Monday, April 14, 2014

This Vicious Cabaret

I have a complicated relationship with V For Vendetta. It's a funny little piece of my youth, and it's something that I can still go back and re-read. (The movie version more or less passed me by; I've watched it once, and I remember thinking that they'd handled the source material with skill and respect, and that most of the changes they'd made were good and necessary to make the movie work... but I'd have to watch it again to add any real detail to that impression.) No matter how much I enjoy it, however, there are parts of the book that I strenuously disagree with, and parts that I find extremely troubling.

I suspect that's part of the reason I enjoy it. Also, by the book's own lights, I suspect that's a good and laudable reaction.

Included in the graphic novel, in the break between the first and second sections, is a bit of music: notation and lyrics, both. It's a striking little interlude, because it neatly summarizes the important parts of the plot so far, and because it always struck me as eminently playable. It turns out that the lyrics were written by Alan Moore (who did the writing for V for Vendetta) with the help of David J. Haskins, a member of the goth band Bauhaus. So yes, it's completely playable, and yes, there actually is an audio version of it:

It doesn't sound quite the way it did in my head, of course.

Friday, April 11, 2014

You get one item...

Right, so: you've been chosen to save the Universe from the Forces of Darkness. At the culmination of the Great Rite in which your role in the Struggle was first revealed, you were given something to help you with your work. What did you receive, and what does it do? (This is a completely open question. Tell us a story, or part of a story, about you set out to save the day. Make up any kind of item, and any kind of Dark Forces, that you like.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Teen Pregnancy In Stories

So, yesterday I read through The Big Long Young Adult Pregnancy Post over at Bree Ervin's Think Banned Thoughts blog. It's worth a read, if you can spare the time and the emotional investment. All I know is that I read it (and this isn't the first time something like this has happened), and my first reaction is that is that I should include a character like that in my own story, and ignore the usual stereotypes.

I'm not saying I will, mind you. The project that a teen pregnancy would best fit into is already a bit tied up in ostentatiously ignoring a completely different stereotype. Still, the temptation is there... and I have other projects.

So... we'll see. In the meantime, there's a look at some common tropes that you could alter, invert, or subvert in some very interesting ways.

So he's a bit of a fixer-upper...

A few weeks back, the Beautiful Wife and I dropped Firstborn off at the house of one of his friends, so we could go out and have a married-couple date. While they were settling the kids in, they put on Rise of the Guardians. So I have now seen the first ten minutes (or so) of that film.

In related news, Beatiful Wife and I actually managed to watch Frozen in its entirety, in the theater, over Christmas break.

So my first reaction, in watching Rise of the Guardians? "You know, we should really set up Jack Frost with Elsa."

If I had more time, I'd write the fan fiction.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Those dirty rats...

I'm taking a break - probably pretty brief, but still a break - so instead of actually writing... well... anything, I'm just going to post something I found interesting and send you off to read it.

In a simple experiment, researchers at the University of Chicago sought to find out whether a rat would release a fellow rat from an unpleasantly restrictive cage if it could. The answer was yes.

So, if morality cannot exist without religion (which I don't believe myself), would this study suggest that rats have some form of religion? It seems more likely to me that the basic underpinnings of morality (empathy and fairness) are part of our biological heritage.