sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
content note: discussion of nazis and antisemitism

This is a book about the history of nationalism (and attending fascism/racism/nazism) within the Mennonite confession. A good book, but a hard read - both because of the academic writing style and because of the uncomfortable contents.

Too much of Mennonite history is presented kind of as a hagiography: look at all the ways our ancestors have nobly suffered over the years for their morals and their faith! I think this is an important reminder that we are not exempt from sometimes being really terrible too, just because we also have a history of having been persecuted.

Mennonites like to think we have always been separate from the world, but during the general rise in nationalist sentiments in the 19th and 20th centuries, many Mennonites went right along with it. Of course, what nation we were being nationalist for varied: are we German, or are we Dutch, or are we Russian, or are we our own Mennonite nation? The answer to this question swung in various directions depending on political expedience.

And along with the rise in nationalism came a decreased commitment to pacifism within the Mennonite community (at least in Europe), which was really surprising to me, but perhaps shouldn't have been. I've always been taught that pacifism is one of the doctrines that sets the Mennonite denomination apart from other denominations. We're one of the Historic Peace Churches and all! But among some groups there was all sorts of frantic back-pedalling from the historic association of Mennonites with nonresistance, arguing that if one is really committed to being part of your country then of course you must be willing to defend it (which means fight in your country's army, whatever that army happens to be doing, even if it isn't technically defense). Including one suggestion that doing so doesn't break with what the original Anabaptists meant by their pacifism, because defending your country isn't the same thing as spreading your faith by the sword. Wow.

And then we get to the Nazi era and the political expedient of what to be nationalist for swung more firmly towards being German. After all, we were held up as the Aryan ideal! More pure than most Germans, maintaining this purity even when living in diaspora! There's even this whole alarming discussion about how we were seen as the anti-Jew: a wandering people, but the good ones.

I've noticed some parallels between Jewish identity and Mennonite identity before, and it was kind of awful to see that the parallels were brought up historically by Nazis to support antisemitism, when that is the opposite of how I would personally use the parallels.

Of course not all Mennonites - not even all Mennonites who lived in Germany - repudiated pacifism or supported Nazism, but a really disheartening number did. I have a Nazi relative namechecked in this book, even. And Mennonites personally materially benefited from the genocide of the Jews, with land and other possessions. We were complicit in the atrocities perpetrated, and in some cases actively participated in the atrocities.

And then of course in the post-war period there was a whole bunch of denial of germanness (we're not German, because that would mean being stuck in post-war Germany and being held accountable, and we're not Russian, because that would mean repatriation to the Soviet Union and that doesn't sound like a good idea, so let's try out claiming being Dutch! And if that doesn't work then obviously we are our own Mennonite nationality!) as well as denial of any culpability. And Mennonites did a pretty good job of distancing our reputation from both of these things - I mean, the popular conception of Mennonites these days is of technology-avoidant North American farmers. And we did a great job of denying it internally too. Even now if you check out GAMEO (the online Mennonite encyclopedia), the article about one strongly pro-Nazi Mennonite I looked up says nothing about all his Nazi-supporting activities and instead talks about the many ways in which he was a wonderful person who did wonderful things. Gross.

It's interesting to me, the way that this book demonstrates a link between nationalism and the sense of being part of a global Mennonite church body. I've always seen the latter as a positive thing: instead of being insularly focused on other Mennonites who are Like Us, we are reminded of our connection with many different kinds of Mennonites all around the world. And I think it is a positive thing these days when we're actually willing to admit people of colour as being equal coreligionists instead of only counting the white people, but it definitely did not start with a goal I would personally find laudable.

Anyway, the book does manage to end on a positive note, which is impressive given the general tenor of most of the content of the book. It ends by reminding us that, as Mennonitism has had a multiplicity of shifting identities and priorities in the past, so it continues to change now and can continue to do so into the future, and we are not bound by the awful things Mennonites have been and done in the past - we can be better.

Which is a timely reminder, given that we are living in an era when Nazism is rising again. It's time to be better than our past!
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
This is not the kind of book I ordinarily would have chosen to read, but my mom gave it to me years ago and so I kind of felt obligated to get around to it eventually.

It's a very odd sort of book and I'm not quite sure how to categorize it. Somewhere between memoir, writing advice, ode to the power of stories, and Christian witness, I guess? The genre that it seems most similar to me personally is the sermon, actually: using both personal experiences and biblical stories to illustrate a point about Christianity.

L'Engle wrote this book in her old age, after a very serious car accident where she was significantly injured. So she talks a lot about that, of course, but also uses illustrations from throughout her life.

I found it largely a pleasant sort of book to read; not particularly mindblowing or anything, and there were some parts that were tedious, but mostly it feels like just hanging out with the best kind of elderly church lady. Her overall theme - of story (and particularly the Christian story) as truth rather than fact - is good, as is her general loving approach to religion and life.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
The thing about Paul is that his writing is pretty confusingly written and complicated to understand sometimes and also in places is very easy to interpret as pretty harsh towards, like, women and gay people and slaves and a variety of other marginalized populations. AND there's lots of letters in the bible that claim to be by Paul but aren't, and those letters contain the worst of the bigotry, which doesn't help with the general public perception of Paul.

Way back in university I took a course about Paul, which was very educational. Prior to that course I was totally ready to throw Paul out entirely. The course made me feel very differently.

The thing about Paul (like the thing about MOST of the bible tbh) is that a lot of people forget to look at the social context in which the writing was happening, and/or don't have the detailed knowledge needed to appropriately contextualize. The world Paul lived in is very different than the world we live in! So you can't understand what he means by various injunctions unless you understand the particular social pressures he was reacting to.

That's what this book is doing, in a somewhat different way than my university course did. This book talks about Paul in the context of popular works of ancient Greek & Roman literature and what those things can tell us about the society Paul and his original audience lived in. And in that context, the things he says read very differently. He was actually working really hard to be loving and welcoming and anti-oppression and anti-injustice, and that kind of thing. Not always succeeding perfectly, but the direction he's pointing is clear.

So this book was full of interpretations that were not exactly news to me, but with greater attention to the specifics of the context than I've gotten before. So it was an enjoyable read but I didn't really learn anything new.

Also, although the book is overall pretty good, I feel like the author didn't always manage to actually....come to a coherent conclusion in all her chapters, and wrap up the various stuff she was saying into an actual point. The chapter on Paul and the state was the worst for this. It felt like she was building towards something with her discussion of the public perception of the military and how that connected with a passage from Paul's letters, but then the end of the chapter turned into some sort of confusing personal reflection and never actually concluded that thought. I was able to make inferences forward to where she was probably going with things, but she didn't actually say it. So that was annoying.

But my overall conclusion from reading this book was to be reminded of how many feelings I have about Paul himself. Like, he's just so much more of a person than anyone else in the entire Bible. Biblical narratives tend towards the short and spare, so you don't get really well-rounded looks at lots of characters. Paul feels like that too when we get third-person discussion of him in Acts. But in his letters, he talks in "I" statements a lot, he says stuff about himself, and his personality just really shines through.

I mean, sometimes the personality that shines through is kinda asshole, but like....even in his vast flaws he's so clearly real and so clearly trying that I can't help but care about him. I don't know what to do with these feelings because like, what even, but the feelings are THERE and STRONG and Paul-the-person really matters to me and I don't even know why.

At any rate, because apparently this is where I'm dumping all my latent Paul feelings, I just want to at least briefly mention the fact of his massively outsized influence on the direction of Christianity and Christian theology in the time after Jesus' death (like....Christianity could have gone in a LOT of directions. There were massive conflicts about this! Paul won, to the degree that we have trouble even imagining what Christianity would have been like without at least some Pauline interpretation because it's so thoroughly ingrained.) And I'm not sure whether Paul's influence was all a good thing, and over the years he has definitely been used in very bad ways, so like, as a piece of Christian history I'm still really not thrilled about the dude.

But as a person I care about him A LOT.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Ages and ages ago, @hernaniste on tumblr made a post offering to share a copy of her thesis with anyone interested. The thesis is about Les Miserables and religion and it is GREAT, hot damn. What a delightful piece of academic literature to read. I don't have anything intelligent or insightful to say in response, but if you are a person at all interested in the intersection of those topics, highly recommended! It has some excellent insights, and I now know a lot more about perspectives on christianity in revolutionary-era France than I did before. And also dang I just love Les Mis forever and how it's endlessly accessible for new ways to engage with it because there's just so much going on.

I'm not naming the thesis here because hernaniste didn't in her post but if you're interested I'm guessing you can probably still message her and ask for a copy!
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I was really excited to start this book! But from the very beginning I was disappointed, and it never managed to live up to what I hoped from it.

I mean, it starts by saying that it hopes to act as an introduction for both what queer is and what theology is, and I'm not exactly in need of 101 level discussion of either of those things. So it's possible that this book would have more to offer to someone who is a beginner on these subjects, since a lot of the book is a) defining terms, and b) acting as a lit review of previous relevant works on the subject of queer theology.

BUT even so I disagree with some of his beginner elements?? Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Martha Smith Good was one of the first female ministers in the Mennonite church in Ontario, back when women in leadership in the church was a Really Big Deal. (This is tragically not that long ago. Also it's still a Really Big Deal in some parts of the mennonite church.) This is her memoir.

It's a self-published book, and has the various minor flaws that come with that fact. Could have used an editor to tighten some things up, that kind of thing. BUT. It is still really worth reading, because Martha Smith Good is clearly a really impressive person.

She was raised in a pretty conservative church, conservative enough that she did not get any education above grade 8 because that would be too worldly. But she still managed, in her adult life, to go on to college and eventually get her D.Min.

She was a pastor, and found churches who wanted her as their pastor no matter her gender. And when the denomination didn't want to ordain her despite it not being technically against the rules (and wanted to change the rules so it WOULD be against the rules!), she stood her ground for her right to be ordained and won. For a number of years she was the campus minister at Goshen College (a mennonite university in Indiana) and while there became the faculty sponsor for the first gay/lesbian student group because she felt called to work on behalf of the oppressed.

And she talks with openness about her various life struggles (including dealing with anxiety and stress, and getting married at 39 and acquiring 4 step-children at once, and of course all the sexist bullshit the church had to offer) and how she overcame them, and without any castigation towards people who made things harder for her.

And she never really makes a thing of what a big deal she was, the incredible things she was doing. She's just telling her story.

I'm glad she chose to publish this book, even though there (presumably) wasn't any publishing house interested in it. It's an important story and I'm glad to have read it.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I haven't read a book for a month and a half (which is an ETERNITY for me) and this was just the right book to break me out of my weird bookless rut.

It's a book of - well, it does what it says in the title. A poetry collection, drawing on 12 different authors, all at least several centuries dead, who wrote about human relationships with God.

It's less a direct translation of the original works and more a loose paraphrase, which bugs the intellectual part of my brain because it just leaves me wondering what the originals actually said and how much Daniel Ladinsky is putting ideas into the original authors' mouths that weren't there to start with.

But the experience of reading this book was, dare I say, spiritual? It's the kind of talk about God and religion that I don't see enough of: irreverent and grounded and beautiful and full of love. It was a really meaningful read for me in a way I can't quite articulate.

Not all the poems in this book worked for me, of course, but enough of them did - and even the ones that didn't still helped contribute to the overall tone and feel of the book in a way that matters. Each one of the 12 authors had at least one poem that left me feeling all like, "yes. that."

Let me leave you with a poem from the book by Mira:

The earth looked at Him and began to dance.
Mira knows why, for her soul too
is in love.

If you cannot picture God
in a way that always

you need to read
more of my

Yeah, Mira. You're right. I do.

(in fact I plan to seek out more faithful translations of a number of these poets.)

EDIT: As [personal profile] rachelmanija kindly pointed out, these poems are in fact original works inspired by the historical poets, not translations at all. They read differently knowing that, I think, and I really wish the publishers had made that fact clearer. At any rate, now it's time to seek out actual translations of actual poems by the historic poets.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Ugghghgh this book is my object lesson in making sure to bring enough books with me when I'm away from home. I went away for a weekend and was all "oh I'll be restrained and only bring one and a half books. That's a good reasonable number, I can't possibly want more than that." WRONG. I wanted more than that. And usually I can count on my family members to have brought books that I wouldn't mind borrowing, but that weekend they failed me and this book was the best of the bunch. I went into it knowing it wouldn't be up my alley, and within very short order was hate-reading it because as well as not being up my alley it's also annoyingly sure of itself while also being wrong. I HAVE LEARNED MY LESSON, in the future I will always bring profligate numbers of books with me whenever I'm away from home.

Religion talk follows, put below a cut so people who don't care for such things can easily avoid.

Read more... )

In conclusion I was very unimpressed with the book and would recommend people interested in a more mystical approach to christianity instead seek out christian mystics from actually within the christian tradition. And for people who are interested in buddhism, maybe look up stuff by people who aren't white dudes.

(also I'm never gonna get over the fact that the publisher of this book is called "Sounds True" ahahahaha that reads entirely too much like the publisher is more interested in truthiness than truth, which feels sadly accurate for this book.)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
This is a short book type thing that was given to me for free once at a multicultural festival. I've been intending to read it for years and finally got around to it! And, well, it is the kind of religious book that you might expect to be handed out for free. It confidently tells you the one and only interpretation the religion of Islam could possibly have on the subject of sex and marriage. And I'm sure there are Muslims who believe exactly as this book outlines! But I'm also sure there are Muslims who would disagree with it to varying degrees.

The contents were interesting. I enjoyed how much time it spent directly quoting sources like the Quran and so forth - it was great to see in what words these sources talked about the issue. There were definitely some bits where I was like "Dear author, how are you getting your interpretation out of this quotation because I'm not seeing it?" And it's like, either I am missing some important context from Muslim religious scholarship or this author is bad at exegesis. And I don't know enough to be able to judge which it is. I can do that kind of judging in Christianity because I grew up steeped in discussions about theology and interpretation but even though I'm not entirely ignorant about Islam I just don't know enough.

Anyways I was also vastly amused by some aspects of this book's perspective. For example: this book's ideas of unlawful and lawful sexual behaviour are ALL in the realm of heterosexual sex. The author clearly has no idea that anyone could ever engage in sexual activity with someone of the same sex as themselves! Hah.

And I am pleased to note that despite its fairly conservative stance, this book does a lot less deliberate shaming and trying to make the reader feel bad than an equivalent type of Christian book would do.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Through the Narrow Gate: A Memoir of Life In and Out of the Convent, by Karen Armstrong

The author, Karen Armstrong, is a very well-known writer of nonfiction about comparative religion. This is her memoir. Well - the first half of her memoir. It's about her experience of becoming a nun at the age of 17, why she stayed for seven years, and why she eventually left. It's a very powerfully-written book. I cried all over the place during the latter part.

Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
From [personal profile] justice_turtle:

If you don't mind, tell me your thoughts and feelings on being culturally but not religiously Mennonite. I've picked up bits and pieces -- how it makes being in military fandoms like Stargate weird for you, for instance, and how it'd make trouble if you came out as biromantic -- but not very much. Does it bug you that there are very few Menno characters in mainstream fiction? Do you get asked by clueless people why you have a computer / wear bright colors / whatever? If you don't mind explaining that to me... I actually have no idea whether I've simply confused Mennonites with Amish/Old Order Amish, whether your group of Mennonites happens to be less Plain than some, or what. I didn't ask before because it's your own fucking business, but as long as I'm asking you stuff about being Menno anyway... :P

Read more... )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
This is one of those cases where I've had to remind myself, "it is okay to give up on a book." It's one of those books I'd really LIKE to enjoy, but I began reading it and...well, I think it's a book that I would get more appreciation out of if I were reading it in an academic context, or a context where I have the time and energy to do the academic research on my own time to supplement my reading of it. And I do not have that right now. ALAS. So I gave up after reading the introduction (which was FASCINATING) and the Shorter Text, which I spent too much time with my eyes glazed over in a sure sign that I do not have enough mental energy to expend on a book like this right now.

I will put it back on my bookshelf and maybe in a few years' time or something it will be the right time to try reading this again.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Writing up extensive thoughts about every book I read was much easier when I read fewer books. Around the beginning of May I switched to reading published books during my lunch hour at work instead of spending it on the computer and all of a sudden my rate of bookreading has SKYROCKETED -- and not just because of the extra hour of reading a day, but because the reading-every-day puts my brain in the mindset of reading profic and so I read more of it at home as well. In the month of May I completed 14 books, which is just shy of a book every other day. Like hell I had enough time/energy to write lengthy reactions to each of those books! Especially since usually these books are completed at lunch (when I'm not at a computer to write my thoughts down immediately) or at bedtime (when my computer has been turned off for the evening already).

But I MISS it, I really do. So I am going to keep trying my best. HERE:

Squire, and Lady Knight, by Tamora Pierce

I realized while reading these that there are two different modes of rereading I do. One is rereading a book that I've read infrequently enough or long enough ago that I don't remember everything that happens, so I am experiencing some or most (or all) of the contents anew. And one is rereading a book that I have already read a million times.

The latter makes a reread really fast! Because I don't need any time to digest or comprehend what I am reading -- I just motor on forward at breakneck pace. It's a way of reminding myself in order of everything I like about the book. There's nothing new or surprising, I'm not about to have any sudden insights about the content, I know exactly what is going to happen next and often the words in which it's going to happen. But it's a wonderful experience anyways because it's so comforting and enjoyable to just wallow in something I love and know so well.

I'm quite sure that there are people out there who would find this way of rereading books unfamiliar and/or uninteresting. But WOWWWW NO I LOVE IT.

This is all a very roundabout way to say, I have nothing much to say about these books. I LOVE THEM THE END?

Actually no there is something to say, and that something is this: cut for spoilers )

Jane of Lantern Hill, by LM Montgomery

A comforting reread! I was having a bad evening and this book is a delicious warm hug telling me that everything is okay.


cut for spoilers and for some discussion of unhealthy family relationships )

Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church, by Lauren Drain

You can tell pretty easily from this book what it is about. Lauren Drain was part of the Westboro Baptist Church for seven years, starting when she was a young teen, and this book chronicles her time among them.

cut for spoilers and discussion of unhealthy religious experiences )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Things what are hilarious: hanging out in my conservative christian relatives' house, reading gay fanfiction.

And by "hilarious" I mean "slightly awkward" and "resulting in lots of worry about me leaving my laptop unattended or letting someone look over my shoulder."


(anyways I've now abandoned the room with the tv and extended family in it -- how do people stand to have the television on all the time like that? It would drive me nuts -- and am relaxing on a couch elsewhere leaning up against my dad while he reads xkcd and articles about theology and sexuality. I love my dad.)
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
UGH SOCIAL AWKWARDNESS why do you have to be a thing even on the internet?

You may have noticed that I...haven't been posting much lately -- like, once in the last WEEK. Usually I post a wee bit more frequently than that! Also I have not been replying to anyone else's posts. Sorry 'bout that.

Both these things are DESPITE THE FACT THAT I AM ACTUALLY AROUND. *headdesk*

OKAY WHATEVER I am just going to pretend I am not socially awkward ~at all~ and move on with my life and post stuff.

Like for example! Something I intended to post about a week ago and never got around to!

So hey, turns out having a sunday school class discussion about sexuality in one's Mennonite church (where you're not out) is kind of harrowing! Thanks, I really needed to have homosexuality compared to kleptomania (you just have these wrongful urges and to be a good person you need to not act on them!). And I totally needed to hear the old familiar BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN rant about committed queer couples raising families. These made my day, lemme tell you. *sigh* At least there were some clueless-but-well-meaning people there too? I accidentally gave a mini-speech about the difference between being intersex and identifying as a different gender than the one you were assigned-at-birth, and also one about how if a single woman (whose husband has died -- which I specified, for maximum acceptable-to-conservatives threshold) can raise kids fine without a biologically-related male role-model in the immediate family why can't two women? And for the rest of the 45 minutes I did a lot of sitting and listening and feeling my heart racing. Eegh.

This week was supposed to be a continuation of the discussion but because of a variety of reasons the class took place in a different room in the church than normal and half the people couldn't find it. And then the conversation was very...vague and not actually ABOUT anything? And didn't go anywhere useful or interesting at all. It didn't even go anywhere unuseful and frustrating. It was just...a complete waste of a sunday school class. Which was frustrating because last week the leader of the class had said that this week we'd be looking directly at the scriptures that talk about this stuff and discussing interpretation! And then we DIDN'T.

And then last week me and a bunch of friends rewatched A Study In Pink together, and I've been reading people's reactions to the new Sherlock Holmes movie (which I haven't seen so there'll be no spoilers here) and it's making me all depressed again about how media-creators feel free to put in epic epic subtext to the point where it's barely sub, because it attracts a certain demographic, but OH NO WE COULD NEVER MAKE ANY OF THESE DUOS ACTUALLY GAY (OR BI. OR ACE. OR, Y'KNOW, CANONICALLY QUEER). Because I love the subtext, don't get me wrong! It spawns so many delicious fics! But GODDAMN IT MAINSTREAM MEDIA THERE ARE A HELL OF A LOT OF QUEER PEOPLE IN EXISTENCE AND I WANT YOU TO GODDAMN ACKNOWLEDGE IT IN SUCH A WAY THAT HOMOPHOBIC PEOPLE CAN'T JUST IGNORE IT AND READ IT AS ~FRIENDSHIP~ OKAY? OKAY.


sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I think this year I need to write a pimp post for the things I am going to be requesting for Yuletide. Because none of them have any fannish activity to speak of. I have no experience writing pimp posts, so we'll see how this goes!

Fandom One: Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Bloodstream, by James Alan Gardner )

Fandom Two: Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe )

Fandom Three: Sir Richard Francis Burton RPF )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I return!

I spent entirely too much time yesterday creating in my head the My Chemical Romance AU where they're all Mennonite. Gerard and Mikey Wiebe! Frank Jantzi! Ray Toews! Bob Baerg! And I'm quite sure nobody but me cares about this so I'll let it alone but the thought makes me happy.

(this post brought to you by the fact that I spent this last weekend in Manitoba, where there are kind of a lot of Mennos. And yes, the MCR AU is totally set in small-town Manitoba. And the band that they create is perhaps in some ways suspiciously similar to House of Doc (although obviously in other ways quite different). WHAT I AM ALLOWED TO BE RIDICULOUS AND SELF-INDULGENT IN MY HEAD. And now I have started wondering what an MCR cover for a HoD song would sound like. Or a HoD cover of an MCR song. *wants* *is probably probably the only person in the world who wants these*)

(And now I'm starting to think of a zombie AU of HoD's song "Gravestones in Namaka" and STOP ME NOW.)

(oh dear I could probably do zombie fics of a surprising number of HoD songs. I don't even like zombies! I blame Gerard Way.)

(actually I kind of want to write (NON-ZOMBIE) fic of HoD's "Buzzin' Bee" except that that song is actually about their actual grandmother or something, and I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable with going there.... But the fic probably involves Henry coming back as a ghost (NOT A ZOMBIE) and deriving much amusement from the existence of the bird Henry-aka-Jake, and then -- once he figures out how to manifest in a more visible/tangible manner to his wife -- there are many adorable ghost/human shenanigans in which she has lots and lots of fun with Henry doing things like pranking their children & grandchildren and all the "other girls who've found another mate". And probably she goes back to calling the bird Henry too just for maximum fun. OLD PEOPLE IN LOVE plus GHOST STORY plus HILARIOUS SHENANIGANS. You cannot go wrong!)

(okay this post has been nothing but the most ridiculous of self-indulgence and I am ending it now before it spirals even further out of control.)
sophia_sol: black and white drawing of a man playing guitar beneath some trees, with text saying "Stan Rogers in the yard again" (C6D: Stan Rogers: in the yard again)
This is a post about music, and mostly NOT about bandom music, for a change! I have been listening to other stuff, because I can feel myself getting within shouting distance of having listened to my various bandom music too much too fast, which I was kind of afraid was going to happen. But this is problematic, because I'm not actually there yet so I still want to listen to it, but I know if I do too much more right now I'll tip right over into being sick of it and actively disliking the stuff for a while and I really don't want to do that.

So, music things!

Thing One: I undertook Operation Learn To Enjoy Patrick Stump's Solo EP, and the operation was a success. I don't know why I keep being surprised by this sort of success.... I thought I had taught myself this lesson MANY TIMES OVER by now. Oh, self.

Thing Two: I listened to a bunch of prog-rock from my dad's younger days. Yes and King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Fun times! Quite different from anything else I listen to, and very clearly something that I know absolutely nothing about, but I like it nonetheless. Even though I definitely don't have any of the words to explain what I do and don't like.

It kind of makes me wish I'd, idk, taken some music courses at university or something so that I could talk coherently about music instead of just going: "that thing, it is a thing that is shiny!"

This has been my problem with the bandom music as well, and I foresee this being a continuing problem for me as I proceed to investigate the music from that rec-request post I did. Because when I am excited about something or interested in something or just am thinking about something a lot, it makes me want to POST ABOUT IT. But when I don't have the words, it becomes really challenging. Sigh. I don't like flailing incoherently! Flailing coherently is much more fun!

Thing Three: I got my hands on Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar, because these are both musicals I love dearly but have only seen, mmm, once each, I think, so being able to listen to the music all the time is an excellent thing. I look forward to becoming more familiar with the songs! They're both really powerful musicals. ( is it that, like, half my favourite musicals are based on biblical stories? I think I need to work on expanding my horizons here as well.)

Thing Four: I've finally begun listening to some of the music recced to me in that rec post, beginning with Josh Ritter since he was the first thing recced and also he got seconded and thirded by other people. And, okay, Josh Ritter? Is totally within my comfort zone of music I like, so judgement requires no repeat-listening and I can say I love him dearly even though I've only listened to the album Hello Starling once. Like, I cannot even deal with how exactly he is up my alley. JOSH RITTER. SO AWESOME. *explodes into a pile of glittery hearts*

Two memes!

Jul. 20th, 2011 12:01 pm
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Two meme things, from [ profile] justice_turtle! The first one involves her asking me five questions, which I am now answering, and if you want five questions from me, then reply to this post requesting five questions. And the second one is the "marry, shag, cliff" one, so if you want in on that, then reply asking for three people. Or you can request both! Or neither! It's all good!

In which I answer questions about my default icon, stealth space mennos, my favourite book, remembering songs, WWII, and a band AU of SGA )

In which I choose which out of Lord Peter Wimsey, Loki, and Rodney McKay I would shag, cliff, and marry )
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (DW: Master: hello madness)
So, uh, it's probably unhealthy that I've already basically decided what I'm going to nominate for Yuletide, and am nearly sure what I will actually request. Six months early. YEAH, that's a great plan, Sophia! /o\

Of course, I'll probably come up with other stuff in the intervening months that I ALSO want for Yuletide, which will mess with everything. But as it stands, I know perfectly well what I want:

1. Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Bloodstream, by James Alan Gardner. ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Because it is magnificent and I love it to pieces.
2. Rodger's and Hammerstein's Cinderella, the movie version starring Brandy. Fic about the prince's parents, because they're adorable!
3. My Last Duchess, by Robert Browning. Again, ANYTHING ABOUT IT. Because the poem manages to sketch in so much background in so few lines. But especially fic about the last Duchess herself!
4. Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe. Fic about Xury, plskthx! Read against the text! Give Xury agency and awesomeness! Because what happened to him was TOTALLY UNFAIR and totally racist and the narrative actually thought that Crusoe was being generous and thoughtful and AUGH. (alternatively, fic about Friday, again giving agency and awesomeness, but Friday gets a little more focus in this regard than Xury does. Xury just gets erased. NEEDS MOAR XURY.)
5. RICHARD BURTON RPF OMG. If you haven't read my gleeful rants about him in the past, you might not understand, but seriously, there needs to be ALL OF THE FIC about this dude. ALLLLLL OF THE FIC.
6. the Love Comes Softly series, by Janette Oke (the books, not the tv movies). Because I'm a terrible person, and I want fic about a queer and/or religiously-questioning member of Marty and Clark's conservative christian family. Because the three main themes in these books are: religion, love, and family. So how would the value placed on love and family work out if someone in the family was something or believed something that Marty and Clark's religion would think wrong? Janette Oke would be appalled, I am sure, but hey, these books were totally a mainstay of my preteen days and I loved them to bits even while I knew they were problematic, and if it didn't mean I'd have to reread a ridiculous number of mediocre books to once again get a handle on that sprawling family, I'd totally write the fic myself. (sssh, don't tell anyone, but I still occasionally get hankerings to reread the last couple books, the ones about Belinda.) (aaaah, what, I just went looking up these books on wikipedia and apparently there's a quartet that picks up 20 years after Love Finds a Home, about the grandchildren of Marty and Clark, and I never read them, and I am finding myself wanting to read them, what is wrong with me.) (ETA: Um, oh gosh, I JUST REALIZED, my thing for the marriage-of-convenience trope dates back as far as these books. Wow.)

Of these six, I think I would be most likely to request Three Hearings, Robinson Crusoe, and Richard Burton, but I'm undecided as of yet on the fourth. I'm thinking Love Comes Softly, but I'm not entirely sure yet. WELL I HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO DECIDE. *headdesk*

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