tablesaw: The Mexican Murder Rock from <cite>Warehouse 13</cite> (Mexican Murder Rock!)

I'm trying to write a thing about stereotypes, but it's hard because I haven't been writing for a while. While procrastiresearching, I started asking my (non-Latina) girlfriend whether she thought "Mexicans love Morrissey" was a stereotype. She had never heard anything like that. She wanted to know, in response, whether "Mexicans love Mariachi music" was a stereotype.

What I'm trying to get at (in the other piece, the one I'm still not writing) is the way in which stereotypes aren't generalizations, but ideological statements that justify the hierarchical positions of different social groups. "Mexicans are lazy" and "Mexicans are hard-working" are contradictory, but each works to justify Latin@s being stuck in labor-intensive jobs without promotional paths in the United States. But "Mexicans love Mariachi music" doesn't quite get at that directly.

What I wanted to say didn't quite crystallize until I saw Bankuei's post/tweets:

Marginalized folks are punished for their cultural markers, appropriators are rewarded for using other folk’s cultural markers.

It really doesn’t even matter WHAT the thing is being appropriated, it’s really about appropriating as a means of reinforcing the power structure about WHO is allowed to take and WHO is expected to be taken from.

"Cultural marker" was precisely the concept I was looking for. It's not just that Mariachi is a form of music from Mexico, it's that it's one of the cultural markers used in the United States to stand in for "Mexican/Latin@/Spanish-Speaking Brown Person", along with "cactus," "sombrero," "poncho," "tequila," "mustache," and "Cinco de Mayo." In fact, if you're looking for the cultural markers for Latin@, just go to a "Cinco de Mayo" "celebration" by white people, and you'll see "Mexican" neatly packaged. Identifying any of those trite markers is a reminder of how Mexican culture is marginalized by its differences, and various other Latino cultures are erased through homogenization. "Mexicans love Morrissey" doesn't fit anywhere on that ideological map of the dominant group.

But "Mexicans love Morrissey" still feels kind of stereotypy to me; why would that be? Well, looking at my own definition, it must have an ideological grounding that resonates with me. Perhaps that's because I'm also a Mexican-American who also likes Morrissey and listened to him in high school.(It also clearly resonates with others, like Rio Yañez, whose graphic is at the top of this post, and has used Morrissey as a muse several times.) And it is ideological, it runs counter to (or at least parallel to) the status quo.

I don't know that there's quite a word for that kind of non-dominant stereotype. They're around, but they don't get reproduced by the dominant culture in the same way, and you're not going to hear about them unless you're part of a group, or at least have actual positive interaction with that group. "Black don't crack" strikes me as one as well (with revolutionary messages of both beauty and resilience).

I don't have an ending, so here's a clip of Matt Smith comparing a Japanese fighter to Eeyore and Morrissey.

Rio Yañez draws Matt Smith imagining Eeyore and Morrissey with a sword.
tablesaw: A tablesaw in action. The blade disappears when it comes in contact with a hot dog. (Default)
While doing dishes, I heard music coming through the open windows. I went to investigate, I discovered a giant street fair. Now I am getting a Coolhaus ice cream sandwich.

A small crowd of people in summer clothes enjoying a street fair in a large parking lot. In the background, a band plays covers and a line forms to buy gourmet ice-cream sandwiches.

Also, Andy Dick is selling poetry.

Andy Dick waves to a friend in the $1 Poetry Booth at the Hollywood Street Fair.
tablesaw: Futurama's Robot Devil, El Diablo Robotico (El Diablo Robotico)
Poll #10606 Would You Like to Take a Survey?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 5


Do you like zombies?

View Answers

Yes
1 (20.0%)

No
3 (60.0%)

Um, it's not that we wouldn't like to take your survey; it's more like we'd rather have dental surgery.
1 (20.0%)

Would you like to see George Wendt in a new musical?

View Answers

Yes
2 (50.0%)

No
1 (25.0%)

Would you like to take a hike?
1 (25.0%)

Would you like to see George Wendt as a zombie in a new musical?

View Answers

Yes
1 (25.0%)

No
2 (50.0%)

Try using a better deodorant.
1 (25.0%)



This has been a week for musicals. On Sunday, I saw Reanimator: The Musical. I missed this in its initial run last year, but I am so glad I saw it now as it prepares for a tour to the New York Musical Theatre Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. If you have the opportunity to see it in any of those places, you absolutely should. The staging is uniformly excellent, with Grand Guignol effects as horrific and cheesy one would expect. But I was constantly surprised by the show. The music was better than I expected, in writing and performance. I also didn't realize that the show was created by the same creative team responsible for the Reanimator movie. But mostly, I never thought I would get to see George Wendt as a lobotomized zombie slave on a small stage. That was pretty awesome.

Though it's generally comedic, there are only a few cheap jokes, which makes them stand out all the more. When a large bunch of zombies make their entrance, they do the Thriller dance, of course. And while most songs are original, one is a knock-off version of "My Way." But on the whole, it's an excellent show.

Tonight, I went to the last show of the East West Players' season, A Little Night Music. Though the text remained the same, the production took its design cues from 1910 Shanghai. I've never seen this musical in its entirety, and I really enjoyed it. I also recommend it, though sadly, unlike Reanimator, it does not have a Splash Zone in the audience.



The 9:00 a.m. alarm continues to be a good schedule making me more productive in terms of job search and general doing of things. I've gotten in touch with a staffing agency, and tomorrow I'll be doing a phone interview with a company that is looking to hire a legal word processor for four or five months. If that goes through, it will be a surprise. I was just getting used to the idea of having lots of free time. (I've only learned to cook one new thing!) Still, it'll give me a chance to keep the cash flow going while looking for something more steady.
tablesaw: Jennifer Connolly and David Bowie from <cite>Labyrinth</cite> (Labyrinth)
April 4: The Dark Crystal/Labyrinth

The Egyptian had a double feature for these two films, and it was a lot of fun. As many people are already aware, Labyrinth continues to hold up well as a film. The Dark Crystal does not. It's very steeped in late '70s/early '80s fantasy, and the movie often pauses to watch the puppets do strange things. But while I'll always have a place in my heart for this movie, I'll never be able to watch it at home again. Once you've seen the swamps and the Skeksis and everything in big bright colors, the film just doesn't have a point on the small screen.

April 12: The Cabin in the Woods

I went with a long-time Whedon fan to see this in an advance showing at the Arclight on Thursday. The movie really was amazing, and you should go see it. I do think it's a film that benefits from watching without knowing much about it, so no spoilers from me, but it's a movie that I recommend to pretty much everyone.

I don't generally consider myself a horror fan, but I love listening to the podcast Psuedopod (though I'm eternally backlogged a year behind. But in listening, I get a sense of a wider scope of horror stories than one generally expects from what are classified as horror movies. The Cabin in the Woods fits more comfortably in that wider view than what's typically presented in movies.

Again, I recommend it to everyone, and I am especially hoping to see what [personal profile] yendi thnks of it.

April 13: That Dog Reunion Show

From my Tumblr:
Last night, I went to see the reunion show for That Dog. It's been 20 years since they released their first EP, which is about the same time (probably later in the year), that I listend to them do a live set on KCRW on Brave New World.

The show was billed as having songs that were rarely or never played live. I’m glad it was because That Dog has always been better in the deep cuts than the singles. Listening to them perform "Paid Programming" took me back to that time, lying on the floor of my bedroom listening to the radio, falling in love.
It was really a great show. Either Anna Waronker's voice has gotten a bit lower and coarser over time or she just wasn't trying as hard to get the higher pop sound. Either way, a lot of the songs sounded even better than I remembered. I've loaded all the songs onto my iPod, which is kind of redundant, since they've been stuck in my head all day.
tablesaw: Charlie Crews, in a dark suit, rests his head on his left hand (That's Life)
I'm heading out now to my postponed holiday weekend, which means today's my last weekday as an employee of the firm before I get fired and rehired by a new company to do the same job for less. And it was pretty busy today, to boot. Luckily, I happened to put on Felicidade Mixtape #3 from Breath of Life as the day was winding down, which has done a great job relaxing me, to get ready for my days off.

. . . Felicidade sim
tablesaw: A man comes home frome work, his hat reads "Crossword Makers Inc" (Crossword Makers Inc)
This puzzle was posted by [livejournal.com profile] jangler_npl two weeks ago. I wanted to repost it for a larger audience, since the original was under a friends lock.
What unusual feature do all of these songs have in common? If you know the answer, feel free to show it by posting additional examples (if you can think of any). There's at least one other Paul Simon song which works. (And technically, the Pretenders song probably needs an asterisk.)

"1979"—Smashing Pumpkins
"Against All Odds"—Phil Collins
"American Tune"—Paul Simon
"Big Yellow Taxi"—Joni Mitchell
"Brass In Pocket"—The Pretenders
"No Rain"—Blind Melon
"Sloop John B"—The Beach Boys
The original post inspired several additions, some of which will be listed in the first comment to this post, as additional references.
tablesaw: A tablesaw in action. The blade disappears when it comes in contact with a hot dog. (Default)
I wrote something about games and art, inspired by (lashing back at) Brian Moriarty's "An Apology for Roger Ebert," presented at last month's Game Developers' Conference. And then it got eaten. So instead of an argument, you get the bullet-point takeaway:
  • Scopenhauer's artistic aesthetics were dumb, and Moriarty and Ebert are dumb for adopting them.
  • The player of a game is not the audience of a game, just as an actor is not the audience of a playscript, and a musician is not the audience of a score.
  • The player of a game is an artistic collaborator, who works with the intermediate product provided by the game's "creators," to produce art which has no audience.
  • Games lack an audience not in the traditionally understood manner (nobody is desires to or is able to observe the art), but in a profound and fundamental way, in that they cannot be understood except through entering collaboration. Any product produced by the
  • The traditional definition of art requires an audience, and that is a flaw in the current conception of art.
  • It is possible that the role of the player is not as a collaborator, but as a medium for the creators (albeit a medium that leads to oblivion, rather than an audience, as a destination).
There. Now you figure it out.
tablesaw: Jennifer Connolly and David Bowie from <cite>Labyrinth</cite> (Labyrinth)
Much like the Caprica itself, Last Chance Texaco starts slow but gains momentum quickly. RLJFTW.

I also know some Profit fans, and this is a good pick.

Life After People and "It's the End of the World as We Know It is a pretty obvious connection, but it's a fun vid.

Marion Ravenwood = Cher in "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves". It's great to see her as the star, and the music is perfect.

I am one of twenty-three people who watched the TV series The Invisible Man, one of the others asked for this Bobby/Hobbes vid.

Also, yay Meldrick
tablesaw: The Mexican Murder Rock from <cite>Warehouse 13</cite> (Mexican Murder Rock!)
Festivids—a fanvid equivalent of Yuletide, where people anonymously make vids of smaller fandoms as gifts—went online today. There is some seriously awesome stuff in here.

Full list of vids

Some of the ones I love so far:

I'm not really a fan of the Johnny Cash version of "Hurt," but pairing it with Bruce Wayne circa Batman Beyond is brilliant.

Blade Runner + GnR's "November Rain." I just watched it a seconf time showing it to a friend and I like it even more.

I am a sucker for "Tik Tok" vids: Back to the Future, Scott Pilgrim

I have many fans of Danny Kaye's The Court Jester on my reading list.

The fact that I am able to make specific recommendations has a lot to do with the fact that I've only seen a few.

Theme Song

Jan. 19th, 2011 02:52 pm
tablesaw: The pixelated dog from Duck Hunt, emerging from a real field of tall green grass beneath a clear blue sky. (Duck Hunt)
If you hadn't noticed from the previous links, the theme this year was videogames. The wedding that teams were invited to turned out to be the wedding of Mario and Peach, which was predictably interrupted by Bowser. As for what happened next . . . it's probably best to let the Hunt mastermind explain the whole story:

Still Unsolved (MP4) highly recommended for pretty much everyone.
tablesaw: "This sounds like Waiting for Spy Godot" (Hunt)
I still am not quite prepared to talk in detail about the Mystery Hunt, because a lot has to do with my team experience, which was awesome, but also more personal. So instead, here's a list of recommended puzzles from this year's Hunt.

This post contains minor spoilers. Most Mystery Hunt puzzles have little or no instructions. Under the cut tags, I'm going to give more explicit instructions and some comments to make the puzzles accessible, both to more casual solvers and to seasoned veterans who want to skip ahead to the good stuff. (If you don't see any cut text and you would prefer not to see some or all of these spoilers, read this page from my Jaunary 19 page.) Complete answers to each puzzle can be found using the "Call in answer" link at the top of each page.

Keyboard Cat. How it works )

Toad's List. How it works )

Everybody's Got to Be Somewhere. How it Works )

Meta Testing. What It Is, How It Works )

Timbales. What it is )

Stuff Nerd People Like. What It Is, How It Works )

Expletive Deleted. Figuring out how to fill in the blanks shouldn't be that hard, and I'd feel bad spelling it out. I will spell out how to get from there to the final answer: How to Get from There to the Final Answer )

The Cats Meow. How It Works, Why It's Fun Even if You Don't Want to Solve It )

Part of Speech. How It Works )

Painted Potsherds. How It Works )

Inventory Quest. How It Works )

Laureate. No need for spoiler tags, this one is straight up with its instructions. This is a cryptic crossword, so if you're not familiar with those conventions, it's going to be very difficult. Specifically, this is a cryptic in the style of the Listener Cryptic, so if you're an American cryptic solver unfamiliar with British conventions, this will still be very hard. But if you do happen to be familiar with solving very difficult cryptics in the British vein, this puzzle is lots of fun.

Hints, with a bit of love!. How )

A Representative Sampling. How It Works )

Plotlines. I think this is the puzzle that maximizes accessibility and awesomeness. Definitely look even if you click through immediately to the answers. How It Works )

Toto, I Have a Feeling We're Not in Kansas Anymore. I can't really spoil this one, but I feel like the aha is fairly accesible to the right sorts of geek. If you don't see what's going on fairly quickly, click through to the answer. If you do, here's how to get a final answer ).

Unnatural Law. How It Works )

E Pluribus Unum. Okay, this one looks unfair, but it's actually fairly tractable, and can be a good way to start thinking laterally about puzzles like this. How It Works )

Unlikely Situations. Just look at the puzzle. If this puzzle is for you, you'll recognize it instantly and figure out what to do. If you don't it's probably not the puzzle for you. How It Works ) Even if you don't want to solve the puzzle, you may want to click through to the answer to see a little bit more about the subject.



So those are my recommendations. There's a lot more stuff that I enjoyed, but it's all less accessible, and I'll probably need to talk about them more spoilerily to do them justice. These are just ones I think more people would get a kick out of.

If you think I've listed too many, then here are my top three fun, accessible puzzles: Toad's List, Inventory Quest, and Plotlines. Go do those.

Also, here are some puzzles that I didn't work on but are on my list to try. No descriptions because I haven't spent any time working on them.
tablesaw: A sketch of me talking and smiling. (Personable)
Tonight I am going to a Teenage Fanclub concert at the El Rey.

Why? I'unno.

[livejournal.com profile] chiquitadequeso won four tickets in a raffle, which led to all of us asking, "Who is Teenage Fanclub, again?" With the concert mere hours away, we are still not sure. But we will be going!
tablesaw: A twenty-sided die glows with the power of the Great Old Ones. (Cthulhu Icosahedron)
Arianna Skye (my superpowered teenage alien character): "The entire point of space is about freedom!



Me (OOC): If you've got an idea for a scene go for it, because if you ask me, "What is Airy doing now?" the answer is sitting alone in her room, clutching something soft, and not crying while listening to Tori Amos.
Judson (OOC): China or Barbados?
Me: China. Definitely China.

Red

Sep. 12th, 2010 02:41 pm
tablesaw: Futurama's Robot Devil, El Diablo Robotico (El Diablo Robotico)
The last of three fanmixes for [profile] whedonland. Not fannishly associated, so just a mix. The recipient of these gifts asked for redhead-related things, so I made a mix on the topic. Links go to MP3s where freely available, and to streaming versions for everything else.



The ability to read the cover may depend on your monitor settings. It's a feature, not a bug.

Songs, links, lyrics, and notes )
tablesaw: The Maple Street streetlight blinks on and off and on. (Monsters Are Due)
The second of three fanmixes for [profile] whedonland. This one is for Angel's evil law firm Wolfram & Hart. Links go to MP3s where freely available, and to streaming versions for everything else.



Songs, links, lyrics, and notes )
tablesaw: "The Accurate Tablesaw" (Accurate)
The first of three fanmixes for [profile] whedonland. This one is for the Dollhouse pairing of Topher and Brink. Links go to MP3s where freely available, and to streaming versions for everything else.



Songs, links, lyrics, and notes )
tablesaw: Run Away (to the ocean, to the country, to the mountains . . .) (Runaway)
I suppose it would happen that I lose internet access when I'm having an existential crisis. The internet is something I use to fend them off.

I've been making a fanmix for a Whedonland challenge, and that's meant digging deep into my music collection. And digging deep into my music collection has meant listening to music I haven't heard in a while. And listening to music I haven't heard in a while means feeling things I haven't felt in a while.

I've been flashing back to the feeling of the Tower Records at GW, the place where I browsed magazines and books, where I bought new music (that I still have), where I saw Suzanne Vega talk about meeting Lou Reed. just across the way there was an ice-cream place (was it a Coldstone's?) and an Au Bon Pain and a bar I never went to because I didn't turn 21 until I was at UCSB, and I remember it in flashes of how I felt that day, cold or wet or hot or tired or excited or scared or depressed or infatuated or proud.

Or I'll remember standing in the Albany airport, waiting for [livejournal.com profile] isako to give me a ride to meet [livejournal.com profile] ojouchan for the second time, or the same airport later, when my mom called to tell me that my grandmother had died while I was away.

And every flash is different. It impresses upon me that I never really know who I am, because I'm always changing. I don't know who I am right now.

In a lot of ways, I'm afraid of the past more than the future. The past can do as much damage as the future, but unlike the future, it can't be changed. And every year, there's just so much more of it: more pain, more joy, more laughter, more momentum, more power.

So I like to move forward, focusing on the short term, and leaving anything that's fallen out of my view deep in the past, because once I let it drop, it might not be something that's mine. It's something that belonged to a past me.

If I had the internet on right now, I'd go back and look at my posts. But I can tell, right now, that this is the kind of thing I'd be willing to post years ago, but haven't posted much recently. I'm only doing it now because I'm scared, and I can't sleep, and the only way I can reach out right now is with the phone and everyone I know is (or is probably) asleep. But then, back then, I was a lot more lonely, too, I guess. I've been feeling so many things, but haven't wanted to say them, or write them, and there's been so much to do with friends and family and work and all.

I don't know what's going to change. I do know that I'm more regularly social right now than I've been since college, with two gaming groups, one regular group TV-watching, a close friend at work, and dating with [livejournal.com profile] ojouchan. And I know it's going to be a hard time sleeping tonight.

But even now, I'm feeling the relief this blog used to bring, easing the pressure of loneliness and melancholy.

Also, I'm getting a wisdom tooth pulled tomorrow. That's not really much compared to the memories making me revaluate my concept of identity, but it's also not helping me get to sleep either.

(finished 2:12 a.m.)



Internet is back, the result of my modem and router being finicky about the order they got turned on. Off to the dentist now,and I'll look for and add the links I was thinking of when I get back.
tablesaw: Jennifer Connolly and David Bowie from <cite>Labyrinth</cite> (Labyrinth)
Games:
Main Program:
  • Fair or Foul: Completed with Snackcakes (of DASH)
  • Three on a Match: 23/30
  • Vowelled Sets: 16/18
  • Flat-Solving Competition: 1st place in pairs solving (with [livejournal.com profile] cramerica)
  • Lots of Luck: 72/78, 2d in Pop Culture, possibly 2d overall (with Reign, Btnirn, [livejournal.com profile] jangler_npl, and Trick).
  • Cryptic Crossword Competition (Final Score): 100 pts in 62 minutes. 2d in California division (behind [livejournal.com profile] rpipuzzleguy) and 6th or 7th overall.

Walkarounds:
  • Experience Music Project & Science Fiction Museum with Wraavr and Ucaoimhu

Handouts:
  • Scandal by [livejournal.com profile] thedan: Took me far too long to understand what was going on.
  • Northwest Airlines by [livejournal.com profile] jangler_npl: Very nice finale.
  • 56-Across by Dandr: Solved on light rail.
  • Wonderland & Pacific Northwest by Ucaoimhu: Solved on plane.
  • Transsubstitutions by [livejournal.com profile] tahnan: Completed except for subtitution cipher (because the cipher is long)

Alcohol:
  • Something from Two Beers, I think.
  • Mac & Jack (imperial size!)

Stolen from Bar:
  • One beer glass

Sneaked Back into Bar:
  • One beer glass, plus tip

Con Photo:
The attendees of the National Puzzlers' League Convention in Seattle. The first two rows are very large and clear while the other hundred or so attendees look like tiny floating heads.
  • Five minutes late, way the hell in the back. Not really happy with the uneven composition of the picture.

Confiscated by TSA
  • 3 containers of yogurt

Listened to on iPod
  • 3 episodes of Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!
  • The Archandroid by Janelle Monáe on continuous loop about 15 times
tablesaw: The Mexican Murder Rock from <cite>Warehouse 13</cite> (Mexican Murder Rock!)
I guess it's time to boycott Arizona. Again.
A bitch supports the idea of a boycott mostly because I think people should be warned that their family trip could turn into an apartheid experience quicker than flies gather on shit.
—Angry Black Bitch, "On Arizona's new law..."

The boycott was supported by Arizona congressman Raúl Grijalva back on Thursday (when there was still a chance of the governor vetoing the bill).
Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., closed down his Tucson and Yuma district offices Friday afternoon, after a man called the Tucson office twice threatening to "come in there and blow everybody's head off," and then go to the U.S.-Mexico border to "shoot any Mexicans that try to come across," an aide says.
—Salon, "Rep. Raúl Grijalva closes Tucson office after death threats"

Which raises the question, can I boycott a place that seems so intent on making sure that I come in the first place? I mean, when the elected official tells everyone that they really ought to stay away from the state they represent, it's not so much a boycott as critical advice.
We've grown accustomed to those travel warnings that the U.S. State Department issues every so often, advising U.S. citizens to "exercise extreme caution" when visiting parts of Mexico -- usually after some new shootout or gruesome slaying.

Now it's Mexico's turn to say: watch out. The Mexican government Tuesday issued its own travel warning, urging Mexican citizens to be careful in Arizona.

. . .

Although details on how the law will be enforced remain unclear, the [Mexican Foreign Relations Ministry] said, "it must be assumed that every Mexican citizen may be harassed and questioned without further cause at any time."
—La Plaza, Mexico turns table on travel advisory, issues warning on trips to Arizona

On the other fronts, groups like MALDEF and the ACLU are preparing challenges, and and you can push Washington on Immigration Reform, as the issue takes itself off the back burner.

Moreover, Public Enemy.

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tablesaw: A tablesaw in action. The blade disappears when it comes in contact with a hot dog. (Default)
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