mmanurere: Doctor Manhattan (Default)
"Being a feminist is much more central to my identity than being a man."

It's still true (of course!) -- but it's also an expression of male privilege. The "man vs. feminist" dynamic just doesn't have anything like the moral convolutions of "woman vs. feminist" -- in no small part because "man" is a position of privilege in a whole range of really noxious ways. Every state of privilege (male, white, middle-class, etc.) carries with it a corresponding moral obligation to subvert that state of privilege. Only "subvert" isn't quite enough -- I'm just not sure what a better term would be. In any case, a principled failure to formally embrace one's own position of privilege is rather undermined when one expects cookies for it.

And it's even worse when one gives oneself cookies for what should be a minimum baseline for "not totally failing," not any particular accomplishment. So, yeah. Something I need to pay more attention to in the future if I want to engage in less fail.
mmanurere: Doctor Manhattan (Default)
I think I've finally recovered from post-Ascendio exhaustion.

If I've just added you and you don't know this username -- I'm M, he of the "There's No Such Thing as Canon" panel and haunter of the slash suite. So many people in fandom to follow, so little time...

For the moment, I'm using DW mostly to keep up with fan-writers and the like; once I get off my ass and start writing again, this will probably be where I post.
mmanurere: Doctor Manhattan (Default)
So far, I've presented two talks on literary theory as related to Harry Potter fandom -- one at Lumos '06 in Las Vegas (regarding liberal vs. radical political self-conceptions in popular media, comparing the HP novels to V for Vendetta), one at Azkatraz '09 in San Francisco (regarding interactions between the body and the self in HP slash fanfiction, drawing on cyborg theory).

Now, to continue the "every three years" pattern, my paper proposal has been accepted for Ascendio 2012 (put on by the same people as the other cons/symposia) in Florida. Now, I've been disappointed in the past with the number of people showing up at my presentations/lectures (10-20 the first time, 7 the second; partially I blame being scheduled at the same time as the other slash-related quasi-academic presentation), so I decided to try to put more asses in seats by offering a deliberately provocative title which will show up on schedules and programs.

I'm calling my paper/lecture this time around "There's No Such Thing as Canon".

I still have to work out some of the details (like whether I can afford to go to Florida this July and whether I can overcome my distaste for Slavoj Žižek long enough to quote the worthwhile and relevant bits of his work in what is, after all, supposed to be a paper on "practical literary theory for HP fans"), but I'm hoping to draw in a lot of indignant fans and convince them to move in a fanarchist direction.

Also -- I'm going to have to manually crosspost this between LJ and DW. Does anyone know a program to help with that process in the future? I used to have such a program a computer or two ago...
mmanurere: Doctor Manhattan (Default)
Every day I seem to hear more and more of the unhinged frothing wingnuts who pass for an opposition party here screaming about how "Obama is a socialist", or about "the socialist policies Obama keeps ramming down our throats."

I can't help but think:

If only.

I mean socialist? Really? And here I thought that a socialist would actually be supporting things like tearing down the corporate state-capitalist system, or at least pitching social-democratic compromise measures like single-payer healthcare. A socialist, I was sure, wouldn't be all about pitching even more money to the CEOs than the Bushies and hiring crowds of theocrats as "advisors" on matters of "faith" (and how to shovel public money to reactionary religious groups at home and abroad).

But what would I know about the policies of socialists? I'm just a socialist, after all -- certainly can't take my word for any of it.
mmanurere: Doctor Manhattan (Default)
As part of my project to work my way through Samuel R. Delany's "Modular Calculus" stories, I'm now about halfway through the novel (vs. the metafictional epilogue) part of Trouble on Triton: An Ambiguous Heterotopia.

I'll be able to talk about it in more depth later (and yeah, I'm going to be working some thesis action on Delany), but I think I might be starting to understand heterosexual men better than I had before. That's not actually right, though -- I think I'm understanding how to make sense of heterosexual men in a particular set of ways that I hadn't before. Of course, given how involved this novel is with how language and representation relate to desire, it'll take quite a bit more reading and discussion to really come up with a better way to phrase that. In any case, there are things about heterosexual-male-ness that I think could only be passed from one gay man to another. I know there are things about race and class that I'm only partially comprehending here, too, as someone much whiter and less man-identified than Delany...
mmanurere: Doctor Manhattan (Default)
So, on the recommendations of a few friends (hi [profile] hauen!), I'm working my way through Babylon 5 on Hulu. Now, yeah, a lot of the writing is cheesetastic and I had to skip the patronizing militarist quasi-anti-union episode, but I have one major impression so far (I'm towards the beginning of season 1, episode 17):

I need some Ivanova/Winters.

Yeah, yeah, normally I'm all for the male/male, but these are the two characters who piss me off the least, the two I actually care about (OK, the doctor has his moments, but for some reason I can't picture him as straight and I have nobody to slash him with but Lennier; I'm not even going to go into Londo/G'Kar until a later season, though they're already slashtastic). After the first episode I was hoping for much more of the evolution of the dynamics between them (and they led to the passing of the Bechdel Test in the first episode, which not many TV series -- let a lone SF series with Harlan Ellison as an advisor -- manage in the first season if ever), but I've been sadly disappointed. (At least Ivanova has gotten a good bit of screen time, some attention as a character, and more depth and development than anyone else in the cast up until this point.) Now, it looks like they'll start to get some interaction in episode 17, but I'm afraid that it's going to be made of sexism and fail, so I'm putting out a pre-emptive request:

I need some femmeslash here.
mmanurere: Doctor Manhattan (Default)
So, here's a description of a puzzle:

You have 16 square "tiles", each with a different combination of red and blue "sides". Since the same side is always up (no rotating the tiles), the 16 tiles represent all 16 possible combinations of "sides". Now, these 16 tiles are to be placed in a 4x4 square, such that touching sides must be of the same color and all exposed sides around the outside of the square must be blue.

From one set of relative placements of the all-blue and all-red tiles (all-blue in a corner, all-red diagonally adjacent; rotations and reflections cover all variations on this), I've come up with 56 solutions. It took awhile to completely exhaust the possibilities, though, with much note-taking and backtracking, so I don't especially want to just brute-force the other six relative placements of all-red and all-blue. Unfortunately, I don't really have the right math to take a more analytic approach.

One weird pattern I noticed -- in making the "tiles" (er, pieces of paper), instead of making the whole side a color I just had basically a dot at the center of each side, with all sides of the same color in a given tile connected (so all-red has a red + taking up the whole square, the tile with a single blue side at the top has a red T-shape, the one with red on the sides and blue on the top and bottom a -, etc.). Each solution has a different "pattern" of the red "channels" this way (and you could actually put the tiles together based just on this pattern if you have it written down), but all 56 solutions I have so far have exactly two "loops" in the red channels. Going to poke around a bit and see if this might have something to do with solutions to this puzzle corresponding to 4x4 normal magic squares.
mmanurere: Doctor Manhattan (Default)
My first attempt at a mille-crêpe came to an early end tonight.

If I'd stuck to the traditional pastry cream filling, it would have been fine -- and the pastry cream came out quite well (not very sweet, but the chocolate and raspberry will make up for it). Unfortunately, I used too much cream in making the ganache, leading to a gooshy-at-room-temperature mix which would have been great on ice cream but couldn't hold its place in a large number of layers. As I was prepping the last three-crêpe set for addition to the top of the cake, more than one of the chocolate layers gave up and the uppermost already-stacked section made a run for the edge of the counter. Fortunately, I caught it before it made it over the edge, but several more layers took the opportunity to head out in different directions; the only thing preventing a complete all-over-the-kitchen spill was transferring the whole stack to a saucepan.

Now, here's the bright side:

When your ingredients are crêpes, ganache, pastry cream, and raspberry jam, it's almost impossible to have a complete failure. So while the intended form of these ingredients isn't happening, and while the presentation will be a bit off, the resulting crepe-layered chocolately vaguely trifle-esque abomination should still be quite acceptable as a dessert.

I'm really tempted to try this whole thing again; it should be quite doable with a much firmer ganache (about 3 parts chocolate per part cream instead of 2, and it should probably be manipulated cold instead of cool).
mmanurere: Doctor Manhattan (Default)
The crêpe batter and crème pâtissière are chilling in the refrigerator. Later tonight I'll make the crêpes.

Tomorrow morning, I make ganache, spread it (along with raspberry preserves and the crème pâtissière) in between the however-many-layers-of-crêpe-I-can-manage, chill the whole stack, then make another batch of ganache to cover the whole thing.

I've never done a mille-crêpe before, but I couldn't resist adding chocolate (and rasperry, in honor of the so-rich-it's-almost-inedible ganache-and-raspberry-filled "truffle cake" my family gets from the local cake place for most of our gatherings). Maybe another time I'll do the more "normal" (pastry cream only) version.
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