blogging in the age of loneliness

Discussion in 'Your Bijou Blogette' started by Birdy, Dec 25, 2018.

  1. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    hey I’ll post shit here

    probably #reviews of media I have consumed and things about my OCs

    if you have something to say about what I say, please post here
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
    • Like x 2
  2. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    my uncle got me Eileen, by Ottessa Moshfegh, for Christmas

    I read it all in essentially one sitting, at first because I was curious, and then cause I disliked it and wanted to be finished with it

    The book is about this girl who has depression and a drunk father and works at a juvenile prison and ends up killing someone and running away from home. The back flap said it was supposed to be “grotesquely funny” but it kind of bored me. It wasn’t very funny

    I’m not entirely sure why, because it held my interest. I felt like reading a kintsugi thread. complete with self-hatred! and a teenager being raped by a parent! Maybe someone else would’ve found it...titillating? exciting? but it just made me feel sad and kind of uncomfortable. like, this is supposed to be entertaining, somehow?

    I wanted to read it cause it’s not the kind of thing I usually read and I thought it might be good for me, was kind of meh. when the CSA got invoked I wasn’t even surprised. I’d guessed that that was the kind of book it was

    it wasn’t bad at all. it was very well written and had insight into the human condition and things. The authors was very good at building up the small details of the main character’s life, which was at least engaging, and her psyche as revealed through her narration. It was skilled, competent work, but for me it felt like it was in service of nothing I cared about

    Maybe it would be good for someone to read about women pissing and shitting and bleeding and puking and hating each other, and about drunk old men groping their daughters and cops raping their sons and whatever. But I can alive, for the first part, and go read threads in ITA for the rest

    I was horribly afraid, once I realized where things were going, that I’d enjoy reading the worst parts, but I just felt...tired. Like, yeah, the world sure is like this. I don’t know how you want me to feel about that, Ottessa.

    Am I a prude or a Puritan, for not enjoying this? Considering this book got very good reviews and prizes and things? I don’t think it shouldn’t exist or anything, I just don’t know why it does.

    Maybe all the mentally ill people I hang out with, inclusive of myself, have just inured me to this kind of thing. The main character is ugly, gross, perverted, mean, and unhappy - I’m also ugly, gross, perverted, mean, and unhappy, so it wasn’t exactly a fresh perspective. I could imagine someone reading this and being very startled, but they wouldn’t be anyone I know.

    I guess I don’t even dislike it; it was diverting, for the three hours I spent reading it. One could accuse me of disliking it because it hit too close to home, or that it was too real for me or something. But I kept getting the sense the author was trying to shock me, trying to make me laugh at how absurd and horrifying it all was. But I wasn’t shocked, and I didn’t laugh.

    tl;dr it was well written and I can imagine someone really enjoying it but I found it crass and sordid and ultimately kind of uninteresting
  3. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    ugh I guess I realized why I disliked it so much

    because there wasn’t any healing or heroics or anyone being good or noble. No peace, no love. Nothing clean and pure like that

    I was wondering why I found it so uncomfortable when I read horrible garbage happening to people in shitty fanfiction all the time, and adore that. Because there wasn’t any resolution, just wretched people destroying things

    I guess I prefer stories that let me pretend good things can happen. I want to feel pity and love when I read fiction, not be reminded that pain usually makes people mean and ugly, not good and kind. I disliked it because it didn’t have the decency to make me feel sorry for anyone.

    I really did dislike it because it was too realistic
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
    • Witnessed x 2
    • Agree x 1
  4. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    this is a thread about how my taste in fiction is bad
    • Winner x 1
  5. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    @Erica Do you have a problem with me or something?

    ETA: Like, I guess I set myself up for that, but you rated my post about how much I like extremely unrealistic and dumb things and my post about how my taste in fiction is bad as “agree” and “winner”, and I can’t interpret that as anything other than “yes, your taste in fiction is bad and you should feel bad about it”

    ETA2: And like, I don’t want people in this thread to try to comfort me and be like “oh no your taste in fiction is good uwu” because that’s not what this thread is for. But if you want to offer commentary or criticism on something that I say, please post in the thread. Ratings offer too little context and too little information.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  6. Erica

    Erica occasionally vaguely like a person

    oh shit no I'm so sorry! My bad, that came across as the EXACT OPPOSITE of what I intended it to
    (reminder to self: ppl cannot actually read your mind & ratings are ambiguous as shit)

    ^ agree because yeah, same, sometimes you just want fiction to give you some gd hope for the world and I too frequently get frustrated with works that fail to provide that for me

    ^ winner bc it read similar to "I love this trash thing/hate this Quality Literature", which has basically been my mantra since having to read lots and lots of Quality Literature for school and realised that yknow what if I would rather reread a silly fanfic for the 5th time than open a Hemingway novel then that's perfectly fine; my taste in fiction is shit but it makes me happy so Who Cares it's my time and my enjoyment and if I want to be silly about it then absolutely no one can stop me and I will love all the trash things I damn well please

    posts were interpreted in that vein rather than as genuinely self deprecating/upset bc bijou subforum not holler, but I'm assuming I misinterpreted; sorry

    so. yeah. intended message entirely opposite of received message. I apologise for not communicating properly, i did not at any point want to upset you and I'm very sorry that I did
    • Agree x 1
    • Witnessed x 1
  7. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    yeah I need to keep emo content out of this thread. it was partly my fault too

    it’s fine, I’m glad we could clear it up
  8. Birdy

    Birdy so long


    now for the thing that gave this thread its title........

    fighting in the age of loneliness, as written and narrated by Felix Biederman (the guy from chapo trap house) and directed by John Bois (the guy who did football 17776)

    it is a political history of mixed martial arts. even though I found it enthralling (and named this thread after it!!) it has...problems. it’s actually been a few days since I watched it so this review/commentary/whatever might not be accurate, sorry

    So I first watched this cause I liked Football 17776 a lot and have been meaning to get into more of John Bois’ stuff. I didn’t know anything about Felix Biederman except by reputation. I know sweet fuckall about MMA and I strongly suspect my feelings on it would be more polarized if I was a fan: i did read what some fans were saying to make sure Biederman wasn’t just talking out of his ass about things, and people seemed to either really love this thing and agree with it wholeheartedly, or think it was stupid and terrible. (so note that my opinions are somewhat colored by things other people said)

    People also criticized the narration because the audio is of varying quality, but it didn’t stand out to me as particularly bad. Bois’ editing is flawless and beautiful as I expected. Anyway

    I guess sort of the central criticism I have, and maybe it’s not even really a criticism is, Biederman says things that I think sound like they should be true more than they are true. His main thesis, this thing he keeps coming back and coming back to, is this idea that MMA was originally a home for freaks and weirdos and assholes, and it’s becoming less and less that because of the ceaseless march of capitalism. And he doesn’t...really provide too much support for this? It just feels like it’s something that would be true, that this weird, violent sport would attract weird, violent people. But I don’t know that MMA fans are inherently more outsiders than like, people who like boxing, or WWE, or even football, which are all also weird and violent.

    ETA: I think it’s a status thing. I think he kind of buys into the idea that violent shit is always low class/low status when it’s just as much a gentleman’s game

    That may sound like a nitpick, but it really is this huge point in the video, that MMA fans are rejects and castoffs, people who tuned into dudes beating the shit out of each other because they had nothing else in the world for them. But I’m not sure that’s true. Some demographic info, who watches the sport and when, at what points in history, wouldn’t have gone amiss, but all he really does is graph pay per view buys and then loosely tie that to current events in whatever year. The parallels he draws between what was happening in MMA and what was happening in the world kind of rhyme more than they directly correlate.

    Like, for example, he says viewership rose in the 90s as a backlash against corporatism and how ossified and artificial people’s lives were becoming day to day. But from what I’ve seen people say, the rise of MMA had more to do with the decline of boxing because of how corrupt that sport was, not really modern anomie.

    To return to this idea that MMA fans are all violent weirdos, I feel almost like Biederman kind of bought the hype, in a way. Some of the best stuff in the series is in Part II, where he talks about the sport’s growing pains and how much negativity it attracted because human cockfighting, how dare. (And mentions that John McCain was one of the biggest opponents...a man who’d actually killed people overseas, in the military, so you’d think he wouldn’t take issue...but had a wife who inherited the Anheiser-Busch fortune...which had millions in boxing sponsorships...hmmmmmm) Which obliges Biederman to go “actually, MMA is really no worse than anything else, so shut up”. But he also seems to buy into this idea that MMA is somehow “pure” or “honest” because of the violence. Which is kind of self-contradictory, and I think is also kind of a bizarre attitude for a very hard left person to take, but I also know fuckall about chapo trap house, so who knows

    Another facet of that self-contradiction that pops up is this related idea that the sport used to be a refuge for aforementioned freaks and assholes until corporate interests colonized it; a place for the powerless to escape the powerful. But I think Biederman kind of accidentally supports the thesis that MMA was always controlled by the interests of the powerful. Like, he mentions the sport’s roots in Brazilian jiu jitsu, with the Gracie family, who were basically aristocracy, and then he talked a little about the anything-goes fights that happened in Rio’s slums; which also prefigured MMA. But he ended up talking way more about the Gracies, cause they figured out how to make that shit pay. And then all this stuff about how PRIDE (the biggest Japanese MMA promotion until UFC bought it) was controlled by the yakuza and then how Dana White, the guy currently in charge of UFC has mob ties and is a gigantic Trump supporter and everything. So it’s kind of weird when he starts going on about how MMA is so controlled by money now, as if it hasn’t been that way for as long as it’s existed

    He also mostly ignores the existence of women’s MMA until the very last episode, and spends like two minutes on it, which is irritating. I think he mostly does this because it doesn’t support his thesis that MMA Now Sucks Forever And Ever And They Sold Out, since women’s MMA has only been flourishing recently

    The attitude he takes towards performance enhancing drugs also is pretty weird, like in the conclusion one of the reasons that MMA Sucks Forever is more stringent drug testing. To hear Biederman tell it, they’re literally all juicing and you have to because “the human body isn’t meant to take that kind of punishment for 25 straight minutes”, which is another thing that sounds like it should be true, until you remember that before steroids even existed dudes would hit each other with swords all day and then get up and do it again tomorrow. It also kinda undercuts this whole thing about how the sport is so honest if what we see in the octagon is not actually what the human body is naturally capable of at all. There’s also another inconsistency: earlier in the series, he mentions someone who lost a title because he turned out to have a ridiculous amount of weed metabolites in his system during the fight, to the point he was probably too stoned to even feel pain. Biederman doesn’t contest this and the tone seems to imply the guy deserved to have his win taken away. Which compared to him glorifying performance enhancers near the end is...huh

    (The other thing is this bit about lowered salaries for the atheletes in the UFC and then not being able to take promotions anymore. To me it was kind of odd that Biederman, this huge leftist guy, cared, because I guess I have this image in my head as professional atheletes as kind of rich, privileged people, not a working class someone like Biederman would be concerned about. But that’s not an argument against anything in the video and I’m setting this off as a parenthetical because I don’t know much about the subject and I strongly suspect I’m wrong)

    The end of the series does seem to have the most problems, like it’s fine when he’s talking about the history, but when we get into what’s current, and thus Why MMA Now Sucks Forever And They Sold Out, it’s...weird. It can kind of come off like Biederman is just bitter that the sport took a direction he doesn’t like. He asserts pretty strongly that the UFC’s desire to be normalized and mainstream has been the sport’s detriment, and he makes that case with the mixed evidence I discussed.

    The big point he makes at the end is “this will happen to everything you love. You’re fucked too.” And honestly, I think that’s right. Everything is usurped by money, everything will be made tame and domesticated enough to be profitable. It happened to rock n roll, to punk, it happened in recent years to comics, it’s currently happening to the concept of fandom in general. But in another light, that assertion looks a lot like “NORMIES GET OUT REEEEE”. And Felix Biederman might make a good point about comercialization, but he’s also kind of pretty mad his sport isn’t just a place for “freaks and assholes” anymore. So I don’t know

    Biederman is very good at describing fights, and the outcomes of fights. And that’s the note the series chooses to end on: the description of this terrible loss on the part of one fighter. And the last line of the series is “For the rest of your life: go out, touch gloves, and fight.”

    Which is beautiful, heartbreaking. And really, really ambiguous. What does that mean? Is it supposed to be inspiring, telling us to bear up under the ravages of a unfair, uncaring world? Is it supposed to represent the banality, or the futility, of life in the time of late capitalism? Or is it just something that sounds really, really cool and they wanted to end on something like that? I think that last line is really strongly representative of how the series was as a whole: more a poem than an essay, more feeling than fact.

    But it was a wonderful watch, and even after all that I recommend it. Even if you don’t know, or don’t care, about MMA. So I suppose that’s alright
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  9. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    I guess the tl;dr is that it still very, very strongly resonated with me, especially this sense of isolation and disconnection, this “age of loneliness”, and trying to get out of it through something fierce and honest. and I think that would resonate with a lot of people, and I feel compassion for that, for the people struggling with that, even though I think a lot of them are people not at all like me

    and I think that’s a strong takeaway in itself
    • Like x 3
  10. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    *wonders why I have such a fixation on rewriting Naruto to be a story about young people trapped in a world of inescapable horror and suffering, who are indeed bound to join a system that perpetuates that horror and suffering because they don’t know how to or aren’t able to do anything else*

    *remembers that I’m a college student in America in Current Year and have intense scrupulosity over being part of the depredations of the university system*

    • Witnessed x 2
    • Agree x 1
  11. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    because my family is incredible they let me GM a session of Masks RPG for them

    And I was so worried!! I thought it might go terrible and be really awkward but it was amazing and they all came up with incredible characters and they all said they had fun and it was COOL

    the team consists of:
    Eric Wong aka Python, former big man on campus and football star, who was turned into a monster by the lab accident that killed his parents. Trying hard to cope with the fact that none of his old friends want anything to do with him, and with his brother and guardian Brian, who just wants his kid sibling back. (as played by my sister)

    Donovan Great Tree aka Illusion, a Native kid whose parents moved to Halcyon City from the rez when his telekinetic and telepathic powers started manifesting out of control when he was 10. Fourteen now, desperately craving friendship but shutting everyone out for fear his power will hurt others (as played by my dad)

    Pruphine Astoro Jazznah aka Pru aka Princess, an alien exchange student from the planet Sedna, who sees Earth as her last chance to have fun before she’s locked into a hereditary authoritative role at home. Trying to navigate the difference between human and alien, both enjoying the unprecedented freedom being Earth gives her and figuring out what that freedom really means. (as played by my mom)

    In session 1 we:
    -fought a mind controlling squid alien
    -argued with famed superhero, anti alien racist, and overbearing PTA mom Cynthia Scorch
    -spied on the city council
    -uncovered evidence of an anti-extraterrestrial conspiracy
    -shared an emotional conversation between Eric and his brother
    -got milkshakes

    it was gr8
    • Winner x 3
  12. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    me: I should read worm

    worm: is over a million words long

    me: I shouldn’t read worm
    • Witnessed x 2
  13. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    Watched Get Out with my family

    I feel like everything intelligent has already been said about it but (a) the score was really good, (b) I get that the idea was to ratchet up tension but some of the jump scares were incredibly cheap, especially early on, and (c) I found the tone shift in the very last scene jarring and they should’ve gone with the alternate ending

    other than that I’ve got nothing worth saying about Race In America, so I won’t bother
    • Like x 1
  14. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    HEY SO



    it’s the best science fiction story I’ve seen in a long time and it’s just

    so technically perfect

    one of the only things I’ve seen that does time fuckery and gets it right, without being confusing or killing the plot entirely

    and it broke my heart a little and that’s good

    and I kind of wish it was two hours longer and they didn’t compress things with narration because I want to shove alien linguistics into my brain

    (the only other thing was it was entirely too fucking loud and if I saw it in theaters I probably would’ve had a screeching meltdown so it’s gr8 that I didn’t do that)
    • Like x 1
  15. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    went to see Into the Spiderverse with my best friend. drove and everything! I’m getting way more confident with driving so that’s good

    But god what a visually stunning movie. It was just absolutely gorgeous and I really hope it raises the bar for style in CGI from now on because wowwwwwww

    The soundtrack was incredible, the action flowed, the jokes hit, the characters were great, Miles Morales needs a hug, it was all just. Really good. Very very good superhero cinema.
    • Like x 1
  16. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    Happy birthday to my baby boy Haku. Thank you for opening up a fandom to me, and being the only good character in Naruto
    • Agree x 3
  17. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    I think there are are three (3) kinds of OCs:
    -self inserts
    -CILFs (characters you’d like to fuck)
    -punching bags
    • Informative x 2
    • Like x 1
    • Agree x 1
  18. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    a character of course may be more than one
    SI+CILF: you but sexy
    SI+punching bag: coping character
    CILF+punching bag: guro art
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
    • Like x 1
    • Agree x 1
  19. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    actually, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are Graphic Depictions of Violence, Major Character Death, Rape/Non-con, Underage
    • Informative x 2
    • Like x 1
  20. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    it was pointed out to me that the bredlik is in iambic diameter. each line consists of two feet, with one unstressed and one stressed syllable like so (stressed words and syllables are capitalized):

    my NAME is COW,
    and WEN its NITE,
    or WEN the MOON
    is SHIYning BRITE,
    and ALL the MEN
    haf GON to BED -
    i STAY up LATE.
    i LIK the BRED.

    what’s interesting about this is that since the poem is very simple, it’s almost all one syllable words (except for “shining”) and the stress always falls on the “important” words in the sentence, not an article, pronoun, or copula

    so if you take just the stressed words, you still get an understandable poem:

    name Cow
    wen nite
    wen moon
    shiyne brite
    all men
    gon bed
    stay late
    lik bred

    but we can go even farther. each line in the simplified poem can be interpreted as a single iambic foot. and so by taking each stressed word (which happens to remove all the verbs and leave almost all nouns), you break the bredlik down to its barest essentials:

    • Like x 5
    • Winner x 1
    • Informative x 1
    • Useful x 1
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