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A bunch of unrelated things - The Ex-Communicator

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March 20th, 2010


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10:57 am - A bunch of unrelated things
I occasionally get comments or 'friendings' from fake lj people, I suppose marketing bots or something. I expect you all do. I just tend to delete them, perhaps mark as spam. I got one yesterday from caroljudy which was very difficult, because the picture seemed to show a young lady with Downs Syndrome. I see this morning that the account has been suspended. I just mention it because this might be the start of a new type of lj spamming.

There's been some discussion on my flist and elsewhere about what defines the new and massive sub-genre(s) called 'Dark Fantasy', 'Dark Romance', 'Urban Paranomal Gothic' etc.

I think Daniel Davies has got quite close here:
As far as one can tell, both "Dark Fantasy" and "Dark Romance" are for books about having it off with vampires, but it's not clear what the difference is - logic would suggest that one of the two categories is more explicit about the actual vampire-knobbing than the other one.

In his comments someone says:
"Dark Fantasy" follows adventure-story genre conventions and "Dark Romance" follows romance genre conventions. In adventure stories the relationship with the love-interest(s) is secondary to the story, while in romance the relationship is the story and the action is there to drive changes in the relationship.

In audible it's called 'Paranormal Fantasy' and the most recently released titles are:
'Wild Ride'
'Love Bites'
'Burning Wild'
'Wolfbreed'
'Nice girls don't have fangs'

They all have pictures of red lips and necks on the cover. So, 'having it off with vampires and werewolves' basically.

And - jumping to a new topic - I liked these links from andrewducker which seem to me to be related to each other:

How taking an acting class changed me
by identifying and magnifying the many feelings already below the surface, we slowly learned how to be “present” instead of acting... I made some small changes, like being entirely honest about how I felt in trying situations... and can honestly say that I am better for it.


Well-being associated with real conversation not small talk
the happiest participants (z = +1.5 SD) spent about 25% less time alone (58.6% vs. 76.8%) and about 70% more time talking (39.7% vs. 23.2%). They also had roughly one third as much small talk (10.2% vs. 28.3%) and twice as many substantive conversations

Like a lot of people (I am guessing) I consider myself very bad at small talk, but I do try and force myself to act as we are supposed to. Perhaps I should stop trying to act like I think I am supposed to, and start making more authentic conversations. I don't mean I never have real conversations, but perhaps I should stop feeling so obligated to talk small, or more confident about talking the way I enjoy.

Finally - just started The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov. Anyone read it? Is it any good? It's read by Julian Rhind-Tutt from Green Wing, in a very dry and humorous way.

(20 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:londonkds
Date:March 20th, 2010 11:52 am (UTC)
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"Dark Fantasy" is a much older sub-genre that doesn't deserve to be limited to paranormal action-romance. As I understand it this mostly came out of John Clute's problems with the idea of "horror" as a genre because a genre should be about what a story actually deals with rather than its effect on the viewer/reader/listener. The idea as expressed in the "Encyclopaedia of Fantasy" is that the supernatural horror stories (as opposed to stories about horrible things happening that might actually occur in the real world) can be divided into two sub-genres depending on the nature of the supernatural nastiness. In "Supernatural Fiction" the menace is outside the universe in the story and can or must be driven out either permanently or temporarily, but in "Dark Fantasy" the menace is an inherent part of the universe, no matter how much the protagonists might want to pretend otherwise, and has to be somehow appeased or controlled. (As a sideline, this is a useful distinction to explain the difference between the moods of Joss Whedon's two shared-universe TV shows: Buffy was definitely supernatural fiction most of the time, while Angel was dark fantasy.)
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From:communicator
Date:March 20th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
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Thanks, that's a really interesting taxonomy. I think the terms are used nowadays by book marketing types in a more tedious and restrictive way, almost as a shorthand for 'look here for your Twilight knock-offs' though this fad too will pass of course.
From:londonkds
Date:March 20th, 2010 12:20 pm (UTC)
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Most paranormal romances, whatever the degree of action-adventure content in them, would fit within this definition of "dark fantasy". (Dark fantasy can be either optimistic or pessimistic: the optimistic ones tend to end up viewing supernatural beings as analogous to or outright metaphors for ethnic, sexual, or arty subcultures.)
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From:ninebelow
Date:March 20th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
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Yes, "dark fantasy", just like "urban fantasy", has been co-opted in a really unhelpful way.
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From:mraltariel
Date:March 20th, 2010 02:31 pm (UTC)
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The Master and Margarita - A. and I both loved it when we read it.
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From:communicator
Date:March 20th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
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Great. I've just listened to another hour while I was at the gym, and I think it's going to work out for me.Julian R-T conveys it in a very literate but funny way. 'He do the police in different voices'.
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From:pennski
Date:March 20th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
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I struggle too with what type of "talk" to use. People I find interesting tend to do real talk, and I am more likely to ask them real questions. People I need to be able to "get along with" at work, but have little in common with, seem to spend an awful lot of time making small talk and resist any attempts to have what I think of as "real conversations". And yet, they will have real conversations with each other sometimes.

Sigh.

Or alternatively - this means I can put my energy into the conversations I want to have.
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From:communicator
Date:March 20th, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
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I was just talking to my daughter about this study, and we were wondering whether people who were lucky enough to spend the day of the study with people they got on well with both needed less small talk, and were happier. So, not a causal relation.
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From:kalypso_v
Date:March 20th, 2010 07:16 pm (UTC)
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People used to seem surprised when I answered the question "How are you?" with a brief breakdown of my current health. I think I've trained myself not to do it so much.
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From:pennski
Date:March 20th, 2010 11:14 pm (UTC)
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Yes - I've had to learn that one too. And then get confused when people who I think want the "fine thanks" answer go ahead and ask for more detail.
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From:ninebelow
Date:March 20th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for pointing me at that Daniel Davies post.
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From:communicator
Date:March 20th, 2010 06:22 pm (UTC)
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Cheers. It reminded me of your post about it
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From:trixieleitz
Date:March 20th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
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Could this caroljudy have been the troll described here?
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From:communicator
Date:March 21st, 2010 06:03 am (UTC)
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I don't think it was the same. caroljudy's main blog seemed to be all about buying Reiki crystals or something, so I suspect more venal motives, though you never know.

I forgot you were an lj-helper and I think in retrospect I should have spoken to you about this, I mean for my own peace of mind.
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From:trixieleitz
Date:March 21st, 2010 06:28 am (UTC)
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Ah, I only knew about the reports of this other character peripherally (through someone else linking them). Not through Support.

If someone unsavoury does add you, you can ban them so that they can't comment and don't appear on your profile. If you don't add them back, they can't see anything that you haven't made public, so I don't think you have anything to worry about :)
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From:communicator
Date:March 21st, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)
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Thanks. My concern was the other way round - I thought I might be deleting comments from a genuine but inept person with a learning disability. Guardian reader guilt in other words.
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From:trixieleitz
Date:March 21st, 2010 07:40 am (UTC)
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That's fair enough :)

In those sorts of cases, I suspect that your gut feeling would be just as accurate as mine (if not more so). I was contacted by the character described in that entry I linked, and wasn't sure at the time if ignoring them was the kindest thing to do, but now I'm glad that I did.
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From:vilakins
Date:March 20th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
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I love The Master and Margarita! It's one of my favourite books. I should read it again.
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From:communicator
Date:March 21st, 2010 06:03 am (UTC)
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This sounds very promising, thank you
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From:vilakins
Date:March 21st, 2010 06:06 am (UTC)
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I've read it twice. :-)

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