1984 Deconstruction: Part 33 Can It Survive?

Monday, August 21st, 2017 12:43 am
[personal profile] wingedbeast
As a teaser for this week (because I like to pretend I have a wide audience that would spend the week anticipating the next installment), I said that I will ask if Oceana can last.

Dragoness_E immediately responded with a resounding "no" on the basis of unforeseen externalities. The externalities included a new disease a la Black Death, an extinction level asteroid (such as is found in late 90s movies and the far better done "You And Me And The End of the World"), a much more advanced civilization coming to conquer and colonize, etc. The phrase for the whole category is "Outside Context Problem".

I will agree with this. For one thing, some of those problems are problems that would and could destroy any nation without needing to kill all or most of the people within. There's an Italian movie about a world-wide outbreak of crippling-to-lethal agoraphobia. (It's on Netflix with the title "The Last Days", if you don't mind reading the subtitles.) The affliction doesn't even kill anybody. It's the isolation and the breakdown in communications that causes civilization to break down.

Any such Outside Context Problem can destroy a nation that either does not or cannot adapt quickly enough. And, The Party will not allow Oceana to be adaptive. It cannot survive a world of changing people. It can only enforce a status quo that, given enough of an Outside Context Problem, cannot last.

That said, Orwell doesn't seem to consider anything like an Outside Context Problem. According to O'Brien and The Book, of which he is part author, the only external issue is another nation, but that is handled by Doublethink Agreement among the three extant nations. This leaves, under Orwell's examination and O'Brien's belief, only the internal matter of controlling the individuals within Oceana.

In a world without Outside Context Problems and externalities, could Oceana last as it is?

Let's take a look at what Oceana is. O'Brien will tell us, in fact.
Read more... )

[FIC] The Longest Night (Akatsuki no Yona)

Friday, August 18th, 2017 05:54 pm
foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)
[personal profile] foxinthestars
Today was my deadline and just in time, I finished my WIP Big Bang fic! This thing has like taken over my brain/life for months -- I'll have to figure out what to do with myself now.

Crossposting my brag post from the Bang comm:

Story Title: The Longest Night (I promise ~ I can't promise)
Fandom: Akatsuki no Yona | Yona of the Dawn
Link(s): at Ao3 (recommended); at FF.net
Summary: When Yona and her friends need shelter for the winter, Kija insists on bringing them to White Dragon Village for a traditional solstice festival honoring his ancestors. The ritual brings messages from the world of the dead, including a visit from the most honored white dragon ancestor of all — but what begins as a joyous meeting threatens to become a tragedy.
Warnings: Heavy Angst, Possible Character Death, Canonical Character Death, brief but intense violence
Characters: Kija, Ensemble, special appearance by Guen
When I Started: Not so long ago, only the beginning of this year. This grew out from my 2016 Yuletide story.
How I Lost My Shit: I don't remember if I did before signing up for the bang, although I did write a few other stories so it must have been back-burnered. Mostly, though, there were things I found challenging about this story so that I just knew I'd have trouble finishing it without some formal commitment. Embarassingly, I actually did lose my shit after posting had started; I went out of town for a weeklong family visit and really slacked off after I got back.
How I Finished My Shit: Sheer determination, but tempered with nonperfectionism. My completely-truthful mantra for this story was "I want to do this one no matter how messy it turns out." Also setting a bunch of personal deadlines way in advance of the actual deadline was helpful --- of course I ended up blowing through all of those, but each one pushed me to get a bit more done. ^_^;

And now it's finished! My beautiful rambly angsty hurty baby! I'm so proud!

Many thanks to my artist, too!

Tip #84 "Both Sides"

Friday, August 18th, 2017 12:58 pm
[personal profile] wingedbeast
With the events of this past Saturday, I feel there are things that I should not have to say. I should not have to speak opposition to white supremacy, white nationalism, or the Nazis. I would hope that can be taken as a given. But, there is an element of many responses to the riot and violence, including one man ramming a car into a crowd of people injuring many and killing one, that I feel important to address. And, I'll address it in this series, because I hear it in these arguments, too.

When you discuss conflicts, particularly ones wherein your side or the side with which you empathize has done wrong, there will be a temptation. It will be tempting for multiple reasons. You might enjoy the feeling of being detached and above the conflict. You might seek a solution in which both sides are equally pleased. You might want the sense of having an advanced, complex understanding of the issues at hand without needing to go through the effort of understanding said issues.
Read more... )

Men In Matrix

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 12:04 am
[personal profile] wingedbeast
Setting: Waterfront park in New York. The bench faces the ocean.

Camera focuses on the profile of a distinguished, older man, wearing black suit and tie, speaks.

Agent K:Humans, for the most part, don't have a clue. They don't want one or need one, either. They're happy, they think they have a... good bead on things.

The other person from off camera.: Why the secrecy? People can be smart, certainly enough to adapt to a new normal.

Agent K: A person is smart, people are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago, everybody knew the earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the earth was flat.

Other person: That is a modern myth. The size and shape of the earth had been mathematically verified thousands of years prior.
Read more... )

1984 Deconstruction: Part 32 Why? No, Really, Why?

Monday, August 14th, 2017 12:52 am
[personal profile] wingedbeast
First a quick note, based on some of the comments I've gotten. I know that much of my interpretation doesn't match up to Orwell's intent. I'm taking a Death of the Author approach and I'm outright stating where I think Orwell is wrong.

Now, into the deconstruction.

According to O'Brien, Winston has gone through stage one, learning. The next stage is understanding, which will be the task of the current chapter. The final stage will be acceptance.

The stage of learning included O'Brien's line about meeting where there is no darkness, a line of invitation to the thought that O'Brien is like Winston himself (which he might be). It included giving Winston the book so he could read it. And, it included reinforcing the very same things, via torture, that had been expected of Winston all along.

Now, we get to the question that most plagues Winston.
Read more... )

Vicious cycle:

Sunday, August 13th, 2017 10:21 pm
lonespark: (Default)
[personal profile] lonespark
Upper classes extremely racist, have power to enact & maintain white supremacist structures & systems.

Racial hatred , segregation, etc. therefore becomes part of economic aspiration for people who pass as White Enough.

Certain segments of upper classes then get to deflect a lot of responsibility onto people who aren't well enough integrated into the systems white supremacist power to cloak their race antagonism in meritocracy or similar BS.

It works with ableism too, and transphobia/queerphobia...

White supremacy is inherently ableist, violently cisheteronormative, misogynistic, etc...

And capitalism is too, and they are largely the same monster...

But it still took me a looong time to work how very much the ideas of "success" in my USian culture is tied to racism.

Part of it is the fact that I grew up surrounded by people who eagerly befriended the educated, culturally compatible "good ones" and cared deeply about helping "the less fortunate." They didn't want to be assholes or racists, and they definitely didn't equate wealth with morality or success...*

But the whole idea of settling down for stability and having kids in your good Blue Marriage** ended up meaning not raising those kids in the kind of diverse environment they had sought out and enjoyed and valued. Like, my parents went to work in places that look like America, where the people and issues everyone needs to have familiarity and some understanding of to try being a decent citizen are everywhere all the time...

Then they came home to this sealed-up freakish Whiteland. (And I've done even worse by my kids on that front, tho the place is a tiny bit better and some other kinds of diversity shake out differently...)



*They kind of went some opposite ways I'll try to address some time...

**Also a post subject, I hope

Catch-up time.

Friday, August 11th, 2017 03:26 pm
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
[personal profile] redsixwing
I had surgery on the 2nd, and it went largely well. Fast, no complications.

I've been accordingly ignoring everything and anything, so I've missed about the last two weeks of DW. I'm calling amnesty on it; if you have something you're proud of and want a cheer for, please drop a link here!

1984 Deconstruction: Part 31.1 Party Propaganda

Friday, August 11th, 2017 03:10 pm
[personal profile] wingedbeast
(Note: This is a fan-theory. This is a way of viewing and interacting with the text. This is not, in any way, statement on authorial intent.)

Oceana and the means The Party has of maintaining their dominance strike me as... unbelievable. I fully believe that they'd try it. I even believe that they'd believe it. But, as means of control, these aren't very useful.

There are elements that just don't fit.
Read more... )

The Case For An Antidote To...

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 04:24 pm
[personal profile] wingedbeast
A little backstory, because I don't know that there is a name for this Trope and I'm not about to get lost in a TVTropes search in order to find it. It comes from the comments in another webpage, wherein I had promoted the posts on my blog. Someone had noted that there is a common sexist trope that can happen in some of these kinds of movies. A woman makes ready to do a man's job and is shown to be silly for thinking she can do such a thing.

In some ways, our culture have already addressed this trope. The more common trope, these days, is that the woman announces her intention and, indeed, achieves that which sets out to accomplish. In fact, we've moved past that to a point where, sometimes, the trope is how outdated it is to even need to prove such a thing. The narrative either reaches a point where the protagonist outgrows the desire to prove herself to someone else or reacts, initially, with the roll of the eyes such a demand deserves.

Even so, we can still put in our own response. And, I dare to say that the 60's/70's style screwball comedy is exactly where we should put it.

My proposal is we set up something like a bet.
Read more... )

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