delphipsmith: (queenie)
We went out for dinner with some friends last night (mmmm, seared ahi tuna...) and while yakking about this and that, B. pointed out something I'd never noticed before. Not one of the Disney princesses has a mother. She said that that's why, in the new live-action Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson, they added a sort of "vision" of the past where Belle has a chance to see her mother and learn what happened to her.

Of course, given that the Disney princess stories generally draw on fairy tales, and girls don't often have mothers in the fairy tales either, perhaps it's not so weird. But even the non-fairy tale ones -- Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Pocahontas, Jasmine (Aladdin), Elsa and Anna (Frozen) -- don't have mothers.

The only two exceptions I could think of are Merida (the red-haired Irish girl who wins her own hand at the archery tournament) and Mulan (the Chinese girl who learns fighting from her father and goes off to war). So basically the only ones that have mothers are the ones who apparently don't need mothers because they're off doing "boy" things.

Isn't that weird?
delphipsmith: (live live live)
These women. Fabulous.



delphipsmith: (McBadass)
...is all the women's marches, not just in the U.S. but around the world. Amsterdam, Oslo, Helsinki, Bogota, Nairobi, Madrid, Marseilles, London. Truly heartwarming to see so many people (both men and women!) in some many places, speaking out against the stated policies of the current administration.

Also: THANK YOU so much to my lovely flisties who gifted me with virtual prezzies and LJ account extensions! You are lovely and I smooch you all :)

Also also: We saw Rogue One today and LOVED it. More on that tomorrow...
delphipsmith: (all shall be well)
Hillary Clinton lost and Leonard Cohen died. Saturday Night Live managed to combine acknowledgement of both in an unusually sober and remarkably beautiful opening to their show on Nov 12th. Lovely.


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delphipsmith: (PIcard face-palm)
Dorothy Thompson, suffragette, radio broadcaster, and war correspondent, was the first American journalist to be expelled from Germany for questioning Hitler. I recently ran across a couple of quotes by her that I really like. Both seem rather apt, the first one due to the current state of journalism with its non-substantive coverage of news and its mindless rush towards infotainment, the second due to the insistence of a certain political party to poke their noses into people's sex lives and bedrooms.

No people ever recognize their dictator in advance. He never stands for election on the platform of dictatorship. He always represents himself as the instrument [of] the Incorporated National Will. ... When our dictator turns up you can depend on it that he will be one of the boys, and he will stand for everything traditionally American. And nobody will ever say "Heil" to him, nor will they call him "Fuhrer" or "Duce." But they will greet him with one great big, universal, democratic, sheeplike bleat of "O.K., Chief! Fix it like you wanna, Chief! Oh Kaaaay!"

-- 1935, quoted in Watchdogs of Democracy? : The Waning Washington Press Corps and How it Has Failed the Public (2006) by Helen Thomas, p. 172



I know now that there are things for which I am prepared to die. I am willing to die for political freedom; for the right to give my loyalty to ideals above a nation and above a class; for the right to teach my child what I think to be the truth; for the right to explore such knowledge as my brains can penetrate; for the right to love where my mind and heart admire, without reference to some dictator’s code to tell me what the national canons on the matter are; for the right to work with others of like mind; for a society that seems to me becoming to the dignity of the human race. I shall pick no fight, nor seek to impose by force these standards on others. But let it be clear. If the fight comes unsolicited, I am not willing to die meekly, to surrender without effort. And that being so, am I still a pacifist?

-- 1937, "Dilemma of a Pacifist"


On a lighter (I guess) note, apparently the most frequent UK Google search AFTER the Brexit vote was, "What is the EU?" Probably should have done that googling BEFORE voting, guys.
delphipsmith: (classic quill)
Anita Brookner has died. The first thing of hers that I read was Hotel du Lac, a battered copy found on a bookshelf in a bed-and-breakfast in Germany; twenty-five years later it remains one of my favorite books. Her finely crafted novels, with their precision of description and compactness of focus, are like medieval miniatures. I'm sad there will be no more from her.
delphipsmith: (magick)
I just learned that Tanith Lee died late last month. She has always been one of my favorite authors, and I'm so sorry she's gone. I bought her Red as Blood: Tales from the Sisters Grimmer from the Science Fiction Book Club (remember that?) decades ago; it was my first encounter with fairy tale reimaginings and engendered a lifelong love of that genre. I also loved her Birthgrave series -- dark, weird, sword-and-sorcery + psychological myth-making -- and The Silver Metal Lover.

Her official website displays a single quote, red lettering on black:

Though we come and go, and pass into the shadows, where we leave
behind us stories told – on paper, on the wings of butterflies, on the
wind, on the hearts of others – there we are remembered, there we work
magic and great change, passing on the fire like a torch, forever
and forever. Till the sky falls, and all things are flawless and need
no words at all.


RIP, Tanith.
delphipsmith: (McBadass)
[livejournal.com profile] minerva_fest always results in a bouquet of fabulous stories, so run on over and leave some inspiration :)

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Minerva_Fest!


(banner by [livejournal.com profile] featherxquill; art by Kit466 [used with permission])

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