to find a job in industry but the route is certainly less efficient than if we had taken a job right after a masters or the bachelors. You have to talk to your professors. Get them to talk honestly about post-graduate study. Also you need to ask to them to be honest about the average number years it takes to get a phd. Also how many faculty positions do they anticipate opening in the next 15 years? I suspect, that theartre is lot like a humanities where there's an overproduction of phds, but very, very little faculty placement. Right now, at in America at least, a lot of the baby-boomer faculty are retiring, so there's a been rash of positions opening up. But who knows in another ten years? And in the humanities and social sciences, at least in the US, departments depend on temp, underpaid adjuncts to avoid to hiring more expensive tenure-track faculty. I wondering if in theater, the departments hire mainly those with significant theatre experience or from those with phds? One thing's for sure, if a school isn't willing to fund your studies, then I'd think twice, ten times, about paying out of pocket. You have to take into account that with a theatre phd, you're basically unemployable out of academia.
  15. Sweet gregorian chant. Allegri's Miserere is my favorite I like anything written by Hildegard Von Bingen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dehwp_dRlYQ Original Chants for female voices are rare to find. In the spirit of general choir, here is a bunch of japanese boy's choir performing Polyushko Pole. That clip is from the japanese movie, Boys Choir. Watch that movie if you can find it! It's a movie about choir boys and vaguely queer angst. There's no sex or anything close to kissing that in the movie, but it is refreshingly queer in innocent ways.
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