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Blog: Barking Planet
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, Alexandra Fuller
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By: Children's Books, dogs, and related matters,
Depending on where and when you live, the world can be a dangerous place.
Howl's Moving Castle, the award winning fantasy wonder tale, takes place during a time of war. A film for children and adults filled with magic and incredible visuals...it is set in the past, an anti-war film that features a romance with a flawed wizard, and an incredible moving castle.
Freely adapted by Hayao Miyazaki from a children's fantasy novel by Diana Wynne Jones, it is another masterpiece from the creator of My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away.
A.O. Scott, writing in the New York Times, said," Not that children are the only viewers likely to be haunted and beguiled by "Howl's Moving Castle" - all that is needed are open eyes and an open heart."
Here is a link to Disney's trailer. There is no reference to war in this preview.
They Tell Us What We Need
Hayao Miyazake, at the time he was adopting Howl's Moving Castle, was very concerned about the USA going to war in the Middle East. With his extraordinary
talent and imagination, Miyazaki created an anti-war film that is balanced by humor, wizardry, and romance.
Much has been written about how the experiences of real life influence literature and all the arts, including children's stories, film and theater. Jack Zipes, quoted below, expresses the many dimensions of this concept. I feel that Howl's Moving Castle is a wonderful example of a tale of wonder portraying the human struggle to not succumb to violent power. Here is an excerpt from Zipes' comments:
"At their best, the storytelling of fairy tales constitute the most profound articulation of the human struggle to form and maintain a civilizing process. They depict metaphorically the opportunities for human adaptation to our environment and reflect the conflicts that arise when we fail to establish civilizing codes commensurate with the self-interests of large groups within the human population. The more we give into base instincts – base in the sense of basic and depraved – the more criminal and destructive we become. The more we learn to relate to other groups of people and realize that their survival and the fulfillment of their interests is related to ours, the more we might construct social codes that guarantee humane relationships. Fairy tales are uncanny because they tell us what we need and they unsettle us by showing what we lack and how we might compensate for lack."
…Fairy tales map out possible ways to attain happiness, to expose and resolve moral conflicts that have deep roots in our species. The effectiveness of fairy tales and other forms of fantastic literature depends on the innovative manner in which we make the information of the tales relevant for the listeners and receivers of the tales."
The photo is of Jack Zipes and his poodle, Vinnie.
It All Began With A School Boy
Howl's Moving Castle, released in 2004, was freely adapted by Hayao Miayazai from a book
of the same name, published in 1986, by Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011). The prolific author of many books for children and adults (primarily fantasy), Wynne Jones said that the idea for the book came from a boy, Stephen, on one of her school visits. Stephen asked her to write a book about a moving castle. The book she wrote was very well received internationally and won several prizes.
When Wynne Jones was asked about the major differences between writing for adults and children, she replied, "Writing for adults, you have to keep reminding them of what is going on. The poor things have given up using their brains when they read. Children you only need to tell things to once."
Wynne Jones also said,"Things we are accustomed to regard as myth or fairy story are very much present in peoples lives."
When the film was completed, Miyazaki flew to England and arranged a private showing for Dianne Wynne Jones. Her comments: "It's fantastic. No, I have no input—I wriThe book cover is of Dianna Wynne Jones original version of Howl's Moving Castle. The photo is of Hayao Miyazake, courtesy of Ghibli Studios.te books, not films. Yes, it will be different from the book—in fact it's likely to be very different, but that's as it should be. It will still be a fantastic film."
The biggest change made by Miyazake was in creating an anti-war film. Howl becomes a major force in helping to bring about the end of war.
A delightful montage of Miyazaki's film magic, created by DONO ,is on Vimeo.
The book cover is of Dianna Wynne Jones original version of Howl's Moving Castle. The photo is of Hayao Miyazake, courtesy of Ghibli Studios.
"War was the weather system of my youth"...
The twentieth century was filled with upheaval and wars and millions of children today continue to face the chaos and pain of war.Alexandra Fuller, author of the very well received Leaving Before the Rains Come , published in January 2015, grew up in war-torn Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
In a fascinating interview with Simon Worrall (Book Talk) in the National Geographic, she speaks of the effects of growing up amidst "the traumas of war and the non-stop incidents and accidents where I was raised"...Here is an excerpt from the interview:
"But the biggest effect was that war was the weather system of my youth. The war was everywhere. And what came with that was death and the insanity of war, which leaks on even after a cease-fire has been declared. I think the hardest thing it did was to make childhood innocence, those precious years until you're about 11 or 12, not exist for us. War makes you cunning and a survivor. It can make you very damaged or very resilient. But it never leaves you.
You spend the rest of your life trying to redress what happened to you in those first years, even though it's not your fault. But your body doesn't know that, your limbic system doesn't know that. You're always waiting for the next trauma to happen—or drama. You're constantly on watch."
In her first book, the very well received bestseller, Don't Let's Go To The Dogs Tonight, Fuller wrote of her childhood in Rhodesia... a world where violent death was an everyday reality; where her family compound was surrounded by razor-wire, and where young Alexandra's father trained her in shooting a rifle. Alexandra Fuller now lives in Wyoming.
The photograph is of Alexandra (on the right) with her sister, Vanessa. It was taken in 1972, just before the family moved to the then Rhodesia. I don't know who the little girl is on the book cover.
The Awesome PAL
I am awed by the list below...a list of hospitals, Veteran's care facilities, children's centers, libraries, retirement facilities, and rehab facilities all served by PAL.
This is a list of places where people young, old and in-between find affection, solace and support from the dogs of PAL (People Animals Love) based in Washington DC.
Pal is not for profit. PAL is a volunteer organization. PAl is people -- dog owners who want to help others.
The logistics of bringing therapy dogs and their owners to all these places must be difficult. Situations change, needs change, and schedules change. Please take a moment and consider this awesome list and the wonderful work of PAL to bring comfort, solace, and, often, inspiration, to so many people.
Arleigh Burke Pavilion Nursing & Assisted Living, Arlington Central Library, Arlington Library-
Shirlington Branch, Arlington Library- Columbia Pike Branch, Arlington Library- Westover Branch, Alexandria Library- Beatley Branch, Alexandria Library- Duncan Branch, Armed Forces Retirement Home, Burnt Mills Elementary School, Capitol Hill Supportive Services, Chinn Park Regional Library, Culpepper Garden, Episcopal Center for Children, Goodwin House Alexandria, Goodwin House West, Grand Oaks, Heritage Hall Nursing & Rehab, Inova Behavioral Health, IONA Senior Services, Knollwood Retirement Home, Little Sisters of the Poor, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, Mount Pleasant Library, National Rehabilitation Hospital, Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute, PAL Club at Stanton Elementary, Pohick Regional Library, Sibley Hospital Center, Specialty Hospital of Washington, Stoddard Baptist Home, St. Coletta's of Greater Washington, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Washington Home, Woodbine Rehab & Healthcare Center
Here is a link to one of their many brief PAL videos:
Here is a link to a 5 minute homemade video of their wonderful PAL Club at Stanton Elementary School. Stanton is located in Southeast Washington, a poor, underserved, neighborhood.
The top photo is of PAL therapy dogs and their dedicated owners. The bottom photo below of two friends was taken in one of the facilities on the PAL list.
Do you think that it is possible for dogs to stop a war?
This was the lead-off sentence in Wayne Walker's review of Castle In The Mist. I was delighted to read it, for not only was it provocative, it went to the core of the story...
Castle in the Mist is an anti-war story. The Planet Of the Dogs series is anti-war. In each book, the dogs help humans to find non-violent solutions to ruthless rulers, invaders, and the abuse of power.
Here is more of what Wayne Walker wrote:
“Author Robert J. McCarty has created a charming fantasy-allegory that can be read and understood on at least two different levels. Children will enjoy the story about dogs who come from another planet to help people on earth. But under the surface are the important messages of friendship, love, loyalty, and how to overcome evil with good.” The same things are true as the story continues in Castle in the Mist. The book is well written and easy to read. It will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next, and, as with Volume I, leads to a satisfying conclusion. You can learn more about the series and read sample chapters at www.planetofthedogs.net."
Wayne Walker's complete review appeared on the Home School Book Review; the Home School Buzz; and Stories fof Children Magazine.
We have free reader copies of the Planet Of The Dogs series for therapy dog organizations, individual therapy dog owners, librarians and teachers...simply send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the books.
Our books are available through your favorite independent bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell's and many more.
Planet Of The Dogs is now available in digital format at
Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Oyster, Inktera, Scribd, and Tolino.
Librarians, teachers, bookstores...You can also order Planet Of The Dogs, Castle In The Mist, and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, through Ingram with a full professional discount.
The illustration by Stella Mustanoja-McCarty is from Castle In The Mist. The little girl reading Castle In The Mist is Jordan; the photograph is by Jennifer Wickham.
"For much of her life, C. A. Wulff was involved in animal rescue. In this memoir, she shares
her own personal rescue stories. As is the case with animal rescue, some of these tales are funny and others are poignant. However, all of them are true.
From early childhood, Cayr was drawn to animals. She sought connections with each animal that entered her life. She helped those that she could, including ill, injured and difficult to place animals. Many of them found a permanent place in the author’s home. Her heart has always been in the right place..."
We are having a lotto and giving away of 3 paperback copies of the second edition of Born Without a Tail. To enter, please send an email to Books4DogLovers@gmail and place the word "entry" on the subject line.
"Fairy tale and film enjoy a profound affinity because the cinema animates
phenomena, no matter how inert; made of light and motion, its illusions match the enchanted animism of fairy tale; animals speak, carpets fly, objects move and act of their own accord."
Marina Warner, in her book, Once Upon A Time.
The illustration is from Howl's Moving Castle.
The KIngdom of Dreams and Madness
Mami Sunada has created a fascinating documentary about the world of Hayao Miyazaki and Ghibli studios. I highly recommend it for readers of this blog who want an in-depth picture of the complex nature of creating animation; and an intimate visit with Miyazake and the world of Ghibli.
Miyazaki storyboards every film from start to finish; he times every shot on the storyboard; yet he often doesn’t know where or how will end. He is very hard working, a perfectionist who pays attention to every detail; he is also a caring idealist.
Here are two of my favorite Miyazaki quotes from the film:
“The world isn’t simple enough to explain in words”….
“Children are what keeps me going”
“Stories you read when you're the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you'll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.” ― Neil Gaiman, M Is for Magic
Little Man -- A Brilliant Retelling of Rumpelstiltskin
Michael Cunningham, is an acclaimed American author of seven books. His novel, The Hours, won a Pulitzer prize and a PEN/Faulkner Award. He has now reimagined several fairy tales from the past in a new book, A Wild Swan: And Other Tales, to be published November 10, 2015). One story from the book,Little Man, published in the New Yorker, is a wonderful retelling
of Rumpelstiltskin. Here is an excerpt:
"Having a child is not, however, anything like ordering a pizza. Even less so if you’re
a malformed, dwarfish man whose occupation, were you forced to name one, would be . . . What would you call yourself? A goblin? An imp? Adoption agencies are reluctant about doctors and lawyers if they’re single and over forty. So go ahead. Apply to adopt an infant as a two-hundred-year-old gnome.
You are driven slightly insane—you try to talk yourself down; it works some nights better than others—by the fact that, for so much of the population, children simply . . . appear. Bing bang boom. A single act of love and, nine months later, this flowering, as mindless and senseless as a crocus bursting out of a bulb.
It’s one thing to envy wealth and beauty and other gifts that seem to have been granted to others, but not to you, by obscure but undeniable givers. It’s another thing entirely to yearn for what’s so readily available to any drunk and barmaid who link up for three minutes in a dark corner of any dank and scrofulous pub.
You listen carefully, then, when you hear the rumor. Some impoverished miller—a man whose business is going under (the small-mill owners, the ones who grind by hand, are vanishing; their flour and meal cost twice as much as the big-brand products, which are free of the gritty bits that can find their way into a sack of flour no matter how careful you are), a man who has no health insurance or investments or pension plan (he’s needed every cent just to keep the mill open)—that man has told the King that his daughter can spin straw into gold..."
Read it all: The New Yorker
The illustration is by Anne Anderson
Little Man Honors Tradition
Maria Tatar edited and annotated a wonderful book of Classic Fairy Tales which includes a version of Rumpelstiltskin by the Grimms. Her comments regarding Rumplestiltskin are in
harmony with the story as reimagined by Michael Cunningham in Little Man.
"Here is an excerpt: (Rumpelstiltskin is)
"a misshapen gnome of questionable origins, who is probably one of the least attractive of fairy-tale figures.Yet Rumpelstilskin come off rather well in a world where fathers tell brazen lies about their daughters, marriages are based on greed, and young women agree to give up a firstborn child. He works hard to hold up his end of the bargain made with the miller's daughter, shows genuine compassion when the queen regrets the agreement into which she has entered, and is prepared to add an escape clause to their contract even though he stands to gain nothing from it."
The illustration by Paul O. Zelinsky is from his Caldecott medal winning version of Rumpelstiltskin.
Sesame Street Partners With HBO
Sesame Street needed funding. In the past, they received most of their funding through DVD sales. Times have changed and those sales have diminished as more and more people have turned to Internet streaming. Emily Steel, in the New York Times, wrote a comprehensive article, including the pros and cons, about this major shift in Television for kids 2-5. Here is an excerpt:
"The letters of the day on “Sesame Street” are H, B and O.
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind the children’s television program, has struck a five-year deal with HBO, the premium cable network, that will bring first-run episodes of “Sesame Street” exclusively to HBO and its streaming outlets starting in the fall.
The partnership, announced Thursday, will allow the financially challenged Sesame Workshop to significantly increase its production of “Sesame Street” episodes and other new programming. The group will produce 35 new “Sesame Street” episodes a year, up from the 18 it now produces..."
Here is a link to read it all: Sesame Street.
Turning Point for Young American Readers
"The rise of American children's literature is, to a large degree, inseparable from the rise of the public lending library, and by the 1870's librarians had become the guardians of children's reading. The fact that it is the American Library Association that gives the major children's book awards makes clear that in this country, there is a unique relationship between the worlds of children's reading, and the structures of the library...The first children's room in any public library opened in Brookline , Massachusettes, in 1890... (and librarians) made the library a place of imagination..."
Seth Lerer, Children's Literature, A Readers History from Aesop to Harry Potter
The photo is of the Brookline Public Library built in 1899 with a new children's room.
I nominate The Guardian, always vigilant, to be welcomed as an honorary member of BARCA, Bloggers Against Celebrity Authors. Here is an excerpt from an article written by Tom Lamont and Robert Muchamore when Russel Brand announced that he was writing children's books...
"A celebrity – Kylie, Sting – announces his or her intention to write for children, and I instinctively feel for the career-pledged writers who have been huffing away with their thesaurus and watercolour brushes for years. Beneath them, the hopefuls with worthwhile manuscripts hustle for interest... And, uh oh, here's another celebrity, lolloping into the game. They've noodled out an idea on a Groucho Club napkin. Their agent has swivelled at the bar to arrange a six-figure deal. The published result, you can bet, will absorb more than its share of publicity budgets, review space, shelf space.
Given the subject under discussion, I'll express this in short sentences. Stop it, celebrities. Go away, celebrities"...Here is the link to read all of this article: Guardian
The photo is of the well known children's book celebrity author, Madonna.
I happen to be a Yelodoggie fan.
Have you seen the delightful yelodoggie artwork video celebrating dogs? Here is the YouTube link
There are birthday cards, cups, clocks, shirts, mouse pads, and a multitude of other delightful Yelodoggie designs at Cafe Press.
New paintings are appearing in the Yelodoggie etsy shop. These are original watercolors and a great bargain.
Yelodoggie is joyous.
Anna Nirva is the guiding light at Sunbear Squad, a leading source for information and guidance in dog rescue and care. Here is an excerpt from their site about the rescue of abandoned hunting hounds.
Anna has found that abandoned hunting dogs perish daily of exposure and starvation all across America. Here is an excerpt from a Sunbear Squad rescue story: "An ice storm was bearing down in the southern United States and a pack of 3 adult Beagles and 5 puppies were sighted in a rural Arkansas forest. Concerned animal lovers sent numerous emails to locate a rescuer who could take immediate action to save the dogs, and two compassionate women rose to the challenge.
It's not like they didn't have anything else to do that day. Desiree had successfully lobbied for felony animal cruelty laws and had just been informed of the law's passing, and Carol worked full-time. But later in the afternoon, after learning of the ice storm coming, they gathered their gear and drove 45 miles to the woods where the dogs had been sighted." Here is a link to read all of this story: Rescue
"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't have evil or jealousy or discontent." -- Milan Kundera
Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin is currently developing three new television series with HBO and Cinemax.
Martin revealed the news on his blog, though he didn’t go into too much detail. Check it out:
Life is impossibly busy right now. I am wrestling with the Son of Kong (that is, working on THE WINDS OF WINTER), trying to wrap up a final round of edits and revisions on the twenty-third Wild Cards book (HIGH STAKES), developing three new series concepts for HBO and Cinemax, hiring writers and directors for three short low-budget films I am hoping to produce based on some classic SF short stories (more on that in the months to come), making my way through the Hugo Packet to prepare to vote, looking forward to opening JURASSIC WORLD at the Cocteay and to hosting a ten-author special event for the release of Steve Stirling’s new “Emberverse” anthology, THE CHANGE. In a week’s time, we’ll be flying off to Europe for long-planned appearances in Germany (Hamburg) and Sweden (Stockholm), en route to Archipelacon on the island of Aland, where I am to be the Guest of Honor…
Game of Thrones fans – your official season five trailer is here! Can we talk about that choice of music? The use of a “Heroes” cover here is basically perfect.
HBO published the official version of the trailer, previously only seen in the nation-wide IMAX showing, after a bootleg version made its way around the internet. The show’s fifth season premieres on April 12, on the heels of the current IMAX event, which put the show in the history books as the first TV series to be broadcast in IMAX format.
As a fan of the book series, I have concerns about the show’s fifth season based on the source material – the fourth book was the most difficult for me to digest – but between the depictions of Littlefinger, Tryion, Daenerys, and Cersei, there’s enough here to draw my attention.
I missed this Pulitzer Prize winning novel the first time around and after watching the first 15 minutes of the new HBO mini-series I know I had to read the book. Reading a book whilst simultaneously watching the television show has its own challenges but for the most part I managed to read behind watching […]
Kurt Cobain's life and art is brought to life by animation directors Hisko Hulsing and Stefan Nadelman.
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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, Top News
, Adult Swim
, Captain America: Civil War
, Cartoon Network
, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
, Planet of the Apes
, Rick and Morty
, The Simpsons
, True Detective
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– My favorite discovery from the 2014 television season has to be Cartoon Network’s Rick and Morty, which takes the character relationship of Doc and Marty (more or less) from Back to the Future and transplants them into Doctor Who style adventures with some the sharpest humor I’ve seen in an animated program since Archer first hit the air. The series, created by Dan Harmon (Community) and Justin Roiland, has had its first season available on Blu-ray for awhile now. If you can handle some cruder, gross-out moments, I highly recommend it.
This week, Cartoon Network announced that Rick and Morty will return on Sunday, July 26th. Additionally, Roiland and Harmon guest-wrote the couch gag for the upcoming season finale of The Simpsons, which you can watch below:
– Speaking of The Simpsons, yesterday saw the news that Harry Shearer, the longtime voice of characters like Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, and many other members of the show’s rich world, would be parting ways with the series. According to some reports, there’s still a chance that Shearer may come to terms with the show’s producers, but the roles are expected to be recast at this point.
I haven’t watched The Simpsons in years, but I’m hoping this paves the way for a Spinal Tap reunion.
– From the set of Captain America: Civil War, via JustJared, here’s the first image of Crossbones’ costume:
– Seth Rogen tweeted out the first on-set image from AMC’s Preacher last night, which sees Dominic Cooper’s Jesse Custer talking with Ian Colletti’s Arseface:
– According to Collider, the sequel to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes now has a title: War of the Planet of the Apes. It’s a bit of a mouth-full, but I guess no one would go see a movie called “Monkey Fight”, which I was lobbying pretty hard for.
– Lastly, there’s a pretty great True Detective Season 2 teaser out now via HBO. I may be more excited about this premiere than any other show this year, even the Mad Men finale!
Lena Dunham, the creator and star of the hyped and critical darling HBO show Girls, spoke to the New York Times about what she likes to read and where she does it. Currently she is reading “Bad Behavior” by Mary Gaitskill (a collection of stories, one of which became the inspiration for the movie Secretary,) Diane Keaton’s memoir and “Having it All” by Helen Gurley Brown, among other things. It’s not surprising how well read Dunham is since it is evident in her writing.
What are your thoughts on Lena’s reading list? Have you watched GIRLS?
Daniel Clowes is in the news! So much going on.
§ HBO is developing a half-hour comedy created by Clowes called “The Landlord”, which he’s co-exec producing with John Lesher. The logline: “After inheriting a shabby apartment building in a remote California town, a volatile college professor with Utopian delusions drags his family into the unforgiving netherworld of small-town America.”
Yeah, we can see Ice Haven as an HBO show. The Little Miss Sunshine duo of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris is interested in directing. “We just looked over the script and it’s still very early, but we’re excited by trying to do something in TV, particularly at a place like HBO, where you can have nine hours instead of two,” Dayton told Variety.
Despite being the king of the literary comics world, Clowes has had a fruitful time in Hollywood. In addition to the GHOST WORLD and ART SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL films, Clowes has been hired to write several screenplays. And of course Alexander Payne, poet laureate of alienated losers, is developing a film based on Clowes’ graphic novel WILSON, the ultimate portrait of an alienated loser. Talk about a perfect match of material. Will they promote it at Comic-Con?
§ For a chance to see Clowes and fellow genius Chris Ware together, the two are in conversation TOMORROW at the Oakland Museum of California in conjunction with the soon-to-close Art of Daniel Clowes exhibit.
In a talk moderated by guest curator Susan Miller and Senior Curator of Art René de Guzman, Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware will be speaking at OMCA’s James Moore Theater on Friday, July 27, 2012 from 7-8:30pm. Seating will be limited and is expected to fill up quickly.
§ Finally, this Proust questionnaire-like “interview” with Clowesat The Guardian was subject to more than the usual editing:
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I’d like to think I’d go kill Hitler or verify the divinity of Christ, but really I’d like to see what my neighbourhood was like when my house was built in 1912. Or perhaps to hang out in Bodega Bay while Hitchcock was shooting The Birds.
I like to think I’d go kill Hitler.
Ah, the limitations of the printed page. Thank god no one needs to worry about that any more.
Chronicle Books will publish the official companion to the Game of Thrones television series, Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones. Unlike most book trailers, this video visited the set of a popular TV show.
As of this writing, the trailer has received more than 36,000 views. The $40 book will be released on October 1st, containing 300 color images and photographs.
Series screenwriter Bryan Cogman write the book. Showrunner David Benioff partnered with screenwriter D.B. Weiss for the foreword. Series author George R.R. Martin also wrote a preface.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
On Twitter, Neil Gaiman shared the fact that he is currently writing an American Gods pilot for HBO. We’ve embedded the tweet above.
Click here to read the first five chapters of the award-winning novel, “a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth.” The news of the possible adaptation emerged last year.
If you want to listen to the American Gods playlist on Spotify, follow this link. We’ve embedded the songlist below, a great collection of writing music.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
Blog: Perpetually Adolescent
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Book Reviews - Fiction
, Nic Pizzolatto
, Roy Cady
, True Detective
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I have been completely and utterly addicted to (and obsessed by) True Detective so when I found out the show’s creator and writer had written a crime novel I had to read it. And what a cracking book it is. Using some of the same elements as his television show Pizzolatto has constructed a highly atmospheric, slow burning thriller.
Roy Cady is a bagman who has just been diagnosed with cancer and sent on a job where he thinks his boss has tried to have him whacked. Now on the run he must navigate his way from New Orleans to East Texas with a young woman and her sister in tow. Roy is conflicted between his own short-term survival and that of the two girls now under his protection.
Just like True Detective Pizzolatto shifts time perception to perfection, drip feeding you bits of information, past and future, that leave you craving to know more.The raw emotion of Roy Cady is brutally and poignantly displayed and the way Pizzolatto describes the gulf coast landscape is an amazing blend of desolation and beauty.
We already know from True Detective that Nic Pizzolatto knows how to tell a story. Galveston proves that this talent was evident well before his HBO series.
Via Buzz Feed A list of dark, weird, and southern gothic books that every fan of HBO’s True Detective should read.
By: Elizabeth Gorney,
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By Perry N. Halkitis
On 25 May 2014 and nearly 30 years after first appearing on the stage, Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart will be aired as a film on HBO. This project, which has evolved over the course of the last three decades, documents those first few harrowing years of the AIDS epidemic in New York City. The Normal Heart debuts at a time when much attention is being cast upon the early days of AIDS and the lives of gay men, who survived the physical and emotional onslaught of this disease in a society that often shunned us because we were gay and because we were afflicted with this disease.
Now a generation of gay men, my generation—the AIDS Generation—stands proudly as testament to our individual and collective resilience which has brought us all into middle age. Certainly there have been huge hurdles along the way—too many deaths to enumerate, the havoc that the complications of this disease wreaked on our bodies, the lack of support. Even today, darkness and disrespect lurks in every corner, and no one is immune. For some in our society, identifying what is wrong with us as gay men comes to easily. We are reminded of it daily as right wing zealots fight against marriage equality, as young boys take their lives. Despite these conditions, despite the inaction of our national and local politicians, and despite a large yet ever-shrinking segment of our society that continues to view us as weak and sick, we stand together as a testament to the fortitude of our bodies, minds, and spirits.
The theme of resistance or resilience permeates the words, the thoughts, and the actions of the protagonists in The Normal Heart and many depictions of the AIDS epidemic.
Behavioral and psychological literature has attempted to delineate sources of resilience. Dr. Gail Wagnild posits that social supports in the form of families and communities foster resilience in individuals. I also adhere to this idea. Although the sources of resilience are still debated in the literature, there is general agreement that resilience is a means of maintaining or regaining mental health in response to adversity the ability to respond to and/or cope with stressful situations such as trauma, conditions that characterize the life of the men of the AIDS Generation.
For many of the men of the AIDs Generation, grappling with their sexuality was closely tied to the development of their resilience. In other words, resilience developed in their childhoods as young men grappling with their sexuality as stated by Christopher: “I also think that wrestling with my own sexuality and trying to navigate through that in my teenage years taught me how to just ‘keep pushing’ and to do what needed to be done.” Some, including myself, found support among our families. Even if parents were loving and supportive, this did not ameliorate the burdens experienced being raised in a heteronormative and often-discriminatory world in which men were portrayed as weak, effeminate, and sickly.
As we watch The Normal Heart, we will be reminded of those dark, confusing early days of the epidemic. And while we must celebrate the resilience of a generation of gay men to fight this disease, we must also be reminded of our obligation to create a better world for a new generation of gay men, who despite our social and medical advances, need the love and support of their community of elders as the navigate the course of their lives.
Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH is Professor of Applied Psychology and Public Health (Steinhardt School), and Population Health (Langone School of Medicine), Director of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior & Prevention Studies, and Associate Dean (Global Institute of Public Health) at New York University. Dr. Halkitis’ program of research examines the intersection between the HIV epidemic, drug abuse, and mental health burden in LGBT populations, and he is well known as one of the nation’s leading experts on substance use and HIV behavioral research. He is the author of The AIDS Generation: Stories of Survival and Resilience. Follow him on Twitter @DrPNHalkitis.
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By David J. Peterson
My name is David Peterson, and I’m a conlanger. “What’s a conlanger,” you may ask? Thanks to the recent addition of the word “conlang” to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), I can now say, “Look it up!” But to save you the trouble, a conlanger is a constructed language (or conlang) maker — i.e. one who creates languages.
Language creation has been around since at least the 12th century, when the German abbess Hildegard von Bingen created her Lingua Ignota — Latin for “hidden language” — an invented vocabulary she used for writing hymns. In the centuries that followed, philosophers like Leibniz and John Wilkins would create languages that were intended to serve as grand classification systems, and idealists like L. L. Zamenhof would create languages intended to simplify international communication. All these systems focused on the basic utility of language — its ability to encode and convey meaning. That would change in the 20th century.
Tolkien: the father of modern conlanging
Before crafting the tales of Middle-Earth, J. R. R. Tolkien was a conlanger. Unlike the many known to history who came before him, though, Tolkien created languages for the pure joy of it. Professionally, he became a philologist, but he continued to work on his own languages, eventually creating his famous Lord of the Rings series as an extension of the linguistic legendarium he’d been crafting for many years. Though his written works would become more famous than his linguistic creations, his conlangs, in particular Sindarin and Quenya, would go on to inspire new generations of conlangers throughout the rest of the 20th century.
Due to the general obscurity of the practice, many conlangers remained unknown to each other until the early 1990s, when home internet use started to become more and more common. The first dedicated meeting place for conlangers, virtual or otherwise, was the Conlang Listserv (an online mailing list). Some list members came out of interest in Tolkien’s languages, as well as other large projects, like Esperanto or Lojban, but the majority came to discuss their own work, and to meet and learn from others who also created languages.
Since the founding of the original Conlang Listserv, many other meeting places have sprung up online, and through a couple of decades of regular conlanger interaction, the practice of conlanging has evolved.
Conlangs have been separated into different types since at least the 19th century. First came the philosophical languages, as discussed, then the auxiliary languages like Esperanto (also known as auxlangs), but with Tolkien emerged a new type of language: the artistic language, or artlang. At its most basic, an artlang is a conlang created for artistic purposes, but that broad definition includes many wildly divergent languages (compare Denis Moskowitz’s Rikchik to Sylvia Sotomayor’s Kēlen). Finer-grained distinctions became necessary as the community grew, and so emerged the naturalistic conlang.
This is where the languages of HBO’s Game of Thrones and Syfy’s Defiance come in. The languages I’ve created for the shows I work on come out of the naturalist tradition. The goal with a naturalistic conlang is to create a language that’s as realistic as possible. The realism of a language is grounded in the reality (fictional or otherwise) of its speakers. If the speakers are more or less human (or humanoid) and are intended to be portrayed in a realistic fashion, then their language should be as similar as possible to a natural language (i.e. a language that exists here on Earth, like Spanish, Tagalog, or Cham).
The natural languages we speak are large, but also redundant and imperfect in a uniquely human way. Conlangers have gotten pretty good at emulating them over the years, usually employing one of two different approaches. The first, which I call the façade method, is to create a language that looks like a modern natural language by replicating the various features of a modern natural language. Thus, if English has irregular plurals, such as mouse~mice, then the conlang will have irregular plurals, too, by targeting certain nouns and making their plurals irregular in some way.
The historical method: making sense of irregular plurals in Valyrian
A contrasting approach is the method that Tolkien pioneered called the historical method. With the historical method, an ancestor language called a proto-language is created, and the desired language is evolved from it, via simulated linguistic evolution. The process takes a lot longer, but in some ways it’s simpler, since irregularities will naturally emerge, rather than having to be created by hand. For example, in Game of Thrones, the High Valyrian language Daenerys speaks differs from the Low Valyrian the residents of Slaver’s Bay speak. In fact, the latter evolved from the former. As the language evolved, it produced some natural irregularities. Consider the following nouns and their plurals from the Valyrian spoken in Slaver’s Bay:
hubre “goat” hubres “goats”
dare “queen” dari “queens”
aeske “master” aeske “masters”
Given that the singular forms all end in ‘e’, one has to say at least two of the plurals presented are irregular. But why the arbitrary differences in the plural forms? It turns out it’s because the three nouns with identical singular terminations used to have very different forms in the older language, High Valyrian, as shown below:
hobres “goat” hobresse “goats”
dāria “queen” dārī “queens”
āeksio “master” āeksia “masters”
Each of these alternations is quite regular in High Valyrian. In the simulated history, a series of sound changes which simplified the ends of words produced identical terminations for each of the three words in the singular, leaving later speakers having to memorize which have irregular plurals and which regular.
Simulated evolution applies to both grammar and the lexicon, as well. For example, natural languages often derive terminology for abstract concepts metaphorically from terminology for concrete concepts. Time, for instance, is an abstract concept that is frequently discussed using spatial terminology. How it’s done differs from language to language. In English, events that occur later in time occur after the present (where “after” derives from “aft,” a word meaning “behind”), and events that occur earlier in time occur before the present. Thus, time is conceptualized as a being standing in the present, facing the past, with the future behind them.
In Irathient, a language I created for Syfy’s Defiance, time is conceptualized vertically, rather than horizontally. The word for “after”, in temporal terms, is shei, which derives from a word meaning “above”; “before”, on the other hand, is ur, which also means “below” or “underneath”. The general metaphor that the future is up and the past is down bears out throughout the rest of the language, where if one wanted to say “Go back to what you were saying before”, the literal Irathient translation would be “Go down to what you were saying underneath”.
Ultimately, what one hears on screen sounds and feels like a natural language, regardless of whether or not one knows the work that went on behind the scenes. Since the prop used on screen is a language, though, rather than a costume or a piece of the set, the words can be recorded and analyzed at any time. Consequently, a conlang needs to be real in a way that a throne or a 700 foot wall of ice does not.
It’s still extraordinary to me that in less than 25 years, we came from a time when many conlangers were not aware that there were other conlangers to a time where our work is able to add to the authenticity of some of the best productions the big and small screen have to offer. The addition of the word “conlang” to the OED is a fitting capper to an unbelievable quarter century.
David J. Peterson is a language creator who works on HBO’s Game of Thrones, Syfy’s Defiance, and Syfy’s Dominion. You can find him on Twitter at @Dedalvs or on Tumblr.
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Images: Game of Thrones Season 3 – Dragon Shadow Wallpaper and Game of Thrones Season 3 - Daenerys Wallpaper. ©2014 Home Box Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The post How I created the languages of Dothraki and Valyrian for Game of Thrones appeared first on OUPblog.
Anyone who’s been keeping up with their reading of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire opus, knows Bowen Marsh, the First Steward of the Night’s Watch, is one of those side characters who becomes a player. It’s now confirmed by actor Michael Condron’s agency to Watchers On the Wall.com he will be playing the part in HBO’s Game of Thrones . The actor has also confirmed that he will appear in three episodes, directed by Mark Mylod, Michael Slovis and Jeremy Podeswa. He has previously appeared in The Tudors and the British mini-series Fairy Tales.
Sookie, Eric, and Alcide (Triangle? hmmm..)
We start off where the last episode ended. Eric gets drunk off Claudine and falls over (HILARIOUS). He jumps up and pinches Sookie's bum several times. She tells him to come inside it's almost dawn and he tells her to 'catch him' and he runs away.
Sookie enlists the help of Alcide to help find Eric. He changes (holy hell is his body hotter than last season, if that is possible) and he sniffs out Eric to a nearby pond. Eric is swimming in daylight (from an excess of fairy blood) and wants Sookie to join him. He starts to smoke and Sookie and Alcide bring him in.
Sook brings Eric to his hidey-hole and tells him to go to bed. He wants her to stay with him but she refuses. Alcide and Sookie talk about her situation with Eric she compares it to his with Debbie, he concedes and they hug (awww) and he leaves.
Alcide & Debbie
There was a quick scene with Alcide and Debbie. She asked him if he shifted that day and he told her he was helping Sookie. She said she wasn't mad but I am starting to see the old Debbie Pelt in there waiting to come out!
Bill demands that Pam tell him where Eric is and she says she has no idea, but will let him know when she does. Later he speaks to Nan and she is not happy that Bill sent Eric after the Wiccans. Later he visits with Portia, Andy, and Grandma Bellefleur. Andy is not too pleased. Bill and Grandma talk about families and realize their connection to each other, they are related. Bill tells Portia he can't see her anymore because of that. Good decision #1 as King Bill.
Bill seeks out Sookie and demands that his guards search her house since Eric owns it. She tells him to trust her and he folds.
Poor Jason! His first shot of the episode is him being raped by a random Hotshot girl. Then the next one comes in and she's like thirteen. He pleads with her to let him go and she does. He runs away but Felton catches on quickly and changes to chase him. Jason kills him (finally!) and Crystal is happy. She watches Jason run away telling him that she will see him at the next full moon. Jason falls near the road where Jessica and Hoyt find him. Jessica offers some vamp blood to him.
Sam and Luna
Sam stops by Luna's house and she is not happy. We discover that she had been hiding the fact she has a daughter. Sam tells her that he loves kids and doesn't care. She also tells him that the baby Daddy is a werewolf and he can get crazy. Poor Sam.
Terry leaves Demon baby alone for a minute and it writes on the wall via red crayon: "Baby not yours". Creepy huh? The whole family freaks out.
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Godric and Eric
First look at Eric this episode is him coming into Sookie's bedroom while she is sleeping. Godric appears and tells Eric all humans are good for is feeding. He uses his maker powers to force Eric to drink from Sookie. He soon wakes up in his hide hole, it was all a dream!
Tommy & Sam
We pick up right where we left off with Tommy in a chain leash. He escapes out of it and ends up killing his dad and accidentally killing his Mama. He runs to Sam for help and they transport the body. V-addict Andy stops them and gives Sam a hard time after he sees blood on the van. Tommy turns into a gator and freaks out Andy enough for them to be let go. Sam and Tommy dump the bodies in a lake and throw marshmallows at the water so that gators come up. TB Fun Fact: Gators lurve marshmallows…who knew?
Lafayette and Jesus leave Marnie after she put a rot-spell on Pam, they are freaked out that the vamps are going to come after them soon. Jesus takes Lafayette to his grandfather (who made him kill a goat and lick the blood when he was nine). Jesus thinks he can give them the power to reverse the spells and protect themselves.
Marnie gives a palm reading to Sookie and Gran contacts them. Sookie hears Gran through Marnie and she tells Sookie to get away from the witch and that her situation with Eric is just temporary (hopefully she means temporary brain damage, not their relationship..)
Katarina returns for Marnie and captures her under Bill's request. Bill questions Marnie for Eric's whereabouts and about reversing Pam's rotting spell but she has no idea, even under Bill's glamour.
A small scene with Alcide shows a pissed off werewolf-y guy who is apparently the Shreveport Packmaster. Alcide says he and Debbie want to be free agents but the Packmaster is not happy. Alcide slams the door in his face.
Portia still wants Bill and argues with him about incest (kind of a funny conversation). He glamours her and tells her that she will want to scream and run away whenever she sees him. Another hilarious moment.
Bill has a meeting with other sheriffs in his area and they want to kill the witches. Pam gets worked up and spills about Eric and that he is at Sookie's. Bill is outraged and storms out.
Jason, Jessica, and Hoyt Sandwich.
Jessica puts Jason to bed after giving him some of her blood to heal him. Hoyt is grateful but Jessica pushes him away (sad face). Jason dreams about Jessica because of their blood exchange and he is all for it except that she keeps calling him Hoyt and Hoyt actually appears in the dream, doing some pretty OMG things. Very funny scene.
The episode opens with Katie playing some iPad game when she hears yelling from Marnie's cell. She tries to stop Luis from attacking Marnie but it's just a distraction. Luis (under Marnie/Antonia's spell) makes Katie move the guards so that Antonia can escape. Then he kills her. I never really liked Kat anyways... :)
Switch to Pam facing off with Tara and Naomi. They succeed in peeling off some of Pam's skin and hair but Pam knocks out Naomi and lifts Tara off the ground by her throat. A group of Generation Xers with their cell cameras film Pam, hoping to get a vamp killing a human on video. Pam let's Tara down with the warning that she will kill her at some point. Goodness I hope so! I'm not loving Tara this season
In Mexico, Jesus's grandfather explains to Jesus and Lafayette that the rattlesnake helped channel Tio Luca to show that Lafayette is a medium. Jesus tells Layfaette that he (Lala) and Marnie are the only mediums he has ever known and he (Lala) needs to channel someone more powerful than Antonia to defeat her.
Alcide and Debbie get initiated into the Shreveport pack via blood smeared on their foreheads. Alcide is not as happy as Debbie is (and she is slowly reverting back to her white-trashness). Debbie is upset that Alcide is worried about Sookie during the full moon but cocedes to help her. They stumble upon a very naked Sookie and Eric doing the nasty in the middle of the woods. Poor Alcide
Luis goes to Bill in his office and starts blabbing about how he made a 'terrible mistake' and relays a message from Antonia, and proceeds to shoot Bill with Kat's gun. Bill gets hit but manages to get his own gun and shoot Luis. They fight over the fancy schmancy stake and Luis pushes the stake into his own heart and gives the message "Resurrection". Dayum 2 deaths in 10 minutes
Tara breaks up with Naomi because she wants to protect her lover from her effed up life. She watches Naomi drive away and sobs.
Hoyt comes over to Jason's and talks about his non-werepantherness and how sad he is about Jessica…yadda yadda. And apparently sloppy joe's can fix even the most downtrodden southern man.
Bill has a Daddy-Daughter talk with Jessica about Antonia. He tells her that Antonia wants all vamps to meet the sun, yadda yadda. Bill meets with the other sheriffs and gives the 411. He gives them the option to leave Louisiana or chain themselves with silver. Apparantly Bil put his Big Boy King pants on this morning!
Sookie and Eric bust into Sookie's house and they bang bang all over it. They have some cuddle time after where Eric listens to Sookie's heartbeat (ADORABLE!). Eric asks Sookie if she will still want him when his memories come back and she says she 'hopes so' (
Jason jumps through the front door and saves Jessica before she is burned by the sunlight. She attacks him but he ends up getting the door shut in time. They wrestle for a bit until Marnie stops the chanting. Jessica comes back out of her craze and kisses Jason. She apologizes but he reaches up to kiss her back. Bill is screaming for Jessica from the basement and Jason carries her down. She is upset about killing Buckey and Bill informs her that his family will be compensated. Bill informs Jason that the witches might start up again so he needs to chain Jessica once more until it is dark out. Jason tries to soothe Jessica and Bill interrupts them and tells Jason they need their rest. Also he tells Jason not to document Buckey's death, Jason agrees with the promise that Bill not get him in trouble by telling anyone about the guard he shot (in the shoulder) outside.
Marcus has a meeting with the Pack about the witch/vampire fiasco. He tells the were's to stay out of it. A pup gets out of line and Marcus shuts him down. Alcide asks Debbie if she said anything and she says no.
Sam goes over to Luna's to apologize again for Tommy. He tells her that Tommy was abused his whole life and he killed his parents. Luna eventually forgives him and invites him in to help with lunch, but Emma wants a playmate instead.
Sookie pulls the silver off Eric and he shouts curses at her in another language. His wounds are not healing since he hasn't fed in a while. Sookie offers her blood. He makes sure she is serious and then tells her to keep silver nearby incase he oversteps his boundaries. He feeds off her and then he offers his blood so they can be one.
Jessica goes home to break up with Hoyt, and he cries like a baby and tells her that he can't live without her. During his meltdown she slams his head and kills him. Jason waits for Jessica in his truck and is turned on by the blood all over her face. He wants her to jump his bones and bite him at the same time. Jessica then wakes from her dream (gotcha) in Bill's basement when a human donor arrives in her cell to help her heal.
Jason and Andy are at Beula Carter's vampire remains. Andy relapses and almost sucks up her blood from the ground. Jason tries to snap him out of it. Hoyt's mother is at the scene talking to a reporter when Bill arrives and glamours the reporter into letting him give a statement about how Beula committed suicide.
Sookie and Eric are in the shower, high off each others blood. Sookie goes to turn on the water and it begins to snow inside the house. They pull the curtain to show a snowy forest with a fur covered bed. The
No one storyline is ever not important in True Blood but I am going to change the format slightly for this recap. The major conflict was Marnie versus the vamps and that is what I am going to focus the majority of the post on.Were's/Shifters
Sam and Alcide are still in the bike shop and they threaten the other Were but he is not budging. Luna comes in and yells at the guy because Marcus took Emma out of school without telling her. Sam tells Luna that Marcus killed Tommy.
Meanwhile, at Alcide's, Debbie (in very little clothing) is with Marcus. He wants her to leave with him and Emma but she refuses because she loves Alcide. He wants to know why she is with him then and she says because Alcide has been unfaithful.
Emma calls Luna and Alcide recognizes the number as his own, they hurry off to save her. At Alcides, Sam and Alcide go into the bedroom and Alcide freaks out on Debbie. Sam tells Marcus he will kill him without shifting. They wrestle for a bit and Sam is on the winning side but he wants Marcus to live with his decision. Marcus attacks when Sam is turned and Alcide crushes his windpipe and Marcus dies. Debbie freaks out and Alcide disowns her.
Andy & the Fairy
Andy is still on his way home when he sees a light ball in the forest. A woman (presumably fey) comes out from it and feels threatened, she light beams him to the ground. When Andy comes to, the fairy woman tells him that if she is going to make love to him he needs to swear on the light to protect her. She pulls some E.T. trick with her finger and Andy swears. Afterwards, Andy arrives at home and Arlene is there worried sick. He tells her what happened and she thinks that it is residual from the V. She tells him that his real life is better than his made-up one and he needs to be grateful for that.
The four vamps (Eric, Bill, Pam, and Jessica) are about to blow up Moon Goddess Emporium. Sookie tries to convince Marnie that they will all die unless they leave since the vamps do plan on taking the place down. Roy tells the witches they can't leave and Marnie disagrees, she throws a knife on the ground and tells anyone who wants to leave they can with the protection of the knife. One of the witches attempts to go but Marnie magic's the knife and stabs the girl in the stomach.
Marnie freaks out a bit and in the words of Lafayette, "puked a b*tch out". Antonia tells Marnie she wants to leave because she murdered one of their own. Marnie is not having it and she binds Antonia to her. Jesus informs the other witches that now they are in light terms, screwed