J-1

Apr. 21st, 2012 11:28 am
chani: (Default)
The campaign is now officially over and our media are not allowed to provide opinion polls anymore...until the official results of the first ballot, tomorrow at 20:00.

As usual it's a big controversy over here, because it seems unfair that "the ones in the know" are privileged while the common citizens will have to wait until 20:00 (because polling stations close at 20:00 in Paris), especially given that the first results are supposed to be "knwon" by journalists and political teams at about 18:00.

Will Belgian and Swiss media provide them?

Leaks are to be expected and on twitter the resistance is already set up with hashtag #RadioLondres. "Les Français parlent aux Français" was the famous broadcast program in the 1940's that allowed the FFL, who had followed De Gaulle in London,  and the Resistance in France to communicate.

Several twittos are already trying coded messages for tomorrow. Some are funny and creative, others are not.

chani: (Default)
Daniel Mendelsohn, with whom I fell in love when reading his The Lost a few years ago, is on twitter. It's really weird to follow on twitter a writer you love, but the twitter thing is weird, anyway,when it comes to "famous" people you have never interacted with.

I don't tweet myself a lot, even though I was drawn to twitter, at first, for its rule of "up to 140 characters". I saw it as a challenge of concision – a tool that Tacitus would have liked!– and a funny way to come up with neat aphorisms. That was before I realised that some twittos just mircoblogged and used text-message language to "cheat"! The art of aphorism is lost on so many people...

I mostly follow media accounts and academic accounts, in order to get links to interesting articles. I also follow a few French politicians, because this is election year. So basically I use twitter for the news, to get information. It is my very won AFP or Reuters. And twitter can also become a forum when there's an event people all over the world tweet about and you just follow and feed the hashtag said event is about. It's fascinating to see twitter turning into an agora then.

So, basically my use is rather impersonal, and I don't really consider twitter as a "social network". There are exceptions of course. Some LJ friends are on twitter so it's another way to be connected. It's like bumping into someone you know, while walking in the street, and stopping for a moment to say hello or have little chat. I also follow a few artists in order to get updates on their works (like Moffat, Rufus Wainwright, Emily Barker, Bear McCreary, etc...), most of them are performers so twitter is a way to know about albums or gigs.

And of course there's Tom Mcrae, who fits in the later category but is also someone I have met in RL and with whom I sometimes have interactions online. We aren't friends but, after all those years, exchanging words with Tom on the internet doesn't feel like crossing the line. He's familiar enough to me in a way that is similar to my connection with certain distant LJ readers who are on my flist. In other words, there's nothing "sacred" about his online persona. I see him as an equal.

It's another story when it comes to Umberto Eco or Daniel Mendelsohn! I wouldn't dare to reply to one of their tweets...

Why following writers on twitter? To get a glimpse of the person behing the books? Maybe. To extend the connection you once fell when reading their work. Probably. To witness a work in progress and perhaps make out the backstage of creation? Hopefully.

But there's also the fact that we expect them to shine, to use their words mojo within an up-to-140-characters post. Is it possible?

Umberto Eco uses twitter in an interesting way, juggling with Italian and English (but so do I, with French and English), making aphorisms and, above all, bypassing the rule with bursts of multiple tweets, which isn't very refreshing per se, except that, the way he does it, the ending part comes first so his speech scrolls down and you can read his tweets normally, from top to bottom, without losing the right syntax! It means that he has to prepare the whole thing before he starts tweeting.

So far, Mendelsohn's tweets are unimpressive. He seems to use twitter as a social network or as a newsletter for his articles.

By the way, he posted links to two of them, lately:

The first one is a travel tale, titled A Modern Odyssey, in which he tells the Mediterranean cruise he took with his father, following Odysseus' steps. I especially liked the ending of the article:

Read more... )

The second, Unsinkable, is a long article published on The New Yorker. It's about The Titanic, and of course, being a classicist he studies the event as a Myth.

So I follow him on twitter, but I know the brilliance is elsewhere, and the Mendelsohn I love isn't the tweeting man who exposes himself online, but the one who reveals himself when telling stories.

chani: (Default)
Happy birthday to kick_galvanic !!!

Here's a treat under the cut:

EJO in Miami Vice )

chani: (Default)
It's [personal profile] syderia 's birthday!

Joyeux Anniversaire !!!!

chani: (Christine de Pisan)
I haven't seen the last episode of The Borgias yet, but I've read this article by the New York Review of Books and it is mostly about what makes the show a terrible series.

To be fair -- even though I still don't consider The Borgias to be a very good show-- if we put aside the historical inaccuracies and the formulaic stuff, there are also some neat things in Jordan's series here and there.

I wonder if the same journalist will write something on the upcoming Borgia series by Tom Fontana that is supposed to be faithful to history.

chani: (Default)
No, this isn't about Sarkozy...all that man can do is lie, brag, and butcher the tongue of Molière.

I just wanted to link this article from The New Yorker on Obama's speech.
chani: (medieval demons)
I was reading tweets from a very serious media when I ran across this:

Porn for the Blind is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to producing audio descriptions of sample movie clips from adult web sites. This service is provided free of charge.

Okay I had never thought of blind people and porn, and now that I think about it, I find the idea a bit weird because porn is essentially visual, but I guess those descriptions can be useful, and some people are more into "hearing naughty stuff" than watching.

The guy who recorded the audio descriptions was kinda selfless (or maybe he just gets off on describing stuff out loud?) but for a non blind person some descriptions and offbeat comments are just pretty hilarious.

Just listen to the ending of Lisa Ann's Jail Time !!! LOL

What can I say? I've been translating medieval Latin texts, that deal with theology and canon law, for days, I need to take my mind off it!

Pet peeves

Sep. 12th, 2010 01:41 pm
chani: (Default)
It's beyond my control, seeing words being misused makes me cringe and makes me want to write rants and groan. Maybe it's the teacher in me or maybe it's just my love for language ––unless it's merely a character trait –– but I get bothered by things that most people would just overlook.

It isn't that I want to denounce "cuistres" and "pédants", and I know that language evolves and that the meaning of words slips over the time, but I can't help it, I just hate it when words are debased.

I try not to say it on LJ, because it often happens there and  I don't want to sound too picky or hurt my flist, but the frequent (mis) use of "meta" (as "analysis" or "essay on")annoys the hell out of me.

Lately I've been irritated by the use of "science fiction" label that can be seen in many Internet polls or lists around. Everything is science fiction now!

How many times have I seen Buffy The Vampires Slayer show up in a list about sci-fi tv shows*? I'm sorry but Buffy was never a sci-fi series. BSG, Caprica, Farscape, Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Star Trek, Fringe are sci-fi, not BtVS! Twin Peaks wasn't sci-fi either.

Lost does have a few science fiction elements in it (mostly thanks to Daniel Faraday and Dharma's experiences on time travel) yet I wouldn't call the show sci-fi and its finale, although I didn't like it, pointed it out.

Bram Stocker's Dracula has nothing to do with science fiction (if anything, the character of count Dracula precisely represents a world prior to the XIXth century's science); Stevenson's short story about Dr Jekyll isn't sci-fi either even though it's chemistry (the potion) that brings Mr Hyde out. By the way of contrast, H. G. Wells' books belong to the science fiction category. Nowadays we tend to put all fictional stories that contain or are based on imaginary stuff –– either beings or technologies or alternate universes or dystopia or supernatural elements–– in the same bag.

So what's next? Will Carroll's Alice's Adeventures in Wonderland or More's  Utopia or Homer's The Odyssey be labeled sci-fi some day? What about The Bible?

As you can see, I strongly disagree with Nabokov when he said that Shakespeare's The Tempest should be termed science fiction.

Voltaire's Micromégas was a philosophical tale AND science fiction but Zadig, by the same author, wasn't science fiction, and neither were Charles Perrault's fairy tales, yet they all deal with stuff that did not exist.

Finally, it seems to me that, when we decide to mix-up various genres that contain imaginary stuff, we forget, in the process, that, by definition, everything in a fictional work is the product of imagination, the characters to begin with. In every book or movie or tv show, it's a whole universe that is made up. Art is the science of fiction, but not necessarily science fiction.

But it isn't only a matter of misused words and books or tv shows. I think we live a time of "confusion des genres". It's a plague in our western societies and my biggest pet peeve.

I see it all the time in my job. People mix-up History and Remembrance (and there begins the battle between memories, and the clash of lobbies ensues) or History and Commemoration. Sometimes it's just laziness and ignorance, sometimes it's pure manipulation.

Not only it annoys me, but also I believe it can be dangerous.

*PS: Once more David Lavery's blog shows that I am not alone. That said, The X-Files was a show that did mix up genres, covering its tracks, to the point that it's very difficult to label it. Some episodes were pure sci-fi, others pure fantasy, others pure thriller. As a whole, the series navigated by the stars between sci-fi ocean and conspiracy waters (can I make up a word like conspira-sea?). But its parents, The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, started with the genre mix-up. Perhaps it's the tv version of the American Melting-Pot.

A must read

Sep. 6th, 2010 10:50 pm
chani: (medieval demons)
David Lavery studies Breaking Bad's qualities.

Read and you'll understand why this is the best series on tv. Besides its aesthetic and intellectual qualities BB is also a show that makes you laugh and cry and keeps you on the edge of your seat grabbing anything at reach!

And to think that we'll have to wait until July 2011 to see season 4!
chani: (caprica)
Despite the break and an upcoming several-month long hiatus, the Capriverse still exists thanks to the Internet.  Life goes on in the Twelve Colonies and the voices from Caprica still manage to reach us. Serge Graystone is still tweetering on Twitter and The Caprican continues to be updated as well.
It is different from the webisodes that BSG did. Even though they were broadcast on the Internet, websiodes were still BSG episodes. With the blogs, we get to know what happens behind the tv screen, or rather without the tv screen, and it gives a new layer to the concept of hypertext. I'm tempted to discourse on Caprica's narrative Dasein, but it's probably better not to bring on phenomenology right now.

Anyway our experience of Caprica feels like we're walking a garden of forking paths; having the Capriverse spread out through other media sounds as if we're living in a big Borgesian novel! I like that.

Media strategy -wise, it is interesting to see the web take over from television when a show isn't currently on for a long while. It's like some methadone or rather a never-ending teasing to fuel the addiction and prevent withdrawal; the web provides a relay to keep things going ––and keep the audience captive!––so the (geeky) viewers won't forget the show until it's time to tune in again...perhaps The Caprican and Serge's twitter were made for that purpose only. 

But they can't keep this up without revealing too much until September, can they? 

By the way one of the last entries on The Caprican blog reveals interesting tidbits.

Read more... )
chani: (Default)
If you are interested in tv, there is a new the place to go so you can check on your favourite tv shows(True Blood, Dollhouse, Lost, Caprica, you name it!) and leave comments to share your interest with other tv addicts.
Ian, whom I've known for years thanks to the Internet, started a blog that  will give you the lastest news and info while avoiding spoilers so make sure to bookmark the TV LOWDON.

http://thetvlowdown.com/
chani: (Default)
It's a bit awkward and I am not entirely comfortable doing this but I guess that sometimes you have to put the shame aside...

So I have that blog, Correspondances, that almost nobody knows of, and now blogspot made me put a gadget on it that shows the followers of the blog. So if you're interested in reading my rants and musings, feel free to join!
chani: (sunset in Tanzania)

It snowed all day long yesterday, which NEVER happens in Paris! Today, no snow but it was colder. Too cold for this mediterranean girl.  That Siberian weather must stop NOW!

ETA1: They forecast  - 8° C for tomorrow morning!

I can feel how the cold affects our bodies, tires them out. I fear for all the homeless tonight. On the other hand I'm quite pleased with the way my classes went today. It was a good day of teaching.

Speaking of the Russians, I've just seen on my flist page that LJ might be killed off soon...and I'm too lazy to back-up my journal. I've been saying for several weeks that the place was becoming colder and now I'm wondering whether I was forseeing its possible imminent death. *brace herself for the loss*

Some of you already have my email. For the others who wouldn't want to see me disappear and would like to keep on virtual conversations, you can get in touch with me through frenchani@gmail.com or through my blog Correspondance. I also post from time to time on a Lost Forum and a BSG forum, especially when the shows are on. BSG starts again on the 16th and Lost on the 21st.

So just in case...DASVIDAGNA !!!!

ETA2: Keep killing children and innocent civilians, Israel, and let the carnage go on and the humanitarian situation  worsen in Gaza, you are making new religious fanatics and Hamas fighter every day. What a  wonderful world. *sigh*

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