July 16th, 2006
|04:48 pm - One Question/Interests Meme|
Snurched from jhall1 and mistraltoes:
If you want to take part, reply to this entry. I will poke around in your list of interests on your profile and ask you one question about one of them. You wax rhapsodic on the subject of your interest for the edification of all and we'll learn something keen about you. Then you post these instructions in your own journal.
Current Mood: curious
|Date:||July 17th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC)|| |
I mean, replyyyyyyyyy!
JD, you're such a dork. *pats head*
What on earth is "snes"? Any explanation will do.
|Date:||July 17th, 2006 04:39 pm (UTC)|| |
A 'Snes' is the visible manifestation, real or imagined, of a largely third-person psychosomatic interference matrix caused by an influx (or 'throughflux') of primarily extroverted telemetric paucity of intrapolated facile systems.
Or it stands for Super Nintendo Entertainment System, of which, as a youngun' in the early 90s, I was extremely fond, and still am to this day.
Hee. Nice pseudo-explanation.
Oh, duh. I should have recognized that; guess you can tell that I wasn't into it the way my brothers were.
Who is Claude Theberge?
Claude Theberge is a Canadian, abstract painter with a resolutely figurative, symbolical, and hyper-realist style. He uses really amazing, vivid colors and often paints people with umbrellas and in fedoras (which I love). Here's one of my favourite paintings by him: http://users.ez2.net/kona99/images/Scenario.jpg
Ooo, pretty! *looks at picture some more*
Isn't it awesome? I so want that painting for my house one day... or at least a good poster that could pretend to be the print when framed all nice. :)
I just saw a really cool episode of SG-1. It made me giddy.
*loves your icon liek whoa* I was just thinking about that movie the other night.
I see you have Lord Peter listed. When did you discover those novels, and what do you like best about Peter?
I first encountered Lord Peter via the Mary Russell books by Laurie R. King (he makes a cameo appearence in "A Letter of Mary"), but didn't know who he was until the Russ-L
group enlightened me. That was in high school I believe and I read all the books straightaway, though I'm due for a rereading.
Peter is such a fabulous character; I can't think of an author brave enough to write a character like him and not have scads of people claiming he's gay (I guess that may happen to Lord Peter, but I don't delve into that fandom online). But despite his flippant talk, he really is quite a "knight in shining armor" -- of a sort anyway LOL. He seems like he would be a very interesting person to talk to; I think that must be what I like best. He's always interesting, there's always something new to discover.
I think you're the first person I've met who encountered Lord Peter *first* in the Russell books. I was ecstatic when I encountered his nameless self in "A Letter of Mary," but that was because I was already in love with the man. :-)
I can't think of an author brave enough to write a character like him and not have scads of people claiming he's gay
Just goes to show you how early I got into those books, that this never even crossed my mind as a possibility. I'm sure I've seen fic labelled as slash, but it doesn't seem to be quite the thing to accuse Peter of. Perhaps too many of his female fans are in love with him?
He seems like he would be a very interesting person to talk to
Oh, indeed! Isn't that what some of the people even *in* the novels say about him? They like how he talks, and would invite him to tea purely for the sake of his conversational skills....
Wow, you have a ton of interests listed.
Homeschooling! I was homeschooled, so I'm interested in hearing why this is on your list. Were you? How was it down here in CA? Were you parents pioneers in it or are you just interested in doing it for your kids?
I was homeschooled from K through 7th. At that point I became an impossible morass of teen angst and hormones, so my mom sent me to school for two years. (She had me repeat 7th in public school for reasons that have never been entirely clear to me, since I wasn't behind my age group in anything but math. After that I went to 8th at a private school, where I spent an entire school year wasting time. Seriously, I don't think anything useful came out of that experience. Blah.)
When I hit highschool age, I petitioned my dad to let me stay home again, but since he and my mom were both working at that point, it was decided that instead of making me go to highschool, I could take the CHESPE (GED for under-18 kids...same test, different names, for whatever reason) and go to community college instead. Yay!
I think homeschooling was really good for me overall. I feel badly now about the hell I put my poor mother trough in the year before she sent me off to school, but other than that it was good. I was never very good with math, but going to school did not cure me of this, alas, so I don't blame that on being homeschooled. I do blame homeschooling for the fact that I'm never satisfied with my current amount of available reading time. When you have the option of finishing all your work ASAP and then using the remaining time to read novels for most of your formative years, you become incredibly spoiled. I just don't have time to read 2-4 books every week these days. Woe.
The one negative thing I did get out of homeschooling was a sincere faith in all authority figures. It seems silly, but it really took me a while to figure out that not all professors and bosses, etc had my best interests at heart. It took me even longer to realize that some of them? Really were just self-absorbed jerks. And that some actually didn't like me, and wanted to make me unhappy. This was rather upsetting, but I've tried not to let the experience make me too cynical, though sometimes I question my success in this vein.
As a point of interest, I always get asked if I found homeschooling repressive or if it made me socially inhibited. Since I am the loudest, most sarcastic person I know, this baffles me. Anyone who thinks white Christian homeschoolers are repressed is invited to Sunday dinner at my folks'. They should probably bring a sense of humor and earplugs (my mom's favorite quote of mine from when I was a kid: "When you put your fingers in your ears, we sound totally normal.")
I don't know too much about the homeschooling political climate here in CA. if my parents ever met with opposition, I didn't know about it. My mother-in-law started up and ran a huge, very successful homeschooling group here for many, many years, and my parents enrolled me in it early on when we were getting started. Later they started their own, smaller group. I think if I remember correctly they didn't feel like they were getting enough bang for their buck, and the massive size of the group bothered them. In any case, they weren't really pioneers, though my mother-in-law certainly was.
Naturally, Bill and I plan to homeschool any kids we have if at all possible. Hopefully I'm up for the challenge. :)
At that point I became an impossible morass of teen angst and hormones, so my mom sent me to school for two years.
LOL. I was homeschooled from 3rd grade on up through high school. I honestly can't believe my mom put up with me all that time--specifically, during the first year (I was an intractible little witch who couldn't forgive her for taking me away from my friends) and then, yeah, the 7th grade.
I think homeschooling was really good for me overall.
I was never very good with math, but going to school did not cure me of this, alas, so I don't blame that on being homeschooled.
LOL, no, I'm the same way, and my dad is great with math. What I know is because he took the time to sit me down and explain it all. Which doesn't mean I retained very much!
I do blame homeschooling for the fact that I'm never satisfied with my current amount of available reading time.
WORD! My mom had to force me to do other things, after she realized I was spending upwards of 8 hours a day reading. (This was the period during which I could reread the LotR trilogy in under a week.) And I do desperately miss those lovely hours.
As a point of interest, I always get asked if I found homeschooling repressive or if it made me socially inhibited.
LOL. Me too. My brothers are proof of the opposite, rather as you point out. I, myself, am rather shy and introverted, but I imagine it would have been no different had I remained in school. Grissom (CSI) says he was a "ghost" in high school, and that would have been me.
In fact, I think one of the best things I got out of homeschooling was learning not to care (at least inside my own head) what other people think about things, and to make up my own mind, and do only what I choose to do, without giving into pressure.
I don't know too much about the homeschooling political climate here in CA. if my parents ever met with opposition, I didn't know about it.
I've got to do some research on this topic. Oregon (where I grew up) was very supportive of homeschooling, but I distinctly recall an air of furtiveness, when new families would show up in our groups, having moved to our town from out of state in order to avoid government seizure of their children. Glad to hear CA wasn't one of those backward little states.
I gather that at one point is was much more difficult to homeschool here, but then a group of lawyers got together to help homeschooling groups fight seizures attempts at state gov't micromanaging and basically enforce the parents' rights. That, I think, is the climate I grew up in. Glad to hear Oregon is sensible about these things. My dad says that typically the more rural a state, the easier it is to homeschool, though I'm sure there are exceptions to this rule.
As turnabout is fair play, you can ask me something if you like. :)
I'm ripe for "conversion," being that the Democrats annoy me with their superiority complex and lack of moral logic, and the Republicans (which I am currently, sort of) annoy me by their occasional plain stupidity. I've gone so far as to look up libertarianism online a bit, and found it refreshing the face of partisan idiocy.
So why are you libertarian (if you are)? What are the pros and cons of this stance for our government and society?
Ha! Trust you to pick the one thing I'd least rather answer. It's enormously hard to boil down, and I get criticized about it nearly every time it comes up. But seeing as it's you, I'll try.
I don't belong to the party, but I have self-identified as a Libertarian for a very long time. I did vote Republican until recently, thinking they were less of a threat to liberty than the Democrats, but now both parties seem equally oppressive and I've started voting my conscience. This is both freeing and frustrating, since I've had to resign myself that I'm 'wasting' my vote, but the only way I know to get the two big parties' attention to my concerns is to keep wasting my vote, and encouraging others to waste theirs as well.
As to the why... I had a history/civics teacher in highschool who kept pounding into our heads that in a democracy (which the US is not, but that's another topic), it's always the rights of the minority view that get trampled, and so they must be protected. We protect our own freedoms by protecting the freedoms of others. Add into the mix that I've always been the outsider, the one with the minority opinion, that I have a tendency to see both good and bad in most points of view, and that I hate coercion in all its forms, and my resultant position seems fairly inevitable.
When I look at the Rs and Ds, I see that they have one overriding commonality: each side wants to impose its own values on the other side. Which is human nature, really, but the problem is that each side accuses the other of trying to inflict its values on the whole, without realizing that their own side is doing exactly the same thing. And people are frightened and/or offended by the other side's values, without realizing that the other side is, with just as much cause, equally frightened and offended by theirs. Most people want to do what they think is morally right; the two sides just don't agree what 'right' is.
The thing is, there is no objective, universally recognized 'proof' that one set of values is superior to any other. So it's all a matter of belief and opinion, and to apply coercion to a group of people to go along with your opinion... well, when a religion does it, pretty much everybody agrees that it's wrong. But when it comes to politics, the same people accept coercion without thought. Supposedly we gave up the 'might makes right' view generations ago, but I don't see any meaningful difference between the strong oppressing the weak and the many oppressing the few.
For me, the strength of libertarianism is that it respects the rights of individuals to live according to their personal morals and values, as long as they don't actively harm others (not harming others being the minimum standard of behaviour required for us to live together peaceably). It promotes diversity and acceptance. It keeps government out of the way of people, so that they can get on with their lives and achievements. And I believe that it's closer to the vision that the Founders had for this country than anything the Rs and Ds have in mind.
[cont. from above]
The hardest thing about being a Libertarian is living with the criticism. Liberals think we're heartless ultra-conservatives, and conservatives think we're amoral ultra-liberals; and pretty much everybody thinks we're selfish, irresponsible, or just plain nuts. And it's true that there are plenty of selfish, irresponsible, nutty Libertarians. But that doesn't invalidate the underlying principles of the system, which are personal choice and responsibility.
One objection that comes up a lot is 'Libertarians don't want to take care of the poor'. Um, no. Plenty of Libertarians are in favor of helping the poor, we just don't think the government (a) is any good at it, or (b) has any right to force people to give up their hard-earned money so that the government can decide who to give it to. I'd prefer to decide, thanks very much, how much of my income I can afford to give away and who I think should get it; plus, I can cut out the bureaucracy in the middle. And when people meet each others' needs directly, it binds them together through fellow feeling, compassion, and gratitude. When the government collects it up and dishes it out, it only increases feelings of entitlement and alienation.
Similarly, I've seen it said that Libertarians don't care about the environment. But this argument doesn't take into account how difficult it is to pollute your own land, air, and water without also polluting your neighbors' land, air, and water--which is not allowed, since by libertarian principles you cannot harm others' property.
In fact, the answer to both of those objections and other similar ones is that libertarianism doesn't stop anybody from doing good works. Anyone who wants to can give away all their money, work for Habitat for Humanity, contribute to the Nature Conservancy, join a voluntary socialist enclave, or any participate in any other activity that they think helps people--what they couldn't do is coerce others into supporting their own personal idea of 'good works'. Yes, there will be gaps in the system, people and issues that aren't covered. This is unfortunate, but anybody who thinks there aren't gaps in the system now is badly mistaken. The ultimate question is: what combination of strengths and weaknesses do we want in our system? I simply prefer the combination of freedom and responsibility promoted by libertarian philosophy.
Of course, the other con about libertarianism is that we'll never be more than an annoyance to the Rs and Ds; we'll never live in a libertarian system. Only in Alaska, as far as I know, does the Libertarian party have any real influence. But if the best we can do is stand up for freedom and perhaps slow the present slide into totalitarianism, then that's the best we can do. I think it's important that somebody does it.
Um. I can't believe I wrote that much, sorry. But I usually find myself unable to answer this type of question, so perhaps it was just time for it all to come out.
The hardest thing about being a Libertarian is living with the criticism. Liberals think we're heartless ultra-conservatives, and conservatives think we're amoral ultra-liberals; and pretty much everybody thinks we're selfish, irresponsible, or just plain nuts.
Heh. I've heard. Actually, the "irresponsible" tag is the only one that really worries me. I find the live and let live, personal responsibility thing so appealing, such a happy medium, that I wonder if it's simply irresponsible; if I just like the idea that I don't need to push good moral values at people.
And then I wonder just how brainwashed I may have unwittingly been by my culture, if I think that coercion of any kind is valid (with the exception of rules/consequences for children who are still learning).
The abortion issue, for instance: clearly, one side isn't going to win out over the other. I believe life begins at conception, it's the simplest and most logical explanation, and that puts me on the wrong side of a lot of people and issues. But it's life and death; and if I were libertarian, would I be able to fight for the rights of the unborn? The justification for abortion is to prevent "harm" to the mother (generally), but if the fetus is a person already, then abortion should likewise be banned as a harmful practice.
I guess I wonder if even this happy medium would really be a happy medium, as long as people are capable of twisting definitions of people, harm, and freedom to suit their own ends.
But if the best we can do is stand up for freedom and perhaps slow the present slide into totalitarianism, then that's the best we can do. I think it's important that somebody does it.
That's *awesome.* And if I someday discover that I can accept the rest of it, I may sauter over and join you all. It's not like my R vote counts here in California, anyway!
Um. I can't believe I wrote that much, sorry. But I usually find myself unable to answer this type of question, so perhaps it was just time for it all to come out.
I'm really glad; that was very informative, and makes a lot of sense with what I know about you. Thanks!
Ha! Trust you to pick the one thing I'd least rather answer.
When I look at the Rs and Ds, I see that they have one overriding commonality: each side wants to impose its own values on the other side. Which is human nature, really, but the problem is that each side accuses the other of trying to inflict its values on the whole, without realizing that their own side is doing exactly the same thing.
This is what drives me insane about politics, and makes me want to run away from the whole thing and live alone on a desert island, sometimes.
Also--have you seen "Firefly"? Or the movie "Serenity"? Because it was that movie which made me go look up libertarianism. One of the characters, talking about their government (which really is unabashedly totalitarian), says, "We meddle. We're meddlesome. We're in their homes and in their heads and we haven't the right." Both Rs and Ds want to do exactly that, and it just feels wrong to me.
For me, the strength of libertarianism is that it respects the rights of individuals to live according to their personal morals and values
That's what impressed me about what I've heard regarding the libertarian stance on education, on abortion, etc. Freedom of conscience, within reason.
You have several intriguing things (I was just reminded that I originally friended you because you were into Redwall!) listed.
Translate/explain this: "tlhingan hol."
That's how you say "the Klingon language" in Klingon! In high school my sister got a copy of Mark Okrand's Klingon handbook from a friend, and barely touched it. The summer before my senior year in college, I was bored, and decided to learn to speak it. I made flash cards and a MS Excel translation program and everything. All I can do now is count to ten and ask for the bathroom, but that ought to do me. :)
I knew it sounded familiar. I never learned the language properly, but I did own that book at one point. :-)
Knock yourself out. And I do mean literally. But do it gently.
|Date:||July 17th, 2006 05:01 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: I volunteer
Red vs. blue!
Expound upon this, and why it's on your list, and whether it's because the red/blue dichotomy shows up everywhere and nobody knows why (or if that means I'm just a sadly obsessed Eng. Lit. major who looks for symbols).
|Date:||July 17th, 2006 07:00 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: I volunteer
|(Link)|Expound upon this, and why it's on your list, and whether it's because the red/blue dichotomy shows up everywhere and nobody knows why
That...is one of the coolest ideas I have heard in a long time.
A linguistic version of the Toynbee Tiles
|Date:||July 17th, 2006 08:27 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: I volunteer
Wow, I hadn't heard of those. How weird!
And no, more like something that Jung should have catalogued as an archetype, at least a modern one. I first noticed it when I watched TRON, and realized that the good guys glowed blue and the bad guys red--just like a certain pair of lightsabers. After that, I was on the lookout, and it shows up everywhere in film (also in written sf and fantasy, though less so).
Might be based in the water/fire dichotomy, but I really have no idea.
|Date:||July 17th, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: I volunteer
Originally in TRON, the good guys were to be yellow and the bad guys blue, but it was changed somewhere along the line.
That's an interesting thought, although I'd think blood/death would be the original inspiration for Red = Evil. I'd say Red Vs. Blue is at least as prevalent as Red Vs. Green, but did the latter only come to pass with the advent of the traffic signal?
I imagine there's at least one big book or treatise written on the Red vs. Blue concept, or on the symbolism of certain colors in human culture.
|Date:||July 17th, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: I volunteer
I actually heard that they use red vs blue on game shows and things because nobody, colorblind or otherwise, can mix them up.
Phew, this took me a while to get to. Sorry 'bout that.
Yes, Red vs. Blue. Unfortunately, not nearly as profound as your above conversation. The red vs. blue in my profile refers to the fictional web series "Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles", a machinima series using the Microsoft games Halo and Halo 2. For anyone who doesn't know what machinima is, it's a type of animation in which the production team of the series will use a pre-rendered engine to animate their characters. So they basically use the video game to tell a story. What these guys did is they took the multiplayer level of Halo and created their various characters using the profiles of the game. The guy who thought this up thought that it would be interesting to give the nameless, faceless figures whose sole purpose is to shoot and kill the other team a story. What they spawned is this often hilarious sci-fi comedy series with the two teams, a red team and a blue team, stationed in this apparently worthless box canyon during a civil war. They groups are small, so they have really no interest in actually fighting each other for this worthless piece of land and the series showcases the adventures and hijinks that they get into as they combat their own boredom. It's quite good.
I see "Vila Restal" on your interests, which makes you a Blake's 7 fan.
Why is this show a good show? Tell me what you like about it, and about Vila in particular.
Blake's 7 sucked me in the first time I saw it, back when I was a kid. I still don't know what held such appeal for me then, though I think it was probably the snappy patter of the characters. Looking back on it now, the thing that still attracts me to this series is the depth and complexity of the characters and thier relationships, and the depth and complexity of the morality of the show - there are no easy answers, no black and white, just shades of grey.
Vila himself I love for two reasons - when the series starts he's the eternal optimist, with boundless enthusiasm, who lives by his wits. He's smart, he's charming, he's funny, and he's rather cute. As things drag on and get darker, he gets betrayed by everyone he cares for, and he turns into the ultimate woobie I just wanna scoop up into my arms and tell it'll be okay.
|Date:||July 17th, 2006 05:34 pm (UTC)|| |
Right, I'll bite.
I have a feeling I should recognize this term, but I can't remember what it means. Explain?
|Date:||July 17th, 2006 06:01 pm (UTC)|| |
Er, yes you should. It is the study of the saints - history, biography, classification, theology. In fact, the Communion of Saints is a major part of my own view of Christianity. I even wrote a hymn text about it: http://fpb.livejournal.com/125215.html
Ah yes, of course! Though, mind you, I was raised in a "charismatic" Protestant church, and both my parents had been raised Baptist. So anything I've learned about specifically Catholic Christianity has been through reading Catholic authors.
|Date:||July 17th, 2006 07:13 pm (UTC)|| |
I hope we all believe in the Communion of Saints? As I said, it is an important part of my own faith.
Well, I suppose that would depend on how one defines "the Communion of Saints." Your hymn resonantes with me, so I'd guess we're not far off in our views.
Mostly I was just saying that unless one was born to highly intellectual parents, a Protestant Christian in America is unlikely to have read much about the canonized saints, much less know the term for the study of them.