Rejiquar Works rejiquar.com::atom 2014-04-16T07:26:10-05:00 copyright 2014 Sylvus Tarn Sylvus Tarn 2014-04-16T00:00:00-05:00 Today is my sister-in-law's birthday (and she must be terribly tired of my joke about its being so much better the day *after* Apr 15 rather than the day before, or of...) She's collected the blue french beaded flowers I've been giving her into a vase, and today's post documents 2 more for the bou...

Today is my sister-in-law's birthday (and she must be terribly tired of my joke about its being so much better the day after Apr 15 rather than the day before, or of...) She's collected the blue french beaded flowers I've been giving her into a vase, and today's post documents 2 more for the bouquet.

Enjoy.

2014-04-12T18:55:35-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-04-16:/Wirewrap/2blue_french_beaded_flowers
2014-04-15T00:00:00-05:00 Hi everybody, happy April 15. In the USA, my total sympathies if you're racing to turn in your taxes! (One benefit of being a corp is that I have to turn mine in by Mar 15, and since my accountant does the 1120s and 1040s together, I no longer have this last minute stress. But I have memories of...

Hi everybody, happy April 15. In the USA, my total sympathies if you're racing to turn in your taxes! (One benefit of being a corp is that I have to turn mine in by Mar 15, and since my accountant does the 1120s and 1040s together, I no longer have this last minute stress. But I have memories of racing to the post office after 11pm)

Yesterday I not only posted a really old necklace, but also a really old intro (and, um, the point of the intros is to be topical...whoopsie!) but I can tie it to current events, really! (Sorry about all the bangs, too— spring has sprung, we have sunshine, two inches of snow predicted and it has this uplifting annoying effect on my writing.) See, the thing is, even though it's been years, Ana Mardoll is still doing her careful deconstructions of Twilight; indeed Fred is still doing Left Behind.

But since I never read Twilight, I've been following her critiques of The Dawn Treader. This is my favorite Narnia novel; and I suspect, what many people feel to be the best. There are some criticisms she makes that, while I don't disagree with them (If there was a century of winter, what did the animals eat? And where did Mrs Beaver get a sewing machine, let alone use it, since beavers haven't opposable thumbs?) I don't really feel are worth raising, because fairy tale/magical children's story world building follows different rules. (It's ok to have this sort of logic break down, but it has to be immersive, and interesting, and most of all children have to have agency. Narnia succeeds on those levels, I think.)

But other of her critiques are dead on. There is one section in which the protagonists encounter a mysterious island with these ‘funny little people’, the dufflepuds. At first invisible, they're eventually revealed to be monopods: one legged creatures who must hop from place to place. What were they before? Dwarves, the ruler of the island (a retired star) explains; and nothing as so nice as the ones in Narnia. Lucy, the good, the kind-hearted, thinks they are just so cuuuuute as they are; but they wish to be returned to their earlier form. They are, Mardoll argues, slaves, without even bodily integrity to call their own, and worse, Lucy agrees with their master.

Like so many children, I never really thought about this paternalism. The dufflepuds are presented are stubborn and remarkably stupid and thus deserving of their fate. But one of Mardoll's commenters notes that Lewis wouldn't really have much of a reason to treat them like black slaves, but rather like Irish Catholics. (Coates and his commentariat note that before American slavery really developed race as an identifier religious preference served: and now, now the horrific ways the Catholics and Protestants treated each other make a visceral sense. Oh.)

Mardoll resists this interpretation, but I think the commentator is correct (they evidently live in the UK/Scotland judging from their ’nym). Much as we USAians would like to believe all the world's ills (as well as its successes) are all about us, sometimes, there really are other interpretations. —Regardless, as both reader and author, I really enjoy (and appreciate) these multifarious readings. And I'd hope they'd make me a little bit better of a human being.

Something, as I explain in connection with this necklace, I suspect we could all stand to be.

2014-04-14T21:01:53-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-04-15:/PageProjects/BEfloralPMCvase
2014-04-14T00:00:00-05:00 reprogrammed kiln (around 10nov08); equally dated musings about _Twilight_... 14apr2014

Still doing spring-cleaning! So the post below I wrote, um, 6 years ago...and the page it links to is of a necklace I started before I knew how to make glass beads (meaning, um, at least six teen years ago...) and photographed at least 8 years ago. But hey, it's a cool necklace, and I'm delighted to finally show it. Plus, I checked out the relevant links, and they all still appear to be live, goodie:)


Needing a low-stress (re) introduction to my torch after (finally!) getting my kiln reprogrammed, complete with two new boro schedules, I decided to make some crisp florals in autumny colors (it is still fall, even if there's been ice and snow on the ground for the last fortnight and more). I even tried a new cane, opaque lemon yellow striped with candy apple (i.e. dark) red and cased in transparent red (which mostly failed to strike, sigh...)

I let these beads cool to see how the new cane was working out, and naturally the one bead that cracked was my fave. Bleh.

But all is not whining! Via a pandagon post, I happened to discover some new posts about the twilight series. I of course was familiar with Cleolinda's trenchant criticisms, and the cartoon that appeared to sum up the first book in 4 efficient panels, but somebody else critiqued the books from a mormon perspective [6 parts] , and I have to say, I enjoyed that take on it as well—those posts have the best use of animated doohickies I've ever encountered on the web. Plus all sorts of comments about Catholics, which as an ex-RCC I found mildly amusing.

And there's a sequel to the excellent cartoon . —So for all you folks mourning the loss of LB Fridays (the movie is entertaining, but not really awful enough) check these out. (See, the thing is, the pern books, particularly the dragonsinger trilogy, and to a lesser extent [mostly because I discovered them too late] Lackey's Herald books were my comfort-poor-pitiful-teenaged-me books. And they have their share of creepinesses as well, what with Lessa getting raped during her dragon's mating flight, not to mention the young teenaged Menolly falling in love with the Masterharper, who's old enough to be her grandfather...McCaffrey wasn't willing to pair them up, but I never bought the romance between her and the bland young man her own age, because, even clueless me could tell she had the hots for her teacher.

So 30 years ago I too would've no doubt eaten this stuff up too; and at least have the pleasure of knowing that f2tY, who is currently reading the series, has also read cleolinda's critiques, and can cite problems, which is more than I'd’ve likely done. I find Cleolinda's comparison of these books to twinkies very apt—childhood yummies that could never live up to your memories of them. That they bring sweet memories is nevertheless to be treasured.)

And speaking of memories to be treasured...

2014-04-13T21:04:12-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-04-14:/String/leopardskin_butterfly_necklace
2014-04-11T00:00:00-05:00 For many years, photographic technology was optimised for white people. 11apr2014

When I was a wee baby artist just starting out on the art fair circuit, I used to take my own jury slides to save money. I was crappy at it; so then I took a class on studio photography. If I hadn't learnt it already, I was there exposed (heh) to the idea of professional film and processing; it was there I learned transparencies (slides) had greater dynamic range than prints, just as monitors today have greater dynamic range than do prints, though not, of course, as much as the human eye.

Professional film, and, more importantly professional processing give truer colors. (So do matching film to lights—I used a special kind of lamps that were adjusted to 3400 kelvin, as opposed to daylight film, which is balanced for 5000 degrees kelvin—the blue-white light of a noonday sun.) Even so, if you look at old magazine ads (say from the 60s or earlier), the colors look weird—people were sort of brownish and washed out: fuchsia and purples and the like just weren't available then, any more than those pigments were to artists painting in Vermeer's time.

My first (or second, I don't recall) digital camera was terrible about clipping reds, which is to say no matter what I did blue-based reds such as fuchsia rendered as too orange. Even post-processing (in gimp) was no help (though by now, both the program and my skills might have progressed to the point where I could fix this problem...) This sort of messing about with digital images is still necessary if you are serious about your photography.

Needless to say it was even more critical back in the day. In addition to bracketing, and using professional film and processing, I also generally chose fujifilm over kodak, because the fuji was supposed to be better for greens/landscapes, and my work tended to have a lot of those colors, as opposed to kodak, which was preferred by portrait photographers.

And if you've been paying attention, I have twice (in this post alone, I mean) incorporated the assumptions—quite innocently—that these two fascinating articles discuss: the fact that, until quite recently, so far as photography is concerned, ‘people’ equals‘pale orange’ (which is what white people actually are.) In fact there were color balance cards the techs used with circles on them, one half 18% grey, and the other...your typical caucasion skin tones.

So, if you were shooting black folk, their skin would often come out with these green undertones, the result of the film (and particularly the processing) being optimized for light orangey red, which is the complement of green. I'm sure some black photographers recognized that, once again, the systemic racism of western culture had screwed them over; but reading those articles (and man were they a revelation to me—I'd never even thought about this! Whoops!) I couldn't help wondering how many just gave up, convinced the problem was with them, rather than the equipment. —I say this, because when I was young I used to wonder why women's art never seemed to be as good as men's, even though I was aware of sexism.

I just didn't know how bad it was. And so it is with this. Just a casual, and probably mostly thought-less, possibly even unintentional barrier. I applaud the people who overcame it (by shooting b&w, and continuing to complain about disparities still occuring...) and thank them for this fascinating insight.

Alas, I don't know that anyone will necessarily thank me for today's beads...

2014-04-12T07:19:00-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-04-11:/FridayFugly/daffodilCiMchallenge
2014-04-10T00:00:00-05:00 Right now I'm reading _The Girls of Atomic City_, which tracks the adventures of several women who worked at Oak Ridge, a place that did not exist; they were part of the 80,000 odd people who enriched plutonium for the atom bombs that would eventually be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They wer...

Right now I'm reading The Girls of Atomic City, which tracks the adventures of several women who worked at Oak Ridge, a place that did not exist; they were part of the 80,000 odd people who enriched plutonium for the atom bombs that would eventually be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They were the base of the pyramid, the fresh-out-of-school, the country folk, the young, who were attracted by high wages and opportunity.

The book is interesting on several levels. One woman is a college educated chemist—whose degree is in statistics because she wasn't allowed to take her degree in chemistry. As a bench chemist for the project she realizes this is what she wants to do, work in a lab. She still faces coworkers who say to her face that women shouldn't be chemists.

At the other end of the spectrum is the Kattie, the young black wife forced to sleep in a dorm apart from her spouse (despite promises of family living quarters) fed slop with rocks in it that makes her sick, and whose job is clean floors: blacks were not permitted sensitive jobs in rural Tennessee. Being a chemist is so distant she likely cannot even dream of it.

But all of the women in this book—be they chemists or cleaners, cyclotron operators, secretaries or nurses—were paid less than men; exhorted like everyone never to speak of what they did, even to other folks living in the town; continually waiting in line because shortages, even if they had the necessary ration coupons. Freedom of speech and association were severely curtailed, coupled with exhortations to work hard and do one's patriotic duty.(This part read a lot like the histories of communist Russia and China.)

This started with the government simply moving in and forcibly evicting people living in Oak Ridge. The lucky ones got as much as three weeks to move. Unlucky folk got two-three days. People who had been self-sufficient, living off the land, now had to make do with wage-work and the attendant loss of independence, highly prized in Jefferson's day and nearly forgotten by most USians today (excepting amongst all those ‘rural’ people who oddly enough get rather antsy about being rundown as stupid rednecks, can't imaaaaagine why...)

There's still this myth, I guess, that WWII was the ‘good’ war. People have forgotten the rationing, the curtailment of freedoms, let alone the loss of life (and the USA got off easy compared to countries in Europe.) It was hard. People were ready for good times when the war ended...used to conformity, or perhaps unwilling to rock the boat. (Or mebbe the dissenters’ stories were more strongly buried...)

Two other points: the author makes a special effort to point out the contributions of women physicists (one of whom I'd never heard before, despite reading various biographies about physicists during this period—particularly Feinmen, for whom there is a new & quite good graphic version out—and who pointed out the possibility of nuclear fission in 1937, before anyone else had really considered it. But of course she and her observations were sidelined, as women's so often were in the sciences—talking about this book to my amateur astronomer SiL got me an earful about women astronomers who again, were allowed to be computers or work with the bits and pieces, often unpaid...)

The other is that it reminded me again, of the racism pervasive of the time. I never really thought I'd get much into mid 20ca history; but now I find I'm kind of a donkey between two hay bales, TNC's civil war posts (thankfully collected in one spot, hurrah) and all this other stuff!

There is, of course, no way to ever have a one-to-one map of history; like art, one is ever one the verge, I suspect, of ‘getting it’ (or at least, getting to the interesting questions.) But today's post does wrap up the tassel necklace page—it's an older post, cleaned up & indexing.

Enjoy.

2014-04-09T10:42:58-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-04-10:/String/2005pink_satake_floral_vessel-revised
2014-04-09T00:00:00-05:00 Today's boingboing linkie is Neil Gaiman reading _Blueberry Girl_, illustrated by one his favorite artists, Charles Vess (whose work I like very much). The poem, evidently written for Tori Amos' daughter (and I like Tori Amos' work too;), is delightful. Yeah, I'm wanting out of the `Debbie Downe...

Today's boingboing linkie is Neil Gaiman reading Blueberry Girl, illustrated by one his favorite artists, Charles Vess (whose work I like very much). The poem, evidently written for Tori Amos’ daughter (and I like Tori Amos’ work too;), is delightful. Yeah, I'm wanting out of the ‘Debbie Downer’ mode.

Speaking of blue, today we have a bluebird of happiness...

Enjoy.

2014-04-04T16:14:45-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-04-09:/String/turquoise-green-white_bird_neck
2014-04-08T00:00:00-05:00 Boingboing has been running _Banu Garu_ for awhile now, but only with the last episode was I actually able to see any of the pages. It's a fascinating look of an american mangaka's history with an animation company, Gainax. The author starts out by noting she suffered the triple whammy of tryin...

Boingboing has been running Banu Garu for awhile now, but only with the last episode was I actually able to see any of the pages. It's a fascinating look of an american mangaka's history with an animation company, Gainax. The author starts out by noting she suffered the triple whammy of trying to publish a 1)anime inspired 2)indie 3)female authored comic in the 80s. There's a reason I'm only now considering attempting this, and it's not just that I had to wait for the technology to catch up.

While sitting on my hands over the comic making, meanwhile, I've been getting back into stringing.

2014-04-04T15:30:47-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-04-08:/String/ivory_purple_brown_tassel_neck
2014-04-07T00:00:00-05:00 Now that I've got all the plant hangers & 3hole tassel necklaces posted, I'm filling in with the rest of the tassel series, starting with this piece made, or at least photographed, in September of 2010 (in the same sessions as the cobalt 3hole, in fact...) One of the reasons I do this blog is to...

Now that I've got all the plant hangers & 3hole tassel necklaces posted, I'm filling in with the rest of the tassel series, starting with this piece made, or at least photographed, in September of 2010 (in the same sessions as the cobalt 3hole, in fact...)

One of the reasons I do this blog is to document my work—my memory is so flaky I'd otherwise forget it, as for today's piece, which I'd totally lost track of until I started documenting the tassel necklace series. I barely remember stringing it, and have no idea where it is now. While having holey memories is good for letting go of grudges, it can be sort of frustrating for keeping track of one's artistic development: in a very real sense, the blog is an external hard drive of my own head.

Enjoy.

2014-04-04T13:21:45-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-04-07:/String/brown_floral_multi
2014-04-04T00:00:00-05:00 boingboing linkies---recced history comics, Doctorow on patent trolls, gorgeous coral video. 04apr2014

Today we're doing boingboing linkies:)

Historical comic books includes Larry Gonick, of course, plus some other interesting looking books—to which I'd add March book I of a series of the Civil Rights movement from Congressman John Lewis’ perspective—man wanted to be a preacher, and ended up a politician instead! Not only that, the publisher, Top Shelf, is offering there product line DRM free—kudos to them:) That was our February read for the comics society. March was women's month, so we read Fallout and this interpretation of Marie Curie's life—interspersed with other history—fallout as it were—from her discoveries, is a tour de force. The art is unusual too, being hand-colored cyanographs. A fresh, modern approach to the form.

Cory Doctorow weighs in with one of the many plagues facing modern ‘copy’ culture—but his column, the seven samurai method for defeating patent trolls proposes we find each other on the intertubes, kick in a bit a la indiegogo and kick these arseholes to the curb. I have to stop reading boingboing sometimes because it's so damn depressing, but folks proposing solutions these multifarious problems, which are after all less awful the spectre of a nuclear war/winter (the nightmare of my generation...) make it just a bit simpler.

Daniel Stoupin's video of sea creatures is lovely (if slightly creepy for the internally-skeletinized) with gorgeous photography—brilliant color and crisp detail make the most of the that Hi-def. Alas, as someone with internet access below that of Bulgaria's, it was frustrating to watch because it kept halting.

Finally, though actual article is interesting enough boingboing's commentary—that the experiment worked because a) the land of Oz is less litigious, but also they have full universal health care—was the interesting part So a kid's broken arm is likely not gonna be that big a deal. And actually, f2tE did something very similar—and we didn't even realize ze had a greenstick fracture for a couple of days...

Oh yeah. Necklace. Here ya go.

2014-04-03T09:03:45-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-04-04:/String/cobalt3hole_floral_tassel_necklace
2014-04-03T00:00:00-05:00 A Crow performer combines a lot of techniques old and new. 03apr2014

Yesterday I discovered this artist via one of the TNC comment threads, and I was pretty impressed—beatboxing, flute-playing, drumming, chanting and rap—five techniques! (Oh, and dancing too.) Makes me look like a piker, the most I've done (in one piece) is three. Plus a really cool outfit, with beadwork:) —If I had to guess, Native beadwork is probably what ignited my interest in beads.

Speaking of beadwork, today's piece features one of my focals, but was strung by another artist, a customer who commissioned the bead. (And tomorrow, with any luck, I'll be posting the necklace that a customer wanted to see, because she commissioned a focal based on a necklace that came out of this piece which was inspired by this earlier piece...

I love this sort of recursion;)

2014-04-02T23:02:36-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-04-03:/String/2010gene3hole
2014-04-02T00:00:00-05:00 The world isn't a just place. `You just go on', to quote another of my favorite writers, LMB. 02apr2014

So my April Fool's joke is that, of course I'll have my post up and ready to go on April Fool's....ha!

Ta-Nehisi Coates has three, count'em three new posts up, all with comments. For awhile there, I thought he'd perhaps had enough, and was going to closed comments only: he was (and is) pretty discouraged by the death of Jordan Davis.

Mr. Coates reminds us (again) that the shadow we see on the wall—his writing—is not him: his mandate is twofold: to see the world clearly; and to write it cleanly. But to see the world as it is, is profoundly depressing. In his case, it is the fact that this country is built upon the stolen lives and labor of black folk (it pays to remember that after the land itself, slaves were the single biggest asset in the Union by the Civil War). That is as it should be: as a black man, TNC is qualified by nature, experience and interest to use that lens.

But his frustration and fury (and sadness) is not unique to him: f2tY finds zer philosophy class fascinating—but also highly depressing. Atheism isn't something I joyfully embraced—I wanted heaven, the opportunity to live (and make art) forever. Giving up that immortality was probably the single most painful experience in my life; mostly for selfish reasons but also, as I eventually realized (being neither so generous as my child or Coates) that it meant everyone else also only got the one life, which meant there was a very great deal of injustice and cruelty...that could never be balanced out.

THC notes that he's still learning: about the terrible history of Poland, ravaged alternatively by the Germans and Soviets; about the native peoples whose land we stole...

I am of a more hopeful mien, perhaps. In between mourning the fact that someday I was gonna croak with little to show for it (or that the world would end in nuclear holocaust, which meant everybody else would croak with nothing to show for it either, and our past would be lost as well) I used to wonder why there were no (famous) women artists until recently. Why no female Michaelangelo, or Da Vinci?

I know the answer to that now. At least in some places and some times, men as black as ebony have had power and prestige. At least in some places and times, golden men, red men, brown men have had power and prestige.

So far as I know, women have never dominated any land, any culture, anywhere, anywhen. We're still waiting. I look at the backwards progress we're having for birth control and child support (the latter of particular interest to WoC, who have the difficulty of getting to birth babies they want, as well avoid ones they don't) since I became an adult. Are black folk in the US making little to no progress? Indubitably: the marginalized always suffer the most, and wages have been flat for the bottom 4 quintiles for three decades. They are paying the heaviest price. Are women still at 70 cents on dollar, still the sex class, still disproportionately suffering from poverty, sexual and domestic violence? So far as I know, they are. Pretty much.

Yet, in other ways there is progress. Gay rights (which I've seen convincingly argued as a subset of women's rights) have made incredible strides. Life expectancy and wages have increased worldwide, while infant mortality has gone down.

There is no way to live a pure life: cruelty and injustice are everywhere, woven into the very fabric of our existence. I acknowledge it, and do the best I can. Because there is also art, and beauty, and the sweetness of being alive.

Sad or happy, sometimes, all one can do, is put one foot in front of the other.

2014-04-02T23:08:04-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-04-02:/String/pearl_purple_cast_necklace
2014-03-31T00:00:00-05:00 So I had a customer commission me for a 3hole bead similar to one I was showing made up as a focal in a necklace. (Then she had to prod me about 3x to make the bead, which makes her pretty darn determined. Most customers would give up cursing on an artist so flaky.) I did finally ramp up all the...

So I had a customer commission me for a 3hole bead similar to one I was showing made up as a focal in a necklace. (Then she had to prod me about 3x to make the bead, which makes her pretty darn determined. Most customers would give up cursing on an artist so flaky.) I did finally ramp up all the skills I needed to make the bead (I have to keep beads in my repertoire, so to speak, particularly difficult ones like this one) and she bought it, as well another one I'd made in the series.

But then she wanted instructions as how to string it.

Sure, sez I, be happy to.

But the necklace is part of a series, and I thought it made more sense to show the progression chronologically. And it turns out, it's a loooooooooong progression, going back at least 1999; and there were several completely undocumented pieces I wanted write up. Fortunately, my gimp image processing skills have improved to the point where I can rescue some of the worst of the pictures (and others are so bad I'm leaving as is...today's frex). Most of the earliest ones have been on the site for years (if not terribly well indexed); the immediate predecessor, at least in basic silhouette, would perhaps be the CatFish.

So, having finished up with the tasselled plant hangers, now we have tasseled multistrand necklaces (which are basically a smaller—and 2D—version of the same thing.) Today's sample is from 2002, and demonstrates some of the problems the 3hole bead my customer purchased is designed to address.

Enjoy.

2014-03-30T22:59:55-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-03-31:/String/lapis_gold_vessel_tassel
2014-03-28T00:00:00-05:00 Hey, it's only taken me 3 tries, but I have a fridayfugly for you! As an extra bonus, you get two for the price of one, as both Frances *and* I managed pretty awesomely awful beads. Two steps forward, three back, that's about the way this site rolls. And next week, with any luck, we're back to t...

Hey, it's only taken me 3 tries, but I have a fridayfugly for you!

As an extra bonus, you get two for the price of one, as both Frances and I managed pretty awesomely awful beads. Two steps forward, three back, that's about the way this site rolls.

And next week, with any luck, we're back to tassel necklaces, including some more discussion on construction details.

Enjoy.

2014-03-27T21:21:46-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-03-28:/FridayFugly/14mar14edition
2014-03-27T00:00:00-05:00 So if pop culture is so much fun, then why do all those high'n'might in-too-lek-shual types diss it so much? Snobbery surely must take some blame; but sometimes it's *frustration*. Frex: I have the same needs for no-thought purely popcorn entertainment as everyone else, but unfortunately it's ...

So if pop culture is so much fun, then why do all those high'n’might in-too-lek-shual types diss it so much? Snobbery surely must take some blame; but sometimes it's frustration. Frex:

I have the same needs for no-thought purely popcorn entertainment as everyone else, but unfortunately it's a pleasure I seldom get to indulge; I've pretty much give up on romances because they make me so aggravated. But hey, my kid found this cute lil Japanese tv drama called the Divorce Chaser; its byline is ‘I can change your tears into money’. Sounds awful, but actually it's remarkably sweet and comedic—the lawyer in question, who doesn't appear to be particularly successful, spends his free time baking horrible buns that taste awful, which he then attempts to foist anyone unfortunate enough to be in the office at the time.

Besides him (and the guests) all of the regulars are women: his two office assistants (one of whom is a mangaka he helps in the pilot), his perpetually in-arrears landlady, the heavyset and brightly lipsticked woman who acts as a detective (think Paul Drake's detective to Perry Mason's lawyer; the mangaka is basically Della Street;) That's quite a switch from the typical american tv show, which is mostly men.

Other regulars include the mangaka's boss, who serves to point out underlying assumptions (such as the lawyer's motivations) assumed by everyone else; and the waitress at the cafe where they meet who is even more of a comedic character than the would-be detective, as she wears a rosary and is continually predicting the future via her crystal ball.

It's pleasant popcorn because the bad guys (usually cheating husbands) are punished and their wronged wives are rewarded. But the series kinda went off the rails in the 4th episode, in which the writers attempted to deal with domestic violence. Hurrah, I thought, this should make an interesting change. In order to keep the story line a little lighter, they switched the typical roles of the sexes: this time the wife was the antagonist—good, it can't be the man all the time.

It started out realistically enough, with a beleaguered victim haranged by his wife, who ordered him around mercilessly, cut at his self-esteem, and resorted to physical violence. Definitely a case for divorce! But the lawyer (who, like Perry Mason, is shown to have a good understanding of human nature) instead of advising the guy to pack a bag (and whatever cash he can lay his hands on) and get out, tells the client to imagine a response to his wife's abuse—and then deliver it.

Predictably, the guy shows up with a bandaged face and hand. ‘Ah good’ sez the lawyer, ‘now we have proof of abuse.’ Um, this is how victims get killed.

But it gets worse. The wife is depicted as a ‘monster wife’. I appreciated that they attempted to give her motivations for her behavior, but abusers do not behave badly to their victims because their work-all-the-time spouses have moved them into a neighborhood with no friends, and they find a sudden need to keep up with rich Joneses because no-one else is available. While I did appreciate, very much, the fact that the ‘monster’ was depicted as an average sort of person, because abusers, are in fact, ordinary janes and joes, I still felt that, in the end, the show's creators simply couldn't bring themselves to depict a woman with ultimately aggressive and controlling motivations, even though she was a good representation of aggressive and controlling behavior.

And most of all, you do not throw two people in an abusive relationship back together with no counseling! That just seemed really dangerous, and likely to counsel abuse victims watching the show to keep giving their abusers a pass. I mean, I like the idea of dealing with domestic violence—it's a real issue! And I think the idea of a divorce lawyer getting a couple with some communication issues back together is very sweet. But not-not-not in the same story! —So, bummer, my light-hearted entertainment worked for two-three episodes, but now I'm kvetching, ’cause pop-culture follows mainstream expectations, instead depicting individuals in all their glorious, contradictory messiness.

Pretty much, this is what I have to do: either find really good stuff, with sometimes difficult characters and stories (as, for example, the fabulous anime, ‘Attack of the Titans’) or grit my teeth when reality and pop tropes collide as they inevitably do.

So, speaking of crappy interpretations, we have today's post...

2014-03-27T14:36:13-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-03-27:/OAGlassBeads/joanie_bracelet1882
2014-03-26T00:00:00-05:00 So I need to do another long and involved page for the tassel series, (in fact it's specifically the reason for the whole series...); so, since it's nowhere close to being done, a little side trip down a different branch of Memory Lane, starting with this giftwrap. Tomorrow I should have the conte...

So I need to do another long and involved page for the tassel series, (in fact it's specifically the reason for the whole series...); so, since it's nowhere close to being done, a little side trip down a different branch of Memory Lane, starting with this giftwrap. Tomorrow I should have the contents, which sat on my to-do list for years, then cluttered up my unfinished list despite being done. Can't have that!

Possibly also by tomorrow, more ranting. But today it's just color and pattern.

Enjoy.

2014-03-27T11:30:49-05:00 tag:www.rejiquar.com,2014-03-26:/Giftwrap/2013concentric_circles