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Qualia Dodgson
My life goal is to have a paradox named after me.
My life goal is to have a paradox named after me.

Qualia's posts

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"Limited Atonement Roast: totally sufficient to appeal to everyone's tastes - it just doesn't"

Yes this is a joke. Yes it is still real. Yes, I am totally going to buy a pound for all the tease-able agnostics in my life. (Not the Calvinists: I'm a little scared of them.)

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Let me preface this by saying:

I have two professional artists in my immediate family, which means, of course, that I regularly hear Tennyson-length monologues on how people should learn how to draw properly, how calling oneself an artist doesn't automatically mean that one can actually do art, and how "bad is not a style."


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Alternatively, if these requirements are too much for you, I give a free pass to anyone who can make it 24 hours without making me twitch by repeated use of phrases like "sustainability," "historical revisionist," "neo-con," "patriarchy," "identity politics," "rape culture," "moral degeneracy" etc, etc. Complete list available on request

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I forgot to include the best quote though:

"The chief difference is that a poet has a better memory for things of the spirit. He can hold fast to an emotion and an idea until they are firmly and clearly embodied in words..."

Despite all this, I don't really recommend the story. It's not as vivid as Andersen's other work.

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"A choice that is not used is worse than nothing; it is a snare in which a person has trapped himself as a slave who did not become free – by choosing. It is a good thing that you can never be rid of it. It remains with you, and if you do not use it, it becomes a curse." Søren Kierkegaard

Unfortunately I can't remember what piece of his that's from. I have horrible note-taking hygiene, I know. If I were less tired I would engage in a self-parodying and ironic rant about taking quotes out of context and the correlated poverty of thought on the internet.

Maybe I just read it in Provocations. That seems like the kind of lazy, unscholarly thing I'd do, right? Yeah, 'fcourse right.

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So I should probably stop answering inconvenient phone calls with "Somebody had better've died."

Because Statistics is a b**.* Eventually it's going to happen, and it'll probably be with someone who won't find it amusing. (Gallows humor is apparently an acquired taste, and I'd prefer not to be around people in the process of actually acquiring it. They usually blame the person being funny.)

So anyhow yeah. Somebody did sort of die this time. Patrick. The Wombat.

How do you know this? you ask me. My mother told me. (In all fairness to her, this was not the first thing she mentioned, so it's not as if it was a priority, but she did apparently think it was important enough for me to know.)

I wasn't crazy enough to actually look anything else up, but apparently this dolorous event took place at some point during the last few days. You'll be glad to know that Patrick was surrounded by loved ones as he shuffled off this mortal coil, ran down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. He is done gone to Wombat Elysium. Even though we really have no proof of what kind of wombat Patrick really was in the deepest part of his little wombat heart -- and we know nothing about wombat morality and whether being a good and wise wombat is generally considered by wombats to even affect a departing wombat's eternal fate -- he went to Elysium (which was a thing before the movie, honestly people), because we like him.


*...and she gets together with Fortuna every Wednesday night over a pint of Chunky Monkey to brainstorm about new ways to screw up Thursday for me.
Or shall we take a vote on which Ben & Jerry's flavor the hypostasis of Statistics prefers? What say you +C Steen?

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Ordinarily, if I were going to complain about a story, I would at least read a synopsis and make sure of the central premise so that I could be properly scathing.

However, I saw enough of Percy Jackson and Whatever the McGuffin is this Time just while flipping through channels to furnish griping-material for the rest of my life. I can't even bring myself to open the Wikipedia page.

Now, I know I can be harsh. I get that not everyone caught the Greek (and Roman and Celtic and Mesoamerican and Indian) mythology bug when they were twelve. I mean, it's absolutely unconscionable that not everyone knows Toltec creation myths or who Hades' pre-Persephone girlfriend was, but I've learned to deal. But the fact that this could be anyone's first (or only, oh the horror) introduction to Greco-Roman mythology is enough to make stone weep.*

We aren't even going to discuss the putative "structure" of the story. I think the first thing I remember seeing is where satyr-protector-thing boy is explaining that Percy's dyslexia and ADHD are actually signs of his impending greatness. I went to make myself a cup of tea, so I assume I missed Percy's struggle with adolescent uncertainty, pariahdom, and then his initial exclusion from the new in-group which he was ultimately destined to lead.

At some point I discovered that the McGuffin is some sort of lightning bolt doomsday thing. Having missed a large portion of the beginning for my own sanity's sake, I briefly wondered who the overblown bad guy and obvious traitor would be. In very short order I met balgrog-Hades, when they were out in the woods, for no real reason that I can gather, other than to facilitate that particular melodramatic threatening session. Percy, of course, kept his head, did as he was told, and came up with a reasonable plan to save his mother from the evil lord of the underworld. Haha. No. Just kidding.

As far as I can tell, there was some sort of over-elaborate stepping stone to get to Hades (the place) that involved some sort of magical transport device called (I think) Persephone's pearl.

Anyhow. It went downhill from there. I kept hoping for Gandalf to show up and save me at any moment. No wizard of any color appeared of course.

Also, Athena's daughter? I'm not sure what her name is, Something-Beth presumably? I deduced this from the hoedown showdown with Medusa** (I've always suspected that Uma Thurman was hiding some dark terrible secret -- she was too good in Kill Bill -- her having snakes for hair is as good a hypothesis as any) in which Medusa loudly announces that she's Athena's daughter.

But irritating and swotty people like me feel compelled to point out that Athena was basically the kickass virgin goddess. (I've always secretly suspected that Artemis was shacking up with Orion, so she doesn't count. And Hestia is boring.) Anyhow, kids are sort of difficult within those parameters. Work-life balance etc.

But then we remember that in some stories, Athena does, in fact, have a kid. Erichthonius. Kinda. Sorta. He's definitely probably Hephaestus' kid anyway, whether his mom is Athena or Gaia or some random chick that Hephaestus picked up is debatable. Or possibly it was Prometheus that, er, "sired" him; there are two versions of the tale.

It's a bit of a squicky story actually, so I can see why they didn't explain the details of Something-Beth's conception, but still, inquiring minds want to know. (Also, if anyone's interested: I totally ship Athena/Hephaestus. Athena really needs to lighten up and Aphrodite is just bad news. Seriously, you don't go around just turning girls into spiders unless you're very tightly wound.)

Or, you know, she could have made the kid out of spare parts she had lying around, there's precedent for that with the whole Prometheus/Hephaestus/Athena science project thing with Pandora I guess.

So I'm willing to pass by the whole Athena's daughter topic.

I'm willing to forgive the weird lotus-eaters casino bit, because that was kind of actually almost clever. I can easily get over Hermes' kid being the traitor, knowing all along that the twist I was hoping for was never going to happen, because really, it's YA fiction not a Dorothy Sayers novel. So fine. I get it.

You know what I can't forgive? Pierce Brosnan as a centaur. The casting director should be trampled by a herd of them.


Bonus points for the gratuitous Niobe reference, yeah?

**Because I couldn't find a way to fit this in: Medusa is turned into Gorgon-horrifying-snake-lady because she shags Poseidon on one of Athena's altars. Which a) eww, and b) that was in poor taste girlfriend. Poor taste. Also, early versions of Medusa had a beard. Pretty cool, huh?

And yes. I know I'm a snob. *sad face

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Two+ months in Seattle have convinced me to start a #potbaked campaign. I don't care if you stick your marijuana in brownies, gummy bears, or clam chowder, just so long as I don't have to smell it.

And yes, pun so totally intended.

(...and it's old "news," I just wanted the picture.)

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"Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door."

Because, seriously, what else is a lit-nerd going to post on Easter Sunday?

Also, is that one of Caravaggio's? (I can't remember the name.)

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Aka, the Bob Ross Quarter. +C Steen
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