Picturesque street scene in the historic spa town of Bad Wimpfen, Germany (by jurek1951).
Jared Padalecki is too big to fit into the TARDIS.
Haven’t blogged this one yet, and it’s absolutely my favorite fanart of this couple I have yet seen.
By the incredibly talented marianne-khalil
For the rest of the day today, we’re playing Tumblr Tag with the accounts we follow. If you find you’ve been tagged in this post, reply with an answer to the following question:
What is your favorite fairy tale?
Susana is answering this because she has an answer that she thinks is actually interesting.
My favorite fairy tale is East of the Sun, West of the Moon. There are many ways the story is told, but as a kid, I had an edition that was illustrated by Mercer Mayer with
Sadly, no one in my family can find our copy of it now, and it’s out of print.
This version of East of the Son, West of the Moon is a bit of an amalgam of several fairy tales. It starts out exactly like The Frog Prince. Beautiful princess who refuses all suitors drops her gold ball in a well, and a talking frog offers to return it in exchange for a promise that she’ll marry him. Naturally, she promises in order to get her ball back, and then refuses to make good on it, because, duh, marrying a frog. The moment she reveals her intentions, the frog turns into a handsome prince and is whisked away by devils to a castle “east of the sun, west of the moon.” Turns out he was cursed by his his wicked stepmother, an ogre queen, and now he has to go live with her and marry one of her ogre daughters.
The princess immediately realizes that she’s in the wrong here and she’s got to do something about it. So she abandons her pampered lifestyle and embarks on an epic, globe trotting quest where she confronts and is helped by all manner of terrifying, epic elemental beasts: salamanders, great white bears, giant fish, unicorns, asking each one if they know how to get “east of the sun, and west of the moon.” Each one of them points her to another creature that takes her a little farther on her journey and/or offers her aid in the form of items like one of the fish’s silvery scales.
When she arrives at the castle, she is forced into bondage by the prince’s hideous stepmother and stepsisters, while she seeks to find a way to free him from an enchanted sleep within a glass prison. Eventually she winds up shooting one of the ogres in the heart, turning some of them to stone, etc., and she and her prince live happily ever after.
At least, that’s how it goes to the best of my recollection. Like I said, nobody in my family can find our copy of it. Needless to say, between the male character who takes on characteristics of both Cinderella and Snow White; the female character who takes on the Hero’s Quest of personal growth, adventure, and restitution; and those illustrations; it really stuck in my head as a kid.
Quasi unrelated, but one of my favorite lady comic artists, Marjane Satrapi, did a slightly more grown up version of this story framework called The Sigh, if you’d be interested in that sort of thing.
And if you’re interested in another beautifully illustrated out of print fairy tale that has gender role subverting themes (and the additional, you’d-never-notice-it-as-a-kid-but-hey-wow-now-that-I’m-an-adult-yeah theme that worshiping women for their purity and damning them otherwise is bullshit), see if your library has Jane Yolen’s Dove Isabeau.
sleepyhollowjacks asks: I was reading your chain of tweets about Paxil and had a question. One of the conditions that medicine is reported to treat is OCD (I have that). But isn’t OCD a productive tool for the highly creative types? Weren’t you afraid it might hinder your writing process?
I struggled with mild OCD and not-so mild paranoid ideation for decades; it was especially bad in the year or two around the publication of HORNS, a paranoid book written by a paranoid and unhappy man.
For a long time I was determined not to get help, because I was very afraid that if I took a pill, or saw a therapist, it would destroy me creatively. Then one day I realized I didn’t give a shit about whether or not I could go on as a writer… it was far more important to find a way to go on as a person, so I could be the best possible father to my kids, and not a miserable man who couldn’t make his appointments because he had to keep driving home to see if the oven was on. A person who looked behind pictures in hotel rooms to see if there was a fiber optic video camera hidden back there. And so on.
It turned out that my paranoid idea that treatment would destroy my creativity was like all my other paranoid ideas: bullshit. My compulsions and shrill fantasies weren’t empowering me creatively; they were fucking me over. If I wrote five pages and hit save and Microsoft Word told me I had ended on an odd-number of characters, instead of an even-number of characters, I assumed the day was a failure. This is not a joke. Logic didn’t enter into it.
After Heart-Shaped Box, I wrote parts of three different novels that didn’t work, because I was scared to write anything - scared of being hated, being sued by phantom persecutors, being criticized, letting people down, looking like a fool, and on, and on. Completing HORNS, and getting it right, was the hardest thing I’ve ever done as a creative person, because I did it with an interior voice constantly screaming in my ear that it was all wrong, that publication of the book would destroy all the good will I had created with Heart-Shaped Box. I got the novel written - and it came out good, Goddamn it - even though I usually began my day by searching my office for listening devices.
Can a little bit of OCD be adaptive for a creative person? Maybe, to a degree, when it leads to rigorous habits and good discipline (I remain a very habit-driven person, a guy who works through a series of checklists each day). But it’s very hard to be successful as an artist when you’re flinching from imaginary terrors and on the run from imaginary enemies. It’s also difficult to get anything written if you wind up in an institution; try and type when you’re in a straight-jacket, it isn’t easy.
As an afterword to all this, I’d note I wrote most of NOS4A2 after getting on Paxil and getting into therapy and dealing with my problems. It was hard-going at first, but in the end I wrote the novel with joy and excitement. I owed it to my kids to get my shit together. If getting right emotionally has helped me to do some of my best work, that’s just a fringe benefit.
sending people nice anonymous messages and watching them get really happy about it is my favorite thing to do on this website
Good to hear.
American taxpayers are getting their wish to have birthers forced to pay for their frivolous delusions. In Brooklyn, Judge Arthur Schack condemned birther Christopher Earl Strunk to pay $177,000 for wasting the court’s time with his ‘frivolous’ lawsuit, New York Daily News reported Wednesday.
The judge didn’t spare any feelings, calling Schack’s suit ’fanciful’ and ‘delusional.’
“If the complaint in this action was a movie script, it would be entitled ‘The Manchurian Candidate Meets the Da Vinci Code,’” wrote Schack.
Strunk’s suit, which he filed in order to have President Barack Obama removed from the 2012 ballot, was based on his paranoid delusion that a “massive conspiracy to defraud American voters was perpetrated by hundreds of individuals, at the behest of the Roman Catholic Church and especially the Jesuits.”
Oh, yes. The Roman Catholic Church ordered Obama to be President and hid his real birth certificate from American voters. You can tell by the way they pushed Mitt Romney in 2012. What a ruse!
Strunk has filed over 20 lawsuits naming various governmental agencies as the defendant (he also included the New York Province of the Society of Jesus in one suit), furthering the notion that birthers don’t mind wasting taxpayer money on their delusions — it’s just feeding the poor that they find so morally objectionable.
The head of the Alabama Democratic Party got so sick of the Birther nonsense that he threatened that he might start to demanding legal fees after he wrapped up one case only to be sued again within two hours for the exact same birther claim.
They have the right to be crazy, but they don’t have the right to force us to pay for their craziness. Of course, you can lead a birther to reality but you can’t make them deal with it. Christopher Earl Strunk seems unwilling to operate within the confines of the real world.
The New York Daily News reported Strunk is still delusional. He believes, “I’m going to have this thing overturned and I’m not going to pay a dime.”
How’s that rebranding effort going again?
Basically every conversation I had this past week.
This reminds me: the Jesus people moved their signs in the Times Square station so I have to walk past them more often now. At least I haven’t seen my nemesis yet: There’s one 42nd St Jesus Man who’s yelled at me so obnoxiously that I actually made a flourescent yellow t-shirt that says REBELLIOUS WOMAN in what looks like blood. Which I basically never where because I’m a teacher, but knowing I have it makes me feel better.