cities of the fantastic

If Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them doesn’t draw the biggest parallel between the New Salem family and LGBT kids growing up under conservative, hyper-religious parents who support conversion therapy, I don’t know what does.

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Isle of Skye, 2016

This spring I travelled through Europe for three months. I saw so many wonderful cities and places, ate a lot of food and made fantastic friends.  But being all on my own on the Isle of Skye in Scotland made everything else pale in comparison. This is a place of magic with its golden light, looming mountains, fairy pools and walls of mist that suddenly surround you. Getting lost and wandering around on this mythical island will always be one of my happiest memories.

A thought on Disney/Pixar's 'Coco'

So I just saw an article in Vanity Fair for the new upcoming Disney Pixar film Coco. Disney describes it as a “love letter to Mexico.” While I find that absolutely beautiful, and I’m excited for more Mexican representation and actors in the industry, I am disappointed that it seems like the only Mexican story worth telling is about one holiday, Día de los Muertos.

I want to see more stories showing the different colors and values of Mexicans. I want them to show the strong passion and the love of laughter. While the day of the dead is a visually stunning celebration, I want them to show the beauty of my country through both the landscape and the people.

I mean, my home state has an underwater cave full of giant crystals, that makes a man look like an ant. There are beautiful waterfalls and tree laden mountains. There are dust covered towns and makeshift homes that the native people live in. There are beautiful, shiny cities. There are fantastic highways and tunnels that weave through the city.

So while I don’t think that just because the topic has been covered it should never be touched again, I want to see the Hollywood industry step up and show the beauty of my country.

That being said, The Book of Life did a beautiful job, and I’m excited to see what Coco will bring.

Monet’s Les Nymphéas,  Musée de l'Orangerie

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011)

After decades of filming his native New York, Woody Allen headed abroad, creating a series of postcard tributes to European cities such as Barcelona, Rome and Paris. This entertaining instalment is an unapologetically fanciful rendering of the French capital, a familiar and idealised Paris celebrated for its starring role in 19th and early 20th Century artistic, musical and literary culture.

so, in the classical method of loci technique, practitioners could build their mind palaces to mirror entire cities, and the method recommended that they learn to remember words/concepts/facts/etc by populating said cities with fantastical, exaggerated and vivid characters and situations that held extremely personal resonance for the practitioner, in order to facilitate better recall, and i am just,

okay so you know how in fantasy media dwarves are fantastic builders and have like giant underground cities with like giant architecture

but like… really who is that built for??? dwarves are tiny. why are there so many stairs??? why are the ceilings so high? why is that bridge so long??? do dwarves have to mildly jog everywhere to get anywhere within a reasonable amount of time??

can you imagine a human seeing a dwarven city for the first time and instead of being greeted with like humongous caverns and tall pillars, they see everything scaled down to dwarf size?? like they still have high ceilings and tall pillars but like high and tall for a dwarf and maybe just moderately sized to a human and they’re underwhelmed? imagine the bridge of khazad-dum being way less impressive because it looks way shorter to a human

or okay maybe we say that dwarves are just building out of the hand that was dealt them - maybe underground caverns just naturally have really high ceilings so they built to accommodate that sort of size. OR they specifically build their big cities to human scale just so they can wow human visitors

but if you visit like a ~humble dwarf home~ the ceilings are tiny and human visitors have to crouch the entire time

i thought a lot about dwarves in the shower today okay

Ankh-Morpork!

Pearl of cities!

This is not a completely accurate description, of course — it was not round and shiny — but even its worst enemies would agree that if you had to liken Ankh-Morpork to anything, then it might as well be a piece of rubbish covered with the diseased secretions of a dying mollusc.
—  Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic