greygirlbeast: (talks to wolves)
[personal profile] greygirlbeast
Ugh. Yeah, we're awake now, right? I've been chattering away like Robin fucking Williams for an hour, and I think Spooky's ready to murder me. But, then, she usually is. Ready to murder me.

Hey, let's get off on the right foot. Here's some depressing-ass shit: "Police Seek Escaped Exotic Animals in Ohio." And while we're at it, since when is it acceptable to only capitalize the first word of a headline and any proper nouns? Who decided that? It's fucking idiotic. I think I only noticed this about a month ago, but it seems to be a New Internet Rule. I'm sure some bunch of cocksuckers are responsible, like the authors of the The Associated Press Stylebook and The Chicago Manual of Style, who have to keep making up "new rules" so people have to keep buying new copies. Linguistic evolution by way of capitalism, yes! Anyway, the proper way to write a headline...oh, never mind. World, meet hell in a hand basket, and you kids get off my lawn.

Yesterday, I worked. Can't say how or on what. I am told the beans will be spilled in only a few more weeks, you will all be happy, and I can stop keeping this particular SECRET.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] sovay reports having received her copy of Two Worlds and In Between, so folks who wisely pre-ordered (even the trade hb edition is almost sold out now, less than fifty copies remaining) should be getting it this week and next.

---

I was going to talk about Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.'s prequel to John Carpenter's The Thing (1982). Yes, I was. I said that yesterday. First off, the pros. This is a good movie, and remember, I may have seen the Carpenter film more times than any living being (easily a hundred times, start to finish). It's a terrifying, fun, awe-inspiring tribute to the Carpenter film and, for the most part, it gets it right, because the filmmakers had the proper respect for the original and convinced the studio/producers to permit them to make a prequel instead of a remake. Though we do not need to know what happened before Carpenter's film, or what happens afterwards (this is part of the film's genius), the prequel doesn't provide some sort of infodump that ruins the original. Oh, and no SPOILER WARNING; if you don't want to read this, then avert thine eyes. However, rather than fawn over the good points (which are many), I'll point out those things I found annoying or disappointing. You know, like any good internet "reviewer." Overall, Heijningen gets the continuity with the first film right, and his scientific gaffs are minor (no one has ever found a prehistoric carnivore preserved in tundra, though we're shown Mary Elizabeth Winstead's paleontologist, Dr. Kate Lloyd, examining what appears to be a frozen Homotherium near the beginning of the film). I loved the microscope view of the alien cells consuming human cells and converting them, and the understanding that the alien was single-celled virus capable of acting as a multicellular organism. Wait, I'm saying good things. What kind of internet reviewer am I?!

Anyway, the delightful isolation of the first film is broken when we cut to Lloyd's lab at Columbia University, whereas maintaining that sense of claustrophobic isolation was crucial to the film's success. Bad filmmakers. Also, this film isn't nearly as quiet or as slowly paced as the 1982 film, but if it were, 2011 audiences would probably walk out, having been trained for constant, unrelenting action. One thing I love about the Carpenter film is the pacing, which took a cue from Alien (1978). Also, while the special effects and creature design were very good, I still prefer the analog effects in the original. Give me latex and methylcellulose over pixels any damn day of the week. I liked how we were shown the alien's ability to absorb and replicate via ingestion, but also it's ability to infect and slowly convert a human. I loved that we are shown so much of the inside of the alien ship, but was annoyed that the original means of its discovery wasn't preserved. The prequel does a pretty good job of being set in 1982 (thank fuck it wasn't updated), but I missed seeing 1982 computer technology. That would have been charming in the right way. There are too many characters, and except for Lloyd, they have a tendency to bleed together (no pun intended), one into the next. A wonderful thing about the first film was its carefully delineated characters.

The ending is handled well. I very much like the sense that we're given the impression that Lloyd, despite having survived, knows it's best if she sits there in that snowcat and freezes to death. Ultimately, we're left with the ambiguities and fatalism of the original, the sense of impending apocalypse, and you better stay for the credits, because that's where Carpenter's and Heijningen's fuse seamlessly together (no pun intended), with footage from the 1982 version. Again, DO NOT LEAVE WHEN THE CREDIT ROLL BEGINS, or you'll miss where 1982 meets 2011. Tentative final conclusion: I'll give it 8 out of 10; definitely worth seeing in the theaters.

---

We finished Shirley Jackson's The Sundial last night. It's a wonderful novel, with multiple interpretations and a marvelously inconclusive ending. I learned so much from Jackson. Is this a statement on the Catholic Church (the Halloran House) and Protestantism (the inhabitants; remember that Jackson was an atheist)? On human idiocy in general? The hysteria of crowds? Jackson's strong dislike for insular New Englanders (which she repeats again and again in other works)? We have to draw our own conclusions, or draw none at all. And now, I will announce (though I may have already beat myself to it) that the next Aunt Beast Book Club book is Collin Meloy and Carson Ellis' Wildwood. Note that this is a beautiful hardback, and if you purchase it as an ebook, you're shooting yourself in the foot and will miss at least half the pleasure. Also, last night I read Peter Crowther's "Memories." And played some Rift. I miss the house guests. I need more of them.

Speaking of whom, here are some crappy, blurry shots I took on Friday night at Spooky's parents' farm in Saunderstown, before we stepped out into the torrential fucking downpour to get the first round of nude shots of Eva, when Imp finds her at the side of the road. We were ordering pizza (thank you Spooky and Geoffrey) and playing with Spider cat, the feline basketball:















Though these are so craptacular I can't imagine anyone stealing them, all photographs Copyright © 2011 by Caitlín R. Kiernan

Date: 2011-10-19 06:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mastadge.livejournal.com
The deputies, who saw many other animals standing outside their cages and others that had escaped past the fencing surrounding the property, began shooting them on sight.

Does it make me a bad person that I would have no problem with any deputy who shot an animal "standing outside [its] cage" being shot? Seriously. What the fuck. Some irresponsible asshole lets animals out of their cages before committing suicide so now, for the terrible crime of being scary and dangerous, the animals are being summarily shot? Dollars to donuts cars have killed more children than exotic animals in that town -- maybe deputies should start shooting cars parked outside their garages on sight?

I also hate the fucking euphemisms. What the hell does "destroyed" mean in the context of killing something? It sounds more obliterative than it probably is. . .

Date: 2011-10-19 06:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mastadge.livejournal.com
Also, agreed on the headline conventions. That's almost as annoying as the other trend to capitalize every word.

Date: 2011-10-19 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Yerp.
Edited Date: 2011-10-19 06:15 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-19 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Does it make me a bad person that I would have no problem with any deputy who shot an animal "standing outside [its] cage" being shot?

Er...yeah. Is that what you meant to type, as it doesn't really jibe with the rest of your comment.

Date: 2011-10-19 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seph-ski.livejournal.com
It's my understanding that it was too dark to track so many animals, and tranquilizing them isn't an immediate thing. It takes from five to twenty minutes for a tranq'd animal to go under. If they tried that they'd very likely lose track of the animals in the dark and chaos, especially since there were so many of them and any animal shot with anything is going to get scared and run off if it still can. Then they risk not finding the animals until the drugs wear off, the animal wakes up scared and perhaps hung-over, and it attacks the first thing it sees moving. Too much of a risk to take.

No, I don't blame the deputies at all for how they handled things. I'm furious at the jackwagon who was arrogant enough to collect them all and then mental enough to let them out.

Date: 2011-10-19 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Too much of a risk to take.

I simply don't agree, but then I don't tend to value human life above that of non-human animals. And these were abused non-human animals.

No, I don't blame the deputies at all for how they handled things. I'm furious at the jackwagon who was arrogant enough to collect them all and then mental enough to let them out.

I'm furious at the state of Ohio for not having laws to help prevent this sort of thing.

Date: 2011-10-19 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seph-ski.livejournal.com
I simply don't agree, but then I don't tend to value human life above that of non-human animals.

Honestly, my first thought was that it's no big deal because humans should have to occasionally defend their high-ranking place on the food chain, but then I realized I'd be looking for someone to kill if my husband got mauled leaving for work, or if something ate my dog. The closer I put myself to the danger, the more I appreciated the way such a stupidly tragic situation was handled. That's just me though.

I'm furious at the state of Ohio for not having laws to help prevent this sort of thing.

Agreed.

Date: 2011-10-19 09:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mastadge.livejournal.com
I agree with your reasoning: something kills my family -- including its non-human members -- I will be upset. And I will kill to prevent the death of anyone in my family.

But I will not kill pre-emptively something or someone without malicious intent who might or might not end up hurting someone in somebody's family, maybe. If locating the animals is going to be a problem, fly out an animal control team with some radiotags or something so that you can tranquilize, tag and track. Hold off on the slaughter until injury or death is imminent.

Date: 2011-10-19 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

but then I realized I'd be looking for someone to kill if my husband got mauled leaving for work, or if something ate my dog. The closer I put myself to the danger, the more I appreciated the way such a stupidly tragic situation was handled. That's just me though.

The animals are innocent, and I simply couldn't blame them for a loved one's death.

Date: 2011-10-19 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seph-ski.livejournal.com
The animals are innocent, and I simply couldn't blame them for a loved one's death.

No, but honestly, I would absolutely blame the deputy who had a non-native predator in his sights and let it run off. And if the guy who'd kept them wasn't already dead, I'd want to kill him too.

Date: 2011-10-19 09:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

And if the guy who'd kept them wasn't already dead, I'd want to kill him too.

Here, we agree.

But remember, I talk to wolves, bot real and metaphorical.

Date: 2011-10-19 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mastadge.livejournal.com
I understand the reasoning behind even if I strongly disagree with the actual decision to shoot the animals out on the roads or whatever -- but the ones standing by their cages? Really?

Date: 2011-10-19 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

but the ones standing by their cages? Really?

It's called murder.

Date: 2011-10-19 09:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] seph-ski.livejournal.com
I didn't realize they shot animals still in their cages. I haven't heard that mentioned at all, and I live in Ohio so I've been hearing this story all day long. If that's the case, that is really fucked up.

Date: 2011-10-19 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I didn't realize they shot animals still in their cages. I haven't heard that mentioned at all, and I live in Ohio so I've been hearing this story all day long. If that's the case, that is really fucked up.

I don't yet have confirmation this either. I'm trying to track it down, confirm or deny.

Date: 2011-10-19 06:06 pm (UTC)
witchchild: (Mo in library)
From: [personal profile] witchchild
While it does not bear on headlines, in cataloging for libraries all you capitalize is the first word of a title and any proper names. This also goes for APA-style bibliographies. But again, they're not headlines.

Date: 2011-10-19 06:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

But again, they're not headlines.

Bingo.

Date: 2011-10-19 06:18 pm (UTC)
witchchild: (Wolf howl)
From: [personal profile] witchchild
btw, what is the source of your icon? is it a proprietary thing?

Date: 2011-10-19 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

is it a proprietary thing?

Don't know. Stole it from someone long ago.

Date: 2011-10-19 06:27 pm (UTC)
witchchild: (Wolf headbutt)
From: [personal profile] witchchild
well that answers it.

Date: 2011-10-19 06:29 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-19 08:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oculus-five.livejournal.com
-It simply boggles the mind how such a place, with such a unstable and unsuitable owner, be allowed to exist. In Ohio of all places. Unreal.
--Just finished The Sundial too. It was unsettling in ways I can't quite (or fear to) describe. Very enjoyable. It led me to read The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Simply brilliant. May have to track down The Road Through the Wall, Hangsaman, and The Bird's Nest. Do you have a favorite Jackson story or novel?
--Looking forward to Two Worlds and in Between. Great cover.

Date: 2011-10-19 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

It led me to read The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Then I have done a mighty thing!

Do you have a favorite Jackson story or novel?

Yep. We Have Always Lived In the Castle. But then it seems almost like an autobiography I might have written.

We Have Always Lived In The Castle

Date: 2011-10-19 09:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashlyme.livejournal.com
Damn, I love that book. Thank you for introducing me to it.

Tell Spooky she's photogenic. I think she avoids these things, but I'm glad I wasn't the only one coveting her boots in last night's photo.

Re: We Have Always Lived In The Castle

Date: 2011-10-19 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Thank you for introducing me to it.

You are very welcome.

Tell Spooky she's photogenic.

She refuses to believe me.

Re: We Have Always Lived In The Castle

Date: 2011-10-19 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashlyme.livejournal.com
Oh, and cheers for the heads-up on the Thing prequel. Yes, on latex over CGI. Always.

Re: We Have Always Lived In The Castle

Date: 2011-10-19 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Yes, on latex over CGI. Always.

Give me real, in-camera, on-set gore and monstrous transformations.

Re: We Have Always Lived In The Castle

Date: 2011-10-19 10:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] derekcfpegritz.livejournal.com
The best modern FX are those which combine the solidity of silicone-sculpted practical make-up and/or prosthetic effects with the fluid animation of CGI. CGI works best when it's used to bring an added layer of dynamic life to meaty, tactile silicone models. My homeboy aRvin and I have firmly established this fact to our satisfaction and hope to see it used more frequently. :)

Date: 2011-10-19 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fornikate.livejournal.com
I was incensed by that story. Horrible.

Date: 2011-10-19 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fornikate.livejournal.com
Also, I believe headlines should be in all caps or properly capitalized. I hate that.

Date: 2011-10-19 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I hate that.

Hates it, Precious.

Date: 2011-10-19 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fornikate.livejournal.com
It grates on me, much like deliberately misspelled businesses.

Date: 2011-10-19 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grandmofhelsing.livejournal.com
And while we're at it, since when is it acceptable to only capitalize the first word of a headline and any proper nouns?

That's been Associated Press style for as long as I remember.

Date: 2011-10-19 09:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com


That's been Associated Press style for as long as I remember.


I know you work press, but so long as I can recall, this hasn't been true, and I still find a few papers on line that use the correct capitalization process. And regardless what AP says (it used to say you refer to pre-op transsexuals by their birth gender, for fuck's sake), it still looks stupid.

Date: 2011-10-20 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grandmofhelsing.livejournal.com
Not all newspapers use AP style. New York Times Co. papers have their own style, for example.
Edited Date: 2011-10-20 12:52 am (UTC)

Date: 2011-10-20 12:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grandmofhelsing.livejournal.com
Also, I was just happy the day AP stopped hyphenating teenager, fundraiser, and freelancer.

Date: 2011-10-20 01:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grandmofhelsing.livejournal.com
Oh, and I didn't even know AP had changed the rule on transgender pronoun usage. That's good to know. I hadn't had to look that up since the case of the pre-op transgender female bank robber. Of course, try getting an Alabama cop to use the AP-appropriate pronoun in any case.

Date: 2011-10-19 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] derekcfpegritz.livejournal.com
Sadly, I wasn't as impressed with The New Thing--though, after a second viewing, my opinion of its failures as lessened. Surprisingly enough, I found the weakest part of the film its FX...and I was excited to see the film primarily for the FX. I really wanted to see the thing brought to life, and I certainly got that, but I wasn't particularly impressed with the creature designs. They basically all looked alike. The thing theoretically can transform into any...uhh, think it has referents to--so why did every single instance of a thing (with the exception of the "dual" thing formed from Adam and Edvard) look like the same lamprey mouth and flailing tentacles? That was just a flatout failure on the part of the film's creature design team.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed it--even if I still find the scenes inside the ship completely pointless--and it's gotten me back into writing my sequel to The Thing...ummm, which is itself called The Thing.

Shirley Jackson

Date: 2011-10-20 03:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] royal-spice.livejournal.com
I am currently devouring everything by Ms. Jackson that I can get my hands on. This is partially because I've long been a fan and not read nearly enough of her works, and also because I hear she'll be in excellent company at ReaderCon this coming year. :)

Date: 2011-10-20 05:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spank-an-elf.livejournal.com
Sorry, James Arness will always be my Thing from Another Planet.

Date: 2011-10-31 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fornikate.livejournal.com
"I very much like the sense that we're given the impression that Lloyd, despite having survived, knows it's best if she sits there in that snowcat and freezes to death"

oh good, it wasn't just me thinking that. i finally saw it this weekend and i thought maybe it was just my latent suicidal tendencies again.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

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