Main Argument: Penley argues that what she calls "NASA/TREK"--the hybrid pop culture object that is NASA and Star Trek, combined--is "popular science," which is "a collectively elaborated story that weaves together science and science fiction to help write, think, and launch us into space" (9). In her view, "popular science, fully in the American utopian tradition, proposes that scientific experimentation be accompanied by social and sexual experimentation" and that "we are, or should be, popular scientists one and all" (10).
( NASA/Trek )
Critical assessment: It has to be said up front that this book has not aged well, which makes it all the more annoying when people writing now cite only this book for arguments about fans. As the quotation from the last page of the book above should make clear, moreover, this is very much part of the "first wave" of fan studies in that its attitude towards fans and fan works is so utopian. Fandom certainly can be a space for the production and contemplation of alternatives at multiple levels, but that does not make everything fans do part of some better world.
Further reading: Contact; Gravity; Galaxy Quest; Katie King, Networked Reenactments
Tub filled, check. Dinner planned that does not require water to cook, check. (Although I suppose I should go scrub the potatoes now.) Eyes rolled, check.
::looks at calendar::
Sage? Did you really say we're coming up on the 20th anniversary of the due South pilot?
::looks at Captain America 2 trailers:: Oh, fuck, I have how long to write that Bucky/Winter Soldier fic? So that I can then write Fraser fic? See you guys later!
Ursula Vernon has given me a hint on how to get basic inventory working, which I am not using in this gamelet, but which I did want to use in another concept. I am very grateful! Yay Twitter.
I bookmarked a couple pages that talk about how to get sound running on a Twine game, but that's not on the roadmap for a silly!tiny!game, just as a future possibility for feelies.
2. But I am being a good Yoon (now that I have figured out how to install Porpentine's combined <<Replace>> macro set, which was surprisingly easy, THANK YOU SO MUCH SMART PEOPLE WHO MAKE CODE AVAILABLE FOR NON-PROGRAMMERS) and working on a critique owed.
3. "Talon March" progress: Last night I got Kontakt plug-in working in Reaper. It was thankfully intuitive, the basics anyway. I think I am after all going to go with the VSE trumpet patches, and experiment with setting up a second track with crossfade legato-into-staccato and see if I can get better transients (?) that way. (Sorry, I don't English well around this stuff, no vocabulary.)
Noted with interest, although I don't know if it's helpful in this specific project, are some basic AEIOU vowel choir pads. Good to have, however! With the limited patches I don't think I can get them to sound naturalistic enough to be a good match for the feel of "Talon March" and right now I am not budgeted for a fuller-fledged choral library. This would start at $500 and go on up, and from a long-term standpoint Vienne Complete Strings Complete is a better investment since I plan on focusing on, well, strings. But again, worth noting.
4. I may be able to get my breath mask to fit after all, which is good. Annoyingly, it rained today, meaning the humidity is probably too high for me to be spraying sealant on ball-jointed doll #2, which I bought secondhand through Den of Angels Marketplace. I asked to have the face-up wiped because I wanted to give it a try, but it may be a while before I actually get to have a go! Of course, once I get to try it, I expect the results will be lolarious...but I am dying to use the Schminke half-pastel set. Such pretty colors! Plus, once I have the doll assembled (it's only partly strung, I assume for shipping reasons), I can try cockamamie doll clothes sewing.
* Scary moment in hockey yesterday, when Rich Peverley of the Dallas Stars collapsed on the bench during a game. As the article says, fortunately he's stable now, but you don't expect a 31-year-old athlete to drop from a heart attack, even one with a recent history like his.
It's been a weird year for the NHL with things like this.
* Teen Wolf last night. ( Cut for comments on De-Void )
* I was prepared to be upset that there's no new PoI this week, except I was just looking at the episode guide and realized I somehow MISSED AN EPISODE, namely "Provenance." I did think it odd that "Last Call" was the return of Reese, with no real mention of him leaving and return. Yay, new-to-me episode!
I don't mind daylight savings time in that I like the extra early light, but the time change itself always does my head in for about a week. Bleh.
Last night, I caught up on Teen Wolf. I wish the episodes were a little heavier on moving the plot forward and a little lighter on atmosphere, but I think this might be the most exciting the show has been. (I think moving the plot faster would reduce the feeling that a lot of things don't really make sense, or are left out of the episodes in favor of atmospherics; the reason I don't mind Sleepy Hollow playing fast and loose with history or its own plot is that it moves so fast I don't have time to get all, "but wait...that doesn't make sense!" until afterwards, when I'm satisfied well enough emotionally that I don't really care.)
Anyway. ( spoilers )
I would like a nap now. Why does stupid work have to interfere with prime napping time? Sigh.
I watched the premiere episode of NBC’s new show Believe last night, partly because of the involvement of some interesting people — J.J. Abrams, Alfonso Cuarón, Delroy Lindo — and partly because at this point I kind of feel sorry for NBC due to the network’s flailing attempts to find “the next Lost.”
Believe was, well, kind of unremarkably OK, I guess. Willa Paskin calls it a “cliché-ridden mess,” and she’s not wrong.
For all the show’s hints of shadowy conspiracies of good and evil and its portentous talk of “whoever controls her ability will control the world,” the first episode ended with the suggestion that this show may be something more conventional. “Think of all the people she’ll help along the way,” Lindo’s character says, laying out the likely structure of the series. Believe, it seems, is the latest return to the formula of a picaresque anthology series in which our heroes will, “You know, walk the Earth, meet people — get into adventures. Like Caine from Kung Fu.”
That’s promising. Yes, that format sometimes means, as Paskin says, “a cheeseball case of the week,” but when it’s done well, it can be a vehicle for terrific storytelling.
The show’s title — Believe — suggests religious overtones, and this wandering-do-gooder formula has often been a favorite for religiously themed shows. The fierce tribal loyalty of a religious audience can make a TV show a lasting hit, but it’s impossible to say yet whether Believe will appeal to that audience because we don’t yet know anything about the source of the supernatural powers displayed by the little girl at the heart of its story.
If cherubic little Bo turns out to be a literal cherub, then this show could become a huge hit. That’s probably true even if her powers are just vaguely attributed as a “miracle” or a “gift from God.” But if the source of her powers is explained in some kind of New Age-y way, or as a leap forward in human evolution, then that same religious audience will likely reject this show.
For a sense of what I mean, here’s a brief survey of some earlier TV shows that followed this wandering-hero format, in descending order of their appeal to religious audiences:
• Highway to Heaven (1984-1989). Pa Ingalls as an angel on a mission from God was more than enough to convince religious audiences to forget all about Michael Landon’s ugly divorce. The only downside was the show aired on Wednesday nights, when much of its potential audience was at prayer meeting.
• The Millionaire (1955-1960). The main character was named “Michael,” but he wasn’t an angel serving as a messenger of God. He was, rather, the personal assistant of mysterious gazillionaire John Beresford Tipton, who sent Michael forth to rain $1 million checks upon the just and the unjust. But whether or not Tipton was, strictly speaking, divine, the fantasy of such miraculous providence was the same.
• The A-Team (1983-1987). The remnants of a “crack commando” unit did not possess the supernatural powers of angels or billionaires, but they did have a preternatural ability to spray bullets with no one ever getting shot. The show’s appeal to religious audiences was also enhanced by the casting of former bodyguard Nathaniel Tureaud — an outspoken born-again Christian and sometime evangelist who pities any fool who doesn’t know Jesus. More than 25 years later, “Mr. T” remains a popular figure in the evangelical subculture.
• The Fugitive (1963-1967). “Richard Kimble ponders his fate as he looks at the world for the last time, and sees only darkness. But in that darkness, fate moves its huge hand.” Talk of “fate” is, of course, not an acceptable substitute for talk of providence and God’s plan. On the other hand (no pun intended), Kimble’s quest to catch his wife’s killer could be seen as “pro-family.”
• The Incredible Hulk (1978-1982). David Banner was not an angel and he was not on a mission from God. He was, rather, a lonely man cursed by gamma radiation to become a green rage-machine. But if his supernatural powers were not divine, neither were they nefariously occult. And religious audiences, like everyone else, were willing to forgive the show’s shortcomings whenever they saw poor Bill Bixby walking down the highway to Joe Harnell’s mournful piano.
• Have Gun Will Travel (1957-1963). Westerns tend to embody the “traditional morality” that appeals to religious audiences, but this Paladin wasn’t quite their idea of lawful good. This black knight was a wine-drinking, urbane liberal who fought on the wrong side in the Civil War (i.e., the winning side, the American side, the anti-slavery side). That’s a far cry from Pa Ingalls as an angel.
• Kung Fu (1972-1975). Eastern philosophy is dangerous, grasshopper, a lie from the devil that lures good people away from the One True Truth.
• Route 66 (1960-1964). Restless, rootless youth hitting the highway in a search for meaning? There’s nothing at all angelic about that. This is where the 1960s came from — the beginning of the end for godly America. Plus most episodes didn’t take place on the iconic highway of the title, so why call the show that? Could it be because that’s just one digit away from you know what?
(Note: I’m only considering here shows with wandering heroes who travel from place to place. There are also a host of shows that employ a similar anthology formula, with similar supernatural overtones, but in a single setting — think Early Edition, Joan of Arcadia, or The Ghost Whisperer.)
The comm's photos are currently housed at my own site where I don't have any gallery software, so the only way of accessing them is through the comm posts. Hopefully we'll get something more functional in the not too distant future.
( This way... )
In general, one commit on Github equals one point in the "Changes" column, but fractional points are awarded for collaborative efforts — the most common example being a new S2 theme, where usually half credit is awarded to the theme author and the other half to the person who converts the theme into a code patch. Due to the nature of development, some changes are massive contributions of new code, and others are tiny tweaks; there is no correlation with the amount of effort involved. We are grateful to everyone who helps to improve Dreamwidth, in ways large or small.
I last compiled this list at the beginning of October. Since that time, we have welcomed forests_of_fire as a new contributor! Congratulations and thank you again!
# User Changes Latest 1. fu 1577 Mon Mar 10 11:14:50 2014 UTC 2. ninetydegrees 693.93 Mon Mar 03 20:22:10 2014 UTC 3. hotlevel4 26 Sun Mar 02 22:18:52 2014 UTC 4. exor674 328 Sun Mar 02 15:44:46 2014 UTC 5. nornoriel 15.5 Thu Feb 27 19:58:39 2014 UTC 6. denise 402.08 Tue Dec 31 06:25:40 2013 UTC 7. foxfirefey 102 Thu Dec 26 04:59:42 2013 UTC 8. momijizukamori 202.16 Mon Nov 25 17:27:42 2013 UTC 9. mark 519.5 Mon Nov 25 05:25:11 2013 UTC 10. purplecat 16 Sat Nov 09 15:24:39 2013 UTC 11. forests_of_fire 1 Sat Oct 19 18:19:34 2013 UTC 12. timeasmymeasure 13.33 Sat Oct 19 16:08:11 2013 UTC 13. dancing_serpent 24.6 Sat Oct 19 15:50:17 2013 UTC 14. swaldman 77 Sat Sep 14 14:41:11 2013 UTC 15. stormerider 6 Tue Sep 03 03:33:46 2013 UTC 16. kaberett 13 Wed Aug 14 00:00:28 2013 UTC 17. kareila 791.5 Mon Jul 29 17:29:27 2013 UTC 18. meludame 7 Mon Jul 29 12:03:28 2013 UTC 19. deborah 51 Sat Jul 27 05:48:42 2013 UTC 20. alierak 18 Thu Jul 18 03:27:12 2013 UTC( The rest of the list... (142 total) )
It's probably the wacky weather we're having. It's supposed to get to 82°F today, but only 60°F tomorrow, with high winds overnight. Sigh. Hate spring. Haaaaaaaate it.
I AM GOING TO STOP WHINING NOW.