lirazel: (Default)
blah blah blah blah blah why does anyone even read these things anymore?

cut for navel-gazing )



To make this post not a complete waste of other people's time: I have seriously cried reading some of the things on the fandom love meme thing. I don't know what I've done to deserve you, but you are all blessings in my life. You humble me, in the best way. I love you.
lirazel: ([ib] a message for germany)
as usual, nothing all that exciting since Vienna, but we'll do it anyway (and I will endeavor to use capitals because this is not tumblr):

+ INFINITE CONCERT PENDING. OMG. It seems Jamie will not get to go with me (I can't talk about this because DESPAIR), so I'm thinking of the DC one? I just need to find someone to go with, to room with/sit with/sing-along-on-the-top-of-my-lungs with. Warning: if Woohyun and/or Dongwoo start crying, I will probably cry my eyes out too. So. You've been warned.

+ In case I haven’t talked to you since then, the Vienna trip was great. Nearly perfect except for the heat which was EXTREME and Europeans don’t know how to use air conditioning (they say they have it, but it doesn’t ever seem like they actually use it!) and also you can’t get a big glass of cold tap water anywhere + there are almost no water fountains anywhere so it was a very thirsty trip. But we had a great time, everything went smoothly, I was the tour guide and arranged EVERYTHING (which was partly stressful but also kind of awesome?) and the parents loved it, so I’m very happy.

+ The little sister is in Ecuador. For almost a year. I am living alone. I LOVE living alone (even though it enables my anti-social behavior in ways that probably aren't healthy), but I miss her a lot.

+ Working on a new novel. AGAIN. Because, no, I am not physically capable of just sticking to one. But I feel really good about this one? Let’s ignore that that’s often the case when I start a new one. I literally had a dream about it and woke up with it fully-formed in my head. Often when I dream, I find myself thinking, “This would be a great book,” but then I wake up and realize the dream made no sense. But this one actually did! Also in the dream the love interest was Sunggyu. I kid you not.

It’s set in a fantasy version of like…late 18th century/early 19th century Madagascar? And you would not believe how hard it is to get ahold of a book on Malagasy history. Our library is fantastic, but the only history books they have are either A) for children or B) natural history. I get that the place has all sorts of flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth and that’s awesome BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE?

Anyway. I’m really trying to work on it. I want to make it work. I do.

+ So fic is going on hold for a bit. I have signed up for an OT3 bigbang and also for Infinite’s secret santa (and I will for Yuletide), but honestly I think it’s time to put fic on the back burner for just a bit until I get some actual work done on the novel. It’s time for discipline.

+ I did a remix fic for kpop-ficmix and I AM SO HAPPY WITH IT. I can’t wait till it’s posted and writers are revealed and I can tell you about it.

+ The job keeps requiring people to work mandatory overtime, and I am SO GLAD I took the time to fill out my FMLA paperwork so I don’t have to do it too. The company just all-around sucks with the way it treats employees, and yet I can’t bring myself to find something else because I can’t find anything else I’m actually interested in or a place that lets me spend as much time writing/interneting as this one does.

+ On Saturday I had my mama come over and we did some serious overhaul cleaning. Like, went through all the clothes I had and I took like five garbage bags full to goodwill. Which sounds ridiculous and like I have massive amounts of clothes, but honestly I still had some stuff from high school. High school. It was just a matter of actually removing them from my home.

Also went through closets and things and organized. Still have some to do, but I'm feeling good about it. I have a tendency to drive everyone around me crazy with my clutter because I live so totally in my head that it doesn't bother me but it bothers everyone else. But getting rid of stuff feels good.

+ I really need to stop reading about polygamist Mormon cults, but y'all, I can't stop. At this point, I feel like I know more about the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints than any person should know. BUT I CAN'T STOP READING.

+ Also reading The Family by Jeff Sharlet and it keeps plunging me into despair re: fundamentalist Christians. Since I'm also a Christian I feel like it is my job to battle the fundamentalist ones but that is a lot for one person to take on. I need some perspective.

+ I haven't been good at actually watching things lately? Slooooowly watching I Hear Your Voice and weeping over Lee Jung Suk's everything. It's so good. But I only manage one episode every few days. I need to finish You're the Best Lee Soon Shin and watch the last episode of Monstar and start Master's Sun, but for some reason my attention span when it comes to TV is very short right now.

+ And I was thinking about kdramas and how they seem bent on giving me a schoolboy kink. Oh, let's put Sung Joon and Myungsoo in school uniforms. Let's put Lee Jung Suk and Kim Woo Bin in school uniforms. Let's put Seo In Guk and Hoya in school uniforms. WHAT NEXT? I am trying not to be a dirty old lady, but kdramas are making it really hard.

+ I...do not really go to church anymore because it's just too hard for me to go and yet never actually talk to anyone. I know I should, but I don't. However, I read progressive theology blogs like ALL THE TIME. I have zero interest in ever going into ministry, but man, I would love to go to seminary just so I could geek out about theology. Nothing more fun.

+ Oh, and I’ve been thinking and I want some advice. cut for overexplaining and rambling )

Gah. For someone who leads an incredibly quiet life, this got long. Kudos to you if you managed to make it through that, and I totally understand if you didn't!
lirazel: ([kpop] ot7)
I promised Nicki I would make her an Infinite ships post, and I was going to do something brief on tumblr, like a paragraph for each of the major ships, but I am me and completely incapable of being anything but verbose, so this turned into a monster. Who even am I?

So you've got 7 really attractive guys in this band, all of whom are always hanging all over each other, some of them because they're naturally demonstrative, some of them because that's their job, but either way: obviously people are going to ship things. Here's a rough guide to the bigger ships in fandom and also to the smaller things that I personally ship. Yay!


cut for the pretty boys! )
lirazel: ([kpop] ot7)
I promised Nicki I would make her an Infinite ships post, and I was going to do something brief on tumblr, like a paragraph for each of the major ships, but I am me and completely incapable of being anything but verbose, so this turned into a monster. Who even am I?

So you've got 7 really attractive guys in this band, all of whom are always hanging all over each other, some of them because they're naturally demonstrative, some of them because that's their job, but either way: obviously people are going to ship things. Here's a rough guide to the bigger ships in fandom and also to the smaller things that I personally ship. Yay!


cut for the pretty boys! )
lirazel: ([kpop] ot7)
I promised Nicki I would make her an Infinite ships post, and I was going to do something brief on tumblr, like a paragraph for each of the major ships, but I am me and completely incapable of being anything but verbose, so this turned into a monster. Who even am I?

So you've got 7 really attractive guys in this band, all of whom are always hanging all over each other, some of them because they're naturally demonstrative, some of them because that's their job, but either way: obviously people are going to ship things. Here's a rough guide to the bigger ships in fandom and also to the smaller things that I personally ship. Yay!


cut for the pretty boys! )
lirazel: ([misc] story of my life)
So I'm the facebook generation. My freshman year of college, I distinctly remember a few days into the semester the announcement being made that our college was now going to have facebook access, and everybody freaked out, and I was sitting there going, "What even is that?" (This was fall of 2005.) This was back in the day when your college had to like register or something and you had to have a student email account to sign up. (TROLOLOLOL) Everyone immediately signed up and started using it way, way too much. Being me (natural contrarian you think I'm kidding but I'm not), I held out for several weeks, maybe even a couple of months until one of my friends sat down at my computer and signed me up for one. I played around with it some--I really, really loved when we got those buttons and you could send them to each other, do you remember those? Mine were all super geeky, and that was fun.

But I never cared that much about the site other than using it to look up names of people my friends were talking about who I couldn't put a face with. It was useful in that way, especially because at that time you had a network and so everyone at my college was on this network so I could find whoever I wanted to at any time. In a college atmosphere, it actually made a lot of sense if you wanted to figure out who that guy was that was always hanging around with that girl--if you knew someone's friends' names, you could find them pretty quickly. And then there were all those times where I heard a name over and over and finally looked that name up and realized it went with that face and had a big DUH moment. I viewed it mostly as a tool in figuring out who people were--which was, I believe, the point of a facebook.

Fast-forward seven years later (SEVEN YEARS? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY LIFE?) and I've still got an account, but I almost never use it. In fact, the only reason I keep it is so that I will be able to get in touch with people should I need to do that at some point in the future. I really only get on to check in on Big! Life! Events! with people--I like to look at wedding pictures now and then, and now my friends are all having kids, too, so there's baby pictures, though I only care to see them that first time (after that initial "Aww, look ___'s baby is real and has toes and stuff! Cute!" I don't particularly care about seeing more baby pictures). So all in all, I only log in about once a month at most. And I'm totally cool with that.

Because, y'all, my grandmother is on facebook. MY GRANDMOTHER. And various aunts and uncles and friends of my parents' and I just do not want to be involved in all that. That's not what I get on the internet to do. If I want to be with my family, I hang out with my family. If I'm on the internet, I want nothing to do with them.

But so many people do not feel this way, and I think it's because they're internet 2.0 users and I'm an internet 1.0 user, despite my age.

A couple of months ago, I read a truly wonderful book called You Are Not a Gadget: a Manifesto by Jaron Lanier. This guy is seriously a badass and I would vote for him for president.

Here's the blurb:

A programmer, musician, and father of virtual reality technology, Jaron Lanier was a pioneer in digital media, and among the first to predict the revolutionary changes it would bring to our commerce and culture. Now, with the Web influencing virtually every aspect of our lives, he offers this provocative critique of how digital design is shaping society, for better and for worse.

Informed by Lanier’s experience and expertise as a computer scientist, You Are Not a Gadget discusses the technical and cultural problems that have unwittingly risen from programming choices—such as the nature of user identity—that were “locked-in” at the birth of digital media and considers what a future based on current design philosophies will bring. With the proliferation of social networks, cloud-based data storage systems, and Web 2.0 designs that elevate the “wisdom” of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and wisdom of individuals, his message has never been more urgent.


Anyway, the book is great and I highly recommend it if you have even the most basic understanding of the way the internet works. His first concern is totally humanity and wanting technology to serve us, not for it to dominate us, and that comes through the book in beautiful ways.

He talks a lot about web 1.0 and web 2.0 and while he focuses more on things like wikipedia, I honestly think the easiest way of differentiating between the two is pre-facebook internet and post-facebook internet. And facebook is so ubiquitous that I really don't think I need to get into it any deeper, which is, frankly, just scary.

So back to me (heh). The thing that, I believe, totally defines my relationship to the internet is that internet 1.0 was my home. I discovered fandom at about 13, and that's what got me into the internet. Before that, it was a tool: I used it to look things up, and we only had very slow dial-up at home (AOL!), so mostly I did that at school.

But fandom changed all that for me. I found people who wanted to talk about the things I wanted to talk about and who were just as interested in stupid little details about canon as I was, and I fell in love. These were the days of message boards and yahoo mailing lists and those tackytackytacky geocities/angelfire/whatever personal websites with horrifying yellow font on black backgrounds that played songs you hated whenever you clicked on them. It stopped being a tool and became, like, a clubhouse. Or I guess more a network of clubhouses, where you found people who had similar interests to yours and you hung out and talked about those things (or ficced about them or made art or had shipping wars).

When I think about the internet and what it's given me, those are still the terms I use. It's the friendships I've made with people I've never "met" in "real life" (whatever that means). It's using the wayback machine to find that fic that I read five years ago and has since been erased from the internet. It's my usernames--Lirazel, especially--and the fact that I have an online reputation, even if it's limited in its reach.

And I think that really is the major difference between me (and probably a lot of you) and the majority of my generation. They also started out viewing the internet as a tool, but what pulled them in wasn't something interests- and community-driven like fandom (obviously it was bigger than fandom: there were lovely little communities dedicated to, like, reading northern European epics and stuff. But they somehow had a fandom-type feeling, if that makes any sense). Instead, the first time they started using the internet as more than just a place to look up information or check email or (possibly) play games was when myspace and facebook hit the scene. Since those were the first websites they knew, they kind of set the tone for how they would approach the internet from there on out.

I think they're the people who are still perpetuating this idea of the internet being something totally different from "real life" and the two being in conflict. I mean, the rest of us have moved beyond that, right? When I talk about y'all, I don't say, "My internet friend so-and-so," I just call you my friend. The way we interact is different in some ways than with people I met through other means, but not in any of the ways that really matter. Honestly, I share a lot more with y'all than I do with anybody in my "real life" who isn't related to me. At this point my own experience has completely demolished any boundaries I once perceived between "real life" and the internet (I'm very glad, too).

But if you primarily use the internet in a facebook sort of way, where you know people in real life first and then use the internet to "connect" to people you already know--if that's your mindset--then I guess you might still think internet-first/only friendships are weird?

Of course, added to all of this is also the reason I refuse to use twitter: while I can see how it could be a useful thing (for instance, it seemed to be really powerful during the Arab Spring, and that's awesome, and I can see how organizations getting info out there could use it in interesting ways, too), for the most part I just find it annoying for individuals to use (unless they are pithy and hilarious, which, let's face it, most of us aren't). It pretty much promotes soundbyte types of conversations, it doesn't let you address things with nuance because of the word limit,

AND YET people love it, which baffles me. My generation seems to think that if it isn't being broadcast--if it isn't OUT THERE IN PUBLIC IN DETAIL that whatever they're experiencing isn't real. Like reality is determined by how willing you are to let everyone see what's going on. Like something is only real and legitimate and genuine if you're 100% open to sharing it with anyone and everyone. Like if something happens to you in private, it isn't real until it's validated by other people, a sort of audience of people who will give your experience meaning by acknowledging. And this has to do with reality tv, too, and the idea of fame as an end to itself (which isn't new, obviously, but I do think it's blown up in ways it never had before), and lots and lots of other things that have created this zeitgeist. I'm not blaming it just on facebook.

But I just cringe from that kind of approach to the internet, that kind of approach to life. And so I am endlessly annoyed by oversharing (which I may do with certain people in the confines of my flocked journal, but that is different than oversharing with EVERYONE) and life as a performance for other people and taking pictures at an event so you can put them on facebook being more important than being in the moment at that event because that event didn’t really happen unless we can document it and present it for other people’s consumption. It's like we value transparency as an end to itself, which I don't approve of--transparency in a lot of things is a very good things, especially when it comes to organizations. But when it comes to individuals? Not so much. Friendships are only possible because of privacy, because of secrets--because we get to decide how much about ourselves we reveal at what times and to whom. If everyone knows everything about everyone else, then you can't be closer to some people than to others. But I reveal certain parts of myself to my sister and certain parts to y'all and certain parts to my boss, and I keep things to myself, too, and that dance of revelation and concealment is what defines relationships. If we get rid of that, what do we have to offer each other? Nothing.

Which connects back to another thing I hate about web 2.0: this endless desire to CONNECT EVERYTHING UP. OH GROSS GO AWAY. I feel like web 1.0 really valued the idea of compartmentalizing your life through things like pseudonyms (one of my biggest pet peeves in life is people who mistake pseudonyms and anonymity THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING OMG) and even using more than one username at various places--if you were, say, a part of multiple online communities (fandoms, whatever) you totally had the freedom to decide if you wanted to use one username on all of those sites (thereby creating a sort of meta online identity) or to use different ones for each place or any degree in between. You had control over the level of interaction between sites you visited, you had control over who you were depending on what site you were on (and again: this all goes back to the idea that we are different people when we're in different company, that we change our behaviors and speech and degree of honesty to suit whatever community we are in AND THIS IS NOT A BAD THING, it is, in fact, really beautiful if used with integrity). And you could escape from the people in the real world who bugged you so much or who just didn't happen to want to share certain things with (facebook connect on every website ever just infuriates me. DON'T CROSS THE LINES).

Now the web is trying to turn into this big amorphous thing where you're just ACTUAL FIRST NAME ACTUAL LAST NAME no matter where you go, where people can "find" you no matter where you are (how terrifying is that? It's a small world after all INDEED and I can't imagine many things scarier than that). And the websites wrap it up in this rhetoric about "connection" and "finding your friends" but most of them do it either A) because they don't really think about it and don't realize they have other options or B) because this is what the advertisers looooove. All this fancy technology that can follow you around and gather all your data and see patterns and tailor their advertising to you directly and so make more money! Yay rah!

IT'S SCARY, OKAY?

Or at least it is to me, because I remember when this wasn't the default way of thinking, when this wasn't the way the internet world operated. So while I get really annoyed when a website demands that I have a facebook or twitter account to log in to their site (and I refuse to do it--that's the quickest way to lose my traffic!), my friends seem totally unfazed by it. I literally didn't know that you had to have a facebook or twitter account to sign up for pinterest until today, despite all my real life friends having one, because apparently that isn't important enough to be mentioned. I found out because one of my livejournal friends just discovered it and was annoyed, too! I just look at the world differently than people who didn't grow up on the internet in the world that I did.

I think all this is why I still feel most at home on livejournal, internet-wise, because to me it's so totally rooted in what internet 1.0 was. Many of the things that bug me most about tumblr (the site I use the most) are the very things that are most 2.0 about it (shitty, shitty decisions by the people who run it aside).

And right now I feel like a cranky old lady talking about the good old days, and I don't mean to imply that the internet was perfect back then, because there were terrible, terrible things then, too. People have always been people, and people have always been asses. It's just that I liked the default assumptions about what the internet was for and whole it should work a lot more back then than I like the ones now.

And I am 25! I am not an old woman! But when I venture outside of livejournal (especially onto tumblr), I so often feel like one. So I'm really interested in the thoughts of those of you who are younger than me--do you remember the internet before facebook? Do you feel like you belong in one world more than the other? Do you even know what I'm talking about? Do the old days sound good to you? What are the benefits of the new way of approaching the web? What am I missing that's awesome about it? [I'm not talking about capabilities here--streaming and downloading and things like that are AWESOME--I'm talking about the worldview with which you approach internet usage.]

And please, those of you who are the same age/older than I am, tell me you know what I'm talking about and that I didn't just word-vomit all this about nothing.
lirazel: ([misc] story of my life)
So I'm the facebook generation. My freshman year of college, I distinctly remember a few days into the semester the announcement being made that our college was now going to have facebook access, and everybody freaked out, and I was sitting there going, "What even is that?" (This was fall of 2005.) This was back in the day when your college had to like register or something and you had to have a student email account to sign up. (TROLOLOLOL) Everyone immediately signed up and started using it way, way too much. Being me (natural contrarian you think I'm kidding but I'm not), I held out for several weeks, maybe even a couple of months until one of my friends sat down at my computer and signed me up for one. I played around with it some--I really, really loved when we got those buttons and you could send them to each other, do you remember those? Mine were all super geeky, and that was fun.

But I never cared that much about the site other than using it to look up names of people my friends were talking about who I couldn't put a face with. It was useful in that way, especially because at that time you had a network and so everyone at my college was on this network so I could find whoever I wanted to at any time. In a college atmosphere, it actually made a lot of sense if you wanted to figure out who that guy was that was always hanging around with that girl--if you knew someone's friends' names, you could find them pretty quickly. And then there were all those times where I heard a name over and over and finally looked that name up and realized it went with that face and had a big DUH moment. I viewed it mostly as a tool in figuring out who people were--which was, I believe, the point of a facebook.

Fast-forward seven years later (SEVEN YEARS? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY LIFE?) and I've still got an account, but I almost never use it. In fact, the only reason I keep it is so that I will be able to get in touch with people should I need to do that at some point in the future. I really only get on to check in on Big! Life! Events! with people--I like to look at wedding pictures now and then, and now my friends are all having kids, too, so there's baby pictures, though I only care to see them that first time (after that initial "Aww, look ___'s baby is real and has toes and stuff! Cute!" I don't particularly care about seeing more baby pictures). So all in all, I only log in about once a month at most. And I'm totally cool with that.

Because, y'all, my grandmother is on facebook. MY GRANDMOTHER. And various aunts and uncles and friends of my parents' and I just do not want to be involved in all that. That's not what I get on the internet to do. If I want to be with my family, I hang out with my family. If I'm on the internet, I want nothing to do with them.

But so many people do not feel this way, and I think it's because they're internet 2.0 users and I'm an internet 1.0 user, despite my age.

A couple of months ago, I read a truly wonderful book called You Are Not a Gadget: a Manifesto by Jaron Lanier. This guy is seriously a badass and I would vote for him for president.

Here's the blurb:

A programmer, musician, and father of virtual reality technology, Jaron Lanier was a pioneer in digital media, and among the first to predict the revolutionary changes it would bring to our commerce and culture. Now, with the Web influencing virtually every aspect of our lives, he offers this provocative critique of how digital design is shaping society, for better and for worse.

Informed by Lanier’s experience and expertise as a computer scientist, You Are Not a Gadget discusses the technical and cultural problems that have unwittingly risen from programming choices—such as the nature of user identity—that were “locked-in” at the birth of digital media and considers what a future based on current design philosophies will bring. With the proliferation of social networks, cloud-based data storage systems, and Web 2.0 designs that elevate the “wisdom” of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and wisdom of individuals, his message has never been more urgent.


Anyway, the book is great and I highly recommend it if you have even the most basic understanding of the way the internet works. His first concern is totally humanity and wanting technology to serve us, not for it to dominate us, and that comes through the book in beautiful ways.

He talks a lot about web 1.0 and web 2.0 and while he focuses more on things like wikipedia, I honestly think the easiest way of differentiating between the two is pre-facebook internet and post-facebook internet. And facebook is so ubiquitous that I really don't think I need to get into it any deeper, which is, frankly, just scary.

So back to me (heh). The thing that, I believe, totally defines my relationship to the internet is that internet 1.0 was my home. I discovered fandom at about 13, and that's what got me into the internet. Before that, it was a tool: I used it to look things up, and we only had very slow dial-up at home (AOL!), so mostly I did that at school.

But fandom changed all that for me. I found people who wanted to talk about the things I wanted to talk about and who were just as interested in stupid little details about canon as I was, and I fell in love. These were the days of message boards and yahoo mailing lists and those tackytackytacky geocities/angelfire/whatever personal websites with horrifying yellow font on black backgrounds that played songs you hated whenever you clicked on them. It stopped being a tool and became, like, a clubhouse. Or I guess more a network of clubhouses, where you found people who had similar interests to yours and you hung out and talked about those things (or ficced about them or made art or had shipping wars).

When I think about the internet and what it's given me, those are still the terms I use. It's the friendships I've made with people I've never "met" in "real life" (whatever that means). It's using the wayback machine to find that fic that I read five years ago and has since been erased from the internet. It's my usernames--Lirazel, especially--and the fact that I have an online reputation, even if it's limited in its reach.

And I think that really is the major difference between me (and probably a lot of you) and the majority of my generation. They also started out viewing the internet as a tool, but what pulled them in wasn't something interests- and community-driven like fandom (obviously it was bigger than fandom: there were lovely little communities dedicated to, like, reading northern European epics and stuff. But they somehow had a fandom-type feeling, if that makes any sense). Instead, the first time they started using the internet as more than just a place to look up information or check email or (possibly) play games was when myspace and facebook hit the scene. Since those were the first websites they knew, they kind of set the tone for how they would approach the internet from there on out.

I think they're the people who are still perpetuating this idea of the internet being something totally different from "real life" and the two being in conflict. I mean, the rest of us have moved beyond that, right? When I talk about y'all, I don't say, "My internet friend so-and-so," I just call you my friend. The way we interact is different in some ways than with people I met through other means, but not in any of the ways that really matter. Honestly, I share a lot more with y'all than I do with anybody in my "real life" who isn't related to me. At this point my own experience has completely demolished any boundaries I once perceived between "real life" and the internet (I'm very glad, too).

But if you primarily use the internet in a facebook sort of way, where you know people in real life first and then use the internet to "connect" to people you already know--if that's your mindset--then I guess you might still think internet-first/only friendships are weird?

Of course, added to all of this is also the reason I refuse to use twitter: while I can see how it could be a useful thing (for instance, it seemed to be really powerful during the Arab Spring, and that's awesome, and I can see how organizations getting info out there could use it in interesting ways, too), for the most part I just find it annoying for individuals to use (unless they are pithy and hilarious, which, let's face it, most of us aren't). It pretty much promotes soundbyte types of conversations, it doesn't let you address things with nuance because of the word limit,

AND YET people love it, which baffles me. My generation seems to think that if it isn't being broadcast--if it isn't OUT THERE IN PUBLIC IN DETAIL that whatever they're experiencing isn't real. Like reality is determined by how willing you are to let everyone see what's going on. Like something is only real and legitimate and genuine if you're 100% open to sharing it with anyone and everyone. Like if something happens to you in private, it isn't real until it's validated by other people, a sort of audience of people who will give your experience meaning by acknowledging. And this has to do with reality tv, too, and the idea of fame as an end to itself (which isn't new, obviously, but I do think it's blown up in ways it never had before), and lots and lots of other things that have created this zeitgeist. I'm not blaming it just on facebook.

But I just cringe from that kind of approach to the internet, that kind of approach to life. And so I am endlessly annoyed by oversharing (which I may do with certain people in the confines of my flocked journal, but that is different than oversharing with EVERYONE) and life as a performance for other people and taking pictures at an event so you can put them on facebook being more important than being in the moment at that event because that event didn’t really happen unless we can document it and present it for other people’s consumption. It's like we value transparency as an end to itself, which I don't approve of--transparency in a lot of things is a very good things, especially when it comes to organizations. But when it comes to individuals? Not so much. Friendships are only possible because of privacy, because of secrets--because we get to decide how much about ourselves we reveal at what times and to whom. If everyone knows everything about everyone else, then you can't be closer to some people than to others. But I reveal certain parts of myself to my sister and certain parts to y'all and certain parts to my boss, and I keep things to myself, too, and that dance of revelation and concealment is what defines relationships. If we get rid of that, what do we have to offer each other? Nothing.

Which connects back to another thing I hate about web 2.0: this endless desire to CONNECT EVERYTHING UP. OH GROSS GO AWAY. I feel like web 1.0 really valued the idea of compartmentalizing your life through things like pseudonyms (one of my biggest pet peeves in life is people who mistake pseudonyms and anonymity THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING OMG) and even using more than one username at various places--if you were, say, a part of multiple online communities (fandoms, whatever) you totally had the freedom to decide if you wanted to use one username on all of those sites (thereby creating a sort of meta online identity) or to use different ones for each place or any degree in between. You had control over the level of interaction between sites you visited, you had control over who you were depending on what site you were on (and again: this all goes back to the idea that we are different people when we're in different company, that we change our behaviors and speech and degree of honesty to suit whatever community we are in AND THIS IS NOT A BAD THING, it is, in fact, really beautiful if used with integrity). And you could escape from the people in the real world who bugged you so much or who just didn't happen to want to share certain things with (facebook connect on every website ever just infuriates me. DON'T CROSS THE LINES).

Now the web is trying to turn into this big amorphous thing where you're just ACTUAL FIRST NAME ACTUAL LAST NAME no matter where you go, where people can "find" you no matter where you are (how terrifying is that? It's a small world after all INDEED and I can't imagine many things scarier than that). And the websites wrap it up in this rhetoric about "connection" and "finding your friends" but most of them do it either A) because they don't really think about it and don't realize they have other options or B) because this is what the advertisers looooove. All this fancy technology that can follow you around and gather all your data and see patterns and tailor their advertising to you directly and so make more money! Yay rah!

IT'S SCARY, OKAY?

Or at least it is to me, because I remember when this wasn't the default way of thinking, when this wasn't the way the internet world operated. So while I get really annoyed when a website demands that I have a facebook or twitter account to log in to their site (and I refuse to do it--that's the quickest way to lose my traffic!), my friends seem totally unfazed by it. I literally didn't know that you had to have a facebook or twitter account to sign up for pinterest until today, despite all my real life friends having one, because apparently that isn't important enough to be mentioned. I found out because one of my livejournal friends just discovered it and was annoyed, too! I just look at the world differently than people who didn't grow up on the internet in the world that I did.

I think all this is why I still feel most at home on livejournal, internet-wise, because to me it's so totally rooted in what internet 1.0 was. Many of the things that bug me most about tumblr (the site I use the most) are the very things that are most 2.0 about it (shitty, shitty decisions by the people who run it aside).

And right now I feel like a cranky old lady talking about the good old days, and I don't mean to imply that the internet was perfect back then, because there were terrible, terrible things then, too. People have always been people, and people have always been asses. It's just that I liked the default assumptions about what the internet was for and whole it should work a lot more back then than I like the ones now.

And I am 25! I am not an old woman! But when I venture outside of livejournal (especially onto tumblr), I so often feel like one. So I'm really interested in the thoughts of those of you who are younger than me--do you remember the internet before facebook? Do you feel like you belong in one world more than the other? Do you even know what I'm talking about? Do the old days sound good to you? What are the benefits of the new way of approaching the web? What am I missing that's awesome about it? [I'm not talking about capabilities here--streaming and downloading and things like that are AWESOME--I'm talking about the worldview with which you approach internet usage.]

And please, those of you who are the same age/older than I am, tell me you know what I'm talking about and that I didn't just word-vomit all this about nothing.
lirazel: ([misc] story of my life)
So I'm the facebook generation. My freshman year of college, I distinctly remember a few days into the semester the announcement being made that our college was now going to have facebook access, and everybody freaked out, and I was sitting there going, "What even is that?" (This was fall of 2005.) This was back in the day when your college had to like register or something and you had to have a student email account to sign up. (TROLOLOLOL) Everyone immediately signed up and started using it way, way too much. Being me (natural contrarian you think I'm kidding but I'm not), I held out for several weeks, maybe even a couple of months until one of my friends sat down at my computer and signed me up for one. I played around with it some--I really, really loved when we got those buttons and you could send them to each other, do you remember those? Mine were all super geeky, and that was fun.

But I never cared that much about the site other than using it to look up names of people my friends were talking about who I couldn't put a face with. It was useful in that way, especially because at that time you had a network and so everyone at my college was on this network so I could find whoever I wanted to at any time. In a college atmosphere, it actually made a lot of sense if you wanted to figure out who that guy was that was always hanging around with that girl--if you knew someone's friends' names, you could find them pretty quickly. And then there were all those times where I heard a name over and over and finally looked that name up and realized it went with that face and had a big DUH moment. I viewed it mostly as a tool in figuring out who people were--which was, I believe, the point of a facebook.

Fast-forward seven years later (SEVEN YEARS? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY LIFE?) and I've still got an account, but I almost never use it. In fact, the only reason I keep it is so that I will be able to get in touch with people should I need to do that at some point in the future. I really only get on to check in on Big! Life! Events! with people--I like to look at wedding pictures now and then, and now my friends are all having kids, too, so there's baby pictures, though I only care to see them that first time (after that initial "Aww, look ___'s baby is real and has toes and stuff! Cute!" I don't particularly care about seeing more baby pictures). So all in all, I only log in about once a month at most. And I'm totally cool with that.

Because, y'all, my grandmother is on facebook. MY GRANDMOTHER. And various aunts and uncles and friends of my parents' and I just do not want to be involved in all that. That's not what I get on the internet to do. If I want to be with my family, I hang out with my family. If I'm on the internet, I want nothing to do with them.

But so many people do not feel this way, and I think it's because they're internet 2.0 users and I'm an internet 1.0 user, despite my age.

A couple of months ago, I read a truly wonderful book called You Are Not a Gadget: a Manifesto by Jaron Lanier. This guy is seriously a badass and I would vote for him for president.

Here's the blurb:

A programmer, musician, and father of virtual reality technology, Jaron Lanier was a pioneer in digital media, and among the first to predict the revolutionary changes it would bring to our commerce and culture. Now, with the Web influencing virtually every aspect of our lives, he offers this provocative critique of how digital design is shaping society, for better and for worse.

Informed by Lanier’s experience and expertise as a computer scientist, You Are Not a Gadget discusses the technical and cultural problems that have unwittingly risen from programming choices—such as the nature of user identity—that were “locked-in” at the birth of digital media and considers what a future based on current design philosophies will bring. With the proliferation of social networks, cloud-based data storage systems, and Web 2.0 designs that elevate the “wisdom” of mobs and computer algorithms over the intelligence and wisdom of individuals, his message has never been more urgent.


Anyway, the book is great and I highly recommend it if you have even the most basic understanding of the way the internet works. His first concern is totally humanity and wanting technology to serve us, not for it to dominate us, and that comes through the book in beautiful ways.

He talks a lot about web 1.0 and web 2.0 and while he focuses more on things like wikipedia, I honestly think the easiest way of differentiating between the two is pre-facebook internet and post-facebook internet. And facebook is so ubiquitous that I really don't think I need to get into it any deeper, which is, frankly, just scary.

So back to me (heh). The thing that, I believe, totally defines my relationship to the internet is that internet 1.0 was my home. I discovered fandom at about 13, and that's what got me into the internet. Before that, it was a tool: I used it to look things up, and we only had very slow dial-up at home (AOL!), so mostly I did that at school.

But fandom changed all that for me. I found people who wanted to talk about the things I wanted to talk about and who were just as interested in stupid little details about canon as I was, and I fell in love. These were the days of message boards and yahoo mailing lists and those tackytackytacky geocities/angelfire/whatever personal websites with horrifying yellow font on black backgrounds that played songs you hated whenever you clicked on them. It stopped being a tool and became, like, a clubhouse. Or I guess more a network of clubhouses, where you found people who had similar interests to yours and you hung out and talked about those things (or ficced about them or made art or had shipping wars).

When I think about the internet and what it's given me, those are still the terms I use. It's the friendships I've made with people I've never "met" in "real life" (whatever that means). It's using the wayback machine to find that fic that I read five years ago and has since been erased from the internet. It's my usernames--Lirazel, especially--and the fact that I have an online reputation, even if it's limited in its reach.

And I think that really is the major difference between me (and probably a lot of you) and the majority of my generation. They also started out viewing the internet as a tool, but what pulled them in wasn't something interests- and community-driven like fandom (obviously it was bigger than fandom: there were lovely little communities dedicated to, like, reading northern European epics and stuff. But they somehow had a fandom-type feeling, if that makes any sense). Instead, the first time they started using the internet as more than just a place to look up information or check email or (possibly) play games was when myspace and facebook hit the scene. Since those were the first websites they knew, they kind of set the tone for how they would approach the internet from there on out.

I think they're the people who are still perpetuating this idea of the internet being something totally different from "real life" and the two being in conflict. I mean, the rest of us have moved beyond that, right? When I talk about y'all, I don't say, "My internet friend so-and-so," I just call you my friend. The way we interact is different in some ways than with people I met through other means, but not in any of the ways that really matter. Honestly, I share a lot more with y'all than I do with anybody in my "real life" who isn't related to me. At this point my own experience has completely demolished any boundaries I once perceived between "real life" and the internet (I'm very glad, too).

But if you primarily use the internet in a facebook sort of way, where you know people in real life first and then use the internet to "connect" to people you already know--if that's your mindset--then I guess you might still think internet-first/only friendships are weird?

Of course, added to all of this is also the reason I refuse to use twitter: while I can see how it could be a useful thing (for instance, it seemed to be really powerful during the Arab Spring, and that's awesome, and I can see how organizations getting info out there could use it in interesting ways, too), for the most part I just find it annoying for individuals to use (unless they are pithy and hilarious, which, let's face it, most of us aren't). It pretty much promotes soundbyte types of conversations, it doesn't let you address things with nuance because of the word limit,

AND YET people love it, which baffles me. My generation seems to think that if it isn't being broadcast--if it isn't OUT THERE IN PUBLIC IN DETAIL that whatever they're experiencing isn't real. Like reality is determined by how willing you are to let everyone see what's going on. Like something is only real and legitimate and genuine if you're 100% open to sharing it with anyone and everyone. Like if something happens to you in private, it isn't real until it's validated by other people, a sort of audience of people who will give your experience meaning by acknowledging. And this has to do with reality tv, too, and the idea of fame as an end to itself (which isn't new, obviously, but I do think it's blown up in ways it never had before), and lots and lots of other things that have created this zeitgeist. I'm not blaming it just on facebook.

But I just cringe from that kind of approach to the internet, that kind of approach to life. And so I am endlessly annoyed by oversharing (which I may do with certain people in the confines of my flocked journal, but that is different than oversharing with EVERYONE) and life as a performance for other people and taking pictures at an event so you can put them on facebook being more important than being in the moment at that event because that event didn’t really happen unless we can document it and present it for other people’s consumption. It's like we value transparency as an end to itself, which I don't approve of--transparency in a lot of things is a very good things, especially when it comes to organizations. But when it comes to individuals? Not so much. Friendships are only possible because of privacy, because of secrets--because we get to decide how much about ourselves we reveal at what times and to whom. If everyone knows everything about everyone else, then you can't be closer to some people than to others. But I reveal certain parts of myself to my sister and certain parts to y'all and certain parts to my boss, and I keep things to myself, too, and that dance of revelation and concealment is what defines relationships. If we get rid of that, what do we have to offer each other? Nothing.

Which connects back to another thing I hate about web 2.0: this endless desire to CONNECT EVERYTHING UP. OH GROSS GO AWAY. I feel like web 1.0 really valued the idea of compartmentalizing your life through things like pseudonyms (one of my biggest pet peeves in life is people who mistake pseudonyms and anonymity THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING OMG) and even using more than one username at various places--if you were, say, a part of multiple online communities (fandoms, whatever) you totally had the freedom to decide if you wanted to use one username on all of those sites (thereby creating a sort of meta online identity) or to use different ones for each place or any degree in between. You had control over the level of interaction between sites you visited, you had control over who you were depending on what site you were on (and again: this all goes back to the idea that we are different people when we're in different company, that we change our behaviors and speech and degree of honesty to suit whatever community we are in AND THIS IS NOT A BAD THING, it is, in fact, really beautiful if used with integrity). And you could escape from the people in the real world who bugged you so much or who just didn't happen to want to share certain things with (facebook connect on every website ever just infuriates me. DON'T CROSS THE LINES).

Now the web is trying to turn into this big amorphous thing where you're just ACTUAL FIRST NAME ACTUAL LAST NAME no matter where you go, where people can "find" you no matter where you are (how terrifying is that? It's a small world after all INDEED and I can't imagine many things scarier than that). And the websites wrap it up in this rhetoric about "connection" and "finding your friends" but most of them do it either A) because they don't really think about it and don't realize they have other options or B) because this is what the advertisers looooove. All this fancy technology that can follow you around and gather all your data and see patterns and tailor their advertising to you directly and so make more money! Yay rah!

IT'S SCARY, OKAY?

Or at least it is to me, because I remember when this wasn't the default way of thinking, when this wasn't the way the internet world operated. So while I get really annoyed when a website demands that I have a facebook or twitter account to log in to their site (and I refuse to do it--that's the quickest way to lose my traffic!), my friends seem totally unfazed by it. I literally didn't know that you had to have a facebook or twitter account to sign up for pinterest until today, despite all my real life friends having one, because apparently that isn't important enough to be mentioned. I found out because one of my livejournal friends just discovered it and was annoyed, too! I just look at the world differently than people who didn't grow up on the internet in the world that I did.

I think all this is why I still feel most at home on livejournal, internet-wise, because to me it's so totally rooted in what internet 1.0 was. Many of the things that bug me most about tumblr (the site I use the most) are the very things that are most 2.0 about it (shitty, shitty decisions by the people who run it aside).

And right now I feel like a cranky old lady talking about the good old days, and I don't mean to imply that the internet was perfect back then, because there were terrible, terrible things then, too. People have always been people, and people have always been asses. It's just that I liked the default assumptions about what the internet was for and whole it should work a lot more back then than I like the ones now.

And I am 25! I am not an old woman! But when I venture outside of livejournal (especially onto tumblr), I so often feel like one. So I'm really interested in the thoughts of those of you who are younger than me--do you remember the internet before facebook? Do you feel like you belong in one world more than the other? Do you even know what I'm talking about? Do the old days sound good to you? What are the benefits of the new way of approaching the web? What am I missing that's awesome about it? [I'm not talking about capabilities here--streaming and downloading and things like that are AWESOME--I'm talking about the worldview with which you approach internet usage.]

And please, those of you who are the same age/older than I am, tell me you know what I'm talking about and that I didn't just word-vomit all this about nothing.
lirazel: ([kpop] only if you're here)
[eta] Just an fyi: this post is a continual work in progress. I'm always editing and updating and changing my mind about things, so it's probably never going to be the same any two times you visit it. But this is real people we're talking about, so obviously my feelings are going to change as my perceptions do.

I am going to go ahead and apologize in advance about this, y'all. This is one part pimp-post of DOOM, two-parts me spewing incoherent feelings on everything in the world, with a dash of meta and some drooling thrown in. It's basically a big giant mess, just like I am these days. I am so, so sorry. Please just love me anyway.



This is a post about these kids:


source


Awww! Aren't they cute? Well, forget all about that.


Introduction
(or: they're sexy and they know it)


Note: I am blaming this opening on [livejournal.com profile] aerintine because she enables me. Ahem.

LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE FEMALE GAZE.



Gah, this is so over-the-top in its invitation to look at the beautiful boys and drool over how sexy they are. Like, it's so over-the-top that I'm almost ashamed for falling for it. Except that I am not even a little bit ashamed because THESE BOYS ARE REALLY HOT and they are playing to my gaze and there is no room for shame here in being a woman and having a sex drive and thinking guys are hot. I love it.




Part I: Music and Me
(or: this part will only be relevant to my friends who were wondering what happened to my sanity)


source


Y'all, in the last couple of weeks of falling for this silly little kpop band, I have sometimes wondered whether it actually makes sense to be this obsessed with a band whose music I care nothing about. some thoughts on music in general and my tastes in particular )


Part II: The Greatest Video Ever
(or: a brief introduction to the boys being supremely silly that proves why you should find them endearing)


I've thought that Myungsoo is beautiful since the first episode of SUFBB. And I was really taken with him when I watched clips of him on youtube because, as I said in another post, I have this huge soft spot for people who are trying to be cool and just aren't. But I didn't really expect to be taken with the rest of the boys, but I have been.

So let me share with you this video again, and I will talk about it and how much I love these kids.




Things I love about this video:

this is who i am now apparently )

The only thing I do not like about this video: Sungyeol isn't in it, because he was sick that night. I can only imagine how much better it would be if he were. Watch this video of ridiculousness and let your imagination run wild.



Part III: The Boys
(or: way too many words and feelings about these people I have never met)


And now for some thoughts on each of the boys. I'm going in reverse-age-order because everyone always goes in age order and I want to shake things up a bit.


diva sungjongie )


faily faily derpsoo )


prince sungyeol )


dance machine hoya )


namstar woohyun )


flawless human being dongwoo (who might actually be the love of my life) )


leader general grandpa gyu )



Interlude: Friendships
(or: some feelings about the two of the biggest ships in English-speaking fandom)


I want to take a brief moment to touch on a couple of relationships between the boys that I find interesting, too.

myungsoo and sungyeol )

woohyun and sunggyu )



Part IV: INFINITE
(or: who they are as a group)


source


And I think another aspect of my affection for them is that they are, in a lot of ways, the underdogs. who they are )


Conclusion
(or: actually, I don't just treat them like eye candy)


Now, remember how cute they are:


source


Awwww!

But here's the thing: for all that drooling I did way up there at the top of this post, 90% of the time I don't really look at these kids that way? I feel like I've gotten to know them a bit through their variety show appearances, and I'm very, very fond of the ones I'm fond of. But most of the time it's in a big sisterly way. Like, I want to be their noona and look after them and take care of them and give them advice and tease them and stuff. Like I said: not hugely into their music, but I'm proud of them for working so very, very hard (it's amazing to me how hard Korean entertainers work. Their work ethic is insane). But then that 10% of the happens: they'll come out with a video that's all about how hot they are and I'm like, "OH YEAH THEY'RE ATTRACTIVE, TOO."

Anyway, these boys make me happy. I'm pleased that they were my introduction to kpop and that they are, from what I can tell, having a hell of a lot of fun making music and dancing together. I hope they keep it up for as long as it makes them happy.

And now if you're curious, here are their music videos (I actually included the dance versions of a couple of them because they're better than the actual videos):

music videos galore! )
lirazel: ([kpop] only if you're here)
I am going to go ahead and apologize in advance about this, y'all. This is one part pimp-post of DOOM, two-parts me spewing incoherent feelings on everything in the world, with a dash of meta and some drooling thrown in. It's basically a big giant mess, just like I am these days. I am so, so sorry. Please just love me anyway.



This is a post about these kids:


source


Awww! Aren't they cute? Well, forget all about that.


Introduction
(or: they're sexy and they know it)


Note: I am blaming this opening on [livejournal.com profile] aerintine because she enables me. Ahem.

LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE FEMALE GAZE.



Gah, this is so over-the-top in its invitation to look at the beautiful boys and drool over how sexy they are. Like, it's so over-the-top that I'm almost ashamed for falling for it. Except that I am not even a little bit ashamed because THESE BOYS ARE REALLY HOT and they are playing to my gaze and there is no room for shame here in being a woman and having a sex drive and thinking guys are hot. I love it.




Part I: Music and Me
(or: this part will only be relevant to my friends who were wondering what happened to my sanity)


source


Y'all, in the last couple of weeks of falling for this silly little kpop band, I have sometimes wondered whether it actually makes sense to be this obsessed with a band whose music I care nothing about. some thoughts on music in general and my tastes in particular )


Part II: The Greatest Video Ever
(or: a brief introduction to the boys being supremely silly that proves why you should find them endearing)


I've thought that Myungsoo is beautiful since the first episode of SUFBB. And I was really taken with him when I watched clips of him on youtube because, as I said in another post, I have this huge soft spot for people who are trying to be cool and just aren't. But I didn't really expect to be taken with the rest of the boys, but I have been.

So let me share with you this video again, and I will talk about it and how much I love these kids.




Things I love about this video:

this is who i am now apparently )

The only thing I do not like about this video: Sungyeol isn't in it, because he was sick that night. I can only imagine how much better it would be if he were. Watch this video of ridiculousness and let your imagination run wild.



Part III: The Boys
(or: way too many words and feelings about these people I have never met)


And now for some thoughts on each of the boys. I'm going in reverse-age-order because everyone always goes in age order and I want to shake things up a bit.


diva sungjongie )


faily faily derpsoo )


prince sungyeol )


dance machine hoya )


namstar woohyun )


flawless human being dongwoo (who might actually be the love of my life) )


leader general grandpa gyu )



Interlude: Friendships
(or: some feelings about the two of the biggest ships in English-speaking fandom)


I want to take a brief moment to touch on a couple of relationships between the boys that I find interesting, too.

myungsoo and sungyeol )

woohyun and sunggyu )



Part IV: INFINITE
(or: who they are as a group)


source


And I think another aspect of my affection for them is that they are, in a lot of ways, the underdogs. who they are )


Conclusion
(or: actually, I don't just treat them like eye candy)


Now, remember how cute they are:


source


Awwww!

But here's the thing: for all that drooling I did way up there at the top of this post, 90% of the time I don't really look at these kids that way? I feel like I've gotten to know them a bit through their variety show appearances, and I'm very, very fond of the ones I'm fond of. But most of the time it's in a big sisterly way. Like, I want to be their noona and look after them and take care of them and give them advice and tease them and stuff. Like I said: not hugely into their music, but I'm proud of them for working so very, very hard (it's amazing to me how hard Korean entertainers work. Their work ethic is insane). But then that 10% of the happens: they'll come out with a video that's all about how hot they are and I'm like, "OH YEAH THEY'RE ATTRACTIVE, TOO."

Anyway, these boys make me happy. I'm pleased that they were my introduction to kpop and that they are, from what I can tell, having a hell of a lot of fun making music and dancing together. I hope they keep it up for as long as it makes them happy.

And now if you're curious, here are their music videos (I actually included the dance versions of a couple of them because they're better than the actual videos):

music videos galore! )
lirazel: ([kpop] only if you're here)
I am going to go ahead and apologize in advance about this, y'all. This is one part pimp-post of DOOM, two-parts me spewing incoherent feelings on everything in the world, with a dash of meta and some drooling thrown in. It's basically a big giant mess, just like I am these days. I am so, so sorry. Please just love me anyway.



This is a post about these kids:


source


Awww! Aren't they cute? Well, forget all about that.


Introduction
(or: they're sexy and they know it)


Note: I am blaming this opening on [livejournal.com profile] aerintine because she enables me. Ahem.

LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE FEMALE GAZE.



Gah, this is so over-the-top in its invitation to look at the beautiful boys and drool over how sexy they are. Like, it's so over-the-top that I'm almost ashamed for falling for it. Except that I am not even a little bit ashamed because THESE BOYS ARE REALLY HOT and they are playing to my gaze and there is no room for shame here in being a woman and having a sex drive and thinking guys are hot. I love it.




Part I: Music and Me
(or: this part will only be relevant to my friends who were wondering what happened to my sanity)


source


Y'all, in the last couple of weeks of falling for this silly little kpop band, I have sometimes wondered whether it actually makes sense to be this obsessed with a band whose music I care nothing about. some thoughts on music in general and my tastes in particular )


Part II: The Greatest Video Ever
(or: a brief introduction to the boys being supremely silly that proves why you should find them endearing)


I've thought that Myungsoo is beautiful since the first episode of SUFBB. And I was really taken with him when I watched clips of him on youtube because, as I said in another post, I have this huge soft spot for people who are trying to be cool and just aren't. But I didn't really expect to be taken with the rest of the boys, but I have been.

So let me share with you this video again, and I will talk about it and how much I love these kids.




Things I love about this video:

this is who i am now apparently )

The only thing I do not like about this video: Sungyeol isn't in it, because he was sick that night. I can only imagine how much better it would be if he were. Watch this video of ridiculousness and let your imagination run wild.



Part III: The Boys
(or: way too many words and feelings about these people I have never met)


And now for some thoughts on each of the boys. I'm going in reverse-age-order because everyone always goes in age order and I want to shake things up a bit.


diva sungjongie )


faily faily derpsoo )


prince sungyeol )


dance machine hoya )


namstar woohyun )


flawless human being dongwoo (who might actually be the love of my life) )


leader general grandpa gyu )



Interlude: Friendships
(or: some feelings about the two of the biggest ships in English-speaking fandom)


I want to take a brief moment to touch on a couple of relationships between the boys that I find interesting, too.

myungsoo and sungyeol )

woohyun and sunggyu )



Part IV: INFINITE
(or: who they are as a group)


source


And I think another aspect of my affection for them is that they are, in a lot of ways, the underdogs. who they are )


Conclusion
(or: actually, I don't just treat them like eye candy)


Now, remember how cute they are:


source


Awwww!

But here's the thing: for all that drooling I did way up there at the top of this post, 90% of the time I don't really look at these kids that way? I feel like I've gotten to know them a bit through their variety show appearances, and I'm very, very fond of the ones I'm fond of. But most of the time it's in a big sisterly way. Like, I want to be their noona and look after them and take care of them and give them advice and tease them and stuff. Like I said: not hugely into their music, but I'm proud of them for working so very, very hard (it's amazing to me how hard Korean entertainers work. Their work ethic is insane). But then that 10% of the happens: they'll come out with a video that's all about how hot they are and I'm like, "OH YEAH THEY'RE ATTRACTIVE, TOO."

Anyway, these boys make me happy. I'm pleased that they were my introduction to kpop and that they are, from what I can tell, having a hell of a lot of fun making music and dancing together. I hope they keep it up for as long as it makes them happy.

And now if you're curious, here are their music videos (I actually included the dance versions of a couple of them because they're better than the actual videos):

music videos galore! )
lirazel: ([btvs] just the three of us)
Warning: this post is a mess. Just…a mess. Proceed with caution.

There’s spoilers here on things that have already aired, but everything’s labeled with its fandom, so just skip over anything you haven’t seen all of yet.


So a couple of days ago when that “ask me a fandom-y question!” meme was going around, I ended up asking [livejournal.com profile] ever_neutral what her top five this-should-just-end-in-a-threesome fandom situations were (because: duh) and the answers were awesome and it got me to thinking about love triangles.

Because mostly I find them annoying. Mostly I think they’re there to Create! Drama! and there’s no real question of who’s going to end up with whom (I mean, seriously, did anyone in the world actually think that Bella was going to choose Jacob over Edward? I mean really? Ship that all you want, but I don't think the most naive person alive would think there was a chance Bella would choose Jacob) and it’s just this sort of lazy device to Keep the Starcrossed Lovers apart. I start to yawn.

But! Occasionally it’s done Actually Well! My basic philosophy on stories in general is that Almost Anything can be awesome if it’s Done Well (there are a few things I have no interest in even if they’re done well, but that list is veeeery short). And that occasionally does apply even to the dread Love Triangles (or Squares).

Of course the key to them being good is that they have to actually come from the characters and not from the demands of the plot (I guess this is a theme with me lately). Now there are some that fall into that category, where everyone’s acting in character, but I am still annoyed by the triangle because I don’t care about 1/3 of said triangle. If I have no investment in that character, I find it hard to invest in their role in the triangle. So. Mostly my favorites are ones where A) everyone is acting in character and B) I love (or at least like) everyone.

cut for length and fail )

So now you should tell me about which love triangles work for you and which you hate and why. We should talk about this.
lirazel: ([btvs] just the three of us)
Warning: this post is a mess. Just…a mess. Proceed with caution.

There’s spoilers here on things that have already aired, but everything’s labeled with its fandom, so just skip over anything you haven’t seen all of yet.


So a couple of days ago when that “ask me a fandom-y question!” meme was going around, I ended up asking [livejournal.com profile] ever_neutral what her top five this-should-just-end-in-a-threesome fandom situations were (because: duh) and the answers were awesome and it got me to thinking about love triangles.

Because mostly I find them annoying. Mostly I think they’re there to Create! Drama! and there’s no real question of who’s going to end up with whom (I mean, seriously, did anyone in the world actually think that Bella was going to choose Jacob over Edward? I mean really? Ship that all you want, but I don't think the most naive person alive would think there was a chance Bella would choose Jacob) and it’s just this sort of lazy device to Keep the Starcrossed Lovers apart. I start to yawn.

But! Occasionally it’s done Actually Well! My basic philosophy on stories in general is that Almost Anything can be awesome if it’s Done Well (there are a few things I have no interest in even if they’re done well, but that list is veeeery short). And that occasionally does apply even to the dread Love Triangles (or Squares).

Of course the key to them being good is that they have to actually come from the characters and not from the demands of the plot (I guess this is a theme with me lately). Now there are some that fall into that category, where everyone’s acting in character, but I am still annoyed by the triangle because I don’t care about 1/3 of said triangle. If I have no investment in that character, I find it hard to invest in their role in the triangle. So. Mostly my favorites are ones where A) everyone is acting in character and B) I love (or at least like) everyone.

cut for length and fail )

So now you should tell me about which love triangles work for you and which you hate and why. We should talk about this.
lirazel: ([btvs] just the three of us)
Warning: this post is a mess. Just…a mess. Proceed with caution.

There’s spoilers here on things that have already aired, but everything’s labeled with its fandom, so just skip over anything you haven’t seen all of yet.


So a couple of days ago when that “ask me a fandom-y question!” meme was going around, I ended up asking [livejournal.com profile] ever_neutral what her top five this-should-just-end-in-a-threesome fandom situations were (because: duh) and the answers were awesome and it got me to thinking about love triangles.

Because mostly I find them annoying. Mostly I think they’re there to Create! Drama! and there’s no real question of who’s going to end up with whom (I mean, seriously, did anyone in the world actually think that Bella was going to choose Jacob over Edward? I mean really? Ship that all you want, but I don't think the most naive person alive would think there was a chance Bella would choose Jacob) and it’s just this sort of lazy device to Keep the Starcrossed Lovers apart. I start to yawn.

But! Occasionally it’s done Actually Well! My basic philosophy on stories in general is that Almost Anything can be awesome if it’s Done Well (there are a few things I have no interest in even if they’re done well, but that list is veeeery short). And that occasionally does apply even to the dread Love Triangles (or Squares).

Of course the key to them being good is that they have to actually come from the characters and not from the demands of the plot (I guess this is a theme with me lately). Now there are some that fall into that category, where everyone’s acting in character, but I am still annoyed by the triangle because I don’t care about 1/3 of said triangle. If I have no investment in that character, I find it hard to invest in their role in the triangle. So. Mostly my favorites are ones where A) everyone is acting in character and B) I love (or at least like) everyone.

cut for length and fail )

So now you should tell me about which love triangles work for you and which you hate and why. We should talk about this.
lirazel: ([dw] blue box)
I am like 99% sure that I have actually made this post before. But I'm going to make it again because I KEEP SEEING IT OMG, and it keeps bothering me, and who am I if not a person who rambles on my blog for no reason. Welcome to my world of self-indulgance. You do not have to read this because, like I said, I've already said it all before.

Let's talk about Russell T. Davies and Steve Moffat! YAY! *gag*

For those of you who don't know (although if you don't, I don't think your fandom osmosis is working very well; you should probably look into that), they are the two guys who have been showrunners for the new version of Doctor Who.

Let's get a few things out of the way first.

1) Both of these guys are very talented writers.
2) Both of these guys have weaknesses as writers.
3) Both of them write some things that are horrifying, especially when viewed from a feminist perspective, and often the text doesn't acknowledge that these things are, indeed, horrifying.

Okay? Okay.

cut for length )

I am the most long-winded person ever. I cannot write in linear ways. I am never even remotely coherent. And I say everything using the most words possible. Why do you people put up with me? I will never know.
lirazel: ([dw] blue box)
I am like 99% sure that I have actually made this post before. But I'm going to make it again because I KEEP SEEING IT OMG, and it keeps bothering me, and who am I if not a person who rambles on my blog for no reason. Welcome to my world of self-indulgance. You do not have to read this because, like I said, I've already said it all before.

Let's talk about Russell T. Davies and Steve Moffat! YAY! *gag*

For those of you who don't know (although if you don't, I don't think your fandom osmosis is working very well; you should probably look into that), they are the two guys who have been showrunners for the new version of Doctor Who.

Let's get a few things out of the way first.

1) Both of these guys are very talented writers.
2) Both of these guys have weaknesses as writers.
3) Both of them write some things that are horrifying, especially when viewed from a feminist perspective, and often the text doesn't acknowledge that these things are, indeed, horrifying.

Okay? Okay.

cut for length )

I am the most long-winded person ever. I cannot write in linear ways. I am never even remotely coherent. And I say everything using the most words possible. Why do you people put up with me? I will never know.
lirazel: ([dw] blue box)
I am like 99% sure that I have actually made this post before. But I'm going to make it again because I KEEP SEEING IT OMG, and it keeps bothering me, and who am I if not a person who rambles on my blog for no reason. Welcome to my world of self-indulgance. You do not have to read this because, like I said, I've already said it all before.

Let's talk about Russell T. Davies and Steve Moffat! YAY! *gag*

For those of you who don't know (although if you don't, I don't think your fandom osmosis is working very well; you should probably look into that), they are the two guys who have been showrunners for the new version of Doctor Who.

Let's get a few things out of the way first.

1) Both of these guys are very talented writers.
2) Both of these guys have weaknesses as writers.
3) Both of them write some things that are horrifying, especially when viewed from a feminist perspective, and often the text doesn't acknowledge that these things are, indeed, horrifying.

Okay? Okay.

cut for length )

I am the most long-winded person ever. I cannot write in linear ways. I am never even remotely coherent. And I say everything using the most words possible. Why do you people put up with me? I will never know.
lirazel: ([misc] this is a picture of my soul)
Hey, y'all! I hope you had a good Thanksgiving if you celebrate and a great weekend if you don't. I had amaaaaaazing food and lots of it, so I'm generally feeling pretty good. I also finished the very last episode of Friday Night Lights and cried like a baby, watched every aired episode of Happy Endings (which is fun! I like it!), and started The Walking Dead, which I have decided how I feel about yet, as much as I love post-apocalyptic stuff. Also I am slightly ahead on NaNo! So I will definitely be writing 50,000 words this year! Yay me!

And I'm thinking about what I'm thankful for, and I serendipitously ended up reading this article which is old but awesome and all about how Young People Today (Gens X and Y, apparently) are obsessed with Not Looking Stupid and so never want to Be Seen Caring Too Much, and you know what? I recognize that in a lot of people I know, especially my smarter real life friends. But reading it made me sad, thinking about what kind of a tiny life that must be, except then it made me think about the internet and all of y'all and I was reminded that there are a lot of people out there who Don't Care about Being Seen Caring Too Much and who just embrace being in love with things and being passionate and loving what they love and how I think that that's one of the more important things in life.

Which makes me think of one of my favorite quotes from John Green:

…because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff… Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness.’


I'm thankful for fandom as a community. It can turn ugly, as we all know, but most of that ugliness comes from a place of Caring Too Much. And yes, we should all learn not to take things so seriously that shipping wars become the end of the world or we attack other people for liking a character we hate or vice-versa or whatever, yes learning those lessons is a good and necessary thing. But I think I'd rather flounder into a big mess because of Caring Too Much rather than just live my life so tepidly in a constant attempt not to be Mockable in any way. (BTW, there's a Happy Endings episode about that, and I loooooved it). I care, y'all. Those silly characters I reblog gifs of on my tumblr and write fic about? I love them so much that sometimes I feel like I'm going to just explode with the force of it. I really, really do. And I care about other things, too, like justice and kindness and basically just being a good person and trying to make life easier for other people if I can. And I don't care if that makes me Not Cool. I don't. I am a geek through-and-through, and you know what? I love that about myself, and I love that about y'all, and I love all of you for providing me with a place where I can just revel in that love whenever I want to. Fandom, to me, is a place where people love things and get excited about things and get upset about things and basically just scream at the universe that they are human and so they care. And how amazing is that?

Anyway, my apologies for being sappy, but y'all are awesome. ♥

January 2017

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