[sticky entry] Sticky: Introduction & Comment policy

Friday, May 21st, 2010 12:17 am
miss_s_b: (Self: Profile)
Hello! There now follow some handy hints on how to make the most of your Reading My Blog experience:
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Comments Policy:
  • Anonymous commenting is enabled, although anon comments are screened before publication; please, if you comment anonymously, give yourself a name/pseudonym/some form of identifier. If you don't your comment will not be unscreened.
  • I don't censor comments from people I know unless pushed VERY hard. Red lines include racism, misogyny, homophobia, unjoking advocation of violence, and being horrible about (or to) people I love. Anons tend to get a lot less leeway and a lot less benefit of the doubt; sorry. My blog, my rules.
  • If you want to point out cock-ups I have made, please direct them to Pedants' Corner; likewise if you want to ask me something off the topic of the post please go to this entry - this saves readers' scrolling fingers.
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Books)
The Three-Body Problem (Three-Body, #1)The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin




OK, as usual for a book that's going on my Abandoned shelf, I'm not rating this. I have tried so hard to read it, but I just cannot get into it at all. I don't care about any of the characters, and even were I to start to care, there's so many of them and they appear or disappear entirely at random (or so it feels to me). There's just nothing hooking me into the story.

I am reliably informed that the story is good, and I'm sure it is. But more than a quarter of the way through this book, I'm just getting the feeling life is too short to find out, especially as it ends on a cliffhanger and expects me to rush right out and get the next one.

Sorry.



View all my reviews
miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
Anon is back. (S)he says: it's not acceptable to say you're not publishing [my comment], and then pick out selected comments for ridicule. I'd have expected you to know better than that.

* points and laughs *

Oh dear, sweet anon, I think you'll find it's acceptable for me to do whatever I like on my own damn blog. If you don't like it, you're perfectly free to set up your own, or even adhere to my comments policy, which is not exactly difficult. All it would take would be for you to click on the link I have helpfully left you on several occasions, read it, and stick to it. Given that you seem singularly incapable of doing this, while leaving repeated nasty, vituperative and passive-aggressive comments on my blog, I think it is perfectly acceptable for me to treat you like the stupid entitled arse you clearly are.

I know you are the same person, because my blog records IP addresses. I have been politely asking you to adhere to my comments policy for ten months now. You steadfastly refuse to do so.

I think I am perfectly within my rights at this point to single you, and bits of your comments, out for ridicule.

You don't like that? You could always stop leaving nasty comments on my blog. Surely you can think of something more productive to do than leave comments which only one person is ever going to see?

ETA: still commenting on this post. Still incapable of clicking a simple link yet magically capable of typing screeds of bollocks. Oh dear.
miss_s_b: (Default)
... which has remained screened and will continue to remain screened for not sticking to my comments policy. I am going to pull out one point from it, however.

Anonymouse says: It just won't wash to say - or to imply - that you think it's morally wrong for homosexuals to express their love physically, but that you're still a liberal because you support their legal rights.

No, no, no.

That's EXACTLY what liberalism is. Liberalism is legislating for the rights of people to do things that you personally disapprove of, because as long as they aren't harming anybody else it's not within your gift to intervene. If you can't grasp something this basic about Liberalism, then I'm sure everyone else can understand why I'm not unscreening the rest of your comment.

Liberalism isn't about purity of thought, about everyone being in agreement, about Borg-like adherence to conformity. That's the antithesis of liberalism. Liberalism is about defending the rights of people to do things you detest, because even though you detest their actions, they are not hurting anyone else.

I think people who drink mass-produced lager are the scum of the earth and morally reprehensible. Doesn't mean I'm going to do anything to stop them doing it. Doesn't mean I didn't live with one for ten years. I think people who prefer cats to dogs are utterly wrong. I'm deeply in love with one of those people right now, as I type.

And yes, the example you gave in your comment, dear anonymous, was intentionally far more inflammatory than those I give above. I know people who would agree with the view in your example, as well. And yes, I think those people can be liberals, so long as they actively agitate for the rights of people to do the thing they disapprove of.

Now don't get me wrong here, I think the very concept of sin is utter bollocks. I'm not going to defend the view that homosexual sex is a sin, because I don't agree with the concept of sin, and even if I did, I wouldn't think that any number of people of any gender enjoying themselves sexually would be a sin anyway. But I absolutely am going to defend the person who expresses that view from some sort of permissiveness thought-purity test. The question is not what Tim Farron (or anybody else's views) are of morality. I don't care if my leader thinks it's morally indefensible to eat cheese on a Tuesday, so long as he defends my right to eat cheese on a Tuesday.

Tim Farron's voting record is there for all to see, and the fact that the mainstream press are trying to misrepresent it to bash his private religious convictions is something that I, personally, find far more reprehensible than him having religion.

I'll say it again:
I'm an atheist.
I'm bisexual.
I'm polyamorous.
I voted for Tim Farron in the leadership contest, and I do not regret it.
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Lee)
I've been pretty lax about going to the cinema of late, so I missed this when it was on at the local Cineworld. Happily, I have access to Hebden Bridge, and it is showing at the Picture House there (still on tonight, if you want to go) which is a place I've been meaning to visit for a while, albeit that I'm more of an Elland Rex girl when it comes to small independent cinemas.

So, firstly, the actual cinema: is gorgeous. It has absolutely loads of legs room in all the seats, more than in any other cinema I have ever been in. Neither of my 6'5"+ partners would have the slightest trouble fitting into any seat they wanted to, which is incredibly unusual. Tickets are slightly more than at the Rex, and there's no organ at the front or snogging seats at the back, but it's clean and the decor is your traditional cinema decor, all red plush and gold frogging. The snacks and drinks are reasonably priced, and you can get a cup of tea in a proper cup as well as fizzy pop and stuff. The staff are friendly and helpful, and you get proper old style Pearl And Dean music and idents at the start of the adverts. Oh yeah, and the "turn your phone off" and "don't put your feet on the seats" messages are delivered in the form of twee poetry, which is so Hebden Bridge. I really liked this cinema, so much so that I signed up for the email list and will definitely be going again.

Secondly, the film. Wow. For starters, the visuals: it's absolutely stunningly beautifully shot. Lighting comparable to that in Night of the Demon (which those who know me will know is my favourite film for beautiful lighting ever). There's flavours of the German Expressionist school in there, too. The framing and timing of every shot is so spot on, both the editor and the director have done amazing jobs. The scenes where drugs have been taken by one or another character are as well done as the SloMo drugs scenes in Dredd. The close-ups on the pivotal cat are amazing, and the way the film plays with focus to show you different angles on the same shot is lovely.

Then there's the sound. Music plays a big part in this story, and the songs and music played by characters within the film blend seamlessly with the overarching soundtrack. It's incredibly well-done and immersive. Again, in the drug-taking scenes, the soundtrack works with the visuals, going muffled or muted or oddly loud in all the right places.

Other things... The pace of the thing is slow and lyrical for most of the time, such that when ther is a jolting shock, it's really jolting. The plot is... Well, for the second time today, I'm not going to go into the plot, but it's unusual and interesting and fun. It's a bit gory in places, and there's some sexual nastiness, but nothing that triggered me. It passes Bechdel. The acting is first class, from the elderly drug addict to the jaded prostitute to the terrified little boy; and through all this the titular Girl floats ethereally, like the otherworldly thing she is. Oh yes, and the male lead is so impossibly beautiful he looks like a sculpture. All in all, I would fully recommend this to anyone who is a film geek.

See this film if:
  • You want to see something visually and aurally stunning that will NEVER come out of a major Hollywood studio
  • You want to see some great acting from a range of actors
  • You want to see what can be done with black and white in the modern era.
Don't see this film if:
  • You think black and white films are boring and you can't cope with foreign language movies
  • You want breakneck pace and explosions on a regular schedule.

Scores: Acting: 9/10, Script: 8/10; Technical 10/10. Overall 9/10
If you liked this you should watch: The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1920), Night of the Demon (1957), Let the Right One In (2008)
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Books)
The Annihilation Score (Laundry Files, #6)The Annihilation Score by Charles Stross

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I loved this. It was very refreshing seeing things from Mo's point of view rather than Bob's; her voice is different from his but no less compelling. She's less jaded, even though she's older and more senior. She's got a vibrancy, and her humour is similar to but not the same as Bob's. She's also authentically a woman; the stuff she worries about is stuff I worry about. The impostor syndrome, the becoming invisible, the dress codes (yes, those who know me, I know I don't look like I worry about those things, but I do. Societal programming is strong).

I loved Mhari seen through Mo's eyes, rather than Bob's. She's become quite an interesting character. And Ramona remains awesomesauce on legs; well wheels now.

The plot is, as usual for a Stross novel, creative, interesting, and had enough twists in to wrongfoot me a couple of times, which is always enjoyable. I'm not going to go into plot spoilers because I don't like it when other people do, but I was very happy with it.

I'm still waiting for that Chekov's Gun of a cat to pay off, mind, which might be sort of a negative spoiler - it hasn't happened yet.

And a final note: the people who are complaining in their reviews that Mo is a "bitch" because she's not totally subservient to Bob and sacrificing her life for him? Clearly didn't read or understand The Jennifer Morgue, which was four books ago in the series. The point Bob realises that Mo is more powerful, more scary, smarter and sassier than him is the point Bob asks Mo to marry him. He doesn't WANT someone who will sacrifice herself on the altar of his manly manness. The point where things start to go wrong in their marriage is the point where he comes into his powers, because it upsets the dynamic of their entire relationship. Seriously, people, stop it with the sexist assumption what woman must submit to man she's married to. Please?



View all my reviews
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
You can't move these days for articles in the right wing press, and even in some Labour outlets, declaring how Labour will never get back in unless they stop demonising the right; I'd like to posit an equivalent theory: that right-wingers, especially those in charge of certain national newspapers, as well as those who have been in charge of the Labour party for the last 20 years or so, don't understand what motivates lefty voters.

Look at what happened with the SNP last general election. The more the rightwing press fulminated about what a disaster it would be if the SNP came close to the levers of power, the more the Scots voted for them, and the more the English said they wished they could. People in this country in general, but especially its lefties, do not like being told what to do. They don't like being told what to do by politicians they mostly detest, and they don't like being told what to do by journalists they trust even less than politicians.

The mood around Corbyn, and the reason his support is snowballing, is intrigued. Everybody who pays attention to politics had heard of Burnham and Cooper; few had heard of Corbyn. He's therefore new and interesting. The EDM about Pigeon bombs just makes him look like he has a sense of humour. He speaks human, unlike any of the other three Blairite clones. And the more the right-wing press and the right-wingers currently leading the labour party squeak about what a disaster he will be and how nobody should vote for him, the more people like him.

I have, actually, been wondering if it's some sort of deep dark reverse psychology in action. Like "we must say he'll be awful, that's the only way to get people to vote for him!" Because, of course, there is also the right wing view that if Corbyn wins, the Labour party are doomed.

I genuinely think that those who say he'll be an unelectable disaster if he wins are dead wrong. The received wisdom that you have to be either Tory or Tory Lite to win only has worked so far, sure. But it's done so by depressing turnout, not by converting vast numbers of voters. Normal People countrywide who haven't voted in years will vote Corbyn the same reason people in London voted Boris in the first mayoral election he stood in: they think it'll piss off the political elites, and they think that'll be funny. Lefties who haven't had anyone to positively vote for in decades will flock to him because he speaks the language of hope, not despair. And it'll almost certainly be the death of the Green party as all those watermelons roll home.

So yeah, if I was a Labour member, I'd probably vote Corbyn, and do it with a song in my heart. And I think all those rightwingers who are encouraging votes for Corbyn because they think it will kill that Labour party are in for a nasty shock if he actually does win. Lucky for all concerned, I'm not and never would be a member of that bunch of authoritarians, right?
miss_s_b: (Self: Tattoo)
On Saturday night I went out for a couple of beers. Of the five beers I tried, all of which were labelled as Pale Ale, in three different pubs, only one was actually pale.

I blame Greene King for this. Their shitey, piss weak, nasty-tasting "IPA" which is neither the strength an IPA should be (5.5 or above), nor the colour a pale ale should be, is none the less cheap, therefore lots of outlets sell it, lots of idiots drink it, and the brewers have thought well if they can call THAT an IPA and get away with it...

If you beer is brown, it's not pale. Pale Ale should be Straw Yellow or even paler. For an attempting-histoircal-accuracy IPA I might accept this, but this or darker is right bloody out, OK? This is not rocket science, people. And the next time I order a "Pale" ale that comes out the pump the colour and flavour of Black Sheep Best Bitter, I'll be naming and shaming the brewer.

The Joy of @BBCTMS

Saturday, July 18th, 2015 03:00 pm
miss_s_b: (Who - Five (Cricket and the crotch))
There's an article on the BBC website called How to Get Into Cricket and I can't help but think they've missed a trick. How a lot of people I know have got into cricket goes like this:
  1. Do something which requires you to have the radio on while you're doing it. Cooking, perhaps, or filling in forms.
  2. Despair of the shoutiness of 90% of radio these days, and the regrettable tendency of radio 4 to have things like Claire In The Community and The Archers on it.
  3. Think "It was always nice and restful when I was a kid and my [insert relative here] used to listen to the cricket".
  4. Stick TMS on, and fall deeply in love with its whimsical wonder, and effortless drifting between topics, all of which are treated with reverence and geekery (today's topics have included James Bond, aeroplanes, rugby, men's fashion, cake and many other things).
  5. Decide you'd better learn something about cricket so that you can understand the brief interludes when the TMS team are actually talking about cricket, as opposed to the myriad other topics they cover.
OK, so you need to be the sort of person who is slightly prone to nostalgia, and likes to have a reliably soothing radio programme on, but it works.

The number of people who can be listening to TMS all day and have absolutely no idea what the score is, or occasionally even which team is batting and which fielding, but have learnt amazing things about (for example) what it is and is not safe to feed one's dog, or how Ian Fleming came to name the characters in his books...
miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)
So on tonight's channel four news Cathy Newman went for our new leader's jugular. And lots of people seem to be lapping up the blood like it's going out of fashion. Yes, pink news, I'm looking at you. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on religion here, because I don't need to be. Does Tim consider homosexual sex a sin? I don't really care, because sin is a concept that does not apply to my worldview.

I'm an atheist.
I'm bisexual.
I'm poly.
I voted for Tim Farron and I do not regret it.
I don't care what Tim considers to be sinful in the privacy of his own religion. I care that he agitates for my freedom. I care that he wants to end the spousal veto for my trans friends. I care that when I said "if I can ever have a poly wedding are you going to come?" he said he'd be on the first train.

Fuck you, media. I know my leader, & he's not what you're painting him.
miss_s_b: (Default)
miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
For devotees and attendees of the regular Not The Leader's Speech event at conference, where we all meet in the pub, download the text of the leader's speech, and work out what point we would have walked out at anyway, I have some bad news:



Of course, if there IS a point where I would walk out of Tim's speech... Well, I'll just have to walk out. From the front row. In front of all those TV cameras... It better be a damn good speech, Tim. That's all I'm saying.
miss_s_b: (Default)
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Books)
AmmoniteAmmonite by Nicola Griffith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I really loved this book. The lyrical, evocative language and the beautiful simple structure. It made me want to hug my loved ones and tell them how loved they are. So if you'll excuse me...



View all my reviews

((this "review" was written at 1.20 this morning when I finished the book, which I hadn't been able to put down all day. I wouldn't normally crosspost one so short and content-light, but I really think this is an excellent book and deserves my recommendation. I am going to try to find the three Bending the Landscape books next...))

About This Blog

picture of Jennie Rigg

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.






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