Monday, January 30, 2006

saturday night room-temperature

Apparently there is this thing in the world where discos sort of, do not exactly exist any more. One of these weekend nights was supposed to be spent dancing – don’t let this lead you to conclude that I have anything approaching a social life, we had friends staying over – but what do we do after a massive Telengana dinner but head paunch-first to Easy Rider, the sort of biker-beer-cigarettes pub that is exactly the opposite of anyone’s idea of a disco. The enjoyable evening that followed consisted near entirely of exhibitionist machismo in all-caps.

Me: What am I doing smelling like I was pulled from a burning building, when we could be somewhere doing the jiggety-jig?
DJ: * plays L.A. Woman*
Me: Oh, this is my favourite Doors song! After Peace Frog. And Riders on the Storm. And the first four minutes of The End.
Everyone Else, bellowing along: AREYAHALUGGYLIGDDLELADYILDACIDDYOLIGHD!
Me: This is like a scene out of Beowulf, isn't it? Only there's no monster.
Everyone Else: ORYAHANODDERLOSTAYNJULL…
Me: Or monster's mother.
Everyone Else: CIDDYOLIGHDDD!
Me: But all the singing and stamping and feelin' the mojo risin' is very in character.
Everyone Else: CIDDYONIGHDDD!
Me: I get the feeling my lone voice cannot be heard amid your masculine din.
Everyone Else: PREDDYDAMRIGHDD! CIDYONIGHDD!


While this was happening, Gladiator was playing soundlessly on the telly that I sat facing. I was transfixed, mostly since I haven’t had any passive audio-visual consumption in months. Connie Nielsen is beautiful, and Joaquin Phoenix is better. He reminds me of every Byronic hero I have ever seen hammed up in Hollywood and how he beats them all at hamming it up. Forget - for your own good - Orson Welles trying to be Mr Rochester in that awful old adaptation of Jane Eyre. Joaquin Phoenix and eyeliner is a match like something out of a Charlotte Bronte pr0n fantasy, I tell you.

So, soundless Gladiator was awesome. The pattern of the film is really starkly obvious without all the mumbly dialogue and Hans Zimmer to confuse you. It’s one long cycle of people wanting to make other people their bitches, other people protesting, and people finally beating other people down with crude instruments and making them their bitches. Russell Crowe has made a career out of this. I mean, talk about effective communication. In the last sequence, the basic diegesis, if you watch it without words and music, is:

The EMPEROR is pretty.
The BITCHMAKER is growly.
A DUEL is fought.
Although it is more like a HOMOEROTIC LOVERS' QUARREL STRAIGHT OUT OF CATULLUS.
Communication is very straightforward as SWORDS are used.
The THRUST AND PARRY basically translates into the BITCHMAKER saying, ‘BITCH! BITCH! BITCH!’
And the EMPEROR going ‘NO! NO! NO!’ flailing about in his pristine off-white skirts.
And the BITCHMAKER refusing to understand, since he is THICK AS CREAM, and continuing with the ‘BITCH! BITCH! BITCH!
And the EMPEROR dies.
And the BITCHMAKER dies.
Which proves that BITCHMAKING is a dangerous sport and deservedly died out with the Roman Empire.
And that THE BITCHMAKER RETURNS would be a pretty cool name for a sequel.

Just as we were leaving the club, we were unable to escape hearing the young gentlemen at the next table in their cups – considerably descended in them – having a MACHO CONVERSATION, of the sort REAL MEN have on a jolly Saturday BOYS NIGHT OUT.

Gentleman the First: WHERE WILL YOU BE ON THE NIGHT OF THE FOURTH?
Gentleman the Second: *IS SILENT*
Gentleman the First: WHERE WILL YOU BE ON THE NIGHT OF THE FOURTH, HUH?
Gentleman the Second: AT HOME.
Gentleman the First: THAT’S RIGHT. AT HOME. SHAGGING!
Gentleman the Second: …
Gentleman the First: I WILL BE AT THE JETHRO TULL CONCERT AND YOU WILL BE SHAGGING AT HOME.
Everyone Else: … who are we supposed to be envying?

I mean. These guys do know that that HEAVY METAL Grammy for Tull all those years back was a MISTAKE?

--

I have a bookshelf now, which brings the total number of items of furniture in our flat up to four. My books look lovely. And my flatmate has an iTrip, which brings the number of expensive little electronic gadgets in our flat up to three million. Our priorities are in perfect order.

current musix: artie shaw - frenesi

Friday, January 27, 2006

or ...

... since the world's injustice isn't ending this weekend, you might as well disco.



Roswitha's Playlist for Saturday and Sunday:
+I'm Losing You - Attic
+Your Disco Needs You - Kylie Minogue (thanks to Finnygan for helping my iTunes lose its Kyliginity this afternoon!)
+Discotheque - U2
+It's Raining Men - The Weather Girls
+It's Time To Disco - A Number Of People Who Provide Insipid But Amusing Plaback Singing For Bollywood.
+Baba O'Reilly - The Who. What? I like Baba O'Reilly.
and
+anything that reminds you of shiny pants.

Oh. And
+Fearless - Pink Floyd. Because it is just an awesome song.

May everything about this weekend make you laugh. And fling your arms about. Foolishly.


Also, I Am Lord Voldemort. Because cheesy anagrams are the best!

book-wise, cover-foolish.

Last weekend I went book-shopping and picked up the first three books of G R R Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice, which is apparently gripping, complex fantasy of the sort that bewitches the mind, ensnares the senses and so on. I got cheap editions, packaged like almost all second-rate fantasy is - the glossy polychromatic covers, thin paper, small print, and embossed dragons/rings/crowns on the cover. Fair enough. I get to save money, I'm not complaining.

Then my eye fell on a heap of chick lit. I don't care about these books one way or another. I'm as shallow as the next corporate minion, but the levels of fashion consciousness they assume the average working female reader possesses is frankly ludicrous. I'll read them now and then, though, because I generally read anything that's funny and urban and doesn't have a protagonist whose raison d'etre is fixating on the opposite sex. It's not my cup of tea, but this is how modern educated womanhood gets its rocks off, and if they want to win at life in their Prada stilletos or whatever, they can go ahead and do it.

Why do they have to do it in between covers packaged like children's books? I went browsing after I got my Martins, and everything. EVERYTHING I saw, that was written by a woman, excepting A S Byatt (who doesn't even let on her real name is Antonia Susan, for reasons best known to herself) is pink, green, blue and yellow. Bright pink, bright green, bright blue and bright yellow. With comic, curlicued fonts. And chirpy cartoon art girls on the cover, as artificial as possible. It was like seeing a set of The Princess Diaries repeated over and over and over again along the bookshelves.

One accepts chick lit is about fantasy and wish-fulfillment. But in the post-Bridget Jones world, these fantasies are about money. They're about sex and power. They're not Mills and Boon yearnings for boys and white weddings and babies. These books cost as much as middlebrow, "unisex" LitFic. And still I get the feeling that you can't be a heterosexual, economically sound girl looking for a bit of wish-fulfillment in the post-feminist world unless you're willing to admit that your desires really belong to humans under the age of fourteen.

It's exactly the same way fashion ever since Twiggy has liked its models to remain as depilated, curveless, and defenseless as babies. Disgusting inclination, if you ask me. So now girls can go ahead and dream about being as rich and bitchy and cynical as they like as long as its loud and clear that this is not real, that none of this is coming true, that no Trudi or Kiki or Sophie is actually really going to displace her boss. Of course not. Of course she's kidding about not wanting babies. Of course she's kidding about having to break up with a boy because she doesn't have enough time for him.

I know, I know. It's stupid to get worked up about books that aren't even fighting the hard fights, that are, in the end, trying to make believe that empowerment is about making the same mistakes that capitalist white males have made. But, you know, these are adult choices, and if they are flawed, they are still coping mechanisms in the real world. I feel like I should be embarassed even making a case for them, but I can't be. My argument would probably be shot down in the real world of Judith Butler and headbutting hetero male criticism, but I honestly think the sort of freedom these books are trying to depict are byproducts of an ongoing feminist conflict, not missteps in a long straight line to equality.

This is a knee-jerk musing, not a rant. A rant requires a firm ideological stand and I don't really have one with regard to chick lit. I may or may not be shooting down anything I have said in this post by linking to Natasha Walter's piece in today's Guardian, in which she identifies the major issue with "new feminism": [N]obody is talking about how these things connect within a wider pattern of inequality, an inequality that persists through the generations and the classes.

And read a week-long debate conducted in September 2005 by journalists in Slate, on many delicious things, including porn, cultural criticism, and, well, the woman of today.

current musix: still with the benny goodman.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

a patriotic message.

The best thing about Republic Day?

It allows you your right as a free citizen of the sovereign socialist republic of India to be able to spend it sleeping the sleep of the dead. Which is what I am going to do. Because? This is one tired Indian.

Jai Hind, y'all. See you on Friday - if I wake up in time.

- sleepily, Roswitha.

Monday, January 23, 2006

the cherry atop this monday

Naomi Wolf finds God. Yes. I know.

What's really funny about this article is all caught up in the end, in wicked little sentences like, In America, finding God is an acceptable resolution to mid-life crisis; or one of Wolf's BritCrits saying, politely but with teh_biatch turned on full, I have always thought of her as an emotional writer, not an intellectual one.

I'm all for finding a place for spirituality in feminism - there's a lot of space for big new complex thoughts there - but, Naomi? A "holographic vision" of Jesus? Has no one forwarded you the email where staring at a sequence of dots for a long enough time will produce the optical illusion of the divine image (which is nothing but traditional Caucasian iconography, anyway)? Bit tacky.

But my favourite part by far is this. She didn't experience her vision in her own body.

“I was a 13-year-old boy sitting next to him and feeling feelings I’d never felt in my lifetime,” said Wolf. “[Feelings] of a boy being with an older male who he really loves and admires and loves to be in the presence of."


Firstly: Ending your sentences with prepositions is uncool!

Secondly: I leave this observation to write itself while I go doing a squeeing little jig in my head.

I'll probably keep everyone posted, but this spirituality/acadaemia conflict is a large part of Zadie Smith's On Beauty, which I picked up yesterday and only put down because I had to come to work. It is mind-blowing, you people. More when I finish it. In the meanwhile, go Naomi go! We always knew Jesus was a feminist, anyway.

current musix: the benny goodman orchestra.

Friday, January 20, 2006

people!

People, people, people. Friends, countrypeople, all sorts of PEOPLE.

You are going to love this. No, you love it already. You've always loved it. It's been the bulwark of your childhood, it's gotten you through your difficult adolescence, been your sole comfort through your mid-life crisis, will send you money every month in your old age. It is yours. Take it! From the golden days of Doordarshan, the seminal short film, the enlightening edifice, the coolest animated music video ever made: Suraj Ek, Tare Anek.

Click, wait for the link to load, click to download. Thanks to my resourceful (and publicity-hungry) colleague Arjun Kolady for passing it along.

People. Oh, people. This is life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

a million little pieces of wtf

Ahahaha.

Mark Morford takes on all the bull and then some about the frenzy surrounding James Frey and JT LeRoy. Frey's best-selling memoir has been discovered to be one hundred percent fiction. JT LeRoy was never really a child prostitute in the Deep South. In fact, he isn't even JT LeRoy. And the literary establishment is all up in arms, somewhat offended, yet generously willing to debate the issue. All literature is a work of the imagination anyway. If a reader enjoys it, it must be real to them. Everything's good, right? Right?

In my opinion, no. Both these authors - I use the word, of course, in its broadest sense - and their publishers have cheated their readers. New Criticism is all very well in its place, but even William Empson would protest this, I think. Forget the fact that we live in a world where what the media says about a particular work of art is now a separate entity, a meta-text that informs that work. Forget the artistic and moral implications of the rising numbers of people who undertake this sort of "emotional tourism" (Slate's phrase, not mine), and now people who are finding new ways to exploit the market. Oh, forget about simple emotional honesty. I haven't read these books, but I come across little quotes on the Internet, such as, from Frey's A Million Little Pieces:

"I remember staring at her, recklessly and obviously, eyes locked and loaded and unmoving, my eyes straight into her. I remember not knowing if she noticed. I had fallen deep and hard I had fallen. I didn't know if she noticed."

and

I can hear the screams. The screams of the Addicted without their addictions. The screams of the dead who are somehow still alive.

... and am I missing something perfectly obvious to the masses that are even now devouring this book? Because this is really bad writing. My vocabulary contains nothing to express how frightful, how terrifyingly bad I think this writing is. Pearl Jam songs are better than this. It is baffling to think of such impressive controversy surrounding writing that is selfconsciously awful. One's respect for teenage poets rises a notch or two. At least they don't know what they're doing.

Anyway. What Mark Morford said. Go read him. He'd make a perfectly grand memoirist if he weren't, you know, funny. JESUS. This is mind-boggling.

Jesus: I know. It's sort of like that Mel Gibson film - what was it called?
Me: Braveheart?
Jesus: No, the one that makes my infant self weep tears of blood?
Me: The Passion?
Jesus: *gentle shudder* Let's just watch TV.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

a very serious post about the state of the world today.

You can now read my frivolous thoughts on Jane Austen here!

Now, on to the feriouffe enquirie conferninge the ftatef of beinge and nofingneffe, af eftablishede in queftionef fortie-twoe:

1. My uncle once: Did something interesting, but I've forgotten what it is.

2. Never in my life have I: Said, "god, I was just born to be an accountant."

3. The one person who can drive me nuts, but then can always manage to make me smile: My roommate, who is probably reading this, in which case you know I'm lying, don't you? You never drive me nuts!

4. High School was: Coma-inducing.

5. When I'm nervous: My knees come unstrung, to use a bewitching phrase of Homer's, although unlike his characters it doesn't mean I give up the ghost (also a Homeric phrase, incidentally.)

6. The last time I cried was: When I was sick and wanted my mummy.

7. If I were to get married right now my bridesmaids/groomsmen would be: The five girls I've grown up with (one of whom is the aforementioned flatmate). Even though it isn't going to be a lavish do or anything, y'understand.

8. I miss: Studying English.

9. My hair: Is falling out in clumps at the moment, thanks to all the post-malaria drugs. I want to cry, but the situation is far beyond despair now. And I was so happy about my short little hairdo a while back.

10. When I was five: The world was a kinder, gentler place. Then my six-year-old self happened to it.

11. Last Christmas I: Think I was at Mood Indigo, but I can't be certain. MI is such an area of darkness.

12. When I turn my head left, I see: My fellow corporate minion's workstation.

13. When I turn my head right, I see: My beautiful sticky-board of postcards from all over Europe, mostly thanks to Emily and Lindsey.

14. The craziest Family Event was: Malayalis don't do crazy family events. They do sober, low-key affairs that require the attention span of a goldfish and a large helping of illegal substances to live through.

15. If I was a character on Friends I'd be: Chandler.

16. By this time next year: I will have inculcated a positive, receptive attitude to life and the world. But don't hold me to it.

17. My favorite Aunt is: Graham Greene's?

18. I have a hard time understanding: Why everyone likes to do these slam-book style memes, anyway. Is it just that much more difficult to talk about oneself in paragraph form?

19. One time at a family gathering: No, every time at a family gathering, I was made to sit down cross-legged and trot out my repertoire of Carnatic pieces. Fuck, I'm glad those days are over. I can actually like Carnatic music now.

20. You know I "like" you if: "Like"? You mean, "like" in the giggly, circumspect way that implies I'm pussyfooting around admitting that I probably have a crush on you? Goodness, I can't remember as far back as the last time I "liked" someone. This meme is really adolescent, isn't it? But well, let's see. I suppose I'll just cling to you like a limpet and make funny crooning noises. I'm not very subtle about these things.

21. If I won an award, the first person(people) I'd thank is: Depending on what I won it for: my mother, my real friends, my virtual friends, or the Beatles.

22. Take my advice: You can pay me for it in installments.

23. My ideal breakfast is: Orange juice, toast and fluffy eggs, with a good dose of mindless gossip on the side (How I miss you, Bombay Times).

24. If you visit my hometown: Don't leave. Take a walk down the crumbling streets, eat some peanuts, and marvel at how many people can fit into seven miniscule islands.

25. If you spend the night at my house: You're cleaning up after yourself.

26. I'd stop my wedding if: The food wasn't up to scratch. What's a pledge to love, honour and obey without a slap-up buffet?

27. The world could do without: Irony. No, wait.

28. I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: Have to regret something I've done. Hang on, is that going to be a live cockroach?

29. My favorite blonde is: the sort that drop-kicks people who make blonde jokes around her.

30. Paper clips are more useful than: Pontificating on the usefulness of paper clips. Unless you're in the Matrix, in which case both would be equally useless. Or am I talking through my hat again?

31. If I do anything well, it's: Just about anything that cannot to be put to practical use in everyday life.

32. And by the way: I broke a record in the office quiz yesterday, and broke that again today. All your base are belong to me.

33. The last time I was high: I wasn't, good god, I don't drink. Not that much, anyway.

34. The animals I would like to see flying besides birds are: Aw, this one sets itself up. PIGS. PIGGIEEEEES!

35. I shouldn't be: Talking about myself so much. Oh, dear. Oh, and I really shouldn't use so many italics, it's very Victorian and bad literary practice.

36. Once, at a bar: Little Roswitha walked in, wide-eyed. And immediately began to cough, choke, have her toes trod on, and so left immediately. And then lived happily ever after. And did not go into a bar again unless it had a non-smoking restaurant attached. Ever. The end.

37. Last night: I read Parallels and Paradoxes: Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said In Conversation. It's fantastic! Oh, and tried to be a supportive, loving best friend.

38. There's this girl I know who: Wouldn't this one sound better if it went, there's a place in your heart:, and then we could all reply, and I know that it is love, something-something much brighter than tom-MO-rrow!.

39. A better name for me would be: Mordecai. I've always wanted to be called Mordecai.

40. If I ever go back to school I'll: Go comatose again, at a guess.

41. Next time I go to church: I'll make sure to tell the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ and all the blessed saints that I think the Inquisition was a very bad idea.

42. How many days until my birthday? Not too many. Whip out yer credit cards, one and all.


current musix: radiohead - no surprises

Monday, January 09, 2006

move along, nothing to see here.

Storytelling in the same vein as the last attempt, if you saw that. Our prompt this time was love is watching someone die, to be written in two hours. At the end of the stipulated time I affected this. It's a take on the story of Penthesilea, the Amazon Queen, and her final defeat in battle by Achilles. It's one of the squickiest but also the most tragic and affecting parts of the whole story of the Trojan War.

Placing here a pg-13 warning for violence. Also, you may recognise the opening line from that blasted novel, Love Story.


Intended


What can you say about a twenty-one year old girl who died?

That she wasn’t twenty-one, for starters. She was thirty-two when she died and looked every day of it. History has proved that to be a bad age for great and careless people (Gilles Villeneuve and Swami Vivekananda, for example. Karen Carpenter.) Astrologically, Pluto comes around to visit you when you’re thirty-two, after the exuberant carelessness of Zeus and Hermes have showered you in their bright, unseeing light. When Pluto comes, the blindness recedes from your eyes as his cool, leaden shadow falls over you, and he will make you account for every excess of your youth. Everyone knows that this was the revenge of the stars on Alexander the Great, who died of a mysterious fever at the age of thirty-two, but at this time the Aegeans were not yet a superstitious lot, because their lives were not yet governed by the cold and impersonal light of distant planets, just very powerful gods, against whose randomness no salt over your shoulder and no straw men could guard you.

He was twenty-one. Still the darling of their benevolent divinities, and he remained so until the end. Perhaps they knew that they had already taken everything he could give. It is not often that human beings have a choice as stark as that which was offered to Achilles, son of Peleus, which is one way of looking at it. He had been at war for about five years by then – five years in Troy proper, that is, because the other way of looking at it was that Achilles had always been at this war, that he learned to walk and run and fight and be, because he was always, always, always meant to be this soldier on this plain, his glory as inevitable as death, as inevitable as the sky in his rainy-grey eyes.

He walked into a bar. They all did that on their furloughs. He was still a general; the Myrmidons were going to raze this town to the ground later sometime, but he had time for a drink before it happened. There were townsfolks lingering on the shore, holding hands, singing, looking dreamily at the horizon. There was nothing to disturb the view, no ominous looming figures of black ships. This little Pleasantville would be a minor operation, mainly scheduled for keeping his soldiers’ hand in as and when strategy ordered them off the plain.

No one seemed to know who he was. He sat at the bar and asked for wine. Over in the corner an old woman was telling a gathering the story of Tantalus and how he cut up and served his own son Pelops as food for the gods. He watched the storyteller wave her hands, painting pictures of the horror, only half-listening. He knew this story of course; he had seen it enacted before his very eyes when they set out to sail. Agamemnon had murdered his own daughter to ensure good winds for the journey. Iphigeneia had been young, intelligent and gorgeous, very enthusiastic about being married to Achilles himself. That hadn't worked out. She had fought frantically before they killed her. The funny thing was, Pelops had been her great-grandfather, Agamemnon and Menelaus’ grandfather. It had never occurred to her that the gods might resurrect her the way they did Pelops. It had never occurred to her at all that history was repeating itself.

“Nothing much’s changed, has it?” a voice sounded in his ear. He turned and there she was, dressed in combat fatigues and leather. She was tall, bronzed, with the sort of body that took years of fencing and running and good hard knocks to build up. She had long, olive-black hair and eyes darker than any child of Priam’s. Achilles thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

“Still bloodthirsty buggers, the lot of them.” She sat down next to him and signalled for wine, too. “It’s the curse, isn’t it. You can’t end it. Their fathers and forefathers will all haunt them until they have their own mouthfuls.”

Achilles remembered the omen after her sacrifice. “Like a snake,” he said. “Swallowing – ”

“Its own eggs. Exactly,” she finished, picking up the cup before her and draining it in a gulp. “Who’s the redhead, then?”

He stared at her, wondering what had happened to him. “Hi, I’m talking to you, Sparky,” she waved five long, callused fingers before his face and laughed.

“Pyrrhus,” he said, not taking his eyes off her face. “I’m Pyrrhus. And you’re lovely.”

“Whatever gave you that idea?” She looked pleased, tilting her head and looking him over appreciatively. “Try Penny.”

“Penny,” he breathed. “Penelope?”

“Ugh, no,” she laughed again. “Penelope is a horrible name. So is Penny, but my only other option is Silly. Very silly. I discourage people from addressing me by name as a rule.”

Achilles made an effort to smile, even though his heart seemed in danger of beating its way right out of his mouth at any moment. “Not even your lovers?”

“Especially not my lovers,” she said, raising an eyebrow.

“So what should I call you, then?” It was out before he knew it, as inevitable, really, as everything else about him. Her eyebrow shot up a little higher, an eagle’s wing upon her brow, and she said, “'Your majesty’ will do.”


--

Three years later

They knew they were fighting each other even before the masks of war came off. It was in the movements, the curve of an arm as it swept around the other’s body, the sweat-damp curls that escaped from a helmet, the surprise and the ferocity in the cries of passion. Things that no lover forgot about Achilles or Penthesilea. Time had drawn them close once more, almost as close as they had been that night in the town that was not so much as a memory even in the minds of its destroyers.

He found an opening and wounded her arm slightly before she pulled back and swung hard at his head. She was strong. She could crush and wound you and make you utterly forget who you were. She did not give you time or space. She would mean everything to you, consume you and give nothing back. He could not crumble to dust for her, though. He might have; it might have been easy and possible, but there were reasons that he did not, too many reasons, all of which came down to the single fact that he was not meant for her. Three years ago they had been drinking wine together and talking about the sons of Atreus. She had told him that they were cursed, and he had agreed, and wondered how the curse could be broken.

She had shrugged as if she did not care, and said, “By someone brave enough to reverse destiny. To swallow the snake. To kill the father – or kill themselves.”

He looked her in the eye and advanced towards her. He remembered the wisdom in them. She beat him back, attacking him with new reserves of energy that welled up in her just as she seemedd about to give up. It would not be too difficult to be beaten by this woman. You could give yourself up with honour; she would destroy you so completely that nothing, not even shame, could be left. She could entwine and break the threads of fate, invert destiny and kill the killer.

He thought, and thought that a curse was not a bargain with the gods. The House of Atreus could reverse their fortunes, but he could never break his.

He did not hate her for being unable to change what always had been. He did not even hate for dying when she finally did, sword knocked out of her hand, his blade sliced clean through her heart. She had her destiny too, and he was it. She had not made a bargain, she had not been cursed. She was beautiful and brave and he had loved her for it, but he never thought that she might have deserved more.

She was lying sprawled, still on the ground. Someone pulled her helmet off gently – she had fought well – and the hair, still long and black, fanned out on the earth around her. Her eyes were open, the wisdom gone, the fear gone. He knelt beside her to close them and noticed the eagle-wing brows, furled now, bleached by daylight battles.

“I hope you’re clean, gorgeous,” she had said on the stairs, leaning against the banister to look down at him. The eyebrows kept flying upwards, as though he were a perpetual incredulity. And he was.

Someone murmured his name. A crowd had gathered around them. Her blood pooled about them, lapping at his knees.

I’m not, he thought, kissing the forehead, smooth and fading without life. I carry my death with me, and now you have yours.

What can you say about a twenty-one year old boy who died? Pluto never had the chance to summon him. He was twenty-eight when it actually happened, the arrow flying into his heel almost an accident, if anything the stars have orchestrated for eternities can be an accident. What can you say about Achilles dying? Perhaps this: that he did not deserve more. That no one, not even a woman, not even a queen of the Amazons, ever got less.

Friday, January 06, 2006

why virtuality beats real life, #238569234

One good thing about Orkut is how smart it makes you feel. On a community called 'Let's Argue About Feminism' a humanoid dangerously enabled with linguistic ability cropped up chirping 'I would never want to marry a feminist, they hate men!' or something along those lines. This inspired a flurry of responses that came from people reasoning and rational, as well as those who created bricks of feminist theory and threw it at the OP's head. I scrolled through all the replies and failed to find a single one in one hundred and fifty that responded satisfactorily. I thought it was lovely he didn't want to marry a feminist! Since no feminist would want to marry him.

Orkut makes the world such an easy place to live in, really. Almost as easy as that utter slut Eve. Another post somewhere started with the question, 'Why are all women evil?' Another gross of replies. It seems no one wants to admit that we're evil because we like it.