Archive for the ‘Winter of my discontent’ Category

Talk nerdy to me — Winter of my discontent: Season’s Greetings from Hoth edition

January 24, 2011

In the last few weeks, everyone around me (myself included) repeatedly asserted to one another how cold it was — so cold, we said, my gosh, it’s so cold — but Hoth scenes always put it all in perspective, don’t they?

via laurenmoran on the tumblr.

So speaking of Star Wars extreme-temperature location shooting, I was watching this segment on the Daily Show recently, and it ends up that there are protests and massive government upheaval going on in Tunisia, where the Tattooine scenes for Episodes IV and I were filmed. I didn’t know that.

To clarify: I knew the Tattooine scene-filming part. I even knew there was a town there actually called Tataouine, although the Lars homestead scenes were not set there, but instead filmed near the troglodyte architectural mecca of Matmâta, which is about 70 miles north of Tataouine (R.I.P., Owen and Beru).

The life-altering modern politics, on the shameful other hand, was brand-new news to me.

Photograph by Jamal Saidi for Reuters.

This is what a futuristic rebel alliance looks like.

The ousting of Tunisian president Ben Ali came as a result of public backlash in the wake of a sham election last October, condemned by the Human Rights Watch. This was followed by incendiary WikiLeaks which surfaced, detailing the president and his family’s lavish lifestyle in an impoverished country.

The revolt was largely organized via social media, relying heavily on texts, facebook, and twitter. Search #sidibouzid for the hundreds of thousands of tweets from Sidi Bouzid, the seat of the so-called Jasmine Revolution.

via the Peace and Collaborative Development Network.

Coming so soon after the 2009 election riots in Iran, which were similarly organized, some of the power-hungry dictators in the Arab world are getting understandably nervous about the precarity of their positions. I said goddamn. How now, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? You can’t hide technology from the people forever.

What I’m also trying to say, though, with both the “it’s so cold” story and the absolute ignorance of grave disturbances in another country’s Force until seeing it on a quasi-serious news program, is that I’m a shallow, isolated slave to materialism. It is not a proud moment.

Winter of my discontent: Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day

January 22, 2011

Photo from the marvelous Cappy. As he said, it works on multiple levels.

Winter of my discontent: The invincible summer within

January 21, 2011


In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.

Albert Camus

That’s what I’m talking about. Right there. I’m serious.

That truth is exactly what I hoped to discover in this project. And when I read it, I thought, but I have done this already, last Autumn, when I came back from such bad health. And I mulled it over in my mind and realized that all my choices and my actions and even my thoughts since last Fall have been slowly turning toward this idea that I not only have the right to, but in fact need to pursue the summer dreams, and not get bogged down and bound up in doubtful snow. This may seem elementary and obvious to you, but, for a person as repressed as I’ve always been, this idea is revolutionary.

That invincible summer inside me that I always let the depths of winter drown out deserves to shine no matter what. I’m going to particularly try this tonight. Wish me luck.

Winter of my discontent and Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Textual healing, “Snow, the hardest thing to imagine”

January 19, 2011

Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys.

via Austin Kleon.

I suppose it’s about time I re-read the Lonesome Dove books, but I really do try not to add any more books to my list of compulsive yearly reads and I fear they would so easily slip in to that pile. … Still…

Winter of my discontent: Dreamtime

January 14, 2011


I said before that writing about my dreams was too disturbing, but that is a cop-out. This dream I had about two years ago. Its winter setting was emphatically a part of its ominous overtones.


I dreamt that I was in a frozen town with my daughter, who was very young in the dream, and a man I had used to be with. I became separated from them during some type of dreary, macabre parade. There was something wrong and sinister about it, but I wasn’t sure what, and I was caught up in looking for my daughter and the man.

Winter Carnival, 1909.

The procession of people were all bundled up in raggedy black clothes, like Victoriana gone to seed, and the “floats” were black carriages making tracks down a main street in the snow.


As I paced the street looking for the rest of my party, blowing on my hands and calling out for my daughter and the man, I saw a pulpy mess in the road and smeared, reddish-purple blood and tissue in the ruts left by the carriages.

They’d run over something that I had the impression was small and helpless but also somehow dear and marine, like an otter or seal or something. Each carriage kept rolling on, continually running over and through the remains of whatever this now bisected and strewn-out creature had once been.


I tried to escape the image by going down different side alleys in the frozen town, but they all lead back to the same main street. The sight of the gore and entrails against the snow was chilling and horrifying on a deep-down level which was out of proportion to the event, like as if it had some weighty significance that my mind was shying away from fully realizing. I woke myself up with the kind of shock and sweat that suggested it had been a terrible nightmare, but I could not, when recollecting the details of the dream, understand why it upset me so much.


I never thought about it until just now, but I guess it must have been my daughter in the street. I think that’s what my mind kept pulling me back from seeing.

This has not been an at-all uplifting or illuminating “Winter of my discontent” entry. But it does represent the second time I’ve attempted a Dreamtime entry. The first one was about a hanged woman. Based on that, you may think that I’m not doing so hot on the Dreamtime sharing, but that’s actually about the usual caliber of my dreams.

Winter of my discontent: Sharon Tate and embracing the cold

January 13, 2011

Sharon Tate on set for Fearless Vampire Killers (Her husband, 1967. His is also the photo credit).

Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, “I’m going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that’s tough. I am going to snow anyway.”

(Maya Angelou.)

A harsh, deep, and well-put truth.

Maybe what I’m not so good at is quelling my instinct to hibernate: I need to face problems and conflict instead of waiting for them to melt away. Embrace the cold with the warm. I am more the type to sit in the lodge drinking cocoa and waiting for the storm to pass than to go flying down the mountain in to the drifts. I’ve always thought of that as the rational course, but maybe I am cheating myself out of testing my endurance.

Man. If someone has to make me feel like a physical and metaphysical wimp who can’t handle literal cold any better than frosty times served up to me in life, I suppose I prefer it be Maya Angelou.

Winter of my discontent: Inaugural edition feat. Goethe throwback

January 12, 2011

Photographed by Ffion on the flickr.

Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom?, but we hope it, we know it.

(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.)

Honestly, I could do, like, three more Goethe Months, and maybe someday I will, but for now, I hate January and I want to do something about it.

The Wonder Woman project helped me appreciate and understand her better; the William S. Burroughs project opened me up to new ideas and biographical facts I’d never known nor even heard of; and the NSFW November project — well, the NSFW November project had boobs.

Photographed by Eros Turannos on the flickr.

So this January I will be seeking out deep, positive messages about Winter along with photographs that show me more than bleak snow and the dull, same ol’-same ol’ that the cold weather serves up to me in my perception, and try to draw some conclusions about just why exactly I wake up on January 1st feeling particularly low and the mood does not lift until late February.