I usually just post these things in Twitter and/or Tumblr posts but they’ve all cropped up in the last couple of days so I thought I may as well do a proper post… Ahem.
I got an email earlier that most of my Etsy shop’s listings are expiring really soon, so if you’ve ever fancied any of what’s there head on over ASAP. Plus I am going on holiday for ten days on Friday so any physical orders after the 11th July won’t be shipped until the 23rd at the earliest, by which time most of those items will have gone. So get on it!
Society6 is having one of its free-shipping-on-most-items days if you follow this link and this link only. It’s weird and they don’t tell you how long the offer lasts, presumably to whip you up into a frenzy. It’s until the 13th according to that very link.
I’m currently taking story commissions on DeviantART (all the info is on the right hand side below the advert). Once again, when I’m away I will technically be on holiday so if you request anything then you won’t get a response for a few days.
I hate doing what are effectively sales pitch blogs but at least this way it’s one lone social media post, as opposed to eighty over the course of a day… plus this trails on nicely to what I really want to talk about, which is HOLIDAY READING.
You know the drill. I take more books than I can carry, I read most of them, set up blogs talking about them and always include one novel that is totally depressing and/or gross. The first year I did it I took Trainspotting, which I haven’t read since; last year was We Need to Talk About Kevin which I then chose to study for my A Level and never want to read again… the further I explored it, the more effed up it became. I think this year will be Goodnight Mister Tom, which I have never previously read because I saw the TV adaptation about ten years ago, got so distressed I cried and have refused to open the book ever since.
But I’ll probably take this fortnight’s Private Eye and The Son of Neptune so it’s okay! There will be laughs all round! I will also take a book of codewords because since I stopped going to school my vocabulary has been on the downturn, which is bad for everybody. If I’m not careful I’ll only be able to speak in dog chatter… “Don Don, why are you barking? No one cares. Shhh. Hello Fred. You look very handsome. Go away that was my flapjack. Snuggles time.”
This one was tough… A Thousand Splendid Suns, We Need to Talk About Kevin, my John’s Gospel commentary by AM Hunter…
No really, you should compare Hunter to some of the others. Little tip, scholars: when it comes to sentences, less is almost always more. That aside, I think Uncle Rick gets the prize. House of Hades is brilliant and perfect and yes aimed at twelve-year-olds but let’s face it, people, children’s books are usually better than adult ones. Harry Potter, Mog the Forgetful Cat, etc. Oh Uncle Rick, teach me your secrets.
Album of the Year
How I Learned to Stop Giving a Shit and Love Mindless Self Indulgence, by Mindless Self Indulgence. I paid for the album, I listen to the album. It is a piece of genius. That is all.
New Favourite Website of the Year
Hmm. I’ve discovered Vice, a news magazine (although someone online pointed out that its narrative voice is disturbingly similar to that of the Daily Mail, which I must say has put me off a bit), Effing Dykes, a queer blog (and so genuinely not safe for work that I’ve not quite had the courage to devote an entire post to it yet) and Tumblr. Okay so I already knew Tumblr, but I joined because it made it easy to follow nice art. That and a deep desire to infiltrate the world’s bitchiest blogging network from within.
New Favourite Artist of the Year
Viria. Her art is beautiful. Ahhh. Her work is set as my phone and iPad background. The whole Tumblr thing was also induced by Burdge, Andy and Minuiko.
Old Favourite Artist of the Year
Ruby. She made this into an illustrated story for my birthday. The individual pictures are amongst others here (I’m hoarding the finished product but don’t worry we’ve decided if all else fails we’ll write children’s books so you’ll be able to get both our work in one book. Cool, huh?).
Most Family Member-Like Famous Person on Twitter
I actually can’t decide between Uncle Rick the Troll Queen or Uncle Gerard the MCRmy’s Therapist. Genuinely, the jury’s out. Let me know your thoughts (the best Twitter moment was when someone Tweeted Gerard the Russian Mark of Athena cover, on which Percy bears a striking resemblance to G. Aha).
Most Depressing Internet-Based Phenomena
The title’s probably a misnomer because it doesn’t involve idiots talking shit behind the safety of a computer screen (that comes later!). Anyway: those of you into the whole Percy Jackson thing might remember this:
I know, it’s incredibly clever. I do others like it. It was inspired by one of Viria’s pieces – the one set as my phone background; I had the idea going up the stairs which was interesting. I originally put text on her drawing. Quite a while after I published the poster, I posted the bootlegged one on Tumblr:
I wonder which has had the better reception.
It’s a good thing I chose an artist I really love or I might have become bitter.
Live Show of the Year
I saw Jesus Christ Superstar, MSI, a ‘revue’ at school in which my friend Sarah was splendid as a 1920s hockey player, my year’s pantomime-which-I-sort-of-helped-write, an actual pantomime, an interview between two of the best children’s authors around today and a poetry reading by the bloke off Homeland and Narcissa Malfoy.. But I think my favourite live band (discounting MCR because it’s MCR) is an ever-changing group of part-time musicians who play in a restaurant I like in Greece. I understand 10% of the lyrics, make eye contact 0.001% of the times I walk past and have been known to sing along to songs that are the Mediterranean’s version of Mindless. But it’s nice, and even if I found a YouTube clip (creepy as I’m there a lot) it wouldn’t quite convey the atmosphere, if you know what I mean.
Insult of the Year
“You’re a doody head.” Enough said.
Happy Moment of the Year
When I remember it’s not June and Donnie’s still here. I like Don and Fred better than I like most things, no offense, and they are my friends. It’s like having human friends but the dynamics are different – humans tend to be more forward about nicking your food. Get a pet, seriously. Unless you are incapable of looking after one due to a) lack of money, space or permission (volunteer somewhere instead), b) lack of time or motivation or c) aversion to pets. You know who you are. Yes, I’m including those of you who get pets because you think it’ll be fun or make you look good. At times, e.g. in a field in December, it will do neither. But then they look up at you, covered in slime, and you think “I love you little dog. Now let’s go home and hope we never have to leave the house again.”
Indifferent Ignorance Commenter of the Year
Jacki, whose wise words you will find if you scroll down a few posts. Getting people to comment on work is like pulling teeth (remind me that I have a piece of work about that to show you), yet is the best way of differentiating readers from spam-bots and ‘glancers’ – people who have a click and a scroll then go somewhere else. But it’s like being the first person to take food from a buffet: no one wants to be that person, though once someone has taken the leap they’re comfortable joining the queue. Weird. Anyway, Jacki comments a lot and for that I am grateful. Please accept this garbled post as a token of my appreciation. Ta.
Indifferent Ignorance Homophobic Dick Award
Maria suggested this category and I love it. Who to choose? Tony Abbot the Australian Prime Minister, who revoked equal marriage rights after people had got married? The guy whose work I heartily abused when Tom Daley came out? The parents of a child I saw a few years ago who had dressed their eight-year-old in a t-shirt with an arrow saying “I think he’s gay!”? People who stopped reading – or stopped their children reading – Heroes of Olympus when they found out about Nico?
His site used to have a thing where sites that had discussed the post were lined underneath and the one I did was there. I guess too many people were discussing the arseholery though because the layout’s changed…
Okay I think that’s everything I said I’d put in. If I’ve forgotten something or someone please let me know.
That’s called asking for a comment, ladies and gents.
I hope 2013 was as happy and safe as everyone wished it to be; if it wasn’t then I wish you happiness and safety for 2014. Even you with the pet you shouldn’t have bought, reading Forney and nodding in agreement.
Maybe not but I’ve been on a lot of cold medicine and perhaps the Christmas spirit of forgiveness is shining through.
It’s my ‘heavy and disturbing’ holiday read – last year’s was Trainspotting – and I’m excited/nervous to read it. Nervous because I’ve seen the film, which is, to use technical language, fucking creepy. I also loved Ezra as Patrick in Wallflower, and although he’s a good enough actor that when I was watching him as Kevin I wasn’t thinking of him as Patrick, I’m not sure what my imagination will do. But I’m kind of excited because on the last day of term, my English teacher was talking to us about books we could read over the summer for our American literature coursework, and she actually suggested this. I’d already been planning on reading and maybe studying it, because I got the impression from the film that it’s more about the American Dream and/or family life than it is about grisly murder. I’ll let you know what the nightmares are like.
The Candy Machine: How Cocaine Took Over the World by Tom Feiling
I started this about four years ago, and it was pretty intense because it’s a factual account of the cocaine industry. I now know where Columbia is, though, so I’ll give it a bash…
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
I actually have to read this for English. It might not be Gatsby but as long as it’s not a textbook, I’m good with it.
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
Jay and I agreed to read one another’s book recommendations – I told him to give Wallflower another go – and I started this. Again.
I will finish it.
The last couple of issues of Private Eye
Because of this:
I’m not actually taking anything else because I want to do some writing over the holiday. Some meditative consideration of the universe and whatnot. Plus, someone’ll have shitty magazines to read and I want to buy the Financial Times at the airport.
I really need to do some multi-tasking because yesterday my Picture of Dorian Gray audiobook sent me to sleep for four hours, and I didn’t get all the work done I need to if I’m going to pass looming exams. So we’re going to revise together!
Subject #1: Psychology
Question: How many links from the syllabus can Francesca make to the film We Need to Talk About Kevin? (There are a few spoilers coming up.)
Answer: at least three.
Kevin and his mother did not appear to bond very well. When a babby is very little, it is generally considered that there is a sensitive period of attachment between the babby and their primary care giver. A bloke named Bowlby came up with this idea. Essentially an infant needs to form a nice secure bond with at least one person in order to form nice secure bonds with other people later in life (this is called the continuity hypothesis). There are a few different types of attachment, however, and Kevin’s does not appear to be secure, but insecure-aviodant or insecure-resistant. Or possibly insecure-disorganised. This can result in aggressive behaviour in later life (mass murder). Incidentally, mothers of insecurely-attached babbies are less responsive to crying (walking through building work to drown out Kevin’s screaming).
Kevin did not seem have a biological abnormality prompting him to resort to mass murder, but Freud’s psychodynamic approach could be on to something – perhaps his id was all “I want mummy’s attention” when his ego and superego were developing, and he projected these feelings toward Eva as a teenager by committing mass murder. Or maybe he learnt mass murder by playing video games with his dad and listening to Eva bitch about fat people.
Kevin did not conform to social norms because he killed lots of people. In fact, he deviated rather strongly. He was pretty highly-functioning, however, like Harold Shipman.
I should add that as I’m not a trained psychologist, and Kevin is fictional, I can’t actually decide what turned him to genocide. I can speculate though… This is fun, we should do it more often. Maybe Jesus Christ Superstar for RS.