obscuras

Arma preferida

O teu rosto assombra os meus sonhos,
Acorda as minhas noites,
Desperta a minha mente.
E tudo o que eu posso fazer…é
Simplesmente observar-te,
Enquanto me matas lentamente,
Com a tua arma preferida.
Os meus olhos tentam fechar-se;
Excluir-te de tudo o que eu consigo ver,
Mas tu permaneces.
A tua presença é avassaladora,
É pesada, obscura, mas distante;
É doentia, ansiosa, mas serena.
A tua arma preferida continua a matar-me,
Lenta e dolorosamente,
Para que eu veja como é morrer de amor,
De ardor e de paixão.
Sou morta por ti, mas continuo a tentar dormir,
Como se o sono te excluísse, mas tu voltas.
Voltas sem demoras e eu já não sei como me esconder,
Não sei se há como criar uma nova realidade,
Em que tu não existes e eu sou saudável,
Mas infeliz.
Os meus sonhos são assombrados,
As minhas noites são passadas em branco,
E a minha mente continua desperta,
Enquanto eu continuo a observar-nos,
Eu a morrer e tu a matar.

luna castro

Reaction gifs, young women’s language, and gender-neutral pronouns on Lingua Obscura

Lingua Obscura is a new-ish linguistics column at jstor which has put up some interesting articles recently. Here are a few excerpts: 

All the Feels: the Morphology of Reaction Gifs:

A reaction gif seems to be used more creatively as a meta-commentary than purely authentically for conveying emotion. A good example is the previously mentioned table flip emoticon (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ to convey a comic extreme anger, and its gif counterparts, such as the animated one below, specifically drawn to show that trope.

Young Women’s Language Patterns at the Forefront of Linguistic Change:  

When a new feature of speech is associated with ‘women’s talk’, it is often socially devalued, and there is a strong reaction against adopting that speech style by their male (and some female) peers and older generations of speakers. Ironically, the pushback against these novel ways of speaking might even be the catalyst for these linguistic innovations to be broadcasted and adopted more widely. 

Tagliamonte and D’Arcy posit that, as women tend to be primary caregivers, the next generation develops language with those speech effects in place, so these changes to language are female-dominated. The changes happen incrementally over time as children and adolescents alter their modes of speaking to align with their groups. As the speech feature becomes more widely spread across a range of speakers and speech groups it appears it may be adopted, often unconsciously, by more conservative speakers until it is eventually a stable part of mainstream speech and becomes uncontroversial.

They’re Here, They’re Genderqueer, Get Used to Gender-Neutral Pronouns:

It’s certainly useful to have a gender neutral pronoun but it’s even more useful if speakers of the language actually make use of these pronouns. Studies on French and Arabic and Hebrew speakers have shown how speakers make use of existing linguistic approaches to convey gender neutral cases. Amalia Sa’ar’s 2007 study discusses how women in Israel are subconsciously using masculine pronouns to refer to themselves, regarding them as gender neutral. “In Hebrew and Arabic, for example, it is very common to hear expressions as intimate and feminine as “when you♂ become♂ a mother” (Hebrew Kesheʿata nihya ʿima) … (the symbols ♀ and ♂ are used to designate feminine and masculine grammatical gender, respectively) uttered in masculine form by women.”

On the surface, this sounds like how the generic he might have once been used in English. While there is a robust history of the generic he being used in English, it’s debatable whether it has ever been used in a similar vein to refer to only women. Has a sentence such as “Everyone is nervous when he becomes a mother for the first time” ever really been acceptable as a generic?

Joseph Nicéphore NiépceView from the Window at Le Gras (c. 1826), minus manual retouching. Gernsheim Collection Harry Ransom Center / University of Texas at Austin. Photo by J. Paul Getty Museum.

“In 1826, through a process of trial and error, [Niépce] came upon the combination of bitumen of Judea (a form of asphalt) spread over a pewter plate. When he let this petroleum-based substance sit in a camera obscura for eight hours without interruption, the light gradually hardened the bitumen where it hit, thus creating a rudimentary photo. He “developed” this picture by washing away the unhardened bitumen with lavender water, revealing an image of the rooftops and trees visible from his studio window.”

Today you will wake up to the word syzygy.  It could be a synonym for a storyteller. Or your own name. Celestine chemistry of a cloud stubbed by monsoon, you will watch Indra herd smoke over water, tease the stampede of rivers through their crab-claw helixes, line the corpuscles of three eclipses in a sacred symmetry. This is how I want to begin again. Fluid. Lucid. Coherent of my inconsistencies, dangling dreamcatchers above the abyss.The etymology of a demon. Danse Macabre from the numen. An interpreter of invisible horizons. The blue-lily lip of Shiva in Halahala. What I am looking for is the bouhali; nepenthe nude as David in Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore. Algebra of bones, physics of muscle. The rosa moschata of his bloodless back against a crescendo of thirsty mosquitoes. I want to see the faint scream of a sculpture rise, ithyphallic, alabaster that was once aborigine. Show me that which was killed in me to satisfy your calculated civilization.  The barbiturate of your mens sana. The insomnia of your sine die. I will take my Hell. Gladly. Trust me to learn how to pet its hounds. I want unashamed. Don’t clothe me in the memory of your forgiveness. There is nothing in me that needs your approval, there is nothing in me that will negotiate my apology. I have stopped being sorry. I am not your mutated lab rat, your closet full of hazmat. I will not make prisons out of memories. Do not reduce the dragon in my voice to an echo of embers. Call me camphor & find the nearest matchbox. I want to swim through this room in a drum-dance of ghosts. I want to remember always that I am Roma. I want the muslin-mouthed sediments of golden seacoasts. Chemical bridge of a synapse. A marital bed where the axis mundi mounts my neo cortex. A single lotus swimming above the poisoned lake. I resent your monotonous thresholds; the phlegmatic dogma subtracting what is human from what is holy. I want to hold the holy inside the human. The holy of a perfumed twilight, red as my wrists in the aftermath of two razors. I want to meet my God when she sings a lullaby for my brokenness. I don’t want you to tell me how to be strong so frequently that it sounds like a cussword. I want to remain weak, small &  defeated for a while. I want to replace better with braver. In my own time. I want language to gut me to a fishbelly white. I want a language like the photograph of a jaundice-eyed violinist playing at his teacher’s funeral. Beauty in its bitter ferment. A Russian soldier softened to a single piano note in the middle of a dying forest. I want that dirge, its dire urge. The urvogel of every angel who fell disputing His throne. I want a heart like a piñata full of flowers. Every time it is beaten, wings of petals rain on the weapon’s hand. I want to be the Stranger who cries at nameless graves. I am Scorpion on the cusp of Cancer. When I move forward, it will always be sideways. Bring me to something that doesn’t want to wash away my sickness with a calendar of sugar pills, that allows me altars and battlefields in equal measure. I want to dig out what is ancient in me, the mistaken-for-monster, its ophidian prowl, its raven-cursed rudiment & let it teach me how to be unafraid again.

Scherezade Siobhan

INDIE SONGS THAT EVERYONE LIKES

1. In the Sun by She & Him

2. Such Great Heights by The Postal Service

3.Eighth Avenue by Hospitality

4. Lets Go Surfing by The Drums

5. Submarine Symphonika by The Submarines

6. Two Weeks by Grizzly Bear

7. Fader by The Temper Trap

8. The Wire by HAIM

9. Soft Shock by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

10. Come Home by Chappo

11. After The Disco by Broken Bells

12. Overdose by Little Daylight

13. My Number by Foals

14. Holiday by Vampire Weekend

15.Silver Lining by Rilo Kiley

16. I’m Good, I’m Gone by Lykke Li

17. In / Out by Dan Croll

18. We’re From Barcelona by I’m From Barcelona

19. Soul Meets Body by Death Cab For Cutie

20. Elevate by St Lucia

21. Gobbledigook by Sigur R¢s

22. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) by Arcade Fire

23. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) by of Montreal

24. Wraith Pinned To The Mist And Other Games by of Montreal

25. Someday by The Strokes

26.Read My Mind by The Killers

27. Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

28.Better Times by Beach House

29. Kids by MGMT

30. Trojans by Atlas Genius

31. Mountain Sound by Of Monsters And Men

32. Take A Walk by Passion Pit

33. My Boys by Taken By Trees

34. Bruises by Chairlift

35. 11th Dimension by Julian Casablancas

36. My Moon My Man by Feist

37. Lisztomania by Phoenix

38. We Turn It Up by Oh Land

39. Daylight by Matt and Kim

40. Animal by Miike Snow

41. I’m A Lady (Feat. Trouble Andrew) by Santigold

42. Permanent Hesitation by Born Ruffians

43. The Ghost Inside by Broken Bells

44.Unbelievers by Vampire Weekend

45. Harlem by New Politics

46. 1234 by Feist

47. Young Folks by Peter Bjorn & John

48. You, Me and the Bourgeoisie by The Submarines

49. That’s Not My Name by The Ting Tings

50. Chelsea Dagger by The Fratellis

51. Afternoon by Youth Lagoon

52. Go Outside by Cults

53. Actor Out Of Work by St. Vincent

54.French Navy by Camera Obscura

55. Tongue Tied by Grouplove

56. Crazy by Au Revoir Simone

57. Fidelity by Regina Spektor

58. Cameo Lover by Kimbra

59. Float by Pacific Air

60. Houdini by Foster The People

So I’ve Just Been To See “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Warning, spoilers ahead. I’ll put them under a “Read More” link, but I have no idea if the mobile client will honor that.

So, you know, keep reading if you want to see those.

But FIRST.

The ticketing servers at the theater were down, so my Fandango tickets couldn’t be read. The poor ticket taker had to write the numbers down so that after the servers came up, they could enter them all by hand to mark them used. In retrospect, this was the perfect, failing infrastructure foreshadowing lead up to what is probably the greatest post-collapse apocalyptic dystopian road trip film ever made.

Before I go any further, there are a lot of people calling this movie “Steampunk.”

Stop that. This is not Steampunk. There is a very defining characteristic of Steampunk, and that is the use of steam to generate power - whether you want to go full-on Victoriana Obscura, or 1950′s retro-chic, or whatever, it’s not Steampunk unless it’s actually using steam to run the technology of the world.

There’s none of that in this movie. The technology of this movie runs on gasoline and slaves. This is nuclear fallout, atomic devastation, complete ecological disaster, scrap-metal and razor wire. The dustbowl aesthetic is so intense, my throat was parched ten minutes in. This movie is about warlords and power and control and a two-thousand horsepower nitro boosted war machine shattering its way across a sterile desert on the slim-threaded hope of freedom. This is a post-apocalyptic miracle movie with so much turbo power that I actually forgot to breathe about five times during the film. My heart was racing. I walked out of the theater feeling like I’d just run a 10K. My best friend looked at me and said:

“Compared to Mad Max, John Wick is a contemplative drama about a man dealing with grief and loss.”

It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t relent. There is violence. So. Much. Violence.

But there is also a fully developed, fully realized world, with religions, and culture, and myths and parables. Fury Road delivers absolutely developed, completely realized characters (holy shit, Furiosa), astonishing action, and just a completely insane, adrenaline-infused cocktail of full-bore, up-against-the-wall action. It is amazing. I have said it many times, I am saying it again.

Mad Max: Fury Road is amazing.

So. SPOILER TAG.

Keep reading