al_zorra: (Default)
([personal profile] al_zorra Apr. 25th, 2017 04:01 pm)
      . . . . Politico is running a fascinating, illuminating report about journalism and why it is the way it is.  Or another way to put it, this report informs us to why the journalists and talking heads called the latest US presidential so wrong. This applies at least as much in every other country that still has has any vestige of a history of free expression, free press and investigative journalism -- whether Britain, Japan, etc.  Read the Politico piece here.

The Media Bubble Is Worse Than You Think
We crunched the data on where journalists work and how fast it’s changing. The results should worry you.
I've pulled a pertinent sequence, which follows below.  However the report is much more detailed and long than that.  It has graphs and stats like crazy.

.... The newspaper industry has jettisoned hundreds of thousands of jobs, due to falling advertising revenues. Dailies have shrunk sections, pages and features; some have retreated from daily publication; hundreds have closed. Daily and weekly newspaper publishers employed about 455,000 reporters, clerks, salespeople, designers and the like in 1990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By January 2017, that workforce had more than halved to 173,900. Those losses were felt in almost every region of the country.

As newspapers have dwindled, internet publishers have added employees at a bracing clip. According to BLS data, a startling boom in “internet publishing and broadcasting” jobs has taken place. Since January 2008, internet publishing has grown from 77,900 jobs to 206,700 in January 2017. In late 2015, during Barack Obama’s second term, these two trend lines—jobs in newspapers, and jobs in internet publishing—finally crossed. For the first time, the number of workers in internet publishing exceeded the number of their newspaper brethren. Internet publishers are now adding workers at nearly twice the rate newspaper publishers are losing them.

This isn’t just a shift in medium. It’s also a shift in sociopolitics, and a radical one. Where newspaper jobs are spread nationwide, internet jobs are not: Today, 73 percent of all internet publishing jobs are concentrated in either the Boston-New York-Washington-Richmond corridor or the West Coast crescent that runs from Seattle to San Diego and on to Phoenix. The Chicagoland area, a traditional media center, captures 5 percent of the jobs, with a paltry 22 percent going to the rest of the country. And almost all the real growth of internet publishing is happening outside the heartland, in just a few urban counties, all places that voted for Clinton. So when your conservative friends use “media” as a synonym for “coastal” and “liberal,” they’re not far off the mark.

What caused the majority of national media jobs to concentrate on the coasts? An alignment of the stars? A flocking of like-minded humans? The answer is far more structural, and far more difficult to alter: It was economics that done the deed.

The magic of the internet was going to shake up the old certainties of the job market, prevent the coagulation of jobs in the big metro areas, or so the Web utopians promised us in the mid-1990s. The technology would free internet employees to work from wherever they could find a broadband connection. That remains true in theory, with thousands of Web developers, writers and producers working remotely from lesser metropolises.

But economists know something the internet evangelists have ignored: All else being equal, specialized industries like to cluster. Car companies didn’t arise in remote regions that needed cars—they arose in Detroit, which already had heavy industry, was near natural resources, boasted a skilled workforce and was home to a network of suppliers that could help car companies thrive. As industries grow, they bud and create spinoffs, the best example being the way Silicon Valley blossomed from just a handful of pioneering electronics firms in the 1960s. Seattle’s rise as a tech powerhouse was seeded by Microsoft, which moved to the area in 1979 and helped create the ecosystem that gave rise to companies like Amazon.


A new Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite trailer, showing off the villain: Ultron Sigma, the fusion of Marvel's Ultron and Mega Man X's Sigma. He has a lightsabre.

Also a bunch of returning characters, including Strider Hiryu, Thor, Hawkeye and Chris Redfield.

Here's hoping for some X-Men characters.
([syndicated profile] slacktivist_feed Apr. 25th, 2017 06:49 pm)

Posted by Fred Clark

Today is the centennial of the birth of Ella Fitzgerald, and thus a day worth celebrating. Also: The Temple of Knowledge; the trash-can-as-trash problem; literal navel-gazing with creationists; and Orrin Hatch refers to Native Americans as "far-left special interests."
informationgeek: (SheHulk)
([personal profile] informationgeek posting in [community profile] scans_daily Apr. 25th, 2017 01:53 pm)

"The title She-Hulk evokes light-hearted stories about a Jennifer Walters who is at peace with herself and in full control of her powers. This isn’t that book. On the other hand, the title Hulk implies all of the baggage that comes with that comic’s 50+ year history—the ongoing battle with the monster within—and that’s why it’s more appropriate for this series. Jen went through major trauma in Civil War II, and Mariko and Nico’s story will deal with the fallout of that trauma—the anxiety and anger, sometimes self-destructive, that comes along with it. If there is light at the end of the tunnel, Jen is going to have to search hard for it, and she’s going to have to battle with some pretty big monsters—including the one within—to find herself again."

- Axel Alonso

Story By: Mariko Tamaki
Art By: Nico Lean

Read More... )
radiantfracture: (two)
([personal profile] radiantfracture Apr. 25th, 2017 11:27 am)
Recently LB & S & I finished the first season of Legion.

The visual and sound design are amazing – particularly the sound, actually, which was reminiscent in parts of (what little I know about) Gaspar Noé’s soundscapes – for example, the use of low-frequency tones that make you tense and/or vaguely nauseous.

Legion is giddy and intoxicating, and each night when we were finished I walked home in a genuinely altered state.

Several Spoilers for Legion Season 1, and Some Points of Critique )

To sum up: brilliant sensory experience, clever structure, rollercoaster-of-the-mind plot, and slightly disappointing lack of risk-taking with the characters/focus, given the other accomplishments of the show.



1. Though certainly the Kerry/Cary dyad doesn't split along traditional gender lines.

2. To be fair, that might actually be true, but it's not necessarily something to revel in, narratively.

"Emotional problems" might not be the right term here, since the story is at least ostensibly about mental illness, but Legion felt preoccupied with David's negotiation of his powers, rather than with the lived experience of mental illness itself. Then, I don't know where they're going with David's identity, or how close it will be to the comic character.
apiphile: (i hate that thing you love)
([personal profile] apiphile Apr. 25th, 2017 08:02 pm)

Please raise your hand if you're willing to do a yay/nay/partials-comments run through of the draft? The whole MS is a bit under 175k but the only bits you need to comment on are the ones with the marginal tags on them already. Comments of the variety of "cut/keep/Cut but from X point to Y point only", nothing more involved or stressful (advise reading the whole MS for context though).

aldersprig: (Marked)
([personal profile] aldersprig Apr. 25th, 2017 06:48 pm)
MARKED - 7.5

Nilien hesitated, looking at the letter. “Could I come with you? It’s just, it’s my first letter from my old school…”

“Well, I certainly would return it to you, but yes, if it will make you feel better, come along.” Vaudelle held the door for Nilien and Ember, and they strolled down the hallway, down another hallway Nilien had never been down, to Headmistress Draufer’s office.

read on...
aldersprig: (Evangaline)
([personal profile] aldersprig Apr. 25th, 2017 02:21 pm)

Originally posted February 15, 2012: more about the cat that would become Radar later.

Zenobia didn't give the cat a name, but she did leave a bowl of cream out for him every morning, and a bit of her dinner meat every evening.

Her Aunt Beulah had left her the cat, along with the property and the title, when she vanished into the mist one late-November evening. He was, at that point, already an elderly cat, if family memory held, but, in this case, family memory, generally a very reliable thing, seemed to falter.

read on!

Oh, dear.” Asta patted her nephew’s shoulder gingerly. “Not again?”

Will sighed and looked out the window. “Again. I managed to cover it up, the way you showed me…”

“But if this keeps happening, eventually the grandmothers and the mothers and the fussbudgets down at church are going to figure it out, no matter how small-minded they are,” Asta finished with a sigh. “And then they’re going to give you Willard’s choice.”

Read On!

For this repost story, something from 2011 that starts Radar’s story as well as the saga of Beryl’s relationship with her young man.

"But Mom..."

"Don't argue. You know it's your Aunt Beatrix's turn to host Thanksgiving, and you know we can't very well not show up only on her years."

"But Moooom," Beryl's younger sister Amy picked up the complaint, "it smells funny there."

"It's the cats," their older sister Chalcedony added. "Mom, come on. Someone needs to tell Beatrix that her house smells like cat pee."

Read On!
Courtesy of worldsfinestonline

"Warner Bros. Television and DC Entertainment today announced that executive producers Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter are teaming up for the all-new live-action drama series Titans, which will debut in 2018. Additionally, Warner Bros. Animation’s Young Justice: Outsiders the highly anticipated third season of the popular Young Justice series, is also ramping up for its first mission next year."

Young Justice: Outsiders
"In Young Justice: Outsiders, the teenage Super Heroes of the DC Universe come of age in an animated world of super-powers, Super-Villains and super secrets. In the highly anticipated new season, the team faces its greatest challenge yet as it takes on meta-human trafficking and the terrifying threat it creates for a society caught in the crossfire of a genetic arms race spanning the globe and the galaxy."

It will be paired with the new live-action Titans series!

"Titans follows a group of young soon-to-be Super Heroes recruited from every corner of the DC Universe. In this action-packed series, Dick Grayson emerges from the shadows to become the leader of a fearless band of new heroes, including Starfire, Raven and many others. Titans is a dramatic, live-action adventure series that will explore and celebrate one of the most popular comic book teams ever.

Titans will be written by Akiva Goldsman (Star Trek: Discovery, Underground), Geoff Johns (President & Chief Creative Officer, DC Entertainment; The Flash, Arrow) and Greg Berlanti (Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Supergirl). Goldsman, Johns, Berlanti and Sarah Schechter (Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Supergirl) are executive producers of the series from Weed Road Pictures and Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television."
([syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed Apr. 25th, 2017 06:00 pm)

Posted by Guest Reviewer



by Alexis Hall
October 8, 2016 · Riptide Publishing
GLBTRomanceContemporary Romance

This RITA® Reader Challenge 2017 review was written by HeatherT. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Long Contemporary category.

The summary:

Can the fully paid-up pansy make things right with the pink-tipped hipster?

A Spires Story

Alfie Bell is . . . fine. He’s got a six-figure salary, a penthouse in Canary Wharf, the car he swore he’d buy when he was eighteen, and a bunch of fancy London friends.

It’s rough, though, going back to South Shields now that they all know he’s a fully paid-up pansy. It’s the last place he’s expecting to pull. But Fen’s gorgeous, with his pink-tipped hair and hipster glasses, full of the sort of courage Alfie’s never had. It should be a one-night thing, but Alfie hasn’t met anyone like Fen before.

Except he has. At school, when Alfie was everything he was supposed to be, and Fen was the stubborn little gay boy who wouldn’t keep his head down. And now it’s a proper mess: Fen might have slept with Alfie, but he’ll probably never forgive him, and Fen’s got all this other stuff going on anyway, with his mam and her flower shop and the life he left down south.

Alfie just wants to make it right. But how can he, when all they’ve got in common is the nowhere town they both ran away from.

Here is HeatherT's review:

There are so many things right about Pansies, and I loved the author’s For Real ( A | BN | K | iB ) so much, that it feels like a betrayal that I did not love Pansies with the same deep and abiding love that I felt for For Real. Although I loved the writing, as I wrote this review I kept seeing more problems with the story and the grade plummeted as a result. The story focuses on Alfie, a man’s man, an “ordinary bloke” from a small town near the Scottish border. Alfie is back home from London for his best mate’s wedding and feeling self-conscious because he recently came out as gay to his family but not to anyone else in town. After accidentally shouting “Gay. I’m gay. I like cock!” at the wedding reception, he decides to go out and find some local action. He picks up a guy, Fen, at a local pub and the two go off and have hot sex. It is only afterwards, when Fen is unaccountably angry, that Alfie realizes that he knows Fen – the two went to high school together. And Alfie was a horrible bully to Fen.

As the story unfolds, Alfie has to come to terms with who he was, who he is now, and who he wants to be. Fen is more settled and comfortable with who he is, but he’s at a difficult time in his life. He has always known that he is genderqueer, so that isn’t a problem for him. He also knows that he has always had a thing for Alfie, even when Alfie was being a horrible bully to him. Fen’s mother recently died, so Fen is dealing with that, giving up his whole life and a serious boyfriend to come back north to try to run his mum’s flower shop, and he isn’t doing well. Into this plonks Alfie. Foolish, naïve Alfie with his messed-up priorities, his narrow understanding, his parochial family who love him but cannot seem to accept or understand his orientation, and his very fancy car.

The story is incredibly well written, with many funny, clever or touching lines and moments. As I read I kept thinking “oh, that would be a great quote for the review.” There is a scene where clueless but ever hopeful Alfie decides to help Fen by fixing a shower curtain rod that they had accidentally pulled out of the wall of Fen’s bath. The hilariousness of Alfie’s incompetence had me laughing so hard I scared my cats.

Alfie is a fully-developed character, even if he is one who we don’t like very much. He’s athletic, good looking and popular. He was viciously mean to Fen in high school, but he remembers it as a casual game – just a thing that guys do. He did all the things that one is expected to do – went to all the popular hang outs, dated girls, became an investment banker in London. His worldview is stunningly provincial – it’s a wonder he even managed to figure out he is gay.

Fen, on the other hand, has always been different. He left the small town, went to London and was a success in theater lighting design – he was an “It” guy in the London scene. A huge problem with the book is the characterization of Fen – we find out the above about Fen only late in the book and only through Alfie doing a Google search. The book is largely written from Alfie’s point of view, and unfortunately that means that we mostly see Fen only as Alfie sees him – as a beautiful sexy fey being and completely one-dimensional. I couldn’t get a clear picture in my head of what Fen looks like, and certainly couldn’t see him as a grown-up man. The cover of the book didn’t help, and the descriptions of Fen as constantly “curling up” in Alfie’s arms emphasized the characterization of Fen as something other than a grown up real person. That was a problem for me, especially because (1) as between the two of them, Fen is probably the better at adulting and (2) I don’t like reading about sex with a person I can’t see as an adult.

This brings us to the end of the book, and the more I thought about it, the more I had a problem with the ending. Alfie enthusiastically pitches in to help Fen make his mother’s flower shop successful. However, Fen’s dad points out that, unlike Alfie, Fen shouldn’t be hanging out in a small town being a florist. Fen should be in London pursuing his art and living his life fully. Alfie sees that he is holding Fen back and he leaves Fen and goes back to London, where he is miserable. After moping about for a while, Alfie’s best friends (who are great characters) point out that Fen is a grown person who can make his own decisions, and Alfie is treating Fen like a child by not trusting Fen to be able to decide on his own to stay in the small town, run a flower shop and be with Alfie. They pile into the car, drive north, all are reconciled and it is HEA.

Let’s think about that, shall we? Let’s say that instead of being a man, Fen was a woman. What would we think of a book where a woman gets together with the man who bullied and physically abused her in high school? Now, in fairness, the grade school bully from my childhood has reformed and I would do him in a stone-cold second, so I can believe that that scenario is possible. However, even if the bully genuinely reforms (and Alfie does), what would we think if that woman gave up her dreams and her calling to stay stuck in a small town where she doesn’t fit, running a business she doesn’t like, all to be with a clodmeister ex-bully?

Where does that leave us? The book is beautifully written, with many fully developed characters (all revolving around Alfie), great dialogue, funny moments, thoughtful insights and a compelling story for one character. I loved how the book avoided cliché and had characters that really stood out as real, complicated people. For example, Alfie’s family doesn’t suddenly accept him for who he is and join in a group hug – his parents are genuinely heartbroken and confused about his sexual orientation – and they remain that way.

This book is about Alfie’s journey. Alfie’s personality, his friends, and his family are all fully realized. Every aspect of his coming to grips with who he was and who he wants to be is explored. His story completes an arc and is satisfying. Even with the ending, the point is that Alfie needs to learn that Fen can make his own decisions and that Alfie should respect him enough to make those decisions.

The problem is that existing solely as the object of Alfie’s story, poor Fen doesn’t stand a chance. Once I left the book and Alfie’s perspective, I could see that Fen’s decision didn’t make sense for Fen. This book would have been a masterwork if Fen’s story had been as developed as Alfie’s – perhaps a sequel? As it is, I have to give it a grudging B-.

copperbadge: (Default)
([personal profile] copperbadge Apr. 25th, 2017 06:06 pm)
Oh good, I needed some new madness. Being fair to me, it was a chance to buy a nice $200 backpacking pack for $40. (It’s second-hand but all the wear I saw was cosmetic. It just needs a bath and a few minutes with some strong twine and a needle.)

I got the idea because REI has this program where for $250 they take you backpacking for a weekend, and I looked at that and thought, I’m a cheap asshole but I bet between what I’ve already got and a $250 budget, I can almost completely kit myself out for an entire month of weekends of camping if I so desired. 

$210 to go. Fortunately I have most of the activewear I need, and since I’m only looking at overnighting right now, I won’t need cooking supplies just yet. And my stepdad’s giving me his sleeping bag, so there’s a chunk I won’t have to spend. 

The tent will almost certainly be the only other significant expense, and I can wait a while on that – I have several recon trips planned to the campground before I’ll even be overnighting it. If I get that far this summer, my weekends are filling at an alarming rate. 

But I have my backpack! Now I get to fill it. 

from Tumblr
Because I was sad, L. invited me out for a drink after work (me, texting L upon entering the place and finding four long-haired bearded guys clustered around the end of the bar while Lynyrd Skynyrd played on the jukebox: "well, this certainly is a bar!" I didn't mean to be snobbish - it was absolutely my kind of hole in the wall place and it had $4 drafts for happy hour - but it was just so hilariously...not what I was expecting in the East Village.) and convinced me to attend a one-person show at The One Festival with her (mainly because it was only 45 minutes long and the subways were a mess).

However, upon getting to the theater, we discovered that there were two shows and the one we were there to see was the second one, so we saw two one-person shows.

The first, "Redemption," was a kind of Social Justice 101 on prison, the likes of which felt very earnest and well-intended but didn't really add anything new to that conversation. I mean, we're talking basically an afterschool special level of nuance. With one guy monologuing intensely at an audience of like 15 people for 45 minutes.

The second show, "What Would Cathy Do?", was about an actress (OR WAS SHE?) who went a little too method and got hooked on heroin. It was funny in a grim way, though again, not particularly new or revelatory, but the actress - Skye Wansey - was spectacular. So at the end, when we had to vote for one show or the other, we both voted for her.

Then we had a rather surreal taxi ride home, where the cab driver twice drove past my block and got huffy when I was like, no, I said 82nd, not 80th and 2nd! I mean, it is possible I messed it up once, and I will take the blame for that, but when he drove past my corner the first time, I paid close attention to make sure I was saying the right thing to direct him correctly on the second attempt, and he STILL drove past the corner again, and then got huffy when I was like, "Just let me out here!" so I could walk two blocks back to the street I actually live on. L. continued on in the cab and made it home without mishap.

Ah me. Still I was exhausted when I got home, which was probably a step up from being sad, and I had a nice time otherwise, so I'll take it.


Today's poem:

by León Salvatierra
(Translated by Javier O. Huerta)

I'm going to say what love signifies
My grandfather said it was the desire of  the I for another I
And since then I began to search for you

My father said the number of  love was seven
Because creation lasted seven days
Seven days making love to its seven nights

I looked for you in each seven that ciphered my life
And I found you slipping away to other numbers

One confuses oneself with one's other self
When two bodies intertwine in bed, three loves
have been in my life, four it will be when you have left
five days that I cannot stand you, six kisses in La Paz Centro
seven years of not finding you, love, show me
from one to a thousand your nights

What is your philosophy of love
you ask me in bed: and I respond
It's not a flower but maybe it is a number. Here, I gift it to you
Hide it between your legs. At the count of two
Make sure that it does not fall: One
Open Sesame. Two
Loves have stepped into your kingdom.

apiphile: (cuddling)
([personal profile] apiphile Apr. 25th, 2017 06:19 pm)
is there some conceivable reason for me not to sit around watching men cuddle other than it will make me impossibly sad?

Have some art progress.

these take forever so i hope they're worth it

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