Friday, February 27, 2009

Impediments to World Domination

I had a pretty long and involved dream last night wherein, driving in the evening, I spotted a nice looking young woman and offered her a ride. She got in the car, and we flirted, but she never seemed to be particularly interested in me, the conversation, or her surroundings. We stopped at my friend Tim's place, where she walked away to talk to his sister--apparently they knew each other, and neither seemed very surprised by how she'd gotten there.

Tim was doing something in another room, so I was just kind of hanging around his house when I saw a massive raccoon in the backyard--it was just slightly smaller than one of the gargoyle dogs in Ghostbusters and its fur was very dirty and big patches of it were missing, revealing pale, beige flesh underneath.

Raccoons seem to be taking on a monstrous quality for me lately--first there was The Montauk Monster, which many people have speculated is a raccoon. Then I heard a story on The Howard Stern Show about a drunk guy in Russia who tried to fuck a raccoon only to have his genitals torn off by the little animal--I can't say I blame the creature. I've always heard raccoons can actually be pretty dangerous beasts and that they have very sharp teeth and bad tempers.

I saw a couple of raccoons outside the house a couple weeks ago stealing into a sewer drain, so maybe that's why I was thinking of them, too. Anyway, in the dream, the raccoon got inside Tim's house somehow, and I started taking pictures of it as it waddled about. I was trying to avoid it, and it seemed it might be trying to get at me while inspecting everything it walked past, in the way animals do. But I tried to carefully plot photos. Somehow one picture ended up with two children standing behind the raccoon; an alien child in a cartoonish space suit and a human child in fuzzy grey mouse pyjamas.

I had a flask of Johnnie Walker with me--which is odd, because I don't particularly like Johnnie Walker, but maybe that explains I wasn't as afraid as I ought to've been. I remember trying to find one of Tim's Japanese swords to fend it off, and I think there was a fight. I remember at one point the raccoon had me pinned to the ground but I managed to use one of the swords, sheathed, to shove it off me. I woke up before the battle was resolved, but I seem to remember Tim thought I was more afraid of the raccoon than I ought to have been.

Maybe it's Bears I need to worry about--I seem to have gotten myself banned from another live journal, this time that of author Elizabeth Bear. Here's the conversation that did it.

I don't mind being banned in this case. Halfway through the discussion, I'd decided to avoid Bear's journal from then on, but people kept replying to me, and I just can't resist getting the last word. I avoided mentioning the conversation yesterday because I thought a lot of people talking to me would be embarrassed by their comments once they cooled down, but I don't think that's in the cards. I've seen people rally around the nucleus of a clique before with ludicrous arguments, but this was nothing sort of astonishing. What began as a pretty innocuous conversation between me and Bear wherein I asked her about the feminist literary critical term "male gaze" rapidly devolved into people discussing my poor etiquette for not googling it and even accusing me of deep-seated, sexist arrogance for not googling the term. I found it nearly impossible to take the conversation seriously, especially as the people I was talking to took it more and more seriously. I made a joke about putting a saddle on Bear and striking her with a riding crop whenever I wanted a definition for a word, which I ought to have known would have sent these people into fits, but I was being too much of a goon at that point. One guy (or gal) actually accused me of treating people like beasts of burden. I've rarely come across such an irony challenged group of people. I referred to myself as "the secret world king" at one point, and I'm pretty sure people thought I was serious.

I so don't mind being banned from that journal. I only read it occasionally, and Bear seemed to have a lot of pent up resentment for me I didn't quite understand--probably having something to do with a conversation we'd had wherein I'd thought people were perhaps being a little too bloodthirsty about the incident where Harlan Ellison grabbed Connie Willis' breast. I guess it was probably pretty lazy of me to even continue reading the journal, especially after I wasn't tremendously impressed by her work and she'd been a dick to my friend Moira. I guess I had some vague idea of making inroads in the modern society of fantasy literature. So much for that plan.

I watched the seventeenth episode of Battlestar Galactica, which was a pretty sad specimen of allegory. Just about every character had a completely new identity for the episode--Adama became a thoughtless tyrant, Baltar became a hero to the working man--even for guys who'd gone on strike against his government on New Caprica--and Roslin became a completely delusional monarch. Well, I guess it wasn't a big switch for her--the change was just in that the writers they decided they agreed with me for a moment. I don't think they realise how eerie it is that that woman can not stop smiling, no matter what happens. People being forced into hard labour? Spilled milk. Unchecked injury and violence? Something distant and inevitable.

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