victorian man

(no subject)

What a fine example of scientific discovery:

http://www.nature.com/news/hybrid-zoo-introducing-pig-human-embryos-and-a-rat-mouse-1.21378?WT.mc_id=TWT_NatureNews


No doubt, this is truly an astonishing breakthrough for all of mankind, whose brilliance I am not blinded by due to my regressive and backwards fixed moral code. Scientists, of course, are the gods; therefore, if they tell us it will be, at some later date, a miraculous breakthrough in medical science if we were to utilize several species of animals in the creation of a human/pig "hybrid", so that at a later date, this abomination could be harvested for organs, then I suppose it must be so.

Verily, I am merely too intelectually deficient and closed-minded to appreciate this revolutionary procedure.

Essentially, what this means is that we have a life not merely being exploited for organs that might possibly be compatible with our own, (please pay no never-mind to that man behind the curtain crying that this life must be extinguished in the propagation of those organs) we now have lives that contain human elements being deliberately created, tailor-made for slaughter.

I am not an animal rights advocate, and see vivisection as a necessary evil that must be used only in extenuating circumstances. However, this is not science, and it is in certain aspects merely an extension of the eugenics movement with its utilization of an "untermensch", in that we have the hybridization factor as an argument for this creature being not quite human, just as the untermensch were viewed as sub-human. Not-quite human things, of course, we are perfectly at liberty to destroy.

Fact of the matter is, we have underestimated the intelligence of animals as it stands, but what sort of human aspects, intelligence, or awareness will this animal have? Such as Hitler used the "inferior races" excuse for vivisection when he outlawed the practice on animals, the justification for breeding this "not-quite" human hybrid has traces of that mentality, of justifying the creation and taking of human life based on permutable concepts of what actually is human.

This is progress? Ensuring an animal bred for slaughter operates on a higher plane as the beasts, the lesser creatures who nonetheless feel fear and pain? And in time, making this creature more human, but still untermensch enough to be sacrificed for the "master race", i.e., the pure humans. Its death is as inconsequential as those "post-birth" abortions perpetrated on babies and children who are, of course, not old enough to be self-aware, and therefore, cannot be considered truly human. Thou shalt not kill becomes try not to kill unless you have a good enough reason.

If this is what science has become, it has descended to the level of Frankenstein, in both its ethics and methodology. Yet that, I suppose, is to be expected when you have a crew of staunch moral relativists navigating the ship.




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victorian man

(no subject)

A phenomenal performance by true musical artists. Generally not enamored of interpretive dance, but its usage here was captivating. And, stranded as I am in the house with snow and ice outside, it proved a wonderful way to while away the afternoon.





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victorian man

A Bit Not Good, Mr. Gatiss

After a mere year and three days absence from this journal, I have got the itch to recommence my mental meanderings. And with the advent of a new Sherlock episode nearly a week ago, one whose neuron destroying levels of tedium I have not yet fully recovered from, what better way to do so than to air my frustrations at the travesty this once superb series has degraded into.

Except, in setting myself to undertake such a task, find that I cannot even summon the indignation required to methodically list the numerous and glaring absurdities and eviscerations of character which served to sever any remaining emotional connection I as yet harbinged towards the dramatis personae of this program. The severing of these ties began with the unwarranted spat betwixt Sherlock & John in The Empty Hearse, and the too-swift inclusion of Mary into an episode that ought to have been more focused around the tying up of plot holes without John's unreasonable histrionics at learning his friend was alive.

As a "Holmesian" of the "old school", I find The Empty House to be such a remarkable story of true friendship and forgiveness - concepts Mark Gatiss is apparently unfamiliar with were one to judge based on the character interactions within the episodes primarily written by him - that I cannot abide their friendship being cheapened; sacrificed, as it were, at the altar of Tumblrite fangirls ravenous for such melodrama.

Now it appears that John is in the midst of another such tantrum, and we must all tune in to next week's installment for the anticipated reconciliation. But I no longer care one whit about the dysfunctional, ugly relationship betwixt those two, and do not give a fig if they never speak to one another ever again. We cannot say this for the Sherlock Holmes of the original stories, and it would be no exaggeration to suggest theirs is one of the greatest friendships in all literature. The love and respect conveyed in Watson's accounts is of a profundity BBC Sherlock gave us but a glimpse of in the first series, with subdued hints in the second. With Mary's entrance, all chemistry fizzled, and the series has long since descended into The East Enders.

What it has become now is the lowest, most banal form of entertainment, an extravaganza of overblown visual effects, painfully atrocious scripting, and levels of thespianism which convince me how far up its own nether regions this series and its actors have become lodged.

Were this not enough, Mr. Gatiss has decided to compile insult atop injury and not only insult the intelligence of Sherlock's audience with The Six Thatchers nonsensical, logic-defying conceptualizations and soap opera dynamics, he apparently went a step further in relating to a certain segment how intellectually deficient we actually are.

Having admirably fought with myself throughout to remain awake until the end, I admit TST did not have my fullest attention. Therefore, it was that in perusing the criticisms of this unwatchable debacle, I infrequently came across accusations of Gatiss utilizing the episode to promote atheism and (less infrequently) other political agendas. I remained perplexed until I came across a quote from Sherlock, which read thusly:

"God is an invisible magic friend that only stupid people look to for help."

I have a difficult time believing this was not intended as a direct insult against Christians (as such expositions almost always are) in consideration of the context - i.e., the disrespectful Christening scene with a spastic priest - to follow. Nonetheless, he has succeeding in insulting the acumen of quite a few billion people of varied faiths, which is, of course, a perfectly acceptable form of discrimination.

Mr. Gatiss seems to fancy himself cleverer than thou despite the fact his writing indicates otherwise, and presents himself as an authority on the Holmesian Canon, so it is that I wonder how Sherlock Holmes' undeniable belief in God flit past his radar. Perhaps he needs to re-read The Empty House, wherein Holmes states: "Halfway down I slipped, but, by the blessing of God, I landed, torn and bleeding, upon the path." In The Veiled Lodger, Holmes references Catholic dogma when he suspects the object of his investigation might commit suicide. "Your life is not your own," he said, "keep your hands off it." Let us also not forget his entire “There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as in religion” speech in The Naval Treaty, where he conjectures the existence of Providence from the "extras" provided by Nature. I wonder, too, whether he has forgotten Holmes' first meeting of Victor Trevor, facilitated by a bull terrier which latched onto his ankle as he "went down to chapel." There are, of course, more examples, but I believe the aforementioned are sufficient.

Such derogatory dross I simply will not stand for, and it is with a heavy heart that I permanently turn my back on what was once the only television program I would condescend to watch.


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victorian man

The Abominable Bride Review

It's been exceedingly difficult for me to organize my thoughts on this episode. On the one hand, Sherlock served as escapist entertainment during a very emotionally trying period of my life, and is not understating the matter to admit I might not have made it through so unscathed were it not for having such a genuinely enjoyable outlet to fall back on. So I've become very attached to it, faults and all.

If series three was a derailment, then The Abominable Bride went a long way in getting things back on track. The character development I've come to expect was again at the forefront, and this was a marvelous amalgamation of the original stories and earlier episodes, and that marriage did not feel at all contrived. I was reminded why I once thought the dynamic duo of Cumberbatch & Freeman were worthy successors to Granada, as while Holmes had an edge to his character, it was not so over the top as to be nigh on intolerable as it had been in the past series. Watson was just lovely - well fleshed out, snarky, but the epitome of a friend.

I thought more time should have been spent on the nuances of their relationship as it was in Canon, but it seems that in an attempt to discourage slashers, whilst simultaneously egging on that segment of fandom, there was not as much interaction between Holmes & Watson as I had hoped there would be. Even so, a marked improvement and attempt to mop up the mistakes they made previously.

Mary would have been wonderful save for the fact she belonged to some league of murderous suffragettes, who killed their husbands in cold blood because they were discontent with their place in society. We need not condone Victorian social standings to conclude that murdering another human being is wrong, especially when they have committed no crime but be products of their age, who went out to work when women's options were limited. What, did these suffragists intend to slay every man on earth to get what they wanted, or merely use fear and intimidation to eventually get their way? Both prospects do not paint them in the brightest light, and prove what a misogynist Mark Gatiss is at heart, as not even Steven Moffat's worst compares with this.

Aside from that unbelievable denouement, however, I enjoyed this episode. It put a band-aid on most of what caused me such grief about series 3, and went a way in restoring my hopes this could once again prove itself the best thing on television. Of course, that's not saying much. Yet I am very torn about the unjustifiable message it loudly proclaimed, and have no wish to support anything that condones first degree murder. It really was quite mentally sick, but I suppose that is to be expected, considering the writers.

I'd like to have another watch before I bang the proverbial gavel. I'm probably unhealthily attached to BBC Sherlock at this juncture, but the best way to sever the strings if need be is to make a final determination as to whether the objectionable message outweighs the overall picture. We shall have to wait and see...


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bookshelf

Book Review: Teleny, Or The Reverse Of The Medal

Currently reading a book of homosexual love/erotica penned in 1893, sometimes attributed to Oscar Wilde, though takes a great effort of credulity to believe it was in actuality written by him. In fact, he is the last writer I would ever give this anonymous novella credit for. I do have my own ideas as to who may have written it, and might expound further upon the topic at some later date.


ETA: 1 January 2016

After completing this, I confess my final opinion on both book and its subject matter to be somewhat divided. Having read it to gain insight, I can say with honesty it did provide that in spades, and the initial half of the story does convey a deep love between Teleny and Camille with such a lyrical prose, I had to put it aside at intervals just to recover.

Then comes the latter half, wherein after a symbolic "marriage" takes place, Teleny brings Camille to some pseudo-bacchanalian orgy, where the only reason, it is explained, they do not take part is because they are still "honeymooning". Implying very strongly the next time around, they would, despite having pledged themselves to one another.

Along those lines is the tragedy of the ending, whereupon, to relieve himself of debts, Teleny sleeps with Camille's own mother. Thereby, what the author shows us directly contradicts that which he has been telling us throughout the story, and unintentionally undermines his own message. In the end, Teleny commits suicide due to Camille's learning of this incident, and whilst it began well, Romeo and Juliet this was not, regardless of the denouement's tragedy.

Nonetheless, this was an interesting and really most insightful book, which I mostly regard in a positive light.


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victorian man

Writer's Block, Continued

This is becoming a very frustrating state of affairs.

All month, writing has been an uphill struggle, and for the past two consecutive days, the little I have managed to get down needed to be deleted upon the instant, lest it derail the entire story. Even more frustrating is the fact that my rough draft of this manuscript is over 72k, and at this point the majority of the work should be re-writing and re-structuring what is already on paper.

Of course, the structuring is my main difficulty, as I have concentration and short term memory issues due to a thyroid condition. This was not helped by the personal difficulties which flung themselves at me a few weeks ago, and while logically I understand a short break might be helpful, I must see this novel through - quitting is not an option. But even a few days away might be too long in such a slump.

I am hoping that the new Sherlock episode might dislodge the creative juices, as that series has done in the past. Yet, I am preparing to return to that blank screen, with its cursor blinking mockingly, even if that fails to do the job, as it were. Coloring has been a help in the past, so I shall have to try that, as well...


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victorian man

Obligatory Introductory Post

Salutations to no one in particular! Since I have been meaning to start keeping a journal again, and being underwhelmed with the formatting of less outmoded online blogs, its back to livejournal after quite a long hiatus from this place. With my health getting back on track, reading, writing and conjuring basic brain functioning is not so maddening - or rather, impossible, - a chore anymore, so it feels sometimes as though I am in increments waking up from an extended slumber.

When operating in such a fugue state, it is the little things in life that one comes to appreciate. On that note, I am very much looking forward to the coming New Year's celebration, even though it will likely be spent with family I only just saw for Christmas. Being shut away in the house for so long makes one begin to revel in the company of other people, no matter how simplistic or banal the gathering.

I also find that myself very much looking forward to the forthcoming BBC Sherlock episode set in the Victorian era, and am curious to see how the actors will interpret the characters they have been playing (occasionally, to the tune of a lamentable script) when thrust back into the past. I have always regarded the modern adaption as merely alternate universe, whereas now they have the issue of configuring those 19th century social mores that, I think, caused most instances of faulty characterizations in the modern day version. So, will it continue to remain a series more definable as an AU strongly based on Sherlock Holmes, or will this be a turning point, an appeasement of sorts, to the Holmesians who were given the cold shoulder with series three?

Either way, it has the potential to be either exceptional, as A Study In Pink was, or mind-mindbogglingly awful. Personally, I lean towards The Abominable Bride likely being one of the stronger episodes, but judgement must be reserved until it actually airs. I will say this - the only element that could ruin this for me is to insert heavy-handed amounts of anachronistic details. I enjoy my Sherlock Holmes stories as boys own adventures, and do not want to see that deconstructed for the sake of appeasing apparently very delicate modern sensibilities.

That being said, I do think Moffat & Gatiss can be extremely talented writers when they set their minds to a creative project, and deserve the benefit of the doubt. In the meantime, I have been once more bitten with the urge to read fanfiction, and with so much out there have hopes something will scratch the itch nicely whilst I wait.

Not very patiently.

And commence a countdown...


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