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Brothers and The Blind Assassin

On my last full day at home, I played Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Was a simple game with a simple but satisfying storyline, an enchanting world shown off with elegant cinematography, nice music and a great gameplay concept of controlling the two brothers at the same time, one with each D-pad. There was a lot of running into walls while the other brother ran off. There was, however, a major graphics glitch in late on in the game which was pretty much in the worst possible place and time, which was confusing and distracted from the pinnacle of the story. I love how the different interactions of the brothers with the same stimulus showed off their different ages and personalities, and the non-English was a good move too.

I've been reading The Blind Assassin by Atwood. The sadness reminds me of Bell Jar, the reflection reminds me of Atonement. Atwood always makes me furious at the patriarchy which is probably not good for my soul but her writing is so elegant, bordering on pretentious. She uses lots of classical references that go over my head though. It's a brick of a book but I've been chomping through it and have only a few pages left, and I finally stopped reading last night at the revelation.
Blind Assassin spoilersCollapse )

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Thirteen

Just finished ep 3 of BBC3 drama, Thirteen.SpoilersCollapse )

Day of the Triffids

I finished Day of the Triffids the other day and really enjoyed the book. Revealed our reliance on sight, and how easy we regress to gender roles of labourers and baby-makers. There was a really interesting chapter, page 174 onwards of my copy...

"[Women] are too lazy to take the trouble [to handle machines and electricity] unless they have to. Why should they bother when the tradition of appealing helplessness can be rationalised as a womanly virtue - and the job just shoved off on to somebody else?... there has been much too great a vested interest in dependence for women to dream of dropping it"

Someone(s), singular or plural, has to be breadwinner and someone(s) has to raise children, and I can see why women could be called "parasitic", but who is feeding off who? In an ant colony, the workers are slaves to the queen, right? Depends if your end goal is to get rich or have lots of offspring?? There was no choice. Social conditioning discourages breaking down gender roles so it's not fair to accuse women of laziness. People will usually chose the path most travelled. But in current Western society I think our values of independence and autonomy, and the increasing flexibility, allow women opportunities to make money and pursue STEM that were inaccessible in the past.

"Nobody is going to be muddle-headed enough to confuse ignorance with innocence now - it's too important. Nor is ignorance going to be cute or funny any more. ...We've all got to understand as much as we can, and live as intelligently as we can"

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I am reading a lot still

I just had a very cobbled-together, very delicious dinner. Microwaved a potato for 7-ish minutes, cut the potato and 4 shrooms in half and splashed with olive oil then grilled on both sides. Melted some cheese on top of the potatoes, and spread tuna leftover from sandwiches on top of that. Scoffed it down with a big leaf of lettuce, a bowl of grapes and a ginger muffin from the weekend whilst reading Handmaid's Tale.

I finished We Need to Talk About Kevin on Sunday. Eva was verbose but somehow she didn't exhaust me, usually. I can only assume her ability to do things she doesn't want to do is the reason she didn't run away from the monster that's her son. I hate Kevin. Franklin's blindness to his son's nature was infuriating, so I didn't like him, either. Throughout the book I had to keep reminding myself that Eva was possibly an unreliable narrator.

Kevin was consistently an enigma. Underneath his mission to make everyone, especially Eva, as uncomfortable as possible, there seems to be a 'normal' kid, like when he was ill. It must have taken so much effort to be so infuriating and malicious. Even his breakdown in prison near the end confused me. I didn't believe that prison would get to him, ever.

The idea of how there's no barrier to anyone doing something horrific was interesting. It's all in your mind; if you want to do a thing, like step on that bug or drill through this tooth or drop a glass from a height, you can do it. I also kind of related to Eva's method to make herself travel. Incrementally back herself into a big action, past the point of no return, and by then the path of least resistance is to take the journey.

I was afraid that reading this book would nudge me into an 'everything is pointless' mindset too, but I'm happy to confirm that it's easy for me to find joy in simple things like walking in the park and cycling and planning what to eat for dinner. What a relief that I'm not messed up like Kevin.

I had no idea what to expect from Handmaid's Tale but it's fascinating so far. There's this tone of detachment, remoteness. I'd be very interested to know more about how the society the narrator lives in now came about.

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Wednesday Evening

I keep flicking through the photos of interrailing and can't stop being amazed that these are my memories. This happened to me, I helped make it happen, and I'm so happy that I had this opportunity and had a good time.

I've been reading We Need to Talk About Kevin by Shriver. I dreamt I was trying to keep a demon child out of a shed by holding shut two doors. The little sh!t stabbed me with a syringe. He turned into a little doll. I skewered him with a toothpick, ripped his head off and threw him away. ... I do worry about myself sometimes.

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Silent Witness started again

Silent Witness was pretty intense.
No way in hell would a forensics person leave a thumbprint on Nikki's clock. And her thumbprint's in the database which means the perpetrator, who seems to be on the inside, had access to it too.
Everything stinks of corruption.
The embittered son is going to do something stupid.
The ginger lawyer probably has something to do with the old black lady's case before she supposedly commit suicide.
Who's this Carmichael guy? Looks like trouble.
This case is interesting because it involves Nikki's past.
When is the next episode?

*?*

*opens weeks-old pesto jar* is this pesto? or pesto-coloured mould?
*cycling* aww a cute snail in the middle of the pavement! oh, it's a leaf
*ends every group coursework message with a passive-aggressive smiley to conceal murderous intent*
*conceal don't feel*

Almost finished White Teeth. It's definitely readable but I don't feel it's going to make a huge impression on me. I suppose it's good to read something different though, something about people whose lives and circumstances are so different to mine, within the same country.

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Favourite Sci-Fi

Books
Shelley: Frankenstein
Orwell: 1984
Adams: H2G2
Wells: Time Machine, Invisible Man
Asimov: I, Robot
Banks: Player of Games
Card: Ender's Game
Stross: Saturn's Children, Neptune's Brood
Bacigalupi: Windup Girl

Films
Gattaca
Moon
Gravity
Interstellar
Ex Machina
Edge of Tomorrow
Her

TV
Humans
Orphan Black
Doctor Who
Steins;Gate

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Windup Girl

It's a bit of a brick and I was about halfway before I really got my head around who's who in the various factions in the universe - Akkarat, Pracha, white shirts, Trade, Environment - but I was gradually sucked deeper and deeper into Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl. This is not a happy or optimistic read. Brutality, corruption, screaming injustice. "Tit for tat until we're all dead."

Windup Girl and Girl With All the Gifts spoilersCollapse )

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Episode 7