June 2020



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Jan. 30th, 2020

draft posts? they end up deleted. post off the cuff? they end up regretted

There's a struggle I don't know how to fix--that talking about things I like and enjoy feels stupid, pretentious, humiliating. That even on a private twitter if I talk, ever, about things I like I become overwhelmed with self-recriminations and embarrassment.

Criticizing things feels--easier. Safer I think? The way anger often feels safer to express in a fight than the hurt you're actually feeling. Express dislike and be more comfortable on the attack rather than express enjoyment and feel paranoid that someone is going to look down on your soft parts, the vulnerability of something you genuinely value. (And the way that paranoia, that unease that someone is looking down on you or devaluing you as a person because of something you care about, that has led to being overdefensive if people offer legitimate critique.)

I just realized that I can track my habit of never ever listening to music out loud at home to the specific moment when older my sister caught me listening to Tata Young's 'Sexy Naughty Bitchy' as a young teen and mocked it, its lyrics and me for listening to it. And it was not friendly or light hearted mocking.

And I do often feel the drive to try to pin down and articulate things tthat bother me, like the urge to probe a bit of tinfoil out of my teeth, while things I enjoy end up feeling muddied and cheapened when I put them into words because I can't get it Quite Right. It doesn't help that my brain, with its various comorbid disorders, fixates on things which bother me and often balloons them--or, maybe, funnels other stresses into them?

It's a problem I don't have an answer for. If anything, mental and emotional health-wise, I've seriously regressed in the last years.

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Jan. 28th, 2020

struggling with witcher show

I can't quite buy in to Henry Cavill as Geralt, but they always cast or design Geralt too pretty to be very interesting to me. I'm somewhat resigned to that, especially since my power chant of 'weird-er! weird-er!' is unlikely to be considered marketable to a wide audience. ;) Maybe when I get deeper into the series he'll be a little more compelling. So far, rather than giving a genuine sense of weariness and experience that often can't quite win over his earnest desire to help people, he has a sort of affected edginess to me.

Attractiveness and acting is subjective, of course. But I just genuinely feel that Henry Cavill has almost no charisma. I was watching a clip from No Country for Old Men the other day that featured Javier Bardem and that's an unfair comparison (and uh, not...not the vibe Geralt should project at all needless to say) but...oof.

Full disclosure: I've been reluctant to watch the Witcher specifically because I was concerned that due to being overinvested in the source material, problematique as it is, I wouldn't be able to give the show a fair shake.

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Jan. 21st, 2020

rambling about mk11: skarlet edition

She wasn't the character that immediately grabbed me in the story mode, but I've really grown to love the reworked Skarlet. I really love her anger, her cunning, her hunger. I love that she's this pulpy and over the top villain in some ways, but the writing and the way her voice actress goes all in gives her a complexity and weight that matches the over the top elements--her blood magic, the way she revels in it and thirsts for power--with the way they're rooted in more down to earth elements--that she sees both this tyrant and the blood magic he taught her as her path out of starvation and poverty, and she intends to never be hungry again and tends to dismiss the empathy and higher ideals of those in a position of power as naivete.

Read more... )

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Jan. 17th, 2020

this is such a mess

I find it not at all surprising that after years of a relentless campaign of harassment on every social media platform Boyega occupied--that was usually only thinly veiled racism if veiled at all--Reylo shippers have fallen seamlessly into 'oh no, this black man made a SEXUAL joke and that's AWFUL and FRIGHTENING and oh won't someone, somewhere, DO SOMETHING about him?' Like. The white woman's tears weren't subtle before, but I guess it really is out in the open now.

Exhausting. Frightening. Depressing. But not surprising.

I've found more than once that I feel outsize stress or distress in regard to fandom fuckery when RL stress is being unrecognized or has no real outlet, but in this case it's hard to separate the tenor of this little piece of fandom history from a whole mess of environmental stressors.

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Dec. 24th, 2019

update: 5 yrs on christmas is still rough

does anyone know of a way to make thoughts feel good lol

well the answer is I do need to see a mental health professional but, you know, time and money. alas.

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Dec. 23rd, 2019

more mortal kombat babbling lol

Cetrion is a character that I might have bounced off of if I wasn't having a lot of fun playing her, and if I wasn't so drawn to 'fight with elemental forces' type characters and gameplay. Although she's supposed to just be a goddess of virtue, and one of her intros is her in a Buddha pose (google tells me that it is the Protection/Overcoming Fear asana/Attitude but the website is an English-language website that seems to be very, very keen to sell you things so take it with a grain of salt) her dialogue gives me evangelical vibes.

On the other hand as I wrote that I was like 'well, that's an interesting idea--' because the point of Cetrion's character Read more... )

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Dec. 14th, 2019

more sindel ramblings

I wonder if, given that Shao Kahn was receiving something of an image rehabilitation (while obviously still a callous imperialist asshole even to those loyal to him, see Skarlet and the hints of what her power is doing to her, he gets more nuance and a range of responses showing his own twisted value system) they thought they should adjust Sindel's backstory.

If this is true I appreciate that someone in there thought 'hey maybe we should tweak that bit of story instead of just ignoring how Kick the Dog and awful and misogynistic it is but then I guess they....gave the storyline to someone who was either a very bad writer or just didn't care. Or, to be fully fair, maybe the writer got handed down the decision re: what direction her character was supposed to go in and didn't know what the fuck to do with it.

There are a lot of ways they could have played with Sindel's character being darker, and not truly loyal to King Jerrod. I think those ways would still have been deserving of criticism in context of her story's legacy, but it could have been much better done. Off the top of my head, maybe their marriage was political and she saw Shao Kahn's conquest was inevitable. In an effort to save as many people as possible, or even just her daughter whom she truly loved, she approached Shao Kahn and agreed to betray the king to forestall a horrific and bloody conquest that past timelines tell us would have succeeded anyway. They lied about it on Shao Kahn's part because she was a more effective hostage/figurehead and on her part because she was a more effective go-between who could potentially calm down future uprisings she saw as doomed to fail.

Throughout their marriage her power plays to retain some measure of control and protect herself, her daughters and her people as much as possible leads for her to become very very good at the game and even grow to enjoy it. Maybe she rules for thousands of years as Kitana grows. She never tells Kitana both because she fears she'll fight Shao Kahn and be killed and/or she fears how Kitana would see her. Or maybe she's murdered relatively early and spends years as an embittered revenant, and her current voicelines are all so evil-based because she's never been technically resurrected in the timeline and we should consider them--cosmetics aside--as still belonging to her revenant self.

Her darker self could be that a) she only feels much loyalty to Kitana, and never to the people she came to rule through a political marriage b) she felt loyalty originally but has simply become deeply cynical and calculating over time in order to survive as Shao Kahn's empress and protect her children or c) could be a result of still technically being a revenant.

I may or may not be working on fanfic AT THIS TIME, writing for the first time in ages, to try and reconcile some of this in my head. Fixit fic go!

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Dec. 12th, 2019

both sindel & kitana's story flattened, and why?

I'm really disappointed by what they chose to do to Sindel in the new Mortal Kombat game. Baffled is another word. Sometimes outright pissed, though right now too tired for that. It just genuinely baffles me in a game that has otherwise humanized and deepened most characters it's reworked, giving Kitana and Scorpion complete narrative arcs in MK11, and adding extra nuance to the well-trod dynamic of Raiden and Liu Kang, they've just made her a cardboard cutout of a 'gold digger' villain.

They strip away Sindel's complexity, her backstory, her heroism and her choices, and make her a 2D cartoon villain with less personality than classic Disney enemies. She has no motivation at all. She has vague goals that they can use as an excuse, but they're...bad. 'She uh...she wants to date someone powerful. She wants people to kiss her feet.' Is the kind of answer a student that hasn't thought about their writing assignment at ALL offers when put on the spot. It's a Rob Liefield level answer.

It's also really confusing because their argument is that this is not a retcon, it's a 'reveal.' That's obviously nonsensical because of how clear the previous text was on Sindel being a good person under mind control who breaks free, but it's even nonsensical in the reboot. If the argument is 'she only pretended to be under duress to lull people into complacency' then why...why did she sacrifice herself to save Earth? Was it important to her to have people lulled into complacency while she was dead? Because now that she's been resurrected she's loud and proud about being evil and manipulative.

They argue that it 'didn't make sense' for her to be a good guy based on her looks and gameplay. Keep in mind that they have no such trouble with the literal flaming skull demon from hell. They also argue that they're giving her 'agency.' By...erasing her victimhood but also erasing her personality, motivations and complexity and smirkingly telling us 'no she wanted it all along, I promise.' It's a bad look in a game where Shao Kahn gets a ton of story weight and complexity. That story weight makes no bones about who he is and how he's a monster, but in the context of Sindel's character butchery it leaves a pretty bad taste in my mouth.

I have to assume that certain devs/writers and various social media personnel were given a party line to trot out. I don't understand why any writer would make these choices, but I enjoyed and respected a lot of the writing in MK11 and I know this is a peril of a large writing staff. But not gonna lie, I wouldn't have bought this game if I knew this about it.

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Dec. 4th, 2019

trying to write here again....for the millionth time

Forgive me if some of these posts are a bit short and rambly. Each time I try to come back to Dreamwidth--as much as I love it--I will make drafts of posts that I never complete, or get overwhelmed by the overwhelming impression that I'm making a bunch of wordblock/wordvomit/TL;DR posts.

I went to tumblr, then to twitter, but I've come to the slow but inescapable realization that a lot of what happened first on tumblr and then on a private twitter was overwhelming shame every time I wrote something of my own, or talked about something I genuinely cared about. Which isn't new exactly, anxiety disorder sucks etc, but in the relative safety of a private twitter account it started to feel quite crushing. When I should have/did trust the people who were mutuals. And it brought home, again, that I have to find a way back to caring for myself even and believing in the value of things I make in baby steps. Fake-it-till-you-make it can have backlash, but.....baby steps.

As someone who has never played a fighting game before but has been peculiarly obsessed with Mortal Kombat lore since I spent a fever-dream of a sick day deep diving on youtube, I have now purchased the latest game. I'm not very good, but I'm having fun, and in this game and the last they massively stepped up the storytelling. Mostly this game. I might get better at the game when I finally buy a controller for PC...due to complications and confusion.

This is my attempt at a short post, maybe I'll make a full post about Mortal Kombat later. (Discuss: did they do Sindel dirty in the new game, story wise. God I'm so overinvested in Edenians, and still annoyed by what the reboot did with Mileena & Kitana's relationship as much as I adore Kitana's arc in the new game.)

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Dec. 24th, 2017

[No Subject]

family death )

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Dec. 31st, 2016

livejournal news

Opening admission that I copied pretty much all of this directly from [personal profile] umadoshi's helpful links post on the matter.

[personal profile] umadoshi:
If anyone's unaware of the recent behind-the-scenes changes at Livejournal, this is a good summary: "LiveJournal represents social media without borders". "As of a few days ago, the IP addresses for blogging service LiveJournal have moved to 81.19.74.*, a block that lookup services locate in Moscow, Russia. Now users -- especially those who do not trust the Russian government -- are leaving the platform and advising others to leave."

[personal profile] rahirah has a post with links and info. There have been so-far unsubstantiated reports of pro-Ukraine Cyrillic blogs being suspended without warning.

Honestly, [personal profile] umadoshi's post gives a much better link roundup and rundown, so it would be kind of superfluous for me to go on about it. The only thing I can think of to say is that I hope inadequately that this doesn't endanger Russian users on the site, and that--more frivolously--I don't want to lose the archived links, memories, and connection to lingering community there, but in a way it's like saying a long-building goodbye. It's odd to remember how long it's been since I actually visited that site in a substantial way.

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Dec. 26th, 2016

a limp christmas post

Happy holidays and all.

brief brief medical shit )

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Aug. 27th, 2016

ramblings about being fannish, the witcher, and borderlands 2

[tumblr.com profile] lauralandons, I think it was, made a post about struggling these days to engage fannishly with things--to feel the same old excitement, to feel the energy. It was like something clicked in my head when I read that; because yeah, I miss that so much. I want to feel that flare of interest and investment for characters, I want to feel that urge to talk about them, make fanworks about them, ponder the nuances of their choices and responses, think about the worldbuilding, pick at it, arguably improve/deepen it, splash around in the pond. I think a lot of my struggle has been me getting in my own way - especially in regard to brain shit mucking up my ability to emotionally engage with anything - but lately that realization has helped me recognize when I do feel some of that old spark.

discussion includes brief mention of rape and child abuse as backstory and more emotional stuff )

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Aug. 21st, 2016

Dark Souls I

I was trying to write up an in-depth, thoughtful, possibly annotated review of Dark Souls--probably to be finished once I'd completed the game, ahem--but honestly I want to start blogging more, I love this game, and I'll probably make more than one post. Besides, better informed and more thoughtful people than me have made lore videos and posts before, and I mostly just want to talk about how much I love this damn game. (And if you're curious but don't play games/are wondering about getting it/just enjoy watching Let's Plays, ENB has a really good lore-based playthrough, From the Dark where he hunts down almost all of the obscure lore tidbits. If you're considering getting the game, though, I have to advise you to carefully look into making it work, because the PC port is, ah, not in tip-top shape.)

The premise is that you awaken as an undead human imprisoned in the Northern Undead Asylum, a place where humans marked by the Darksign are corralled and forgotten. You're aided in your escape - possibly accidentally - by a mysterious knight, and when you make your way through the damp stone halls, rusted and crumbled and in disarray, inhabited by Hollowed undead who have long since lost enough coherent thought to attempt to escape, you eventually find the selfsame mysterious knight gravely wounded by the Asylum Demon that is the penultimate line of defence against escape. The knight passes his mission on to you--to travel to Lordran and ring the Bells of Awakening to learn the fate of the Undead.

That's the bare bones plot of the opening, and it really doesn't touch on what makes the game so amazing. In rough order and my opinion, that would be: the environment, the gameplay, and last but definitely not least the way they manage to take a story about lonely remnants of a great civilization - its ruins peopled almost entirely by Hollows and a few clear-minded undead facing that grotesque and seemingly inevitable fate - and prevent that story from being feeling dreary and hopeless. I feel like this last is managed via the NPCs, which seems like a really odd thing to say about a game that has so little in-depth interaction. You're mostly all ships passing in the night, strangers sharing brief survival tips and practical aid but remaining separate with your own agendas.

Read more... )

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Aug. 3rd, 2016

i am tired and headachy. insomnia is no fun

So, the intensive course I was taking for a chunk of the summer has ended. It was six days a week and essentially (counting bus travel) from 7:00 AM to 9:30 PM, though Saturdays were usually a little shorter. It was a whirlwind, and stressful - there was a lot of people-meeting involved, and I...struggle with people - but now that it's over, I don't quite know what to do with myself.

Well, in the absence of knowing, I guess I'll just try to do good on my dozen abandoned vows to blog more on DW? Tumblr is just - for all its faults - so easy to hop onto and slink off of. Low effort! Such low effort! Especially when you're navigating it the way I have.

It's been a bad mental health year, and a year is probably a conservative estimate. I'm just trying the whole 'one day at a time, one small step forward at a time' thing. My sister moved back in, but unfortunately I still don't see her much. (On the other hand I'm very anxious about her good opinion of me, so maybe that's for the best.) I'm taking some film classes, and I've learned a) incredibly invaluable lessons in writing, storytelling and teamwork and b) that the film industry has potential to be tremendous and is often depressing. (Knew this already, I guess.) I've also learned that my pickiness about trailer editing - I USED TO ENJOY GOING TO THE MOVIES EARLY ENOUGH TO SEE TRAILERS - is ten times worse now that I actually do some video editing myself.

Killjoys season two is out, which means I really want to finish season one and watch season two. Suckily, my mood being this low and brain feeling this crap means I'm back to square one in the 'twitchy and overreactive and virtually unable to compartmentalize' stage and my progress has screeched to a halt.

I'm curious about Stranger Things, masochistically finishing Penny Dreadful now that it's done, The Chronicles of Shannara and hopefully Nikita? And a number of other things that aren't floating to mind right now. Also I want to finish Dark Souls and gush about it. A lot. And finish recording and editing the Let's Play of Dragon Age: Origins that has gotten ridiculously long but has kept my mental health limping along somehow so.

Also I really, really want to start writing again. That is, to write things I don't tear up or delete six minutes later.

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Mar. 5th, 2016

murdering metaphors, who me

Well, I just spent the better part of today scrubbing toilets with cramps and a hangover. Sometimes when your life choices come home to roost, they really squawk along the way.

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Feb. 12th, 2016

steel's edge

I have to admit, one of the main reasons I find Steel's Edge enjoyable but frustrating is their take on the mythology of healers. I like environments and magical backgrounds that make the gift or the act of magic nuanced and multi-faceted, and although they do get into the flipside of healing - the fact that the manipulation of the body could be used to harm as well as do good - they still make it into this kind of ridiculous binarist mess.

The fact is medicines and the act of healing itself involves a lot of scenarios and treatments where 'damage' or destructive tactics are used to mitigate problems or to improve health. Many, many medicines can be toxic in the right doses. Fever can do terrible damage and kill but is a biological tactic to kill bacterial or viral infections. Amputation can prevent rot from spreading to the rest of the system. You get the point! So in some ways the 'halfway-there' idea of, 'well, healers can do damage but if they hurt people it will send them on an out of control spiral of ~seductive malice and mindless evil!' is even more annoying to me, because at least in other stories I could explore other sides in meta or fanfiction. It's just so rigid and black-and-white punishing an aspect of worldbuilding.

Also, it kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth - not necessarily strictly trying to upbraid the authors here, just saying bad taste - that Charlotte, the compassionate healer called defective (by a villain) for being unable to bear a child, is the one whose power - if it slips out of the kindly sweetness and light realm - must be 'carefully contained' because lashing out in a moment of pain and/or experiencing petty schadenfreude will lead her irrevocably down a path of corruption and evil.

I think it's a good book, but it contains some worldbuilding that really leaves me cold. Also, they are so much better at writing non-creepy non-identical male leads in the Kate Daniels series.

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Feb. 2nd, 2016

tumblr shipping memes, asked for by exactly no one: I DO WHAT I WANT

Domestic shipping meme questions for Angel/Gaige, because why have self-control?

Read more... )

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Dec. 25th, 2015

i hope you are all well today, or if not at least well stocked with booze and/or chocolate

(and/or at the very least the day off)

best wishes/happy holidays/merry christmas, everyone

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.

Dec. 22nd, 2015

Icons Icons Icons I miss you so when I'm not here

There was a meme a while back I'm too distracted to dig up properly about looking at your icon page and seeing trends, and I was glancing through my icons seeing what I might be willing to give up if I upload the giant passel of icons I'm thinking of, and contemplating that.

I noticed:
  • not enough kissing icons. So many kissing icons, and yet not enough.

  • apparently I have a heretofore unidentified passion for red washed close ups of women's faces looking down???

  • shocking no one, primarily female characters

  • I have to work hard to make myself upload icons that aren't people's faces

  • vivid colours, vivid colours, I WANT ALL THE COLOUR

  • I agonize over icons and I agonize over keywords, SO MUCH, but sometimes it's actually satisfying instead of frustrating to look at them after!

Originally posted by shiegra @ Dreamwidth with comment count unavailable comments.