Okay, so I'd seen this show before in prior years, and never given it that much thought. Tonight, I was over at a friend's house for a dinner party, though, and the TV happened to be operating in the background with the sound turned down. After a while, when conversation in our end of the room was dying down, another girl asked to have the captions turned on so we could follow it, and I got treated to a goodly chunk of an episode of What Not to Wear on TLC.

Has anyone else watched this show? Is it just me, or is it incredibly skeevy? If someone secretly videotaped me without my knowledge or consent for two weeks, then came to my job and publicly humiliated me in front of all of my coworkers by making a big, dramatic speech about how awful my clothes were, and then tried to pressure me into accepting a bribe in order to allow them to take most of my clothes away and replace them with ones they felt were more stylish...yeah, no. They would not be getting a new contestant. What they would be getting would be very sincere attempt to find out if I could sue them for anything along the lines of harassment, defamation, or invasion of privacy.

I guess a lot of women are reluctant to go on the show and there's wheedling and convincing and harping on how awful they look and by God they had better live up to society's version of femininity if they want to get anywhere in this world until they're shamed into giving in. Utterly despicable. This is not to mention that they insist on putting every single woman in high heels, regardless of her job or the fact that high heels are basically torture devices. Then half the time I can't tell any stylistic difference between the outfits they say are terrible and the ones that are supposedly the best thing since sliced bread anyway. And with this one woman, they seemed to be freaking the fuck out about how she wore a baggy gray hoodie when she was walking the dog on the weekends. Really?

I'm having flashbacks to Letter from an Unknown Woman, here. Why do other women perpetuate this bullshit?
So here's the deal: The Film-makers' Coop is being evicted from the space where they have had their archive and their offices for about nine years for the sake of a new project headed by one Alanna Heiss, who just plain doesn't seem to get that kicking these guys out is a move that could bring an end to this organization. As of now, they don't have the funding they would need to support relocating thousands of 16mm prints and a massive paper archive. Articles about the situation are here, here, and here.

At this time the Film-makers' Coop is often the only resource available for exhibitors in need of prints of rare independent works, or for independent filmmakers in need of some form of distribution. As at least one of the articles mentions, in some cases the Coop possesses the only known copy of a film. Losing this resource would be a massive blow to organizations like TIE, who rented films from them for their 2008 fundraising event, and also any museums wanting to expose the public to alternate cinemas.

Here's the part that requires effort on our part: going to this page and sending a message to NY Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin asking for support for the Coop, either in remaining where they are or in moving to another location. Even if you're not into experimental film, think of the potential loss in terms of art history. No way should we lose this collection just because some nitwit wanted to start an online radio station.

Please spread the word to your flists and to any relevant communities, too.
I'm hoping to do my book and movie reviews sometime this week, but it hasn't happened yet. There's a lot of other stuff going on right now.

Anyway, on Tuesday in women and film we watched Letter from an Unknown Woman, which is a melodrama that's apparently still pretty popular with certain audiences. It's what was known as a "women's film" or "weepy." It came out in 1948, and it really pissed me off. A proper review will be forthcoming, but in the meantime, I would like to present you with my own little Letter from an Unknown Woman In Five Minutes. And yes, this does contain spoilers, since I'm going over the entire story. I personally wouldn't recommend that you see this movie anyway, but if you're really into angst and self-sacrificing love and all that nonsense and actually want to see this thing, you might want to steer clear.

Basically, it goes like this. Stefan, a former virtuoso pianist, receives a letter the night before he is to take part in a duel. In it, Lisa relates her story, starting out with a statement to the effect that she is probably already dead as he reads it, and that she has always been his. Always. So we go into the letter and see the story unfold.

So this thing is basically like an electronic version of madlibs.

To Intelligently Run

Doctor Horrible and Penny were celebrating a postmodern Valentine's Day together. Doctor Horrible had cooked a white dinner and they ate in a secret lab by candlelight.

"My darling," Penny said, stroking Doctor Horrible's finger, "I have something for you." She gave a box to Doctor Horrible. "It is but an expensive token of my glandular love."

Doctor Horrible opened the box. Inside was a big duckling! He gazed at it achingly. Then he gazed at Penny achingly. "It's deadly," Doctor Horrible said. "Come here and let me run you."

Just then, a beefy crone sprang out of hiding and cackled like the wind in the willows. "Your happiness will not last!" she said in a glistening voice and dropped a piece of paper onto the dinner table.

Penny read it. "It's a page from a diary. It says...it says that you're my brother."

They stared at each other happily as the crone cackled some more. Doctor Horrible's foot began to tremble. Then Penny shrugged, pulled out a death ray, and hit the crone on her nose. She fell over dead.

"Problem solved!" Doctor Horrible said and kissed Penny naughtily. "This is a hirsute Valentine's Day!"

They slowly burned the diary page in the candle and never told another soul.

And then they bounced each other all night long.

And (hopefully) later today: Doctor Horrible fansketches. I drew them last week, and keep forgetting to scan them.

ETA to add one that's eerily on-topic for Doctor Horrible )

Apparently Postmodern Nose is too badass for the Evil League of Evil.
And I am juuuuust familiar enough with Half-Life canon to find that extremely amusing.

Let me explain.

Back in May, I got this email through the AMIA listserv:

Dear AMIA List Serve subscribers and archivists,

I know thousands of you will get this email so thank you for taking a moment to read it.

I am searching for some media archives of a 1970s congressional hearing. Wed. Aug 3, 1977 Senator Kennedy in the Senate discusses a CIA covert program codenamed “MKUltra”- this was a brainwashing research project in the ‘50s and 60’s.

I am looking to find this footage, select pieces of it, and obtain copyright information (or is it public domain?) for use in a COMMERCIAL FEATURE FILM.

Please help!! Any references or knowledge would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!


Though the email was signed "Anonymous," the sender's name comes up as Gordon Freeman. A few more emails have come in from the same guy, looking for the owner of the rights to this image, asking for more information on MKUltra media, and now looking for someone to do tape transfers.

Spoofie is feeling rather curious about all of this (and before anyone asks, I don't consider this to be a breach of privacy, due to the fact that these emails were posted to a large, public listserv).
It really bothers me when someone says "UFOs don't exist," or, even worse, "I don't believe in UFOs." It's not because I'm some saucer nut, or because I've seen one myself. It's because I think that such statements display an astounding lack of understanding of how to use the English language on the part of the speaker.

Let me explain.

A UFO is, by very clear definition (as in it's what the letters actually stand for), an Unidentified Flying Object. Not a flying saucer, not a secret government aircraft--something that is flying and that is not identified.

Now, say you see a speck in the sky, flying along, minding its own business, and you watch it a while. Chances are it's a bird or a plane (or Superman!), but let's say it's high enough that you can't distinguish anything about it beyond the fact that it exists and it's flying.


left public for the glorious benefit of the unwashed masses



November 2012



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