August 2005 Archives

The Sith, Revisited

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After Stars Wars: The Clone Wars came out, I wrote here about how I was intrigued with the history of the Sith. I recently entered the word "Sith" into Wikipedia's search and was surprised to see a fairly extensive entry on the subject. Myth-making in progress.

However, when I was searching the Wikipedia, I wasn't looking for information on George Lucas's Sith at all. I had been looking for the history of the Sith as it relates to Irish fairy tales. I was investigating whether Lucas might have knowingly taken the name from an existing mythology and reapplied it to his Star Wars universe. At the top of the Wikipidia entry for Sith, I found the meaning I was looking for in a redirect message: "For the Irish fairy, see Sithe."

I came across the reference to Sith as fairy folk while reading the book Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact. The Cute-Little-Red-Headed-Girlfriend--who is a bit of a ufologist--eagerly gave me the book to read, based on my having expressed interest in the ideas of Jacques Vallee, whose views I had encountered online.

I do not want to summarize the book's thesis here, which is both complex and unexpected. It is, how shall I say, a mindfuck. It reminded me of The Matrix in some ways, as well as the philosophical arguments surrounding the question, "How do I know I am not just a brain in a vat?" Although it is about the UFO phenomena, it also has much to say about the identity of the gods, the nature of reality and the boundaries of human knowledge.

Over the Top Overdose

I like games that are kind of strange, so I was really excited to read the feature "These Games Are Out There" in the latest Electronic Gaming Monthly. It was a preview of the expected sleeper titles coming out over the next few months, based on their atypical storylines and play mode. One of the games that intrigued me was Total Overdose, a shooter that takes place in Mexico.

According to the official web site, the game involves a drug trade plot and will have a soundtrack of Mexican hip-hop. There's only one female character, Angel, but she's billed as a "hard ass 'tom boy'" type, so I'm hoping she's playable and not just a love interest. Based on the web site, the game looks like it has a lot of style.

Lesbian Comics and Manga

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The June issue of Curve Magazine included a really large feature story called "Dykes in Comicland" by Lori Selke with illustration by Colleen Coover. There were also several sidebars on web comics, superhero comics, and manga, with contributions by Jocelyn Voo and Diane Anderson-Minshall. Unfortunately, the article is not available online, and although it's possible to order the back issue it appears in, there's an order minimum of two issues.

The artists discussed include Elizabeth Watasin, Roberta Gregory, Dianne DiMassa, Alison Bechdel, Colleen Coover, Paige Braddock, Gina Kamentsky and many others. It really is a generous overview, and comes at the question of women in comics from an angle outside of the usual industry-centric focus.

I've also noticed that After Ellen has been giving more feature space to comics recently. Their most recent feature is An Introduction to Yuri and Manga.

Tech News? You're Soaking In It

Since I've written several times about podcasting, I figured I might as well share the other podcasts I subscribe to. In the tech category, I listen to two: the Engadget podcast and the HDTV and Home Theater Podcast. I'm already swimming in tech information, but I figure why not supplement my tech news intake with some tech audio? Just wallow in it, I say.

I've been reading Engadget since it started publishing, and once the site began doing podcasts, I started listening to those, too. The show is pretty low-key and very conversational in tone, which is one of the things I like about it. I like that they're not overly partisan about one brand or OS or service provider, and I feel like they advocate for the user, too. I like listening to thier podcast as an extension of following the web site; it allows me to get more of a sense of the people behind a blog that I read everyday.

The other techcast I listen to is the HDTV and Home Theater Podcast. It's a lean show, only about 30 minutes long, which is ideal for a narrowly focused topic. The episodes I've listened to have mostly been review-oriented. For example, one show reviewed the new and incredibly desirable Harmony 880 remote and another compared the low-end HDTVs available at Costco.

I don't have an HDTV, but I do have a home theater set-up, and I enjoy discovering new ways to improve it or tweak it. Earlier this year I bought the O'Reilly book Home Theater Hacks, which mixes basic subject information with quick tutorials. I really didn't have a lot of understanding of home theater before reading the book, but by the time I finished it I was annoying my co-workers with earnest lectures on the superior image quality resulting from a properly calibrated TV.

You have calibrated your TV set, haven't you?

Fangirl-YS, CIHI, DP, GCS=AM

Following a link presented by Neilalien, I trotted off to discover what my comics affilation code should be. I'm going to identify myself as Teresa Ortega-YS, CIHI, DP, GCS=AM, which decodes to Teresa Ortega-Yay Superheroes, Continuity Is Hugely Important, DC Partisan, God's Second Child is Alan Moore. I'm actually a DP/NP waffler on an intellectual level, but in my heart I know I'm really DP.

Surrounded by Romans

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I enjoyed watching the ABC mini-series Empire, which aired recently on ABC. I noticed a number of watchers criticized the series for its historical inaccuracy. I get the point, but it seems weak sport to pick on a gladiator flick. I mean, Ben Hur is subtitled "A Story of the Christ," but that's not really what one remembers, is it? We remember it for the arena, the chariots, the blistering homosexual subtext.

Anyway, I watched Empire primarily because I was led astray by a TV reviewer that promised me a lesbian scene during the Roman orgy in episode 3. I think there may have been about 10 seconds of that, and even now I'm not really certain if I ever saw anything. But that's okay with me, because I liked the series even without it. There was something fun about its schizophrenic movement back and forth between lowbrow gladitorial combat and a middlebrow political plot.

By sheer coincidence, I happened to be playing Gladius on my GameCube at the time the series was on, so I was really excited when Empire made use of various gladiatorial classes, such as the secutor, a very quick-moving fighter type that I was using in my game. At one point in the series, the two lead characters, Augustus and Tyrannus, become captives at a notorious gladiator prison called Arkham. Now there's historical accuracy for you! I laughed myself to pieces over that.

In a few weeks, I plan on watching the HBO mini-series, Rome. I just discovered its being co-produced by the BBC, which can only be a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

Harry Potter, iPod Prince

Since I recently finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (along with half the world, it seems), I thought it would be fun to listen to some Harry Potter fan podcasts. The one that's stayed in my subscription queue is Harry Podder, an intergenerational podcast co-hosted by a child and an adult. The show has been spoiler-free through July, but the August podcasts assume you've finished the latest book.

In a recent podcast, I heard about a scandal involving "'shippers," fans who've become advocates of a particular romantic pairing between characters in the books. It interested me because there have been similar disputes among 'shippers in Xena fandom as well. Although Harry Podder is clearly geared towards children, it deals intelligently with some fairly complex subjects. The latest podcast, for example, delves into a professional tiff between author J.K. Rowling and author Terry Pratchett.

As soon as I finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince I felt very hungry for information and had to go crawling around the fan boards. There were a lot of mysteries I needed help with. Turns out the best information I could find was at The Severus Snape Fan Club Forums. Now it feels like a long wait until that next and final book.

Comics Audio

I've been listening to a lot of podcasts recently, just like my friend Joe, who discussed his favorites last week. My subscriptions cover a number of my interests, including comics. I've listened to several comics related podcasts in the last few weeks and my favorite so far is comicology. Rather than discuss industry news or peripheral subjects such as comics in film, this podcast discusses either a single or small number of comics from a reader's perspective. In other words, it's mostly about story and art. His site also provides links to other comics podcasts, including something called "The Bat Feed," which provides updates on all comics podcasts in RSS format.

The Gay Meme

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That lucky bitch friend of mine, Joe, just tagged me with something called "the gay meme." There are 5 questions to answer.


  1. Are you single or in a monogamous relationship?

    I am in a monogamous relationship with the Cute-Little-Red-Headed-Girlfriend.

  2. How long have you been with your partner/significant other/boy/girlfriend?

    We have been together for 5 years.

  3. How did the two of you meet?

    We met online. The Cute-Little-Red-Headed-Girlfriend responded to a
    personal ad I had placed in Planet Out personals. I had mentioned in my ad that my interests included Xena and fan fiction.

    On her end, the Cute-Little Red-Headed Girlfriend did a personals search on the word "Xena" and found me. She wrote to me and I cruised her ad, which had the headline, "Gabrielle is
    seeking Xena." I'm not a ringer for Xena by any means, but I
    definitely have the brooding thing going on big time.

    Since the Cute-Little-Red-Headed-Girlfriend was living far away in Washington State, we conducted our courtship for several months via e-mail. It was very 18th Century, very Jane Austen, sending these long elaborate letters back and forth for so long without ever having met in person. Finally we spoke on the phone, and things built from there.


  4. What do you like to do together?
    We like going out to restaurants and enjoying good food and drink, especially with friends like our buddy, Joe. We actually have fairly different interests, but we do enjoy sharing them with each other.

  5. If you are are single, what would life be like with your ideal
    spouse/partner?
    I'm not single, so this doesn't apply to me.


I guess I have to pass this on now. So I choose Dorian.

Recent Comments

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