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  • aiaslives 1:06 pm on April 7, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cool   

    “The Weaker Argument Defeats the Stronger” by The Delgados 

    What a cool song.

  • aiaslives 11:46 pm on March 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply  

    Notes on Twilight 

    Twilight is a cultural icon whether you like it or not. It has a very homey vibe and the writing is half-decent and simple. The plot is engaging because it’s perfectly average. It managed to set the background (moving to a perpetually rainy small town, from a big sunny city) very well, and hence defines the man (love interest) before he comes into the picture. This means there’s no journey, no acclimitization period for the reader in which decisions can be doubted — you either accept Edward or move on.
    This is also why the resulting fanfiction (50 shades) doubled down on this theme. The setting can’t be stolen, so it’s just the actions that are amplified, and it leads to sadist smut.
    Bella Swan calls her father “Charlie” until the reader is comfortable enough to call him dad. It’s a decent name, average but respectable.

    Twilight is written by a woman. In the hands of a man, it would not have had Vampires with weird abilities and would have involved some mysticism. Mind-reading would have been handled differently.
    it should have been only one novel, with Bella a vampire forever in the end. The author tried to exercise her artistic license and get off the money train by writing The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, which made the case that only men can write women well.

    Joe Hill’s Horns is a good novel to compare. Its plot is (slightly) better than Twilight’s, and it doesn’t have a sequel. Joe Hill, being the son of Stephen King, added a decent amount of disturbing imagery in his book. The movie stars Daniel Radcliffe, and “Juno” “Temple” as the deceased love interest.
    Compare this to DC Comics’ Amazons who might as well be men. A more engaging story would involve a chaotic female society that wisps like a cloud and makes statues of men, with the one aberration leading to Diana (Wonder Woman).

    Kristen Stewart, who plays the female lead in the theatrical adaptation, has a Melon front. Compare her with a Thal woman and you’ll see. I think she was cast perfectly because she personifies the inner social competitiveness of a woman. Hermione Granger is just a plot accessory when compared, and arguably a cardboard cutout in comparison for women. Bella Swan is liked, and not Kristen Stewart. Emma Watson is famous, not Hermione Granger.

    The male lead is a porcelain god. An unattainable ideal for a woman. The actor who plays Edward Cullen has the features but not the strength of character.

    Gary Cooper, who plays Howard Roark, has similar features.

    Also see Gabriel Macht (Harvey Spector) from Suits for a (comparatively) more “realistic” portrayal of an Alpha/Sigma.

    (1:45 to 3:35, 4:30 to 5:05)

    Henry Cavill is popular but he can’t compete with these men. He can play Sherlock Holmes but he just doesn’t have social graces written in his face. His face is blank and that is why people credit his dressing sense and his muscles.

    The soundtrack is incredible. Here’s how I would rank it:

    • Eyes On Fire
    • Full Moon
    • Flightless Bird, American Mouth
    • Supermassive Black Hole
    • Tremble For My Beloved
    • Decode
    • I Caught Myself
    • Bella’s Lullaby
    • Go All The Way (Into Twilight)
    • Decode [Acoustic]
    • Leave Out All The Rest
    • Spotlight (Into Twilight)
    • Love Is Worth The Fall
    • Never Think

    This is the cover art:

    This borrows from Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. “Twilight” substitues for the pearl earring, with the actually handsome vampire juxtaposed over the plain girl made beautiful by the impeccable lighting and purity of soul. Edward is staring at the earring. The “pearl earring” here mocks the premise.

    “Twilight” here is the loss of virginity.

    From “Eyes on Fire“:
    And just in time
    In the right place
    Suddenly I’m melting with grace

    It’s not just two hooks and a beat, it’s a story. Kids overhearing adult chatter.

    Flightless Bird, American Mouth” is surreal, the lyrics don’t make sense.

    If there’s a sape-melon-thal triad in every situation, then the context and environment in Twilight is Thal.

    If women are married to the highest power then sape women are mirrors, and Edward Cullen is a melon in disguise.
    Who are these books written for, then, really? Who was Harry Potter written for? What awesome power does a half-decent story hold to inspire more than 2 million fanfics?


  • aiaslives 10:00 am on February 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: post-jazz?   

    “Seiren” by Mouse on the Keys 

  • aiaslives 9:21 am on January 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

    “Reynardine” by Isobell Campbell 

    One evenin’ as I rambled
    Among the spring in time
    I overheard a young woman
    Converse with Reynardine

    Her hair was black and her eyes were blue
    Her lips as red as wine
    And he smiled to gaze upon her
    Did that sly, bold Reynardine

    He said, “If by chance you should look for me
    Perhaps you’ll not me find
    For I’ll be in my castle
    Inquire for Reynardine?

    Sun and dark, she followed him
    His eyes did brightly shine
    And he led her over the mountain
    Did that sly, bold Reynardine

  • aiaslives 9:13 am on January 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

    “Is It Wicked not to Care?” by Belle and Sebastian 

    Is it wicked not to care when they say that you’re mistaken
    Thinking hopes and lots of dreams that aren’t there?
    Is it wicked not to care when you’ve wasted many hours
    Talking endlessly to anyone that’s there?
    I know the truth awaits me
    But still I hesitate because of fear

    Skipping tickets making rhymes
    Is that all that you believe in?
    Wearing rags to make you pretty by design
    Rusting armor for effect
    It’s not fun to watch the rust grow
    For it will all be over when you’re dead

    Counting acts and clutching thoughts
    By the river where the moss grows
    Over rocks the water running all the time
    Is it wicked when you smile Even though you feel like crying
    Even though you could be sick at any time?

    But if there was a sequel
    Would you love me as an equal?
    Would you love me till I’m dead

    Or is there someone else instead?

  • aiaslives 9:04 am on January 21, 2021 Permalink | Reply

    “Piazza, New York Catcher” by Belle and Sebastian 

    Elope with me Miss Private and we’ll sail around the world

    I will be your Ferdinand and you my wayward girl

    How many nights of talking in hotel rooms can you take?

    How many nights of limping round on pagan holidays?

    Oh elope with me in private and we’ll set something ablaze
    Life outside the diamond is a wrench

    From the comments:

    The song is about when Stuart Murdoch was dating his future wife, Marisa Privitera (they married in 2007). At the time they were both baseball fans and would meet at the ballpark. This would have been around 2002 when rumors were spread about Piazza being gay. There’s a Rolling Stone article from earlier this year explaining it.

    • – –

    I’ll always remembering ruining this song for a Northern Irish girl I was friends with by telling her that it was partially about baseball, which is something I geek out about. She shared it with me and mentioned that she listened to it on repeat on a long bus ride home. I immediately said “Hey, this song is about baseball!” and tried to explain all the baseball imagery to her. She was completely uninterested. That fanaticism was a part of me that she hated. She thought the song was referring to a “catcher” catching a train at 3:18, a time rather than Piazza’s batting average. She missed the Willie Mays pun entirely!

  • aiaslives 10:09 am on November 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: browsers, firefox, privacy   

    Browser Privacy 


    It’s only about 80% done. Thought I might as well put it up.

    WordPress has terrible formatting, so here’s the org file (aka plain text file written in org-mode syntax):

    Use this online org-mode viewer to avoid pain:
    (or better, just use emacs)

  • aiaslives 9:19 am on November 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: rich   

    “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” by Iron and Wine 

  • aiaslives 7:14 pm on October 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “As long as I have you” by Alpaca Sports 

  • aiaslives 10:05 pm on October 4, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: If wishes were horses   

    “Emily Kane” by Art Brut 

    So much about you I miss
    Everytime I see a couple kiss
    I hope this song finds you fame
    I want school kids on buses singing your name

    I don’t even know where she lives
    I’ve not seen her in ten years
    Nine months, three weeks, four days
    Six hours, thirteen minutes, five seconds

    From the comments:

    > He actually tracked her down, and met up with her about 5 years after this was released. She wasn’t interested
    > Talked about it at a gig

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