tilly_stratford: (HB: Steampunk Bush)
I went to a screening of Withnail and I at the Cinematheque in Oslo last night. I know I keep saying I'll stop going to screenings of films I own on DVD, but this was subtitled and there are parts of the film where the mumbling/accents/sound design makes the dialogue incomprehensible to me.

It's also been a few years since I saw the film in its entirety. When I saw the collection of "party hard" college boys who'd showed up to the screening I was thinking maybe I'd outgrown the film and would just find it childish and dumb. But no. It's still hilarious, and has so many laugh-out-loud moments for me you could hear me laughing over the din of the audience. The final sequence is equally heart-breaking, and every scene in the movie adds a facet to Withnail and Marwood's relationship. It's a great film.

Except for Monty.

God, that part has always bothered me intensely. When I first saw the movie as a teenager I felt really conflicted about liking the film at all. The "depraved homosexual" element is just so vile. These days I've come more to terms with how the majority of entertainment has more or less problematic elements, and I'm allowed to like things -- have guilty pleasures, even -- in spite of them, if I acknowledge that they're there. (No "But I like the film so it's not problematic!")

stuff )

On a lighter note; I remember when as a teenager I was just dying about Paul McGann's long curly hair and Renaissance angel looks in W&I. Now at 27 I was thinking "He's good looking, but a very predictable kind of good looking. ...Did Richard E. Grant have that unusual and ethereal beauty the last time I watched this film?" (Seriously, what a fascinating face!)
tilly_stratford: (Lupin III: Go getter)
Drawing will never be anything other than a sometimes hobby for me, so I know I'll never be churning out professional-looking things -- but even if I'm never 100% happy with anything I draw, I usually like some detail in it and feel proud about my improvement (I wish I could be as laissez-faire about my writing, but that's for another day).

Now I've reached this odd point where I'm fairly content with my art skills (I don't like using the word "art" for the things I do, "drawings" sound more appropriate to me), but I wish I was faster. I wish it didn't take me everything from six to ten hours to finish a simple drawing from sketch to render (and then, as I said, always with a lot of obvious flaws).

Anyway, this was a Tumblr prompt, so I tried to see how quickly I could do a drawing and still be fairly happy with it. I think it took me upwards to three hours or so.

The prompt was to draw my favourite Lupin character )

Anyway it's a break away from the big beefy superheroes. I'd forgotten how much fun it was to draw tall, lean Lupin characters.

Dan Didiot

Sep. 15th, 2013 10:56 pm
tilly_stratford: (Blue & Gold)
There’s that question, ”Are you Marvel or DC?” Usually I don’t give it much thought – I like good comics, no matter which publisher – but these last years, as I’ve started reading more superhero comics, I’ve realized I gravitate more towards DC. I like the universe. I like the optimism of Metropolis and the hopelessness of Gotham. I like the legacy heroes, which Marvel has never been that into. DC’s Vertigo was my introduction to American comics. Most of all I just like a whole bunch of the characters.

(Sure, there are a lot of things I like about the Marvel universe too, but just about all their heavy hitters –- Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers -– just leave me cold.)

So I’m DC, but I’m gonna be honest: I don’t want to be.

DC is being run into the ground. From their micromanaging editors, their cheap shock tactics, their rampant sexism, to their flash in the pan gimmicks... The Flashpoint event even erased half the inhabitants of their universe, and changed the rest including writing off women, POCs and homosexual characters –- no matter how popular or iconic those characters were. You know what, I’m going to be contrary and claim that retconning Green Lantern as gay doesn’t make up for retconning his established gay son out of existence. And what they did to Amanda Waller – unforgivable. I keep reading about creative personnel at DC either resigning in frustration over micromanaging editors (“Batman doesn’t sit”) or being fired over trifling issues (Wallers password being “Shallow Hal”). It’s a real trend.

At this point DC has run off a lot -- A WHOLE LOT -- of their creative staff, and they've begun a talent search for new blood. In their latest competition you have to draw Harley Quinn naked, attempting to commit suicide. No lie. Actual competition.

So, you know what? I’ve decided I’m only pre-Flashpoint DC. I’ll read comics where my favourite characters exist, back when writers and artists were allowed to experiment. I’ve given Nu52 comics a try, and I’ve decided I don’t want to support such a cynical company. I’m officially post-Flashpoint Marvel. I’m reading these marvelous (heh), creative comics being made over at Marvel right now; Hawkeye, Tales to Astonish... And it seems I’m not the only one, Marvel is killing DC saleswise at this point, and DC keeps digging itself deeper into a hole trying to stop that with, you guessed it, more gimmicks and shock tactics.

I'm not saying DC pre-Flashpoint was this haven of progressive storytelling, or that Marvel is that now. I'm just completely burned out from DC's fuckery. I’m fairly certain they won’t buck the trend until the company changes hands and the new owner decides to make some big changes. Meanwhile I got quite the backlog to read.

[Also this page is quite helpful: Has DC Done Something Stupid Today]
tilly_stratford: (Fred and Cyd: Don't mind you watching)
Right, so there's this awful "discussion" that keeps popping up on my Tumblr dash, started by a lady posting a picture of herself holding a razor saying "you see this? it’s called a razor. if you’re a girl, USE IT." and more about how women who don't shave are gross feminazis etc., etc., and as of now it has 2342 notes, most of which seems to be girls apologetically posting things like "Well personally I have to [shave/not shave] because of [this or that specific reason], otherwise I would totally [do the opposite], yeah" and it's like they're vaguely ashamed of what they're doing or not doing in the shaving department, whatever side they seem to be on.

That is, there's a lot of heated arguing going on too, "YOU SHOULD SHAVE YOU SMELLY FEMINAZI!", "YOU SHOULDN'T SHAVE, YOU'RE SUPPORTING THE PATRIARCHY!"

I'm posting my contribution to the debate here (with a few adjustments because I was really tired when I wrote it and my grammar was less than stellar), just because for once I feel I managed to say what I felt:

Feministic ideals )

There's a lot of gray areas in socio-gender related subjects, I just didn't know shaving was one of them.
tilly_stratford: (Cat: Miyazaki handle with care)
Another day, another bunch of job applications sent off. That paranoid moment when you fear that employers disregard your application because you've got an unusual name and they might think you're some dirty furriner. I mean, that might not be the issue with me at all - I've got a pretty "safe" Germanic and English name anyway. I still take care to point out on my résumé that Norwegian is my native language though, just in case.

But anyway, that's me fretting as usual. I take heart, if I don't find anything very soon I'll go back to retail or the grocery store, and I'll keep sending applications for other jobs.

So anyway; Last night I did my last shift at the cat shelter. It was a melancholy goodbye. The official explanation is that my new non-student life means I've got less time and resources to do volunteer work, and that's certainly true, but I can't deny that me and the organization no longer seem to see eye-to-eye on certain practical and political matters.

Over the course of the summer (while I've been away) there have been run-ins with the police, a lot of bad publicity in the local press, and I don't think my superiors have handled the matter in a good way. I know everything they've done, they've done with the best of intentions - to help abused animals, and I'm not saying we shouldn't fight for them, tooth and claw; But I believe there are better ways to do it, I don't think civil disobedience, breaking the law, and inhabiting every damaging animal activist stereotype out there will help our cause in the long run. Now my boss has to pay a hefty fine; that's money that could have been spent on food and spaying and medicines, and now it won't because my boss wanted to make a point. Not to mention the money contributors we've lost because "we're just some fundamentalist animal activist whackjobs after all".

Let me move on to my usual rant here: Why blaming the police really doesn't help )

See? I still care about important things. Politics, even. That doesn't change. It's just that writing about comics or TV shows is much kinder on my blood pressure and RAGE METER.
tilly_stratford: (Holmes: Curious collection)
So you've got a bit of an obsessive personality.

So you've got a bunch of friends who share many of your interests, but not all of them, obviously. You can appreciate that they're not interested in hearing you talk about your newest obsession for hours every day.

So you make a blog, on LiveJournal for instance. You're glad to have a forum where you can write whatever you want with little to no thoughts about coherence or presentation. Then you make friends there, friends who you respect and admire and who use their blogs to write interesting, educational, funny stuff, and you get sort of embarrassed about writing sixty consecutive posts about, say, how cool an actor who died before your mother was born is.

So you make a Tumblr, microblogging is in. You have a mode of expression that is pretty much designed to be stream-of-consciousness and as high or low-content as you want it to be. You follow some people's tumblrs and they post funny, beautiful, amazing stuff and then some of them follow you back, and suddenly you find yourself stopping yourself from posting something you like, because my God you don't want people to hate you for spamming their dashboards with caps of a stupid cartoon show you like.

I'd just go back to writing all my thoughts down in a notebook if it wasn't for how great it feels when you can enjoy something with somebody, and they might be in a different country or on a different continent and still you can both look at something and say "Aw, I love that!"
tilly_stratford: (LS: Please run)
Today I woke up with the most depressing notion in my head.

Mankind is egotistical and stupid and I'm not sure if we'll ever change )

tl;dr: I'm worried Jacques Brel's 'Les Bourgeois' describes us all a little too well. In the end we conform to our flawed society norms.

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tilly_stratford: (Fred and Cyd: Don't mind you watching)
Thanks once again for nothing, immune system! I don't know what I've come down with this time but my lymph nodes are taking one hell of a beating. That would be terrific, wouldn't it, returning home for a week to catch the final lectures in English 101, and then get sick and miss them. I'm channeling a lot of Spock in The Devil in the Dark right now, you know; "The paaain...! The paaaain...!"

So anyway on my sickbed I decided I needed something fresh to entertain me and finally - finally - got around to watching The Eleventh Hour, my first bit of new Doctor Who since I ragequit halfway through Voyage of the Damned - the downside of this being missing all of Donna except The Runaway Bride, but the upshot being not having to sit through a moment more of Ten's teeth-baring, sugar-high "I am so awesome every single female character is in love with me" antics.

No hang on, I sat through that season finale where The Master wore a dog collar and did weird things with his tongue, and James Bond narrated. Had to watch that, obviously. Ten was still annoying.

But anyway - The Eleventh Hour.

Short answer: Yeah I suppose this can keep me entertained in the evenings.

Long anwer: haha jeez am I way behind all you guys )

Holy shit that was a lot of stuff. It's been ages since I wrote about Doctor Who, I suppose these things accumulate. At least it kept my mind off the pain for a while. I suppose my conclusion was that I want a Doctor to be less likeable while also being more likeable.

You know, apart from wanting to watch more of Two's serials, of all the silly things - I'm getting a hankering to relisten to Minuet in Hell! That's what watching new!Who does to me - oh, to have a Doctor be scared and confused! Anything but smug self-importance!
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
So I was at my local comic shop yesterday looking for something cheap to quell my illin' (but somehow they didn't have any of the five titles I was planning on picking up some day so in a moment of insanity and/or frustration I bought one of those super cheap Showcase collections of, er, Booster Gold. Booster Gold of all things!) when I looked over what Deadpool titles they had in.

Lord knows I love Deadpool, he was my first introduction to superhero comics and all but goddamnit Marvel.

I mean, I glanced at the cover of Lady Deadpool with some disbelief. I am forever convinced that Lady Deadpool was created solely so that comic fanboys can have a wank over Deadpool without those conflicting manlove feelings. It's just Deadpool with huge knockers, for chrissakes.

And why are they reprinting (the absolutely lovely) Cable & Deadpool as Deadpool & Cable? I mean, damn, do they think comic fans don't have the literacy or attention span to read past one five-letter name before they move on?

"Er, Cuh-Caa, er, Caaabe... Welp I guess there's no
Deadpool in this, gonna find something else!"

To make it even more confusing they've now retitled the current Cable series (which is supposed to be, uh, Cable-centric) Deadpool & Cable as well, only Cable is dead at the moment in that continuity (for all I know he might have been dead since 2007, I still haven't heard of a proper Deadpool/Cable reunion). So I don't know WTF.

To be fair it seems to be pretty heartwrenching at the moment though. I can appreciate a writer who realizes that Deadpool is more than just 4chan jokes. I'm going to have to see how this develops before I want to commit to it.
tilly_stratford: (Cat: Miyazaki handle with care)
While the election is trucking on in the US the latest big thing to hit Norwegian politics is yet another fur farm scandal (warning for unpleasant images). Pictures and videos of the atrocious conditions in Norwegian fur farms have surfaced and people are understandably upset. The Food Safety Authority's (which I've mentioned before is the department that handles all animal welfare cases) suggestion is to increase the number of their inspections, the Progress Party wants "animal police" (don't they know you've got to have laws about animal rights before you can nab animal abusers?), the Labour Party wants to ban fur production in Norway.

Yes, I want something to come of this, desperately. Any of the popular suggestions, if brought to fruition, will improve the current system. It's just that... Animal welfare scandals like this surface every five years or so - for a while people are righteously angry, the Food Safety Authority assures everybody it's only one of the "bad apples" we're seeing, people join a Facebook group and then everything goes back to normal.

I remember the first time I saw this sort of thing, I was fourteen or so. I was devastated when I realized all that had happened was that for one winter it was fashionable to be anti-fur.

So people, this time - please please prove me wrong. Let's actually try to change the system. And no, the little old lady in the mink coat is not our enemy. Leave her be. If you want to change the consumer mind, tell your friends that a lot more of the industry supplies fur for those fashionable fur-trimmed coats, gloves and hats, rather than full fur coats, and convince them not to buy them. But most of all - show your dissent, write to the Powers That Be (remember your tax money supports this industry!) and stand by your convictions.

Thank you.
tilly_stratford: (Trek: Spock bitchfit)
Case: There's an old geezer in Bergen who brags about hurting cats who walks on his property. Today my bosses at the shelter posted about it on facebook. People are understandably upset, but the variety of ways they react to it is driving me crazy:

A) Sharing the man's telephone number, urging people to call him and "try to reason with him" (I'm not entirely certain that's what they're actually going to do when they call).

B) Accusing him of being a pedophile (?)

C) Saying "No reason to go to the police, they never take these things seriously anyway." (One of my BOSSES said this. WHAT.)

D) Going "If anybody hurt my Felix I'd kill them!"

D) Telling off anybody who suggests that any of the above might not be the wisest courses of action.

I'm just - argh! Of course I think it's horrible, of course I hate this man, and of course a little voice in the back of my head is suggesting to let Anonymous go get him, or throw a brick through his window or something. It's just - I don't want our wonderful organization to turn into... whatever this is. People are so disillusioned with the police the majority just whine about it and go about their daily business, while the rest turn into prank callers. What is wrong with this picture?

And here I am, whining about it, because I don't know what to do either. At last the police has been notified, but other than that...?

If the newspapers pick up on this thing (somebody's called a major national newspaper) I desperately hope they focus on what ridiculous animal welfare laws we have in Norway (for one, do you know which department's in charge of animal services? The Food Safety Authority! No, seriously. And do you know when it actually became AGAINST THE LAW to have sex with animals in Norway? Last. year.) and bring it to people's attention, complete with the system taking care of this man... Not "Hohoho look at all these crazy cat ladies, they burned a guy's house down! Animal organizations are idiotic herp derp" or something.

I guess the case is on hold till Monday...
tilly_stratford: (Buster: kiss)
Back in Bergen. Had a stroll through the city today, everything seems to be where I left it.

My mum's friend got married on Saturday. Sitting in the chapel listening to the (admittedly very charming) priest talking about the force of love got me thinking. He kept saying that love is a thing science will never be able to explain: I guess I took that as a challenge. I believe humans are merely very intelligent animals anyway; Of course we seek security and comfort. Of course we've got ancient biological urges working in us, even if we're not always aware of them. Of course we've been taught by society that being alone is a failure.

Suddenly I'm not sure if I believe in anything like LOVE anyway. I've been in love. I've been in affectionate relationships. It was nice, most times. But right now I'm in a supercynical mood so I can't help but wonder if LOVE, OH GLORIOUS LOVE is just some saccarine construct we unwittingly made to hide all that raw animal instinct and secret insecurity I mentioned before. Maybe we're all just fooling ourselves. Very successfully.

But then again put on an old black and white movie of romance and sacrifice and watch me turn on the waterworks. Apparently I'm a big romantic - when it comes to fiction anyhow.

I don't know, I'm tired and school starts up again tomorrow. And I've been listening too much to Jonah and the Whale lately:
Now I look at love like being stabbed in the heart
You torture each other from day to day and then one day you part
Most of it is misery but there's some joy at the start
One of these days I'll write something superinteresting here.
tilly_stratford: (Darkwing: not convinced)
You know what make me ridiculously angry?


Nothing special brought this on, though a quick google certainly gave me more reasons to be angry (NOW WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT OF REMAKING A HITCHCOCK MOVIE. TELL ME.) Not just movies, but songs too. How many people think Madonna wrote 'American pie' eh? How many haven't even heard my favourite verse, the one about our generation lost in space and Satan on the podium?

Furthermore there is something implied about remakes that says "the original is rubbish and we want to improve it". Does that mean Michael Myers is considered a greater actor than Danny Kaye? Dude, The secret life of Walter Mitty already EXISTS, why spend all this money making a version that will be Kaye- and Karloff-less?

And I know I'm being a total hypocrite too, because without the new Star Trek movie I would never have gone "Hmm, interesting chara- HOLY SHIT UHURA WAS BLACK IN THE SIXTIES TOO AND THIS IS ALL AWESOME" and I'd never learn to love the original series.

tilly_stratford: (Cat: Miyazaki handle with care)
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Well that is a prejudiced question if I ever heard one. Which is why everybody answering it goes "THAT IS SO DUMB". Of course they do!

Listen, as an animal welfare kinda-activist who's never heard of this thing before, I'm 98 per cent sure that this isn't an actual attempt at replacing the word "pet owner" with "pet guardian". It doesn't mean that all animal activist groups everywhere immediately abandon all their causes for this one; "Welp, we were making some headway on the slaughter of red-listed animals but I suppose this word thing is the rallying point now."

It's not about importance, animal activist groups do this thing occasionally to raise awareness, to make people think. Even such completely insane groups as PETA (it hurts to know that this is what so many people think of when they hear "animal activists") has to know that language doesn't work that way.

It's just an attempt to make people reflect on how animals - yes, even that stray cat that lives in the abandoned shed across the road - are living beings. That even if you purchase a dog, you haven't the right to kick it when it pees on the floor. But every time someone does campaigns like this to simply raise awareness, the media and others completely overshadow the intention by going "HURR DEY SO DUMB".
tilly_stratford: (Yoga: Virbhadra pose)
In honour of the day I've hand washed a couple of my sweaters in the sink and ordered some Lush soaps.

Okay I'm a big liar, I'd already done those things when I realized what day it was. But I can still feel good about it.

I've been thinking about how I really hate when people assume things about me based on appearances, but I've realized that if I have to subscribe to a stereotype I prefer to be a granola-munching hippie (who happens to not like granola very much) than anything else.

The chronology of growing awareness )

My new project is trying to find a toothpaste that can be bought locally that isn't tested on animals. Colgate; You and me, we're done professionally.
tilly_stratford: (Yoga: Virbhadra pose)
Christ, it's genuinely upsetting to wander off into some debate forum for teens where young girls ask eachother what to do to fit in. Like a sixteen-yearold who writes about how she feels intimate shaving is painful and feels weird, "but the boys thinks anything else is gross, so of course I do it". My God. If that hadn't been an anonymous forum I'd have contacted her.

I suppose respect for oneself is something you learn with time. At least I hope so. Most of my life I've always wanted to go my own way and be a *unique snowflake* anyway, but being able to think "No really, it's okay to do and wear whatever you feel comfortable with. Really!" is something I didn't fully realize myself until a few years back (in fact I think I keep on discovering aspects of it).

The fact that girls in their mid-teens do things they feel uncomfortable with just because they've been led to believe that doing whatever feels comfortable is socially unacceptable is... horrible. What if these girls go on believing things like that as they become women, as they get daughters of their own?

I think I'll keep telling myself that all eventually learn to respect their own bodies, because the alternative depresses the hell out of me.

CLARIFICATION: I'm not saying that intimate shaving is a problem and wrong in itself, I'm saying that feeling like you don't have a say in the matter is.
tilly_stratford: (Cat: Miyazaki handle with care)
A lot of things to do at the shelter today. There were cats coming in, cats going out (I did my first cat adoption! :D Susanne finally has a home!), stuff sold, those adorable kids set to work... And my arms are torn to shreds. Ah yes, this bit I remember.

I've already started dreaming of someone coming in and loudly proclaiming "I want an adult cat. I want the least popular cat in the house, it doesn't matter if it looks like it's been chewed and spat out as long as it's got personality."

Eeeeverybody wants kittens. That's the problem in a nutshell, isn't it? People want kittens, nobody wants cats.

Anyway, enough bitching: The weekly cat showcase!

I want to point you to Felix because he is simply the least adoptable cat ever.

For one, he's no beauty. He has lived a hard life - his ears are torn up, he's scarred and lumpy after years of fighting. He distrusts everyone. He'll hurt you if you get too close, and hiss at you if you're even in the same room. He has even scared off potential foster parents - you know, the people whose job is to to take care of the asocial ones? That's Felix. Of all the cats on the shelter, he's the only one who's allowed to go without a collar - nobody has a deathwish strong enough to try to put it on.

But I've developed an odd sort of deep respect for Felix. He knows a cat doesn't exist solely so it can please humans. He's been through hell and damn right, life has taught him to trust no one. He might not be aware of it, but I know humans are to blame - and though he might stay at the shelter till the end of his days, I sort of like the thought of him being there. As a reminder.
tilly_stratford: (Bogie)
Today I want to lead you to my newest discovery: Self-Styled Siren, a blog dedicated to great classic (mostly old Hollywood) movies.

I don't agree with all her opinions, and God knows I haven't seen half as many films as she has, but she writes with an eloquence and a wit that makes me spend an an hour plus before I realize I should get up and do something. Her calm dismissal of a journalist who called Basil Rathbone "sexlessly debonair in the way Hollywood liked its leading men in the 1930s and 1940s" is way beyond my level of maturity*.

Not to mention she has an eye for details and an imagination that... let's just say she's made me want to rewatch The Maltese Falcon and try out some new interpretations.

For a sample blog entry, try Ten Things I Love About Old Movies.

Lenghty pimping end.

*Seriously? Rathbone is sexless? What. That's like... calling Humphrey Bogart effeminate. Or Mae West prudish. It's funny because the last Rahtbone movie I watched was Captain Blood where Rathbone's entire character is summed up as "'Allo, I am a French slutty pirate." I dare anyone to watch Love From A Stranger (not that you should, it's not very good) and not see that disconcerting level of sexuality he brings to the part.
tilly_stratford: (Deadpool day)
And with weather worn hands on bread lines they stand
Yet but one more degradation
And they're treated like tramps while we sell them food stamps
This thriving and prosperous nation

I've had a fun day actually. I seem to have lovely passionate lecturers with a sense of humour, and I'm confident I chose the right classes. Methodology continues to be fun, with the lecturer citing all sorts of censorhip and PC adjustments in the historical field, each time thunderously declaring "It's the Ministry of Truth, that's what it is!"

He also had us in stitches with this postcard from 1905:

"This postcard," he said, pointing to the projection in the lecture hall. "Depicts W.F. Christie (from the Norwegian constitution assembly of 1814) and Christian Michelsen (elected Prime Minister in 1905) on the sail of a viking ship. This postcard..." he paused for dramatic tension. "Makes no sense!"
tilly_stratford: (Time war)
I actually remember when Valentines Day wasn't celebrated in Norway, at least not commercially. My biggest beef with it these days is mostly that nobody calls it the traditional "all hearts' day" (alle hjerters dag) anymore, but instead opts for the dull directly translated valentinsdagen.

Some of the same things go for Halloween as well, actually. I remember in the mid-nineties it was something exotic they did in other countries. Now it's just another commercial holiday here as well, only it's overshadowing our own old "dress up and go from door to door" tradition, julebukk.

But that's me banging on about my same old hangups.

I hear in Finland they celebrate Friendship Day instead of Valentines, which I thought sounded sweet. We should have a symolic day to celebrate the whole spectre of love, not just between partners. Said the single girl.

In the meantime, I intend to make some delicious dinner, and don't you know I've got date plans with both David Niven and Bing Crosby tonight. Not both at once, of course, what sort of girl do you take me for? Yes, I think even Humphrey Bogart might make an appearance.

The most entertaining thing about Valentines Day is of course those people that insist on shortening it to "VD". Which makes this little ditty by Tom Lehrer all the more suitable, I think:

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Remember the protection, kids.


tilly_stratford: (Default)

March 2015



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