Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 07:18 on 20-11-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj permalink
at 05:20 on 20-11-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
Something nice I read over the weekend: a forgotten short story written as a collaboration between H. P. Lovecraft and Robert H. Barlow about a young painter's vacation at the seaside. No plot, but lovely construction of mood. I suspect Ramsey Campbell may have read this and riffed off it a couple times in his career.

Also, the wiki biography of Robert H. Barlow, a man who seems to have been about as interesting as Lovecraft himself.
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at 02:41 on 20-11-2011, Cammalot
(I've stuck to the US as an example mainly because that's where the book is set and where the author's from. Not to be exclusionary.)
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at 02:29 on 20-11-2011, Cammalot
Interpreting Katniss as biracial always seemed, to me, to make the odd assumption that there are no brunette Caucasians. (Or that white blondness has never been privileged over white brunette-ness.) I am, as always, of two minds on this: Of course I'd have liked it if actresses of a variety of races had been considered for the movie role, but my knee-jerk lizard brain finds it really annoying that the author should get credit for writing a biracial heroine when she didn't. (If I remember correctly, she said so, didn't she?) White is such a default in Western society that you really can't go writing a subtle multiracial person and expect people to notice and be enriched by this. Unless your talent is prodigious and possibly godlike. In the US, racial categories have been defined and redefined and actively set against one another so very much, not to mention white characteristics in the technically non-white being privileged in literature and reality; I'd personally like some more precision. (I am not saying that the more Caucasian-looking members of non-Caucasian groups have no problems; I'm saying that vagueness is an Easy Way Out in writing, and it annoys me as much as, say, Piers Anthony giving all his black female characters green eyes, pale skin, and rump-length hair, and acting like that's inclusive. He may have stopped doing that since I last read him but I'm not terribly inclined to go find out at this stage.)
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at 23:34 on 19-11-2011, Ibmiller
Ah, thank you. I can't say that I saw any real sign of racial identity in Katniss's thoughts. Maybe some visual cues, but I never really visualized much of what was going on.
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at 21:04 on 19-11-2011, Frank
@Sister Magpie: I read Katniss as biracial (white/non-white, perhaps Latin@). She describes the physical differences in her district between the merchant class (blond and blue-eyed like her mom who came from the merchant class) and those who work the mine and the Seam community. How is my read of the text mistaken?
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at 20:36 on 19-11-2011, Robinson L
valse: What is it with Star Wars and corny titles? Is there a Darth Death Eater in there somewhere by any chance?

No, but a lot of what there is (especially in the Legacy comics) comes close.

And those "dramatis personae" section have always struck me as vastly more confusing than they are helpful.

Alasdair: I think I should post more when I'm falling asleep. That's when all my brilliant ideas start bubbling to the surface.

I concur. Please do so.
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at 20:03 on 19-11-2011, Sister Magpie
The casting kerfuffle was that when they cast Katniss they put "Caucasian" in the description, so were only looking at white girls for a part that could have been non-white. Some people mistakenly believed that Katniss was written as non-white by the author, which wasn't the case, but regardless there's no reason they couldn't have opened it up.
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at 19:20 on 19-11-2011, Ibmiller
Sorry to be ignorant, but what casting kerfuffle was there?
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at 16:33 on 19-11-2011, Frank
Aren't movies released in March tinged with a bit of suck?
Or is it that February?
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at 13:31 on 19-11-2011, Wardog
Oooooh Hunger Games theatrical trailer. Despite the casting kerfuffle I have to admit I am ... intrigued.
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at 06:38 on 19-11-2011, Alasdair Czyrnyj
So Saint's Row 3 has a ponyplay-themed cart chase.

The carts explode when you do them enough damage.

Before I read this, I did not know what ponyplay was. I have since used the Internet to educate myself on this matter.

Somehow, I do not feel this knowledge has enriched me.

In vaguely related matters, I've had this crazy theory for a while now that the Saint's Row and the Prototype franchises can best been seen as evolutionary descendents of Grand Theft Auto, with each series taking a particular trait and specializing in the development of said trait. Saint's Row, obviously, takes the original satirical-underworld setting of the GTA games and balloons it into a full-out cartoon world, while Prototype has expanded the whole concept of consequence-free mass murder into greater, more cathartically grotesque realms. It's akin to how the miacids gave rise to the greater "dog" and "cat" families back in the Eocene, with GTA being the miacids, naturally, Saint's Row being the dog/bear/skunk/weasel/racoon/seal families, whose can enjoy a wide variety of activities and diets, while Prototype comprises the cat/hyena/mongoose/civet families, who can really only rend and consume meat, but do so very, very well.

I think I should post more when I'm falling asleep. That's when all my brilliant ideas start bubbling to the surface.
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at 04:35 on 19-11-2011, Ibmiller
@Andy - It was actually Return of the Jedi - "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."
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at 01:12 on 19-11-2011, Arthur B
So Saint's Row 3 has a ponyplay-themed cart chase.

The carts explode when you do them enough damage.
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at 01:05 on 19-11-2011, Andy G
Interestingly, I'm sure Obi-Wan or Yoda say in Empire Strikes Back that good and evil are just points of view.
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at 20:29 on 18-11-2011, Ibmiller
Also, apparently "Only a Sith deals in love..."
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at 20:19 on 18-11-2011, valse de la lune
Thank you, Kyra. All better! It's suddenly just like canon.
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at 20:15 on 18-11-2011, Wardog
Hmm, there's one thing missing from that line, Valse.

Try this:

FROM MY POINT OF VIEW, the Jedi Order opposed emotional attachments, believing they were a stepping-stone to destruction.


Better?
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at 19:59 on 18-11-2011, Ibmiller
I love Bastila. I love her shipped with most people. But really, I've read fanfic much, much better dealing with this issue...
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at 18:39 on 18-11-2011, Axiomatic
So...someone mentioned My Little Pony?
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at 20:00 on 17-11-2011, valse de la lune
There's a dramatis personae too, for the vast cast of ten characters (at a guess, only five of which--or possibly four--are main characters; the rest comprise of a droid and bit players). Chapter five brings us this gem:

Their marriage further exacerbated the situation. The Jedi Order opposed emotional attachments, believing they were a stepping-stone to destruction. They taught that love begat jealousy, which led to the dark side. But Revan had seen its redemptive powers firsthand. It was his love that had brought Bastila back to the light; their emotional bond had wrought salvation for both of them.


I'm pretty sure I've read fanfic with lines more or less word-for-word like this.
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at 19:15 on 17-11-2011, Axiomatic
Look, when your parents call you Mortis Gore or something, you really have nowhere to turn to but the Dark Side.
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at 18:51 on 17-11-2011, valse de la lune
Karpyshyn's Revan is out and by "out" I mean filesharing arr matey high seas. I would dearly like to say that it's abjectly terrible, but I can't. I haven't been able to read so much as one or two paragraphs from it without my eyes glazing over and my brain going into standby mode. It's so relentlessly grueling. All I can tell is that there's a villain named "Scourge" and that there's something called "the Dark Council." What is it with Star Wars and corny titles? Is there a Darth Death Eater in there somewhere by any chance?
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