dangerous; see also: unlawful

Next time you feel bad because you don’t fit into some social beauty standard, please remember that dueling scars used to be de rigueur among Junkers and other landed nobility of Prussia, Germany, etc. They were a signifier, a way to let people of your upper class know that you were like them (because you were the type of person who a) could afford to have hobbies and b) had hobbies like fencing), and as a way to show how badass you were (sure, you may have lost the duel, but you can take a blow, which is just as important).

As with most trends, people outside the originating group began to emulate the behavior, and scarred themselves with razors. With a simple cut, it’s easy for everything to heal nicely enough, so some dudes would put horsehair (an irritant) into the wounds, so it would scar up nice and big.

Outside of the social signifier aspects, when the Third Reich was born, it also helped you to look like you came straight from Central Casting, like SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny here.

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You don't own me.

One last time and then I'm closing the lid on the worst part of last year.

See you later, 2011. Onward and upward.


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there goes the neighborhood
Tragedy is like a branding iron. Everyone who lives through it becomes a product of that tragedy. You realize you’re just a slab of meat. You might continue living your life in a fairly normal straight line, but that tragedy knows to whom you belong. You have its smoldering mark on your body.

At first the idea of grief counselors seemed absurd. "I was like, grief counselors? Really? But this is doing something to me." And that's it. It's difficult to put into words, but in the aftermath of the storm, you could feel it on you. Something had been done to you. And though I don't think of myself as seriously affected, there is a part of me that still becomes frantic when the power goes out. The anxiety is a rat racing up my nerves. It's part of the reason why it's taken me so long to write this, the followup to the storm. I don't like to think about it. I don't like to talk about it. I don't like to go back to it. But I will, just this once, and then it can't touch me again for a long time.

Read more...Collapse )

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Writer's Block: Band on the run

the hunt

Which song associated with musician Paul McCartney is your favorite, and why?

View 683 Answers

Definitely "Love Take Me Down (To the Streets)."

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This has been a title.

I forgot to mention this in my last post, but there was something else that bothered me about Piranha, besides that one character's fate. Lord knows this is important information--it must be shared with the world--but I went to the trouble of screencapping it at the time, so here 'tis. Lemme tell you, as someone who grew up on a tourist-attracting lake, you don't do this before going in the water, unless you want this to happen. TYVM.

And I've continued to see other movies. [NB: Internet and/or TV service is still kind of hinky here, hence my movie binging and also absence from the internet.] I saw Daydream Nation the other night and while I thought the story was kind of muddled and don't even get me started on the dodgy CGI, I have not related to a character more than I related to Caroline in a looooong time. The trailer:

I also saw The Violent Kind, which I really wanted to like, mostly because the poster is beautiful. [I am nothing if not a serious movie fan. Also, "From the producers of 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and 'Halloween'" means nothing unless we're talking about the originals.] Alas, no. The story seems both draggy and too short--by the time our two groups meet up and the real action kicks in, it feels like they've had to cram in the rest of the movie to fit. And the story--woof. It plays like someone fell asleep during a Sons of Anarchy episode and then woke up later in the middle of Sometimes They Come Back (or if you like, Sometimes They Come Back...Again) and then dreamed they were part of the same movie.


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Writer's Block: No reservations required

old west action

If you could go out to dinner with a character from a current TV show, who would you choose, and why?

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Writer's Block: Presto chango!

i saw the wolf

If you were a shapeshifter for one day, who would you embody and what would you do?

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The new lyrics to the Götterdämmerung.

wait for the cream

Tully: Who's Franz Bettmann?
Geismar: Bettman, von Braun...the Kraut brain trust--the guys that built the V-2s.

I had two reaction to this exchange. First, I shrieked out loud. For the past semester (now thankfully over), I've been taking a class in which our sole grade is a mammoth research paper. [So blow that paper, blow the class.] Theoretically, you can choose any topic, but because so much of the paper depends on research, most people choose to cover something Alabama-related (so they can visit relevant archives in person). I chose one of my pet topics, the German rocket engineers who were plucked out of post-war Europe and planted right here in Alabama--the "Kraut brain trust" Clooney's character is referring to. It's good to choose something that you really, really like because you will grow to be really, really sick of it. I went through so many sources--Triumph of the Will, Twilight Zone episodes (and this one, countless newspaper and magazine articles, books in English and German, etc. Wolfram got me German research and helped me translate it. I started writing and got over half the paper done, but then I got stuck.

And then finally, in one grueling day, I spent nine straight hours in the library at school finishing the paper. At times, I started to hallucinate. I am also pretty sure that I wrote at least two pages of it while I was not fully conscious. I snapped back into consciousness, staring at the computer screen, and two pages were staring back at me. Before this, I'd had my oral German final and I spent most of it talking about that wretched paper. My German instructor asked if I had any other finals that day. "Nein, ich schreibe..." and then I couldn't remember the word for paper, so I just made a it-was-this-big gesture with my hands, like one might make to brag about a caught fish.

It's been over a week since I finished that and I'm just now okay with talking about, hearing about, thinking about said Kraut brain trust. So I thought I'd relax a bit and watch The Good German, but I was not prepared for the exchange above. Hence the shrieking.

My second reaction was "Franz Bettmann?!" I'd never heard of Franz Bettman. I was thinking, there is no possible way that there is a German rocket scientist [who would be mentioned in the same breath as von Braun] that I've never heard of. Just ask my millions of tears last Monday. So I googled and Wikipedia said, "Bettmann is only a minor character in the film; he appears to be based on the real Arthur Rudolph." Whew. Thank goodness.

Speaking of good German (Eppy Awards, best segue 2010), I did get my Christmas cards sent out. I apologize for any errant German that sneaked in. I have to always be practicing (I will be continuing to take it next semester), so it seeps into my regular language. Also, thank you to gfrancie, commieprincess, and kaytethinks for the cards you sent me.

Now I am going to get back to my movie. Happy Christmas Eve, everyone.

Oh and that paper? I made an A.

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I don't like brownies, but I like New York's.

check it and see
An outtake from my trip: Since the last time I was there, they've opened a 24-hour Duane Reade in the lower level of the building. Since I love 24-hour stores with the fervor of any nocturnal creature, this was the fuckin' best. Also, having one so close was useful for things like, if your e-mail from Monthly Info said "See you in two days!" and then turned into "Hey, I got an early flight!" that afternoon. One night before dinner, I stopped there to get something to eat on the way to the restaurant. [If you have not been informed that I eat like a hobbit, consider this your notice.] I got their brownie bites and what a delight they were.

As I tottered off toward Blue Ribbon, I passed a guy who looked exactly like this, baseball cap and all. It could have been him for all I know. In any case, I feel qualified to tell you that he was checking me out. And I was like, "Mmmrprmsmmmf...these brownies are amazing!" So, sorry, Keanu, if that were you. Rain check on sad sandwiches together?

Now I'm reading Mark Reads: The Hunger Games and I had to giggle at "Flesh-eaters??? Oh man, if these are like…zombies or irradiated mutants or something worse, I will DEEPLY LOVE THIS BOOK FOR A LONG TIME." Zombies or irradiated mutants in THG? Not quite (no spoilo), but it does remind me that I read The Forest of Hands and Teeth while I was in New York. It's a lot like The Village if shit had gotten really real and the monsters in the woods were real monsters. I will continue to read the series, although I have to admit that I didn't love it. The ending just kind of putters out and I kept getting Tegan and Sara's "Ocean" stuck in my head because Mary wouldn't stop yammering on about it. Stop crying to the ocean, stop crying over zombies...

Speaking of crying, my own regarding my schoolwork, particularly the research paper on Operation Paperclip, has lessened SOMEWHAT. By a microscopic bit. But really, I've almost converted my thoughts to "I have 2-3 [depending on the class] weeks to complete these papers--better start writing!" from a constant refrain of "OH GOD I ONLY HAVE 2-3 WEEKS LEFT THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN OH GOD OH MAN OH GOD OH MAN" right until the night before.

And now here's the part where I say that I'm going to go nap (because I should, because I'm sickly with allergische Rhinitis* or just the regular kind and I tried napping earlier this evening but I just had feverish dreams where Jake Gyllenhaal was my athletic, competitive brother whom I was trying to warn about an impending zombie attack), but really I'm going to watch The Daily Show [jk, they're on vacation] and meditate on the achingly lovely lankiness of a certain gentleman and listen to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (you can stop making albums this year, everyone else) and try to locate my Christmas cards.

*Because so much of the material that I'm studying is in German and I'm studying German, my thoughts tend to lapse into it, even when I don't intend it. Also, today I got annoyed because a guy next to me in class kept reading over my shoulder while I was making notes for my research paper so I wrote them all in German. There's probably a word in German for that. [Studieprivatsphäre?]

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Writer's Block: If I were president ...

wait for the cream

What would you do if you were president or prime minister for a day?

First question listed was submitted by vee_yunho. (Follow-up questions, if any, may have been added by LiveJournal.)

View 1555 Answers

Two chicks at once.

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