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24 August 2014 @ 08:59 am
Neat! I almost fell asleep and deffinitely have to watch it again. I adored the new Doctor, very good job! And I always love Vastra and her wife.

Clara, still not so much my cup of tea, but the new visual style of the intro and the tardis was also very appealing. I need to watch it again, but in general I enjoyed it a lot.
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17 August 2014 @ 08:31 pm
I finally got the first grade for my thesis and it's an A! Also the lab course is finished and we had a bunch of really nice students this year.

Since I can only arrange the date for my defense when both grades from the exteraccounal reviewers are in, I can only wait now and finally have some actual free time. It feels almost alien after being chained up at work for months now.

So I went on a comic reading binge. The Unwritten is doing a crossover with Fables, so I spent the weekend catching up on Fables. I stopped reading it when Willingham did the Angel comics so badly and turned out to be such an asshat in the process.

I stopped at Fables 12 because 13 is a crossover with Jack of Fables, which I found boring. I now reread the series and continued with 14 since 13 is not that important to the story anyway. I'm now starting Fables 17 (Inherit the Wind).

It's difficult, reading something for entertainment, where you don't particularly like the author anymore. Fables has a lot of good sides, it has superb plotting, a very good sense for pacing and drama and also some really likeable and interesting characters. Also beautiful and expressive artwork.

But it has some undercurrents too, that I previously just intentionally overlooked because I liked other parts so much. I somehow assumed that the Fables world is imagined to be somewhat archaic, accounting for many of the political statements in the comic and for the picture it paints of women. But now I tend to think that was letting Willingham off too easy. The comparison with the truly superb Unwritten makes it more obvious than it used to be to me.

Even though Fables has a host of diverse, interesting and also very powerful women, Willingham always sticks to this notion that once a woman has a man, she somehow has to follow orders from that guy. Not even Frau Totenkinder is excluded from this and considering how many other fairy tale tropes he is subverting, why not break with that one? It's really annoying and it feels like he is stuffing his politics down the readers throat. Sort of, see, those are intelligent, resourceful, brave and powerfull women....who know their place.

I have not read the Unwritten crossover yet and don't know where it fits in the Fables timeline yet, but googling to find out where it fits in already got me to disgruntled reviews of Unritten fans, who resented the misogynist streak, Fables carried over. Apparently it is not even necessary to read up on Fables to get on with the Unwritten, because the Unwritten version is more a Fables AU, but I don't regret catching up with Fables anyway.

I still enjoy Fables and I love the focus on Rose Red in the later books, but I can't say anymore that I love it without reservations.
Today, a group of punks was evicted from a house they were occupying in Vienna. Not such a big deal, you'd think. You might sympathize with sqatters, but expect that eviction had to occur at some point or think them just lazy and deserving of what they got.

Except this case is (as usual here) just completely out of bounds insane.

The punks were not occupying the lowest flour off this house in Vienna uninvited, they were part of an ongoing war, the owners were waging against long term tennants living there. The firm owning the house wanted to have it empty, so they could modernize it and rent the flats at the much higher rents you can ask in new flats in Vienna. So they started to terrorize the tennants with good contracts.

They put garbage in the hallways, they randomly built stuff and broke it down just to cause noise, they knocked at their door in the middle of the night to "talk about their contracts". They caused water damage or turned off the electricity.
Still, while most tennants fled the scene. Some remained.

To put on the last straw on their backs the firm invited a group of punks to live in the ground floor restaurant. Only they did not take into account that the punks quickly realized what was happening and teamed up with the remaining tennants. They named the restaurant Pizzaria Anarchia and henceforth shewed away any late night knockers from old ladies doors, kept the place nice and squatted there in harmony.

Today a 1700 (!!!) men strong police force evicted them. There were like 30 people in the house (the punks themselves and several sympathizers). There was a tank and a helicopter. All the punks did was throw eggs and shit at the police force. There was no actual violence. Yet my fucking tax money was used to help this fucking inhumane and evil firm to protect its assets with a fucking army, including a fucking tank!!!

I am so mad. What the hell are they thinking here? WHAT?
07 July 2014 @ 06:05 pm
This feels really weird from this side of the pond, because we are usually so used to feeling great about our socialist public health care systems when we hear about the poor USA citizens and how a medical bill can ruin a family.

But concerning contraception? No insurance pays for it here. I don't know about all nations in Europe, but in Austria, Germany and Finnland it's not covered. Of course the reason for it is not religious grounds, but more the sentiment that healthcare is a basic right that everyone is entitled too. But since contraceptives are not necessary to stay healthy (if they are, in cases of cramps or other reproductive health issues they are covered and most gynecologist will write you something so that you will get them for free this way) they are not covered, neither is in vitro fertilization.

I don't even find it so horrible, although I do find the reasoning of the US supreme completely icky. The religious feelings of the employer trump the ones of the women, who are working for them? It's sick. If they had argued that the pill is not a health requirement and consequently a luxury everybody should pay for themselves, ok. But this? Supertwisted.
04 July 2014 @ 05:35 pm
The honourable Woman

A miniseries starring Maggie Gyllenhaal as Nessa Stein, the daughter of an Israeli arms procurer, who was murdered. She tries to turn her father's enterprise in a new direction by laying data cables to the West Bank.

It's beautifully acted and shot. A total treat. Plus it has a reasonable take on the Israel-Palestine conflict, not some sort of propaganda cliche.
02 July 2014 @ 07:53 pm
I looked into this new show and its kind of a trainwreck. It's about the son of a fictive middle eastern dictatorship, who has left his family legacy behind to become a doctor in the USA. When he visits with his american family back for a wedding, his father dies and he feels obliged to help his brother, who is clearly not remarkably fit to be a ruler (he's modeled after the eldest Hussein Junior).

I think the premise of the show, or say the main conflicts are really interesting. Barry (yes, he calls himself Barry) wanted to leave the legacy of brutality behind and is very reluctant to go back, while his son is kind of fascinated by the power and riches his family has in fictive middle eastern country and feels attracted to the whole masculinity cult, which since he is gay could very quickly turn on him.

There are some interesting things there about power and corruption and that could make for a cool show, if it weren't for the trainwreck part. They absolutely should have set this show in a fully dictional setting like "Kings", then it might have gone somewhere. But this way its mainly a vehicle for a gazillion of stereotypes about middle eastern people, who in this show all speak English with an accent with each other. Seriously, what's wrong with subtitles?
02 July 2014 @ 08:53 am
Should have no time to read should have not time to post. My thesis is sucking every last little bit of joy out of my life. But hey, tv...

I heard that American Gods is being produced as a tv show on Starz. I would be thrilled, I love the book...except...Starz. I mean they botched every single thing they got their hands on in the last few years. Torchwood, King Arthur, Pirates, matter what they cast plastic people for every role and use so much diffuser scrim that it becomes impossible to watch. Meh. i really hope they do a better job this time around.
22 June 2014 @ 05:28 pm
It has been a while since I reviewed a book and I am so procrastinating on writing my thesis but still this book totally deserves the attention.

nonspoilery reviewCollapse )
20 June 2014 @ 07:24 pm
Since I was always late to see the episodes and didn't have the peace and quiet to write about the individual episodes, I thought I do a an overall review of the season now that I have seen it all.

Contains spoilers for season 4 and for what is different from the books but no spoilers beyond what happened on the show.Collapse )
10 June 2014 @ 05:22 pm
LJ, is really not that frequented anymore, is it?

It is still my favorite site, but I am less on the internet in general and ever since I don't have to say that much about Buffy anymore, I don't manage to post much.

Anyway, I thought I'd post briefly about the second season of Orange, which I completely wolfed down on the long weekend. beware the spoilersCollapse )