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Sep. 5th, 2011

Hamlet Fanfic, hahaha!

Back in 2005(!) I took a class on Shakespeare.  It was awesome in all sorts of ways, but the most shocking thing was how much I managed to learn, True Facts, about what the hell Shakespeare was up to in a literary sense.  Apparently, it wasn't just about pretty words.  Who knew?  And ever more awesomer than that is the fact that, for our final project, the professor let us write fanfic.  SHAKESPEARE FANFIC.  Said professor of awesome was a huge fan of Ophelia, but IIRC thought she got short shrift re: the whole madness/suicide thing.  So suck-up that I am, I wrote her a fix-it.  Shut up, it totally worked; she loved it!

So here, for all time, is the scene what I wrote.  For college credit, no less.  Immortalized here 'cause I'm super proud of it and don't want to lose it in some massive harddrive crash or whatever.  This exists between Act 4, Scene 4 and Act 4, Scene 5.  Song by John Bennet.  My cursory research at the time suggested that it was contemporary and Shakespeare totally could have stolen it for Hamlet, like he did all the other songs.  There is hella symbolism going on there.  Actually, there is hella symbolism going on throughout the scene.  Like I said, I learned lots of things in this class.  I had DEEP THOUGHTS, OK?

Enter Ophelia. Alarums.

Ophelia: What madness here? What news?  All is chaos,
With grievous cries. No happy songs are these!

A shout.

What, ho!

Enter Servant.

Servant: My lady, I bring no glad tidings. Your father's dead, and his murderer gone.

Ophelia: What, slain? O cruel time, that woes should follow
So close together. By whose hand is't done?
A curse on him and all he ever loved!
My heart is dead, I would were his also.

Servant: They say it's Lord Hamlet that's done it, my lady, and banished now to England, by word of the King.

Exit Servant.

Ophelia: What's this? O Lord, my lord, my Hamlet love!
But swear that this be lies and I remain
Thy love, thy lady, through cruel change of fate,
Now chaste or wanton as thou'd have me be.
But why should any lie about such things?
My father was a good man, honest, true,
While you, now mad, do cause me only rue.
You gave me flowers, tokens of your love,
Now withered as your oaths to God above.
You, who swore to marry now call me whore.
You loved me once? A trick, a ruse, no more.
You, false lover, false prince, false lunatic,
You love your plays, your players, and your tricks.
Your ev'ry action, calculated lies,
Though I did love you true, my love now dies.
Go, go, father-killer, false madman go!
Who promised much and gave only woe.
The playhouse stage shall be your only court,
A player's crown your murd'rous head support.
Go, villain, to work your evil o'er sea.
You now an actor, as you wished to be.
I never had your artifice, your guile,
Your love did only ever sing and smile.
My smile's now left, but the sad song remains,
To flow from my ever more addled brains.

Weep, o mine eyes and cease not,
alas, these your spring tides me thinks increase not.
O when begin you to swell so high
that I may drown me in you?

Now I would change your lunacy for mine,
That all may see real madness, well defined.
Although with words you scorn and bid me go
I will with song a truer madness show.

Exit Ophelia.

Jul. 20th, 2009

Why I Don't Love The Moon Landing

OK, that title is partly a lie.  Who doesn't love the moon landing?  The human race proving itself to be more than the puny blue rock from which it sprung.  Science and sheer bravado winning out over the vastness of space.  A handful of aviation pioneers flubbing their lines and bouncing like gleeful little kids over an alien landscape.  It was awesome!

....but "was" is the operative word.  Lots of people have been moaning about how we haven't been back, and that criticism is fair enough.  My mother's story about watching the moon landing is as foreign to me as the one about practicing cowering under her desk in case of nuclear attack.  NASA to me was the Challenger disaster, not Apollo 11.  Maybe another moon mission would only be a gesture... but then, that sort of thing matters.  There's a reason no one in my kindergarten class dreamed of growing up to be an astronaut.

That's not why I don't love the moon landing, though.  I knew even at the age of five that I'd never be an astronaut; with my slightly borked nervous system, I could barely get through gym class, let alone the preliminary screenings for NASA.  I never wanted to be an astronaut; I just wanted to go to the moon.  And to Mars.  And to Alpha Centauri.  And...

Science fiction told me that one day, the human race would go to the stars.  But "giant leap" or not, mankind has not been to the moon.  Twelve people have walked on the moon.  We were promised jetpacks, moonbases, and food in pellet form-- it's just not the same thing.  So the moon landing was a nice gesture from a feeble species, announcing its presence to the universe.  It was a landmark in science, in human achievement.  But it didn't change the world.

That being said, the Internet > jetpacks.  The future is here, folks, and it's hella awesome.  It just doesn't look like we thought it would.

May. 19th, 2009

On Star Trek

I have never had a proper appreciation for the original Star Trek crew.  My parents loved them, but my parents also opted not to have children until well into the Reagan Administration, so by the time I came around, Kirk looked impossibly sexist and even my mother had to admit that Picard>Everyone.  So no, I was not much of a Star Trek: TOS fan before I sat down in that movie theater, but I've got my geek cred and I cared, immensely, about what might happen to this venerable sci-fi franchise.

What I did not expect, however, was something akin to a religious experience.  I love them now, I do, the way I love TNG and Star Wars and Firefly and Buffy and everything else.  I have found my Kirk and Spock.  And because I also love me some time travel and parallel universe stuff, I have no problem whatsoever with incorporating the old series into my new fandom.  The only problem is that I feel a bit like a cheat-- I love the JJ Abrams version better.  It's Doctor Who all over again, except that the Doctor is always the Doctor, but Zachary Quinto's Spock is not the same man as Leonard Nimoy's.  I have a favorite, and William Shatner doesn't even make a guest appearance.

Apr. 20th, 2009

And another thing...

Ebooks should be cheaper than hardcopy books by now, shouldn't they?  I mean, I'm well aware of the danger of digital formats cannibalizing the hardcover market, particularly soon after release, but surely a six-year-old book widely available in mass market paperback should not cost $14 to download. 

There's obviously some sort of work involved in preparing digital formats of manuscripts and making arrangements with various online sellers, but the basic technology has been in place for a while now, so the big publishing houses should be able to push out digital versions at very little cost.  Look, people, if you want to sell electronic versions of your media, your business model needs to make sense, or consumers will call bullshit.  See also: digital music sales in the dark days of DRM.

Apr. 18th, 2009


There is a special ring of hell reserved for publishers who allow the second volume of a trilogy to go out of print.

Apr. 16th, 2009

Cliche Watch!

Dear Journalists, Bloggers, and Citizens of the Internet,

Can we get a moratorium on rendering prices in terms of drinks at Starbucks? 

First, I have no idea how much a "Starbuck" is worth.  Starbucks sells any number of concoctions, all with different prices.  I assume from the specification of the brand name that most writers are referring to some sort of mocha-frappe-whatsit and not your standard drip coffee, but since I am fundamentally opposed to putting sugar in my coffee, I have no idea what that particular abomination might actually cost.   

Second, we already have a standard unit of measurement for cost.  It is called the dollar.  I understand the desire for a more universal standard, but I don't think the Starbuck is really helping here-- most international readers will still need to convert Starbucks to dollars and then to their own currency to have any idea what you are talking about.  This is inefficient for everyone involved and prone to error.

Third, and most importantly, it makes you look like a twat.  The implication is always, aha, This Thing is very affordable, as all the reader needs to do is give up X number of drinks at Starbucks and it will be paid for.  And just... no.  Some people like to spend a lot of money at coffee shops.  If they like it and can afford it, they are entitled to do so.  We have all read the eleventy billion articles published over the last five years lamenting how much money we waste on those "small" daily expenditures; everyone who is going to give up the Starbucks habit in favor of some other goal has already done so.  Many of the rest of us have never been able to afford that sort of habit in the first place, and the answer to the question, "Where can I save an extra X dollars a day in order to save for This Thing?" is actually  very complicated.

Jan. 31st, 2009


OMG, PEOPLE.  My tax refund is going to be GINORMOUS.

OK, so.  I should not be so surprised.  I knew how this was gonna go down, on account of several things:

1) I made more money in 2008 than ever before, and the IRS does not fuck around with withholding, yo.  Proper, non-studenty job = WIN.  Finally getting the money I was entitled to in the first place = DOUBLE WIN.
2) Proper job notwithstanding, all my money went to tuition, so I got a nice little tax credit for investing in human capital.  Or something.
3) I finally qualified for a stimulus check, hooray!

Basically, I am now a contributing member of society, and the IRS is celebrating by only taking some of my money.  I'm cool with that.


Jan. 15th, 2009

Dear Author,

It is now 2009.  The phrase "since the turn of the century" is a relative term, and should no longer be used to indicate events of the 20th century.  Please make a note.

A Reader

Dec. 26th, 2008

Sean Penn as Harvey Milk = Awesome

Yes, my Yuletide was gay.  Thanks for asking.  =)

Dec. 10th, 2008


2008 to get an extra second. On account of the earth's rotation slowing down, apparently.  I am cool with this, as clearly scientists are Keeping An Eye On Things.  I can deal with all sorts of cosmic lunacy, so long as someone appears to be in charge.

Dear "international consortium of timekeepers,"

I love you.  Never change.



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