Saturday, October 28, 2017

#31for21: "Friends never lie"; Doll 132 and Victoria; Dwonnik z Notre Dame

For my "one free link" in the SATURDAY PAPER I chose Clem Bastow's ME TOO MYSELF AND I. It is about how fourth-wave feminists construct; deconstruct and reconstruct traumatic lived experiences.

Absolution seeking behaviour is everywhere. When you practise it too often it can take away the reasons; the ability; the will; the impression. Doing good things and feeling good things can often bring cognitive dissonance - this is a big problem in humanistic/human services fields. From "the presenter you called inspirational", and other people call Rabbi Ruti Regan who writes SOCIAL SKILLS FOR AUTONOMOUS PEOPLE and has done since 2012. I've been reading and recommending it nearly all that time. No absolution for that - when you start seeking the Absolute, it puts you out of touch with relativity and relationality. Yes, it does.

Because when I watched Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1996; I came to it as a young woman who wrote the lines of Victor Hugo and read Disney Adventures about computer-generated imagery and was awed at the power it took to make the crowd scenes - and maybe saw some wisdom.

[James Surowiecki - 2004 - The wisdom of crowds - which was really powerful in the age of Wikipedia and maybe its height/zenith].

The song which touched me most was Esmeralda in the Church - Frollo's Church - God help the outcasts. And of course: "If God doesn't help the outcasts - who does?"

Outcastery was powerfully explored in the second season of Stranger things which I have watched eight episodes thus far - I watched the third to the eighth episodes. There were good quotes in the third episode which would probably make awesome GIFs.

And the merch, people! Someone had kindly bought me some of the Notre Dame characters like the goat and like Quasi and Esmeralda and Phoebus and Frollo - which are good to use in imaginative scenes; in the bath [laminated scope and sequence cards would be good too - if you find yourself reflecting and learning in the bath or in a shower] or as displays.

If Alexandrina Victoria could imbue a doll with manifest destiny and imperial ambition when she was 13 and realised she would be Queen after she looked at her family tree with her governess - this was 1827 - and if in the 21st century there is the end of International Games Week where people actually dress up and enact characterisations and characterology ... then our puny imaginations have to measure up.

One way to develop an imagination is through shared experience - like shared book experience.

Another way to develop - and protect - an imagination - is to shelter it.

When overwhelming experience becomes real it is encoded through imagination and memory is what happens when you decode it.

Hunchback of Notre Dame was probably one of the last Disney Renaissance movies I enjoyed.

Remembering Margery Fisher, which has been an Aesop of mine for eighteen years:

A children's story must grow out of some memory and contact with childhood.

That was in Intent upon reading - I met it in Criticism of girls' school stories 1949-1994 by Ju Gosling.

Thinking of A little princess and the scene with Sara and her Last Doll Emily. And the moment in which she realises the doll is sawdust. And the way she makes the doll live for Evangeline and Lottie and everyone else - I do believe there is a massive tea party.

And how much I absolutely would have loved to see The hunchback of Notre Dame in Rroma. I suppose you can't for the same reason you don't watch The king and I in Thailand. My love and passion for Thailand did quickly mature - it is a nation with whom I interface through food and the protocols of monarchy.

The Saturday Paper and/or the Good Weekend had a good Rroma story. And in 2009? 2010? I made a Rroma folder full of Wikipedia articles.

So - Drina chooses her own regnal name - Victoria. She is of good German stock - as we see through the Duchess. Her father died very early; her uncle was the King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. And she wants one of the advisors to go back to Hanover.

[Hanover Free City - and I remember the whole Hansa union].

The governess - Letchen - what a lady.

And I really enjoyed the servants and the downstairs people.

You do not put tallow candles in Buckingham Palace and expect it not to burn, especially during a court dance where you put frankly half of Europe together.

The chemistry between Victoria and the Russian. [Thinking of Anastasia Krupnik and how she learnt about the Romanovs from her dad Myron - he had been my favourite literary Jew since I first encountered him - the power of a literature and poetry lecture from this man made me change my mind in February 1993 that Wordsworth was my favourite famous person from Albert Einstein - I had lots of imaginative games where I interacted with Andrea Einstein who was from the future. Being what you see; see what you can be. Those games took place around September - October 1992 where I also watched a video about motorsport and a young boy who went to the Monaco Grand Prix and grew up around that culture. And, yes, we now have electric cars and soapbox derbies which I loved when I saw them in The rascals and other engineering efforts].

And the moments which really touched me in my Stranger things 2 binge?

[Yes, a binge. When I am on the computer I do not really concentrate on streaming or on-demand TV - unless it is a 2 or 3 hour music video - like the one about Soul which ran for nearly 3 hours].

I am thinking of Bob the Brain and how he knows how to program and how he designed the Audio Visual programme for the Hawkins students.

A lot goes on in that room.

And I remembered how I know BASIC.

The test of a language - do you talk to yourself in it?

And if computers could talk imagine the things they say ... I made a Kid Pix Companion presentation in my free time based on this idea with a Macintosh microphone. You can make a presentation into its own app. And I have thought - instead of GIFs [no, you do not say them Jeff/Geoff - even if you are thinking of a photographer] make slides like the YouTubers do with their lyrics.

I know the difference between high level and low level computer languages.

Low level [assembly] represents the way computers think.

High level computer languages represent the way humans think for human results.

Pythagoras was right - Man is the measure of all things.

And one way people measure things would be through maps.

In Stranger things 2 we learn that the map is not the territory.

Hardest geographical lesson I ever learnt.

In this case: the territory is Hawkins, and Bob goes through the lakes to find people who have been in the Upside Down.

10 ARRAY 0_0_0_0
30 RUN
40 END

And then Bob went through the database. 0s and 1s - you switch things on and off. Binary code and assembly language.

And I know that there are these gates that you use to put data and information through. Like if you wanted to open or close a door to a presence.

28 October 1984 was a heady time!

We see "Mad Max" at the arcade. She plays games like Centipede; Dug Dug [which later on is an important episode - you need to know Dug Dug to navigate the Upside Down] and one other.

Sense and Sensibility and then arcade games and lots of tickets and small things like stars. I did spend a lot of time in the 1990s in places like Timezone especially playing Shuffleboard and Skeet and skill testers and even driving games.

We learn about the party and the roles people have in it. Like El is a mage. When I would play MacMoria I would try to be a warrior; mage; priest or a paladin depending on the race and class I had chosen.

And I love how Max said she was a zoomer and the Hawkins Middle School gym is full of her skating tricks.

We see even more of Dustin and Lucas - and great scenes with Lucas's family and his little sister.

In another world I might have written an undistinguished thesis about step-siblings in middle-grade literature and I might have used Tracy and Ronald in Does third grade last forever? [For about 50% of people it might last 40-50 years!]

And Dustin and Lucas - there would be a lot of dissembling and disassembling and dissing between them.

Will and Mike - they see a lot of "shit got real" stuff, and indeed was Always Already Real in the Lacanian sense. Or is that another Theory Theorist?

And just the idea of mutations and evolution played out in this way.

That pub-rock mullet stepbrother of Max's? The father when he talks about respect and responsibility - do you realise your ideas could be collated with a Coloradan dog grooomer through the sands of history in the Zen garden of harmful and unsubstantiated practises in lifespan development? You just missed out on being fun to be around.

The lost sister I do not think I will ever forget. Love Kali's team of outcasts and all their personalities. And making Axel dance. Axel F, eh? He was around at that time.

And all the Halloween stuff and the Reagan/Bush election - someone was campaigning for Ferraro and Mondale and we see inside their house.

Cinematography and production design was tops again. I try to take note of the show writers like Jessie Lopez who I think are doing a good job.

Conspiracy theories were big this season especially when Nancy and Jonathan visited Murray.

And wodka? The only real use I had found for it was for sore muscles and/or a bludgeoning tool. And it is also good for getting governesses drunk - and dead. Then you spin it out for nine books / nine terms.

Fortunately Victoria didn't kill off her governess - though she might have wanted to at times.

She certainly makes quick work of her mum and Conroy. John Conroy.

Australians know Conroy as this arch-right man who wants to shut down the Internet or at least bottleneck it.

And when the Senate papers went to 144 as opposed to 12 as they did in 2016 - first big change of that sort since 1984 and the first year of Robert James Lee Hawke - people took delight in putting Conroy last.

Celine Dion - and the last shall be the first - 19 November 1996 video of Les derniers seront les premiers which was on D'eux.

Anyway John Conroy has put the Duchess under his thumb. And people can make the appropriate analogy to Australian politics in the last 10 years.

And Victoria has seen it all - the corrosive influence; the loss of will; the corruption.

She did a big thing when she said she would speak to everyone alone.

Lord Melbourne does help as private secretary. He has a secret sorrow about a family member.

I was really excited when I discovered about Lady Caroline Byron - and Charles and Mary Lamb.

Lots of literary kids - and people with literary pretensions - read the Lambs' Child's tale of Shakespeare. Helen Keller and Macbeth - that text made her tremble.

I think Shakespeare made it very terrible so that people could see how terrible it is to do wrong.

Helen Keller had said the quote above when she was about 10 or 11 and "had a childlike aversion to tragedies".

And that was probably the standards of the Progressive Age in which Keller; Sullivan and Macy lived in.

No, this is the adult aversion adults want children to have. Don't go seeking it out; and when and if tragedy personally finds you ...

Some compare and contrast now - two parties.

In Stranger things 2 Nancy and Jonathan go to Tina's party. The punch is appropriately Halloweeny.

In Victoria the new Queen is accused of not being able to hold her champagne when she asks for an investigation into Conroy - and into Emma Hastings, whom the governess thinks is pregnant and/or with child.

Emma Hastings turns out to be weak and ill.

Nancy and Jonathan - Nancy - under the influence - gives this nihilist rant about how "everything is bullshit". Or at least deeply cynical. And that she "never loved" Jonathan.

This comes into play later on when they meet Murray and delve into Hawkins. A real stick it to the man / the system moment.

Queen Victoria has plenty of these moments too. Like when she goes to the Trooping the Colour and turns her back on the regiments - not on purpose/intentionally.

And she is a strikingly good equestrian, or her actress [Jenna Coleman] made her look that way. And Lord Melbourne is not too uncomfortable on a horse either and they ride through the autumn leaves on this path.

The gardening in this - landscape architecture and design - is so impressive. Very English country house style. And again - the royals set the tone, though it is really the courtiers and the workers who do this.

Emma Hastings was a very good courtier and daughter of courtiers for about five generations which brings us to the previous 100 years [1732 - 1832]. Very nimmy-pimmy and pretty; she does speak her mind though.

The moment when Victoria apologises to her and then tells the Duchess about the apology. That is a delicious moment of ambiguity.

And there was a Crowning Moment of Principle. This may or may not be a legitimate TV Trope. Along with Crowning Moment of Awesome and Crowning Moment of Heartbreak and Crowning Moment of Weird.

Victoria [PBS/ITV] season 1 soundtrack playlist

The Young Victoria soundtrack playlist

And there might be a season 2 playlist as well.

It was "I am tired of principles" after the guild-college-woman was working on her hair and taking a little bit for herself - and justifying it for the Crown like they all seemed to do - at least the servants who spoke.

Chandlers / candeliers - they are not exactly an upstanding lot.

And they probably wouldn't have been in Notre Dame either - which was written precisely in Queen Victoria's time. I wonder if she liked to read Victor Hugo and what German authors she and her governess would discuss in their spare/free time.

People like Goethe and Schiller maybe? And she might have liked fun books too.

The coronation part was pretty good. I hope they were able to build a throne which fit.

And when Conroy and the Duchess laughed about her being short, weak and foolish - that really did cut through. Hard.

And the part where Hastings made the List of people not more or less than average height - which is something like 160-165 centimetres back then in the United Kingdom.

[Maman was considered way too tall for ballet. I had a small squat body which was good for getting into things and getting out of things and getting around and through things - hurdles; steeplechase; obstacle courses - like Ninja Warrior - and running around like the Tasmanian Devil and Speedy Gonzales].

Just - the list. Did you not look at any other criteria - like compatibility and companionability?

I mean - even in Rebecca the narrator acts as a lady's maid. And, yes, that was probably at least a hundred years later - probably closer to 50, if my sense of Daphne du Maurier history is right.

And Queen Victoria could have used some of that Friends never lie.

Now I am processing the consequences of the mind slayer. Made a comparison to Buffy really quickly:

"If Buffy is the Vampire Slayer; then who or what is this mind slayer?"

And then found out through that Dungeons and Dragons manual. 4th or 5th edition? The 2nd edition was really famous.

And Russians or aliens? Ah, not so simple.

When you think of the alienists who might have persecuted and prosecuted Queen Victoria - they called her "unstable" ...

There might have been an Elizabeth II 120 years earlier than the one the UK did get. And, yes, the first Elizabeth was a great queen.

There are at least two people who know lots more about British royalty than I do. I printed out a soc.culture.royalty list of succession around the time of William and Kate - and what a big trip they had taken through Germany and Poland with the children within these last three months.

Gdansk and technology. Krakow and Osciewim. And Germany and great-great-great-grandmothers.

And now you know hunchback is dwonnik po polsku.

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