Back to the door... 🚪
It is likely appropriate that I should begin my journal on the smol-bean-web with an obscene number of links that sends one right back to the big-boi-web. My nature is complicated and full of contradictions. However, I spend a lot of time reading and at least half of that trying to find a system that works for ~remembering~. Will this help me remember? Unlikely! But I am going to try my darnedest, just the same.
Irish Fairy Tales Illustrated
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Irish Fairy Tales, by James Stephens
Fairy tales, in general, are fascinating to me (though I will confess that I am less enthused about novel adaptations). Philip Pullman, in his introduction to a book of retellings of Grimm's Fairy Tales, describes fairy tales thus:
[A fairy tale is] a transcription made on one or more occasions of the words spoken by one of many people who have told this tale. And all sorts of things, of course, affect the words that are finally written down. A storyteller might tell the tale more richly, more extravagantly, one day than the next, when he’s tired or not in the mood. A transcriber might find her own equipment failing: a cold in the head might make hearing more difficult, or cause the writing-down to be interrupted by sneezes or coughs. Another accident might affect it too: a good tale might find itself in the mouth of a less than adequate teller.
The fairy tale is in a perpetual state of becoming and alteration. To keep to one version or one translation alone is to put a robin redbreast in a cage.* If you, the reader, want to tell any of the tales in this book, I hope you will feel free to be no more faithful than you want to be. You are at perfect liberty to invent other details than the ones I’ve passed on, or invented, here. In fact you’re not only at liberty to do so: you have a positive duty to make the story your own.*A fairy tale is not a text.
(PULLMAN, PHILIP. Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version, Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition, p. vi)
Fairy tales, then, occupy a space of oral tradition. After the printing press and after the brothers Grimm popularized the collection and dissemination of fairy tales, only then did they become transcribed and solidified into the less fluid and flexible printed word. The Irish language, history, and storytelling tradition are all longstanding oral traditions, and perhaps one of the reasons I am so fascinated is due specifically to this intersection. Regardless, I find and read (or intend to read) entirely too much on the subject.
Have a bonus crochet pattern for a painfully Celtic knot-shaped granny square.
Have a bonus book of French fairy tales that I also explored.
The Razor's Edge of A Warming World
Emily Akin and Caitlin Loomy's work on this issue is vital, and it is important that it was included in GQ (is GQ a climate magazine nao???).
Westerners Have a Way...
Noy Holland's write-up of Small Island Big Song's event at UMass was thoughtful and worth a look. The event itself was recorded, and a link is included in the article.
Writing a Queer Black Eco-Pleasure Politic
I truly believe that poetry is an integral part of all activism, but there is a special place in my heart for queer black climate poetry.
Why Biology Is Not Destiny by M.W. Feldman and Jessica Riskin
A thorough and relevant critique of Kathryn Harden's new book Genetic Lottery (I need italics for book titles, please).
Why It's Taking So Long by Johanna Hedva
Sick Woman Theory (revised) by Johanna Hedva
Hedva is new to me, and I feel like this should not be the case; I am compensating for this by reading a lot.
The Coming Insurrection
Anarchist manifesto. Hold onto your butts, as the kids say (Samuel L. Jackson is kids).
Grace Lavery: The Author and Academic Confronting Transphobia
The smol-bean community is already distrustful of things like Twitter (I watched a bird shred a small animal today, so far be it from me to argue against a "birds are terrifying" stance). It is a million times worse when you are trans.
Bonus book on caring for yourself when you are caring for others/an active participant in revolution: Trauma Stewardship by Laura van Dernoot Lipsky
The surprising benefits of contemplating your death
If you aren't reading about death meditation late on a balmy spring night, do I even know you?
In The Dust of This Planet from Radiolab
In the Dust of This Planet by Eugene Thacker
Thank you to T for recommending this (and S for recommending it to T in the first place). I think this will go along nicely with:
Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection
The Philosophy of Horror: Or, Paradoxes of the Heart
Aside from the dust planet book sliding onto clothing worn by notable rappers, I do think that in looking at the sheer material horror that humanity faces (ITDOTP), it will be compelling to explore ever further the ways in which fictional horror helps us to process and move through the trauma of living. May the odds be ever in our favor.
Sisyphus, skateboarders, and the value in endless failure
I have been thinking about leaning into resistance and endurance against resistance as a cultivated skill. How do we atrophy this metaphorical muscle by eliminating resistance in our thinking, say by defaulting to performing a Google search instead of thinking through a problem? I am also reminded of Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman and his assertion that by treating education as entertainment (with the advent of edutainment television), we are teaching kids to expect that knowledge acquisition should be entertaining rather than laborious. Not that all education, by necessity, needs to be joyless, to clarify.
I loved this article about skaters and their seemingly endless supply of endurance against failure—perhaps the most brutal kind of resistance of all!
Roses are red, poems are sappy, one must imagine Sisyphus happy.
A Queer Perspective: Gay Themes in the Film Interview With the Vampire
I am working on revising an essay I wrote about horror's impact on me in navigating queerness from an early age (even when I did not know that is what it was!), and this is mainly a product of me trying ceaselessly to make sure no one has written what I am going to say about the thing prior to me saying the thing.
Do Large Language Models Understand Us?
This one is more philosophizing, and therefore I can still follow along and exist in my comfort zone of being on the outskirts of the party.
Taking Notes with Emacs Org Mode and Org-Roam
-insert maths confused face gif here-
Elden Rings' Best Bosses and Locations Drew Inspiration From an Unlikely Source
SPOILERS: it is Ireland, and it is AWESOME.
Look at this lil cutie! :3
Playdate is a magical indie game machine
Mine is coming in the second half of this year, and as an absolutely AVID lover of the PS Vita, I can confidently say that I understand this reviewer on a deep and personal level. We are best friends now. But also, I can say that I am pretty positive I will love this device with my whole heart.
And that is it! That is everything that I had been saving in tabs on my phone (ONLY MY PHONE) for the past four days. I have deleted them all just in time to open 38 more by this time on Friday.
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