When the singularity is achieved, human emotions will be supplanted by reaction GIFs.
Hello Chimeras! This week we’re on Lecture 5: Department Meeting.
Fugue states in olive oil.
the self-promotional shamelessness continues! Thanks for the rebloogs, sharpcentral!
My little short story collection Myths is in the Top 10 in Kindle Satire and Kindle Literary Humor, and in the Top 20 for Short Story collections!!
You guys!!! Check it out:
MYTHS is now #1 in Satire, #3 in Literary Humor, and #8 in Short Stories! Keep those free downloads coming!
The Clear Family tree, from The Side Quest. Adamite, Feldspar, The Twins, and Pyrite have been Kings at various points. Kings is a gender neutral term.
WRONG STATE Lecture 4: An Uploading Primer
In today’s lecture, we review the many reasons why a person ought to consider uploading their brain to the Haze. Plus a campus events update!
Debt forgiveness programs. :3
There are still reasons to read books. Physical fetishism is a big one. You might get a visceral reaction from the touch, the smell, the weight of a good book. You might also feel emotionally superior or more important while carrying a sophisticated book in a crowd of bookless people, and that’s a valid reason to carry around a book. It’s no more absurd than putting on nice clothes, preening your hair, or scraping and painting your skin.
But I was gifted a very simple black and white Kindle from Erika D. Price (go read her tumblr, she’s a great author). I’d never owned an e-reader before. I’m poor and never had the urge to test out cutting edge reading tech. Why would I? I always bought physical books for one purpose—to read—and they performed admirably enough. I didn’t see a need for improvement.
Goddamn, I was fucking wrong. E-readers decimate books. They realize the dream of technical dominance, like some general’s fantasy of a computerized military, sweeping through primitive foes. It’s almost too easy, a disgustingly simple conquest.
They’re functionally superior in nearly every way. Maybe the only thing I can do with a book that I can’t do with my Kindle is throw it across the apartment. Sometimes, a novel just sucks and I need to disrespect it. The Kindle’s relative fragility hampers any acts of symbolic hatred for a shitty author. But don’t think of it as truly fragile. This machine is resilient.
Why is it better?
My Kindle is lighter than a book. I can hold it for hours without feeling the slight but aggravating fatigue of holding a brick-sized fantasy novel. I find my page instantly, and I stop and start reading with ease.
My Kindle is legitimately easier to read. The text is cleaner and customizable, the screen handles environmental light better than paper, and I have less strain from reflected sunlight on a bright day.
My Kindle simplifies buying and enjoying a novel. I started reading some new weird fantasy books, and I just bought them both from the Kindle and started reading immediately—while in a fucking airport, at least 20 miles from a bookstore that MIGHT have the books in stock.
My Kindle is better for adding notes, bookmarks, and connecting socially over elements in the text. It’s easier for me to find reviews, make comments using the keypad, highlight passages I like for future reference, and find passages that other people enjoyed.
My kindle is cheaper and broader. There are more e-books out there at lower prices, from authors without big publication deals but bigger ideas than anything a publisher would risk putting on a paper page.
Everything a book does, the e-reader does better. I love books, I propose that anyone who loves a book because of emotional attachment, nostalgia or social position is justified—so long as they don’t pretend that the book is a superior technical choice.
If you are just looking to read, an e-reader is wildly fucking better than a book. Just find an e-reader you like and make the switch.
And if you have ethical scruples about buying ebooks from Amazon, use Kobo instead! Kobo allows you to buy ebooks from local indie bookstores without ever leaving your house. You get the low price of an ebook and the at-home shopping convenience; the indie bookstore gets the sale. Everybody wins.
And of course, there’s plenty of free ebooks available in all e-reader formats, especially classics. So even if you have zero monies to your name, you can always download the fucking Illiad or House of Mirth or someshit to keep yourself entertained for frees.
John Green has stated multiple times that his works are intended to subvert or destroy the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope. And that because his intention was subversion, to read his female characters as MPDGs is erroneous and tone-deaf.
The problem is, John Green also believes in the Death of the Author. He has repeatedly said that authorial intent should not matter; that his stories “belong” to the readers, and can be interpreted as the reader so chooses.
So John Green can’t write a flighty, flirty, sunny, cute female character who is lacking in agency, negativity, or complexity, and then dive behind a barrack marked “authorial intent”. Even if his intention was to subvert the MPDG trope, many people interpret his works as a straight playing of that trope, and by his own admission alternate takes on his work are encouraged and valid.
And in general, authorial intent is not an absolution from problematic interpretations. If your book has a really clearly iffy undercurrent, one that many people see, that undercurrent is real and important to discuss. Authorial intent does not pluck the interpretation and implications from our heads. The work itself inspired those thoughs, and will continue to.
Many of Green’s female protagonists can be read as Manic Pixie blah blahs. If he meant to subvert the trope, he missed the mark. Many attempts at subverting the MPDG have similarly failed: Clementine in Eternal Sunshine, Ruby Sparks, Natalie Portman’s Garden State character, etc; all were intended to subtly comment on the MPDG trope. But all were misinterpreted by scores of straight boys and girls as actual ideal images of womanhood. So the subversion fucking failed.