This is gonna get long, so consider this line your warning.
( Contains me rambling, and references to gore and murder. )
But yeah. Hope you guys are all well, anyway.
Hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee hee!
OK, OK, I'll try be coherent. We got our internet upgraded, so aside from the fuckups (though they should be sorted out soon), we now have incredibly fast internet that doesn't drop out. Happy Astra is Happy.
Also, the Big Bang ends on Monday, so I can start posting shit again. :)
Yeah, there's no point in this, I just wanted to remind you guys that this isn't just a spork-journal. On that note, I'll be trying to get my Three-Ring Binder MST's back, so keep yourselves updated!
Anyway, my sister and I kinda reconciled. I had to admit, I've been a terrible sister- and so has she. We're probably not going to be amazing friends, especially since we have almost nothing in common, but it'd be nice to not be enemies.
Also, I'm completely in love with 'Telemiscommunications' by deadmau5 and Imogen Heap. It's just amazing.
1. My sister and I are having an almost-relationship again.
2. University's been pretty good (apart from the timetable, which is a bitch).
3. I haven't yet had any screaming matches in ethics, but we're doing abortion at some point, so I'll wait.
4. I've recently got into the That Guy With The Glasses fandom (by which I mean I'm actually writing fic instead of just prompting it on the kink meme) and I joined the Treehouse. This is going to be fun.
5. I am kitten, hear me roar.
6. There is no number six.
7. Harry Harrison died. May he forever rest in peace, and may he pull off continual unhindered capers of such magnitude that we can only dream of.
Fairy tales are fucked up, man.
I don't just mean the old ones where people got killed and tortured and all that shit. I mean the messages they send. And not just how heteronormative they are. Let me explain.
I read a very intriguing article on Cracked where the author stated that part of the reason men get angry at women so often- and resort to throwing 'slut' and 'whore' around so often- is because from birth, they're raised to believe that they will get the girl. Think about it. In teenage fiction, in fairy tales, how does it end? Boy gets girl. Girl will unfailingly fall for boy, she probably won't have a personality to speak of, there will be no doubting or mistrust or actual romance or any of that shit. Boy gets girl. That's the end of it. And then the guys grow up and don't get the girls. The girls don't fall into their arms and fuck them at first sight. Many simply aren't interested. Others aren't into guys at all. Many think they're horrible beings of chaos. The boys' expectations are crushed. They are left frustrated and confused. This does not make them happy.
Some of them turn out to be gay, and then they have to deal with a world that doesn't endlessly support the idea that guys can be in love. This can end badly.
And the thing is, it's not just the guys. The girls grow up believing that they'll find their Prince Charming, and then they come to the realisation that many guys (not all, but quite a few) are crude, dickish, sex-obsessed wankers. The ones they think are Prince Charming are probably arseholes. The ones they won't look at are probably the closest thing they'll find to a Prince Charming. This does not make them happy.
Some of them turn out to be lesbians, and then they have to deal with the same things that the gay guys do. This can also end badly.
And some of them turn out to be bisexual, and then they get to deal with looking for Prince or Princess Charming, and quite possibly getting shit from all sides at once.
My best friend once told me about a play she was in at high school. The play was Picnic at Hanging Rock, and though it was an all-girl school, they decided to get some drama students from their brother college in to play the guy parts rather than giving them to the girls. Those guys basically were in heaven, surrounded by girls who couldn't pass up the opportunity to meet guys who weren't their friends' arseholish little brothers. My friend, who I believe was always gorgeous (in her opinion, she was gawky), got ignored by the guys. A couple of months ago, she encountered some of them in a bar. My friend has grown into an absolutely gorgeous figure of womanhood, while the guys, (she said) were fugly. And she felt pretty damn good, thinking about how they ignored her for being unattractive and contrasting it to the way she looks now.
The point of this is... well, it's a long story. See, last night I was thinking about a plot for a story where Apple, a girl, steps in to help out Mango, a guy, who is in a really bad place and needs help that he isn't getting. (Names are there for lulz.) With Apple's help, Mango gets his life back on track. They fall in love and get together.
And then I had a thought. "Hang on," thought I. "Doesn't this sound like a reward for Apple? 'You helped him get his shit straightened out- congratulations, your reward is him.'"
That was a pretty fucking disturbing thought. At first I thought, 'But that's not true. Spending so much time together helped them to form a bond. They've been friends and helped each other and such. It's not like she's his therapist and they had no other relationship but still got together." But the more I thought about it, it did seem like it was true: girl helps guy, and her reward is a relationship with him. Hell, it happens in reverse in a lot of stories- girl gets the guy as a reward for overcoming the plot, no matter how much or little interactions and attraction there was beforehand.
And then I thought of one of my former favourite series, David Eddings' Belgariad/Malloreon. I wrote an entire post about how fucked up that series is (along with almost everything else he wrote), and one of the major reasons I hate it now is because of the Prophecy. The Prophecy of Light basically spends the story making sure that the shit that needs to get done gets done. It rewards people who carry out these tasks with long, happy marriages.
Maybe that doesn't sound too bad. But to me it sounds like sexual slavery. "Sorry, I don't care about your opinions- some chick helped me out, so now you have to marry her. Cheers!'
I can think of a couple of examples- in Rick Riordan's series The Heroes of Olympus, one of our protagonists, Hazel, initially lived in 1942. If she'd been a normal girl, she would have grown up and married her best friend, Sammy Valdez, but she wasn't, so she ended up dying and coming back seventy years later. Sammy married another woman and had a decent life with her, but he never forgot Hazel, and Hazel never forgot him. I know the world isn't fair, but I'll quote Harry Dresden on this: That. Wasn't. Right. The plot took away Hazel's right to a decent life and dicked her over in more ways than I can count. And what about Sammy? Poor bastard lost his best friend and future wife.
Another example is in the Belgariad itself- had Garion been a normal guy, he would have married his childhood friend Zubrette, who he was half in love with when the story starts. He and the others go back to the farm in the fourth book, and he has to let her down by greeting her with an expression of affection and brotherly love, but no romantic love- and it breaks the poor girl's heart. Garion has to marry Ce'Nedra, you see, despite the fact that he's way too good for that manipulative fucker and he probably would have had a better life with Zubrette.
Yeah, Ce'Nedra is by far one of my least favourite characters ever. She's a complete bitch with pretty much no redeeming features whatsoever. I despise her.
Hell, even Polgara (who I also hate- someone as horrible as she is should not be allowed to take care of kids) gets an example. She stayed for years in Vo Wacune, an Arendish city, and eventually fell for one of the guys fighting to be her champion (they both fell for her, BTW). Unfortunately, the city was destroyed, and her man with it. God knows Polgara couldn't have a romance- no, she had to raise all those fucking kids and be untouched for Durnik. Jesus Christ.
You see my point? The story takes away your choices. The story dicks over everyone so you can fuck the person it thinks you should be fucking. The story will rape your mind so you have to like it.
Oh, and there's no gay people, of course. That would upset the natural order.
Seriously, if I ever have kids, I'm writing them a completely new set of fairy tales that encourage peace and love and LGBT people.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that romances need to be handled carefully, otherwise all you're doing is turning A into a reward for B. Try showing a romance formed from mutual love and respect and trust. Don't show a romance where B gets A because of how awesome he is. Give A a say in the matter. Or if you do, point out how bad those kinds of romances are. Please. Because otherwise, the implications with pile up, the bad taste in the readers' mouths will worsen and the books will get thrown at the wall.
And for fuck's sake, get some LGBT characters in there, people!
1: Melbourne is fucking freezing. Seriously, if you go there in the winter, wear layers and take a warm coat.
2: Melbourne is disturbingly similar to Sydney. I don't just mean that the two cities have buildings built by similar architects and house the same corporations- I kept turning onto streets and thinking I was back on [insert street here]. It was surreal.
3: Melbourne actually has a decent public transport system. I'm not used to that.
4: Melbourne to me seemed like a cross between Sydney and Canberra with a little Newcastle thrown in. Nice place, but there didn't seem to be much about it that was original. I didn't see enough of Newcastle to comment, but every city, to me, should have something really unique about it, be it a landmark, a building, whatever. Canberra, besides being a completely artificial city, has the War Memorial and Parliament House and so on. Sydney has the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and so on. Melbourne... well, if there is something unique there, I didn't see it. And don't tell me that the MCG counts. Every bloody city in Australia has a sports ground.
5: The exhibition of Mesopotamian artefacts was beautiful.
5.5: Seriously, they had these little weights carved into the shape of ducks. They were so damn cute.
5.75: Why the hell do they never have any of the stuff you actually want to buy in the shop?
6: As were the Botanical Gardens.
7: Having been a fan of Kerry Greenwood's Corinna Chapman and Phryne Fisher series (both of which are set in Melbourne, the former in the present day and the latter in 1928), it was pretty surreal to suddenly come across some of the streets and places featured in her books. I don't remember all of them, of course, but suddenly encountering His Majesty's Theatre and walking up Little Bourke Street was weird- I kept wondering if it was really like that in 1928.
8: I had about ten fights with my sister. Fucking bitch.
9: Note to self: never go into the exhibition of animal life in the museum again. (They had a wall of preserved spider skins. Scared the fuck out of me.)
10: I walked around for hours at a time and barely got breaks to rest. My legs and feet have not stopped hurting.
11: I'm going to dye my hair again. Don't know what.
That was my Thursday, Friday and Saturday. How was yours?
Beforehand, I met my best friend's pet masochist (there's a sentence I didn't think I'd say any time soon) who really is quite nice, though he smiles too much. Once we compared spiky things and got a taxi through the pouring rain, we got into Hermann's Bar.
This was problematic.
See, unlike the Manning Bar, which was absolutely huge and had a proper stage and heaps of room, Hermann's is a one-room bar with a small stage you could barely swing a cat around. We were faced with an oxymoron: there were both too many people and not enough people. As Grace later said, bands like the ones we had playing need lots of people for the right atmosphere. Fiend Fest, on the other hand, didn't have enough people for that atmosphere, but at the same time, they had too many for such a small place. (Not enough seating, either).
We ran into Wendy and Pete (as in Crane, as in Shiv-r) again, and it went exactly the way I expected. Wendy, you see, is one of the nicest and friendliest people on the planet, while Pete is (rather unexpectedly) introverted and quiet. So while I had more than a few talks with Wendy, I said a brief hello to Pete and that was about it. Also, they both went blonde. Pete looks good with a blond fringe, and Wendy looks good blonde, but I think she needs to grow her hair.
Anyway, the first band were Viral Millennium. They were surprisingly good. They did a hilariously metal cover of Lady Gaga's 'Paparazzi' that Grace and I adored, and Grace was really into their music. Next up were Novakill, who consisted of two surprisingly older guys singing political-activist songs. OK, but a little boring, methought.
In between bands, I spent a lot of time in the bathroom bitching to Grace about how, outfit-wise, I was outclassed by nearly everyone else there. Grace just pointed out how spiky my spiky bracelets were.
Then next up were Shiv-r. They were amazing, as usual. Pete is really fantastic live- he has heaps of energy and he's really aggressive. Even better, while they played the songs I expected ('Blood Spatter', 'Parasite', 'Hollow Mask', 'Pharmaceutical Grade'), they swapped out 'The End' and 'Stripped' for the ones Grace and I were hoping they'd play- namely, 'Zeitgeist' and 'Taste'. Unfortunately, there was one minor problem: how the hell do you look away when one member of the band is wearing a quarter of a shirt, and the other is wearing a latex thing that barely comes down to her thighs? Not to mention her corset, which... was tight, shall we say.
I sincerely hope nobody connected to Shiv-r ever reads this. If they do, I'm sorry. I mean, I'd be sorry even if they didn't. Just saying.
After Shiv-r were Hanzel und Gretyl. They were fun. Unfortunately, I forgot my golden rule: I find it hard to enjoy a concert if I only know a few songs. So while I picked out 'Das Boot' and I stuck around to rock along with 'Third Reich From The Sun' (which was amazing, BTW), I ended up sitting most of it out due to boredom. Well, that and I spent a fair bit of time wondering whether Vas Kallas is a guy or a girl. (She's a girl. It was the lighting.)
I sincerely hope nobody connected to Hanzel und Gretyl ever reads this. See above.
And after them were Hocico.
If you're wondering how to pronounce it, according to Wendy, it's 'oh-see-ko', but due to the fact that the majority of people there were Australians, it was more like 'hoh-see-ko'. The earlier concert rule applied to them too, unfortunately, so while everyone around me were dancing like maniacs, I was standing there contemplating philosophy. Not kidding, there was no room to move. Unfortunately, I also started having problems breathing, so I got the hell out of there.
It's impossible to have a conversation when bands are playing.
Anyway, aside from that: I finally discovered an alcohol combination I can enjoy (vodka raspberry), I got hit on by two guys and a girl (at least, the girl danced *really* close to me, and I think she thought I was straight, which is probably why she made abrupt excuses and left), I have two new shirts, and I discovered that A, eyeliner is hard to get off, and B, DestroyX's eyeshadows are *impossible* to get off. You need soap and water. Seriously.
Also, despite being the freaking *Fiend* Fest, they still haven't got out the next issue. Not cool, dudes. Not cool.
Anyway, how have you all been?
- The barbecue went fine. I didn't end up wanting to kill myself and the two year old was great.
- I fucking love New Years Day.
- Pete Crane listed his main influences as deadmau5 and IAMX. If I get a chance to talk to him, I am so talking to him about them.
- Shiv-R also will have a new EP out at some point this year.
- I bought six back issues of Fiend today and hopefully they'll be more at Fiend Fest.
- I also bought three of DestroyX's eyeshadows at Gallery Serpentine. They're great.
- Things are going just fine. For once.
Also, new things:
- I have a new computer. This has been interesting, and I'm still working out what it does.
- I have lots of new music. This has made me a lot happier.
- I have had an almost-relationship with my sister.
- My story is currently on hold as university is taking a lot of time up.
- I'm seriously considering writing a very meta Mass Effect fanfic.
- I should not be given an Xbox any time soon as I can't play for shit. (I finally got a chance to play Mass Effect 2 at a friend's place, but I kept forgetting what did what, I couldn't do anything right other than talk and the only way I actually killed anyone was when I head-shot him accidentally.)
- I have fallen in love with Leverage.
- I rediscovered my love of Maroon 5.
- OK, I only ever loved "She Will Be Loved", though it was a close call sometimes (in Year Seven, I was on a school trip and on the way back the entire bus sang "She Will Be Loved" the entire way back, which was slightly more than an hour or two. Although, I will give it props for being better than that time on the school bus when the seniors sang Aerosmith's 'Don't Wanna Miss A Thing' for the the entire time, for about three days straight, there and back, and they only knew the chorus).
- All right, I knew the chorus of "Makes Me Wonder" too, but anyone with a pulse a few years ago knew the chorus.
- Adam Levine is fucking hot, and I don't care what Todd says. (Hey, his review of "Moves Like Jagger" was what put me back onto Maroon 5).
- I have decided to try giving a fuck about things. This is difficult for me as depression tends to do that to you, but I'll live.
- I have a major crush on a guy in my Psychology class. I don't know how this would ever get back to him, but I don't doubt that if I named names it would, so I won't. And I'm honestly surprised at my crush, but when just looking at a guy makes you smile, there's not much else you can call it.
- I can't wait for The Birthday Massacre's new album.
- I have done my damned best to corrupt Himi by giving her all the music I can think of. She loves deadmau5 and Angelspit now, so methinks I'm off to a good start.
- I'm consistently averaging borderline pass/credits (so far) on my uni assignments. This is a hell of a lot better than my year 12 shit, where I consistently averaged 50 or so until I got tutors, so I am not complaining a bit.
- I have discovered the existence of the Lion's Mane Jellyfish. This is fucking terrifying. Seriously, they can get up to 7 feet long.
- So of course they live in Australia.
- Sometimes I wonder how I lived this long in this freaking insane country.
1. I'm OK at making chocolate muffins, but it would probably be better to not panic next time I make them because of everything Kerry Greenwood wrote about muffins needing to be put in trays quickly or they won't rise, and about muffins becoming tough if you mix them too much.
2. Next time, either get different chocolate or don't make the sauce.
3. I won't be able to decipher the lyrics to Angelspit's 'Sunrise' without help. Or, preferably, ZooG posting the lyrics.
OK, I'll stop fangirling now.
But yeah. The concert was pretty awesome. I'll start at the beginning.
Woke up at 6:30 AM. Headed out at 7 AM to catch the bus at 7:40. Naturally, it didn't turn up until 8:10. Anyway, I had a nice long five-hour drive home. I got bored as hell. Anyway, I finally got back to Central, Grace picked me up and we went back to her place. Then we pretty much did nothing (excepting watching the first episode of Sherlock season 2) until it was time to go. We stopped at Norton Street and I got dinner (Grace got a scone, and I was pretty pissed at her- a scone is not dinner, people, and considering that she thought she'd probably drink a bit, I wasn't impressed- I'm not going to be responsible for towing a pissed friend around USYD campus at 1 in the morning). Anyway, we got to the Manning Bar, and joined a crowd of goths including some dressed in the coolest outfits I've ever seen, and two older women who looked like teachers. I spent most of the waiting time discussing the University's beautiful architecture to Grace, who naturally wasn't interested at all. *sighs and shakes head*
Anyway, we finally got inside, and squealed a bit over the merch table (I love merch!) and the first act, Horrorwood, started playing. They seemed like pretty generic metal/industrial- perfectly OK, just not my thing. Grace and I hung around on the balcony until their set was over, and then we went back inside to watch Shiv-R. They were fucking badass. Pete turned into a demonic monster of industrial badassery before our eyes, and belted out the songs like his life depended on it. Grace was hoping for 'Zeitgeist' and I rather wanted 'Taste' but instead we got the following: 'Incision', 'Blood Spatter', 'Stripped', 'The End Pt 1', 'Parasite', 'Pharmaceutical Grade' and 'God is Art' (not in that order). The best part were 'Parasite' and 'Blood Spatter'- they'd altered the lyrics, and it was epic. After they were done, we hung around for a while, and then it was ZooG's set.
After we watched him set up, he then proceeded to fuck up the weirdest mix of songs ever. The guy's got a music library after my own's heart. The mix included 'Money' by The Flying Lizards, Dizzee Rascal's 'Flex', 'Skinny Little Bitch' and '100%' by Angelspit, and much to my delight, Goldfrapp's 'Lovely 2 C U'- I mean, I never ever expected ZooG of all people to like Goldfrapp- but it was awesome nevertheless. When he was nearly done, he got told he had to do another twenty minutes, so he ended up playing some of the more clubby Angelspit songs like 'Vermin' and 'Deadly'. A bit of the way through, Grace and I went to say hi to Wendy and Pete, who were both happy to see us. I also spotted several of the people who'd been at the album launch, which was pretty awesome.
After that, we ended up sitting in the merch room 'cause my legs were hurting from all the dancing. The last opener was an act called Lab 4- another DJ, but using more darker metal/industrial stuff. Grace headed off to dance and popped back in occasionally, and I spent most of it staring at the ceiling. Finally, it was Combichrist's turn. The floor filled up with all the people who'd been outside waiting for them, I ended up watching for a few minutes... and they bored the hell out of me.
Not really what I was expecting.
I mean, Combichrist have a hell of a rep for being badass rockers. And then they just bored me. OK, when they played songs I liked, that worked. But I was a lot happier sitting by myself in the almost-empty merch room than standing next to Pete Crane, watching Combichrist play while Grace danced her ankles off on the dance floor.
OK, to be fair, the merch room had Wendy Crane and the merch girls. I didn't actually talk to the merch girls, but I did end up talking to Wendy, who is even more of a sweetheart than I thought (when Grace and I went to talk to her after Shiv-R finished playing, her first reaction was to hug us both and say how glad she was that we could make it). It was interesting- see, Grace and I ended up in the merch room after each set, and I spent most of it staring into space thinking about the ceiling. The problem was, while Pete and Wendy and ZooG were all there, they were all talking to other people, and I'm antisocial, shy and polite- so I couldn't have just hung around them waiting for a gap in the conversation. So instead I stared at the ceiling and thought about random shit. Until Combichrist's set.
Grace likes Combichrist more than I do- she loves heavy stuff, while I'm more straight rock. Plus, she's a sucker for the dancefloor. So she was out there jumping around, and I went and sat near Wendy and Merch Girl 2 (I never did catch her name) and stared at the ceiling some more. Then ZooG turned up (he'd brought sandwiches for the merch girls, 'cause he rocks like that) and then he and Wendy and the merch girls started talking. I stared into space some more until Wendy decided to talk to me, and I mentioned that I would love to be part of the conversation but I didn't want to interrupt as it seemed like a private conversation, and that I really wanted to meet ZooG. Wendy promptly dragged me over to him and introduced us, and then we had a really fun conversation about anything we could think of (made a bit awkward because Combichrist were so goddamn loud- seriously, were the speakers made of titanium or something? and every second sentence, one of us wouldn't be able to hear the other). I ended up asking him about everything I could think of, including music videos and future tours, and the fact that he's a Goldfrapp fan. Yeah. You could have knocked me down with a feather when 'Lovely 2 C U' started playing in the middle of his set.
(On the video note, I wish they could have released that video for 'Let Them Eat Distortion' he told me about. From the sound of it, it would have been awesome. I didn't quite catch why they couldn't release it- but I did hear something about a giant, specially-made guillotine and the best photoshoot ever.) Eventually, I went to find Grace, couldn't find her (they say needle in a haystack, well, try finding someone in black in the middle of a mosh pit) but I found her on the second try. Eventually, she dived back into the crowd and ZooG and I talked some more until the show ended. Then everyone came out and we all hung around until the staff kicked us out. It was fucking badass.
There's more to my holiday than that, of course, but that was the highlight.
I'm glad to be home. It's good.