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Trans Mission: Kate Adair on HB2, and Changing Media & Society

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I’ve been reading the TransEthics™ blog for about a year, she’s doing important work and asking all the right questions. Attend thee >
“I have found that taking the time to explain some of the basics to cisgender people and tell them the harsh realities of our shared experiences many will at least be more open to acceptance.”–Kate Adair interview, August 2016 =

TransEthics

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TransEthics: Tell us what you do for the BBC.

Kate Adair: What I do is work on a platform called BBC The Social. It’s an online space giving a platform to new and emerging content creators. It’s about letting people make what we are passionate about. In my case I started with a couple of a Trans 101 videos and have recently moved on to doing a weekly thing called queer bites where I get to discuss a topic of the week… usually I take it from something that I have seen in the news or something big from the world of LGBTQI+ society, but I do admit I’m bias a little towards the trans content. I’m a trans person who leads on creating what I make, script, film and edit my own stuff and the BBC listens to my views and allow me to make what I feel is relevant and important…

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You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: getting serious about self-publishing

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This is from Suzanne Lahna at Word Vagabond, who also provides stellar SF/F/H editing services ❤ larissa =

 

Word Vagabond

Let’s get a few things straight here.

Self Publishing is not:
-easy
-cheap
-for people who can’t write

Self Publishing is:
-expensive
-time consuming
-for anyone who wants to run a small business

Okay but why the Jaws analogy?

Because self-publishing is a lot like fishing. Anyone can do the basics, but to be successful at it you need to have the right rod and tackle, dedication, and willingness to learn from your mistakes. Often times when first time writers give self-pub a go, they realize they’re in way over their heads. What was thought to be a “click and upload” quickly becomes a giant ravenous shark set to devour your bank account and your sanity all in one fell swoop.

chummin for sharks.gifSo do what Peter Benchley would do – your homework. Self-publishing requires at least five people or skills to be successfully accomplished.

  1. The author
  2. The editor
  3. The cover artist
  4. The…

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The Healing Monsters

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The first installment of my dying-earth cycle, “Imperator—Terror Lizard” is impending among many other metal-horror-speculative luminaries (pinch me!—this LINEUP!) coming May 19 (volume 1) and September 15 (volume 2) from Despumation Press. ATTEND THEE! For more details read on =

Despumation Press

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Yeah, this is actually still happening. A lot has occurred since the start of this charitable project, not the least of which has been the passing of one of the beneficiaries of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and the diagnosis of a Hodgkin Lymphoma for one of the editor’s husband (that would be me…my husband, Anthony Everitt of the death-doom band, Taphos Nomos, and designer of these books). Among a number of other setbacks, it’s been wrought with grief and irony. That said, we’re still moving forward. As you can see, the single volume was to be ridiculously huge, so we’ve decided to split it into two volumes, each coming out on the respective medical issue’s awareness day (though the profits of both volumes combined will be split evenly). We look forward to getting these out there and into the hands of readers and rockers, and we hope it will be of…

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Top Five Comedies, 2016 edition

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Top Five Comedies, 2016 edition

Well hey check it out. See? I’m not all doom and gloom.

I’ve been chewing on this post for a bit, and although the first films I saw when I was a kid were dark fantasy (The Wizard of Oz, King Kong), comedies also had a huge impact on me. Sometimes laughter is indeed the best medicine. Maybe this was because I spent so much time alone, and just being allowed to laugh at stupid shit can have a huge positive impact. Some films, like 9 to 5 (1980), went out on a limb but also had very important things to say about misogyny and women’s rights in the twentieth century, others like Galaxina (also 1980) were just plain cynical and bad, but also held a certain charm (this brunette caught blonde-envy from both films).

I like to limit these to just five, out of politeness, but also hopefully some of you may not have otherwise known about one or two.

1.) Airplane! (1980)
Surely, this pick seems obvious […]
A raging and unhinged spoof of 1970s disaster porn (the Airport film series, in particular), a proliferation of bad puns, an inspiration for a new school of Samuel Beckett-level absurdity, this film not only bludgeoned audiences with a rubber-chicken non-stop, it set an entirely new standard for comedy writing. Part of what made it work was the quality of acting (the poor shemps had to keep a straight face while delivering those lines), and the fact that so many of the jokes just fell short — and as you groaned with incredulity, a new joke, visual or verbal, would be next up on the conveyor belt. The joke would be just as bad if not worse than its predecessor, but it also had the 50/50 chance of throwing you into utter hysterics.

The film has classic staying power. Compounded with the fact that this came out (pun intended) at the dawn of the Reagan 1980s, the absurdity seemed all the more poignant in light of the catastrophes and atrocities that followed.

The lasting success of this oddball farce blazed the trail for Police Squad!, The Naked Gun, and even the “Scary Movie” franchise (with more limited results). To make comedy work, you need to exaggerate, and context is everything, it seems. A catchy tune doesn’t hurt, either.

2.) Quick Change (1990)
The bank robbery was easy. Getting out of New York was a nightmare.

Bill Murray’s career had taken a downturn with treacle like “Ghostbusters II” and “Scrooged,” but “Quick Change” definitely leveled-him-up and his repertoire recovered noticeably. In this film, every character flaw becomes a virtue as we embark on a “what-could-possibly-go-wrong” coaster ride of urban apathy, accidental fortunes, physical injuries, failed disguises, miscommunication, and best of all, some of the most sardonic wise-cracks available east of the Hudson River. As with Wayne Wang’s brilliant “Blue in the Face” (1995) New Yorkers should be able to see themselves reflected in at least one character. It’s a wild ride.

3.) Blazing Saddles (1974)
I don’t think this film could be made today, but it has a close and recently released progeny: Tangerine (2015).

I’m not qualified to speak about racism. It is obviously pervasive in 2016 but I was raised with certain tenets = there’s right and wrong, and judging people you’ve never met and/or conversed with just by their ethnicity and/or the color of their skin is just plain f-ed up. And yet why do I feel constantly trapped by the quagmire of racial inequality? I think my bewilderment is an intentional design of certain parties–historic, current, and future. I speak for no one but myself.

The socioeconomic complications of race in this great but bizarre nation are only somewhat unique and discouraging. The vulgarity and humanity of “Blazing Saddles” assuages some of that pain, if only temporarily.

Mel Brooks (and significantly, Richard Pryor) held up a mirror to America’s flaccid Wild West origins, its obsession with gun culture, and cultural appropriations. This was born to be a timeless classic.

4.) Zoolander (2001)
Moisture is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty.

Ugh where do we start with this celebration of vapid impotence? Another amazing New York film. Zoolander hit the theaters very close to the 9/11 attacks, and as NYC struggled to find places to breathe (many movie theaters opened their doors free of charge). For me, Zoolander portrayed the triumph of vacuous ineptitude more effectively than Idiocracy (2006). In a world where nothing is more important than being really, really ridiculously good looking **duckface,** Zoolander amps up the bizarro tradition with spy film. There’s even a hilarious appearance by David Duchovny as a legendary hand-model doubling as “Deep Throat,” attempting to clue the main characters into how the modeling industry ties into an international assassination conspiracy. He becomes understandably exasperated in the process.  The celebrty-culture satire in Zoolander stuck with me, and I keep going back to a world that will always shut me out, no matter how long I wait in line. And even then, I know I’m not missing so very much, anyway.

5.) How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989)
Speaking of epic rants, this one really goes for the Olympic Gold. A searing indictment of the preceding Reagan/Thatcher-ite excess, HtGAiA accomplishes what “American Psycho” (2000) could only dream of. Granted, we are speaking of British acid-sprays here, but the tenets are not so far removed here.

Denis Dimbleby Bagley (played brilliantly by Richard E. Grant) is a top advertising executive. Everyone seeks his opinion on how to be the “voice that sells.” Quite suddenly, he becomes blocked on how to sell a generic, topical pimple cream. Then, just as his jaded nature seeks redemption and renewal for the sake of his marriage and his sanity, the darker side of his nature begins to take shape on his very body—first as a boil on his neck, and then as — well, something else entirely. It’s an exhilarating and frightening storyline, and one of the most noble progenitors of bizarro.

First impressions are best. Director Bruce Robinson and Grant had previously made their mark with the cult British classic “Withnail and I” (1987), but this odd and cynical screed against the avarice of the coming tech era hits closer to home for me.

NWOBHM: Year One

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MayoNoise

Punk Rock was the best thing that ever happened to Heavy Metal. Like the comet that struck the earth killed off the dinosaurs, Punk’s impact destroyed the status quo and wiped the slate clean for rock music to reinvent itself. Punk slayed the arena gods of the 70’s, and demanded that you didn’t have to be a musical genius to express yourself musically; anyone could form a band, and everyone should form a band.

Ultimately, Punk rock’s success doomed it to failure, as it eventually assimilated into the very thing it was programmed to destroy: the mainstream. Of course, during Punk’s brief reign, the Metalheads were still out there, both fans and bands, biding their time, awaiting their moment. Punk didn’t kill Heavy Metal; it just drove it underground. In one such underground haven, a hall called The Bandwagon, Metal had found a place to weather the Punk rock storm…

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The Foundations of “The King in Yellow” and the “Necronomicon”

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The Foundations of “The King in Yellow” and the “Necronomicon”

I must admit, I’m currently reading “The King in Yellow” by Robert W. Chambers for the first time. The stories are widely considered essential reading for anyone interested in the legacy and origins of SF/H literature. The title story reminded me of H.P. Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, and I wondered if TKiY had influenced HPL. According to this recent article in the Lovecraft eZine, that does not appear to be the case, and that the stories of Lord Dunsany, Ambrose Bierce, and of course Poe had a more direct effect on Lovecraft >

Lovecraft eZine

Article by Rick Lai.

From the zarono etsy store: http://etsy.me/1MRlqqy From the zarono etsy store: http://etsy.me/1MRlqqy

In “History of the Necronomicon,” H. P. Lovecraft remarked that his fictional tome of arcane lore inspired Robert W. Chambers to write The King in Yellow (1895). Of course, Lovecraft was joking. The short story collection by Chambers owed its inception to the supernatural tales of Ambrose Bierce. I suspect a secret meaning in Lovecraft’s jest. The same stories by Bierce that prompted Chambers to invent The King in Yellow spurred Lovecraft to create the Necronomicon. Although Bierce would be the primary influence on the imaginary tome, Lord Dunsany, Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Moore, and the ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica all played significant roles in molding the cornerstone of Lovecraft’s artificial mythology. Similarly, Bierce mixed together with Poe, Moore, Masonic rituals and Breton legends would shape the Carcosa mythology of Chambers.

In Lovecraft: A Look…

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Hammer of Darkness revisited

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I don’t always re-publish decade-old album reviews. But when I do it’s usually for a really good cause. For a few years I reviewed albums for Roberto Martinelli, the soul behind the dulcimer-centric Bay Area black metal project Botanist. I discovered some crazy-good, new music during a very dark and unhappy period of my life. Most of this music sticks with me today. I am still open to new soundscapes and new experiences. Enjoy while we can. NOTE: “Power Means Death Power” is still my ringtone – hey, it’s got to get my attention, somehow.

AMMIT – Hammer of Darkness – CD – Displeased Records – 2005

Chilean It-Man Ammit is HEREBY PROCLAIMED to be the new Bob Dylan of black thrash – a polarizing figure; abhorred by some, deified by others. This listener is a new convert to the latter faction (paradoxically, she cannot stand Bob Dylan). (whew! – ed)

See, early on in the 1980’s, Venom and Bathory marked the nether-region of just how far people were willing to go with their metal. Many preferred to stop at Thin Lizzy, Budgie, or U.F.O. Others explored only so far as Motorhead. The nether-regions were not to be trifled with, however, much less listened to, unless you were willing to go all the way. A few years along, Hellhammer and Sodom conquered that nether-region.

Now, with extremity languishing as a very subjective term, from Opeth to Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition and back, the preponderance of bands, styles, and subgenres makes it very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Hammer of Darkness, Ammit’s second full-length, may surprise those familiar with his previous output. Admittedly, the Mass Suicide / Steel Inferno CD lost this listener after only a few spins – it felt too larval; it needed more time in the oven. But Ammit’s new release treads the gargantuan step that catapulted Venom from Welcome to Hell to Black Metal, from relatively meh to TOTAL FUCKING CLASSIC.

This latest CD is a new black dawn for South American metal, a platter of pure, steaming, diarrhea-soaked nastiness – in terms of extremity, yet coupled with accessibility (the production is crystal clear), Ammit is unmatched so far in this year of 2005.

To start with, Ammit introduces this less-than-forty minute demon with “Pure Infernal Fire,” a minimalist, pounding, Melvins-y, layered chant that is pure fucking ten-ton-testicle ATMOSPHERE.

That said, please allow the following revelation, a epiphany that converted this reviewer to Ammit’s Crusade against Christ: the second song, “Power Means Death Power,” is possibly the most brazen, fierce, epileptic, fist-in-the-air punk-thrash anthem ever recorded. The barely off-cue, self-conscious, furiously barking vokills, the total snare drum rape, and hilarious Nigel Tufnel-ized guitar solo are the clincher. To summarize: even if Hammer of Darkness contained ONLY this particular track, it would still get a 10.

The next one, “Acid,” is no less lethal – a pure delight it is to hear its thrash pace and hearken back to the fresh blast of PURE BLACK AIR issued forth from Bathory’s essential 1986 abortion, Under the Sign of the Black Mark. Ammit’s latest is THAT good.

“Dogs of Hell” is almost Van Halen-esque in its simple, pleasing, mid-paced warmongering. “Sinner” is evocative of the political turbulence from which Ammit hails: a cacophonous, thrashing pandemonium, almost vortex-like with intensity, brings extreme metal’s disenchantment with ultra-conservative authority to a new apex (the brutal dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet still ripples through the Chilean psyche). And “Terrormass” in the “Mayhem with Mercy” of Hammer of Darkness: a brief but harsh keyboard interlude that presages the ensuing blizzard.

“Wraith” is another topper. The chorus chant “Wraith—FULL OF WRATH!” is part Melvins, part Crebain, so killer and sloppy it’s like watching a frisky piranha fight.

“Black Plagues” is the signature Kreator “Pleasure to Kill” hail of the CD – it bludgeons a guttural whirl of treble, rapid-fire distortion, and complete siphoning away of common decency.

“Genocide” is even faster than some of the other tracks, until it descends into a Sabbath-y interlude that provides further evidence of Ammit’s vastly improved sense of range. “Las Garras Del Mal” bears a crazy resemblance to Venom’s finer vintage, right down to the pinch harmonics and linear (but furious) drumming. Finally, Hammer of Darkness closes the CD with a return to the repetitive minimalism of the first track, but by the time it reaches the pulsing crescendo of “DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE!”; it finally falls apart beneath its own weight.

Ammit is not a visionary. But Hammer of Darkness draws the most distinct line between the Ride the Lightning camp and the Black Album camp; it deserves commendation (and condemnation). Such is the struggle for metal – its past, present, and future. (10/10)