Nicest Kids in Town: Not Actually So Nice May 21, 2012Posted by Conventioneering in essay, review.
Tags: essay, review
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I’ve been getting interested in classic rock and swing, apropos of nothing, particularly the culture surrounding rock n roll fandom, and so I asked the internet (meaning: various social networks) about what books they could suggest on the history of rock n roll. My Facebook feed enthusiastically suggested The Nicest Kids in Town as an example as the book to look at. When I picked it up, it looked exactly right: a look into Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, and specifically into the race tensions surrounding it. The book’s premise is that contrary to Dick Clark’s claims that his show helped American racial integration, in fact American Bandstand helped reinforce racial segregation and never truly integrated. Fascinating stuff, I thought, this could be an interesting ride. So I put in an Interlibrary Loan request and checked it out.
Boy was I disappointed. I didn’t even get past Chapter Three.
Delmont does indeed talk about rock n roll, American Bandstand, and race relations. The problem is that he barely talks about the former two at all. Rock n roll and American Bandstand are, at least in the first three chapters, mere footnotes to another discussion: that of integration in housing developments in the 1950s. This, too, could have been an interesting topic, save that Delmont adresses it in the driest manner possible. There is no personal touch here, no look at individual stories, nothing to make me care about these events. There is, instead, a lot of dry statistics about housing developments in the 50s, about legal procedures and specific laws and rules put into place to reinforce segregation, and an awful lot of politics and examination of the weasel words that government officials used to pretend that they totally weren’t segregating anyone, and were totally integrating people, see?
The way the book is advertised, I was expecting a close look at personal struggles and at the youth culture. I was expecting testimonies by individuals, a look at the youth scene and how the teenagers of the time felt about this, with the politicking as the backdrop and background information. There is a little of this personal touch, but only just a sprinkling, a tiny bit about house parties held in people’s basements, about the local skating rinks… but these are glossed over, barely mentioned. It’s a shame, too, because these touches are where the book shone for me, the only thing keeping me reading before the narrative plunged back down into another long discussion of Philadelphia zoning laws.
I understand that dry history books absolutely have their place. This book is important in that it takes a much harsher look at race relations in 1950s Philadelphia. The problem is that this isn’t what the book is marketed as, and I suspect that a marketing agent must have looked at it and gone “We can’t call this ‘Zoning Laws in Philadelphia in the 1950s’! Hey, why don’t we play up that American Bandstand thing you keep mentioning, relate it to rock and roll? People love rock and roll, right?” Maybe I’m wrong, maybe after Chapter Three the book starts to actually look at youth culture and American Bandstand and race, but it sure didn’t look like it; it looked like Yet More Housing Discussion. In any case, even if it did, the prose style wasn’t enough to engage me.
It’s an excellent resource if you need to do historical research or background information on housing developments in Philadelphia in the 1950s. Not so much if you’re looking for some light summer reading on the trials and struggles of young rock and roll fans in the ’50s.
Privileging the Normal October 27, 2010Posted by Conventioneering in Armchair philosophy.
Tags: Armchair philosophy, essay
The thing I hear people complain about the most when it comes to fan conventions is the smell. I will never, ever understand this. It’s a stereotype, an ugly one, and I don’t think it’s at all true. I have never noticed any untoward smell, and I have a rather sensitive nose (such that a friend of mine once remarked that my ability to find food carts on city streets seemed like some kind of superpower). A fan convention is no more malodorous than rush hour on your average public transit, or indeed any other large and crowded gathering of humans. I think the stereotype comes in because people assume that nerds have terrible hygiene. On average, I think nerd hygiene is no worse or better than the hygiene of any population of humans – some of them will smell funny, most won’t, and that’s that. Conventions, perhaps, get that reputation because the vast majority of the attendees are staying for three days in a hotel room and not sleeping, but again, I’ve never noticed a convention as being any worse than any other large gathering. Indeed, most concerts and dance parties I’ve been to have been far worse.
Perhaps it’s because society privileges the ‘normal’. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is ‘normal’, so no one is going to complain about the dust or the sweat of a few thousand tourists in the Washington DC summer sun. A Boyscout Jamboree is ‘normal’, so no one is going to complain about the smell of unwashed adolescent boys wearing peculiar uniforms. But a fan convention is outside the norm, so when you have to stand in line behind a girl with huge plastic wings, a kid in an orange jumpsuit with little whiskers drawn on his face, and a guy with a gigantic plastic sword, you are going to complain about these damn nerds getting up in your life and disrupting your every day routine. Again, to use the Folklife example, or DC’s Cherry Blossom Festival – you probably have more people around during those events, and they are probably going to cause more problems with lines, empty ATMs, and traffic, but you can see the geeks. Or in regards to the smell – if you’ve traveled a few thousand miles to get to your favorite convention and you have to deal with a guy in line with you who smells like seven day old socks, you are going to notice him more. You will blame it on him being a nerd. Yet you probably have a co-worker you have to deal with every day at your boring nine-to-five job who smells as bad if not worse, who never showers, and who is for the most part a normal guy whose idea of ‘fandom’ is to go to a Sox game. It’s all a matter of perspective.
So why do we privilege the normal? Why is it that traveling thousands of miles to see a favorite baseball team or spending thousands of dollars on a ticket to a concert perfectly fine behavior, but spending forty dollars to go hang out with friends for a weekend and catch up on the latest Marvel releases is ‘weird’? Why is the stinky co-worker at work well… it’s not okay, but why is that reek associated with fans when it’s clearly a larger problem? I meet more fetid normal people than I do geeks. So why the stereotype?
It’s a pervasive attitude among nerds too. Nerds are shy about their nerdiness. The other day I had a conversation with a girl I know who I think of as a non-nerd, as an ‘outsider’, but it turns out she plays World of Warcraft and used to play Ragnarok Online; she hung out on Gaia and had a few hundred dollars worth of rare items before her account got hacked into and then banned. We talked about online gaming and trolling, about our latest Tumblr finds and wallpaper, but the second other people walked in the conversation stopped, and she started talking about boys and booze again, and I just retreated into my normal shell (I have little to say outside fandom, most of the time). There’s a kind of embarrassment, which I’m guilty of myself. I don’t like to admit that I have a huge Transformers collection; I don’t like to admit that I waste most of my free time pretending to be fictional characters on the internet. Even in my writing I try to avoid the subject, to pretend that my obsessions aren’t as deep as they are. It’s embarrassing. It makes me feel somehow less of a person.
I know why I do this, at least in part – as a child I, like every other nerd on the planet, got bullied for my geeky interests. But the reason I got bullied for my geeky interests stems from that very problem – we privilege the ‘normal’.
I think I’m talking about a problem that hundreds of others have spoken of before, and in a far more eloquent manner. Doubtless some well-meaning person will link me to a dozen essays and websites and books on the subject.
For now I’m going to end this little ramble.
Note: the first person who ‘corrects’ my uses of the words ‘geek’ and ‘nerd’ in here gets punched and/or banned I swear. Take your grammar nazi attitude and go back to the MLA.
A shackle and a safeguard October 14, 2010Posted by Conventioneering in Armchair philosophy.
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I lost my watch today.
This is horrible. This is a big deal. This is something I can’t handle, something I hate. Not simply because the watch was nice (it was) or because it was extremely expensive (it was), but because I’m a watch person.
This is hard to describe. In this day and age, almost everyone I know uses their cell phones to check the time. I find this awkward. You have to fumble around in your bag before removing the phone, get the screen to turn on, check the time, then put it away again. With a watch, you just look at your wrist. And the watch has other functions, too – mine had a kitchen timer in it that I used for my laundry and eggs and cooking. My phone does this too, but my phone isn’t something I want to have to have nearby when I’m dealing with hot oils or tomatoes or whatever. As for laundry, having the timer on my wrist is a far better way to get me to remember. I don’t carry my phone with me constantly when I’m home, or even when I’m out.
But there’s a second level to this. I have attention deficit disorder (specifically, ADHD-I, or, adult inattentive type). I make no secret of this. There are times when I will zone out, lapse in attention, or be elsewhere. This makes my relationships difficult – I already know that all of my teachers this year are frustrated with me, not to mention many of my classmates, because I simply cannot always control what I am and am not paying attention to. I can’t sit still. I draw or write in class.
As such, I’ve always had trouble keeping schedules. I live a life of paradox. On the one hand, I need structure. I need to have people tell me what to do, where to be, how to behave, because without that I get completely lost. I need to be told multiple times, over and over; I need to set schedules and calendar dates and things need to be regular otherwise I get hopelessly lost.
The watch was a lifeline. The watch was both a shackle and a safeguard. In college it was the only way to know when I had to be somewhere – I’d program alarms into it, check it every five seconds. This is when I need to be in so-and-so’s office. This is when I have such-and-such class. At work, it was the only way I could remember reliably when my breaks were, and when I needed to be off them, so I could go out for lunch or outside. When my watch broke, I was completely lost, often too late or too early for everything. Once I missed a break entirely.
On a psychological level, I need it. The watch is safety. The watch is the only way I can schedule my life. When should I be at the train station? What time should I get up? I live and die by that circle on my wrist.
I hope I find it. I’ve torn apart my house searching, but still there is no sign. I cannot afford a new one.
In the meantime, I feel lost, adrift in time, and I check the back of my wrist, searching for stability.
Free writing September 23, 2010Posted by Conventioneering in Armchair philosophy.
I seem to have done a little free-writing.
Reflections on Boston.
The light slants in through the windows of the Boston Public Library.
The sun here is a little less than it is at home. I miss my Maryland sun, liquid gold across the floor.
The light comes in through the windows and it’s the first sun I’ve seen in two weeks; there’s no sun when you work in IT.
The light comes in.
I stand in a pool.
I smell old books.
Learn to breathe.
Harvard Square to Boston University past Allston, little run-down shops which you can either say have character or are dingy; a swirl of Koreans and college students, hipsters and hippies, the poor and the false-poor (ie – students and grads, those who have money but whose money is tangled and tied and whose lives are not their own, sold to history). I stand sandwiched between a businessman and some dumb broad, because it’s never not rush hour on the Green line. The trolley shakes and jolts and shudders and screeches and I swear after three years of this I’m going to lose the ability to hear that particular tone, my god don’t you idiots grease these tracks or your brakes? But it’s not the Washington DC Red line, so I guess I can live.
Boston University passes by, tall buildings full of students, more students than I can deal with and we plunge into the tunnels underground.
The sun is not my sun.
I need to get out into this city. Kendall and the Red Line on the edge of the sketchy part of town to MIT where My People are. The people at Emerson aren’t My People – My People’ve always been the programmers and engineers; the scientists and cyborgs. People at Emerson are Professional and have some perception that the world is real.
The world isn’t real.
I just have to figure out how to live in it. Play by these silly rules we’ve made with a wink and a grin instead of a cringe and a fear.
It’s interesting. They say that when you have a young child in a social situation that if they laugh and they’re talkative they’ll always be that way.
I was silent for years.
But it’s like something old has re-awakened in me. I remember, once, when I was very young being the life of the party. Always having a story. Making people mad sometimes. Charming adults and peers alike. And then I fell into a group that didn’t give a fuck and told me to shut up.
I was silent.
I think it started when I came back from the East.
I’ve always had words on paper – no, not paper, that’s not the right metaphor these days. I’ve always had words painted in light.
But I’m learning to paint in sound. I’m learning to capture with a smile, with image and with stance. I’m learning how to charm. When do I wear a suit and blouse and makeup and comb my hair and when do I wear my leather jacket and my hat (people at school say I am Neal Stephenson because of this; I think of myself as more a Gaiman than a Stephenson, really; but the joke is that I am the Neal Stephenson to my friend Mercer’s Hunter S. Thompson), that’s a delicate thing. When do I take off the masks and give that crooked grin and a throwaway reference to a meme and when do I act prim and proper and talk about how I have excellent networking skills and my research…
I’m learning the proper dances. Here’s hoping they actually help me sometime.
But I don’t want an intense job. This is another thing: I know now.
I just want a fun job.
A lazy job, preferably.
Fuck, doesn’t everybody? But man I don’t think I care about being rich, I care about being comfortable.
Well, and enough to travel would be nice.
But you gotta think, I’m willing to sleep in a tent or a shoddy motel and eat in a sidewalk cafe and fuck the high style tourism. I’ll see your temples and your monuments sure but you can take your five star restaurants and your boulevards and your overpriced hotels.
Not that I don’t like a little luxury. I just don’t need it.
Good thing, too, ’cause I’m pretty fucking sure I’m too lazy for that shit.
The sunlight here isn’t bright enough.
City’s old. I like that. Boston feels layered, feels real. DC has this peculiarity in that it all feels so new. Even the old bits. I know for a fact that the Smithsonian castle’s been there since forever but it looks like it was built yesterday. In Boston you can tell that things have been there since forever.
It doesn’t change the sunlight. Boston sunlight is watery. It’s clear and tinny. I think of it like glass bells, or flute music. Tinny. Beautiful, sure.
But it’s not the deep brass notes of Washington.
Boston’s more sure of itself. People really are fucking crazy here. It’s so weird for me not to have to constantly dance the dance, and I’m getting these looks, too, when I try. People notice. You either are or you aren’t, here. There’s less of the game, you see. Or maybe there is, and I haven’t seen it yet. Point being that there’s enough undergrads who can still be what they are that you don’t have that business suit thing going on, where everyone dresses so staid and then goes out to bars that look like coral reefs.
I dunno. It’s interesting. I need to think on this more. I still hate that I never learned my old city. I fear I’ll never gain the heart of this one. I live too far in dreams.
The sun just isn’t the same.
Endings and beginnings August 14, 2010Posted by Conventioneering in Job Get!, Uncategorized.
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I am not dead.
I am leaving my job at NASM.
this is not a bad thing! I am not leaving in a huff, I assure you. I am leaving because the spectre of graduate school is looming large on the horizon, and thus I must shuffle off this coil. By ‘coil’ I mean ‘life in Washington DC’. All in all I actually did have a very good time working at NASM, but there comes a time (the walrus said) to talk of other things.
I will attempt to post more.
In the meantime I am changing my profile.
Flash fiction? July 23, 2010Posted by Conventioneering in Fiction.
Tags: Fiction, I only pretend to be a writer
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I write flash fiction sometimes. Sometimes I make the poor mistake of thinking that this is a good idea to ask my tweeps about prompts.
Ergo, here is the prompt @generaltechno gave me, and here is my fairly terrible and overwrought purple response.
Giant killer manatees and the inspired photographic wasp.
Tags: Armchair philosophy, for SCIENCE
I’m only mostly dead.
And there’s quite a lot of difference between ‘mostly dead’ and ‘all dead’.
I won’t be posting as much as I did in June, but I’m going to do my best to update more than once in a blue moon. Maybe. We’ll see.
ANYWAY. Today’s thoughts!
I read an article today that someone actually tweeted by thinking. This was accomplished by using an EEG machine that the guy programmed by looking at letters and telling the machine to recognize when he was thinking of individual letters, or some such madness. In the same article was information about another EEG device that you could program to recognize when you think about typing characters and it would thus type for you. Basically, instead of sitting here typing, I could think about the movement I use to type the letter ‘a’ and the machine would do it for me.
Immediately, I can hear the outcry. “My god!” everyone says. “It’s bad enough that we have cell phones that let us tweet our every passing thought! How much worse will it be when that becomes literal! WHAT IF THE GOVERNMENT CAN USE THIS TO READ OUR THOUGHTS!”
First of all, the impression I get is that you have to concentrate to type, and second, this is hardly mind-reading. Well… I suppose it is mind-reading of a sort, but this would be more the cloudy surface thoughts. There’s no probing of our darkest secrets and desires going on here, unless you happen to be thinking of them at the time. Yet everyone has some self control, and unless in the future there’s a way to set your brain-to-text program to livestream your thoughts you’re probably safe. And even when you are, I’d hope you’d have the prescience to not think about your deep lust for purple haired catboys*, or whatever the popular kink of The Future is.
Personally, I’m kind of excited about this technology. I’m not much of a doomsayer, and even during humanity’s most facepalm inducing moments I try to keep an optimistic attitude. See, in my case, I have a bit of a problem – I get my very best ideas in awkward situations that are not conducive to writing stuff down, particularly since I can’t read my own handwriting. They come to me while I’m on my bicycle, while I’m washing dishes, on the train, at work, or, worst of all, when I’m about to fall asleep. The moment I manage to get home, finish my work, or wake up to grab a notebook, the ideas have vanished, sundered by my sudden distraction.
But if I had a device where I could simply concentrate to write, I could easily write while on a nice bicycle ride. Or, if that requires too much concentration, it would make my daily sessions of writing on the train quite a bit easier. I wouldn’t have to have my laptop balanced precariously on my knee while I try to take Metrorail’s advice and watch out for electronics-snatchers, and I wouldn’t have to awkwardly shuffle around to let someone out. I could simply look out the window, think a bit, and have everything written down for me.
And it’d certainly save my wrists some strain.
*Disclaimer: I am not into purple catboys. Actually, I only date planes.
Edit before posting: Sadly, when I returned home, I was unable to find the actual tweet I found the article in! Tweeting by thinking actually happened, at least, and I am fairly sure about the rest, but I suppose this is what I get for writing on the train.
Bleh June 23, 2010Posted by Conventioneering in Uncategorized.
No post today. Just got back from Boston; exhausted.
Write every day no exceptions – this plane flight sucks June 22, 2010Posted by Conventioneering in write every day no exceptions.
Tags: write every day no exceptions
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I just had the worst airplane flight ever.
Realize that I normally love air travel. I endure security, despite increasingly ridiculous security regulations. I don’t mind sitting in coach, so long as I can get some view of a window. By the wings is best, so I can watch the plane actually work.
Today? Today!? Good freaking god.
First, my mom and I got to the check in counter for Air Tran, only to find that there was a huge line. We weren’t that worried, because we had only brought carry on items, and figured we could skip to the electronic check-in.
Except the electronic check-in had a huge line.
Okay, no problem, we figure. We’re patient people. We’re good at line-waiting. We are veterans of Disney. We get to the kiosk, and then… our confirmation number doesn’t work.
Still. No problem. We can deal with this. We try to get the attention of the woman behind the desk.
She throws up her hands, says, “I can’t deal with this”, and leaves.
I’m staring at this in disbelief while my mother tries to get the attention of the other woman, who is too busy checking in the first-class passengers – one of whom needs a wheelchair and is thus taking even more time. It takes nearly twenty minutes to get this damn woman’s attention before she finally freaking checks us in.
Man, we say. Thank goodness we’re through with that nightmare! Surely we’ll be okay now.
Of course, the security line wraps around half the terminal.
We weather this. We endure. Though we are exhausted (especially me, since I had a late shift the night before and had to get up at five thirty to catch this flight) we go on. We’re both starving and we’re hoping to grab some food before getting on the plane.
It is, naturally, boarding when we get there.
We manage to grab some pretzels, and I think to myself surely, surely things will be okay. I’m in an A seat, that means I’ll have a nice relaxing flight with a nice window seat.
Well, I would have a window seat, except that I’m in the last seat on the plane, and therefore my view is blocked by the engine.
The jet engine. You know. The huge loud thing.
In the immortal words of the Internet, “FML”.
write every day no exceptions – the Name of the Wind June 20, 2010Posted by Conventioneering in write every day no exceptions.
Tags: write every day no exceptions
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I lied. Not writing about the Martian-Venusian war. Also, can I just say that writing every day no exceptions, especially with my other obligations (full time job, preparation for grad school, move) is rather grueling? Mostly because… well, for me, it’s difficult to write without direction. I really need someone telling me “Hey, this is what you’re assigned, and your deadline is X.” If I don’t have a deadline, I don’t work. Hence the “every day no exceptions”. I have a deadline of midnight each night, and this severely annoys my mother because it means that I’m often using this to avoid doing the dishes.
I can’t even imagine what this would be like if I was living alone. I probably couldn’t, because I’d have to eat sometime. Or I’d have to give up sleep. Damn my need to sleep for 8+ hours every night 10 preferable. I wish I was one of those people who only needed three hours of sleep a night. Dear fellow Transhumanists – can we stop worrying for a bit about the whole Singularity thing and maybe make ourselves sleep-optional? Not to mention immunity to disease. I think those are much more reasonable short-term goals, guys.,
Right, essay of the day…
I’ve been having some troubles with books lately. I’ve been trying to read fantasy and science fiction books in the evenings to get my brain to decompress after a long day, and at first this went fantastically. Jhereg was a fun romp, sort of your typical modern high-fantasy that sometimes gets very confused and thinks its science fiction, or maybe it’s science fiction pretending to be high fantasy. Either way, it was fun and silly. The Black Company was a bit too morose for my tastes at many points, but I got through it. Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind was frakking fantastic, and brought fantasy (long a genre that had been dead to me) back to life. What I loved about it was that it was more like reading a really good memoir than “And so and so got on his horse and went to defeat the Dark Lord.” There’s a Dark Lord alright, and there’s a so-and-so, but the framing device is that our So-And-So (in this case, Kvothe, pronounced ‘quothe’) has fallen into a depressive funk because a lot of shit has happened to him in his life and he doesn’t want to play Epic Hero Guy anymore. He’s only in his twenties and already he’s (presumably) killed dragons and kings, and oh dear if I go any further we’ll get into spoiler territory. He’s a legend in his own lifetime, most people are pretty sure he’s fictional.
And at this point in his life, he’s content with being fictional. Kvothe is pretty content to spend the rst of his days as a failing innkeeper in the arse-end of nowhere, even as the Dark Lord starts doing his Dark Lord thing and making a big fuss killing folk. This is despite the Dark Lord killing Kvothe’s parents! He is not Batman. He’s just a man, and he’s a man who honestly doesn’t want to be bothered.
Of course, this being fantasy fiction, his student/servant Bast (who seems to have a giant raging crush on Kvothe, by the way. This isn’t a fangirl talking, either, this is a genuine case of “did you write this guy to be this gay on purpose?”) has other ideas, and those ideas include getting a famous wandering historian to write Kvothe’s memoirs in the hopes of getting the guy back in the heroing saddle.
What follows is a wonderful tapestry of a world that both follows and completely subverts the usual “Farm boy goes out on a quest thing.” The great thing to me is that while Kvothe really is a hero, and he really does go from “Fairly ordinary kid” to “guy who commands the very elements etc etc”, the book takes a realistic approach to this. Well, as realistic as a fantasy novel gets, anyway. There’s a mentor, but he’s not drawn to Kvothe out of some great destiny and he doesn’t stick around. In fact, you could say that there’s several mentors who come and go, just like in real life. Kvothe is brilliant, but his brilliance is (probably) not ordained by some higher power. Well, it might be the result of being half-fey, but that’s just tinfoil hat speculation. When his parents are viciously murdered by the Chandrian (aforementioned Dark Lord) it isn’t because Kvothe is any sort of Chosen One; it’s because his parents were poking about at stuff they shouldn’t have been and also because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And Kvothe, in refreshing dose of realism, doesn’t instantly swear revenge so much as he goes nearly catatonic from shock and becomes feral, wandering the woods and surviving only because of what he’s learned from his mentors. Instead of being picked up instantly by a gentle benefactor, he then ends up in a city where he lives in squalor, and not the sort of romantic gentleman thief squalor either, or even Oliver-esque squalor. We’re talking something that feels gritty and genuine and goddamn depressing.
Kvothe gets out of this, I won’t say how, but again, it’s less because of some sort of miracle as it is because of Kvothe’s own wit and a bit of extrordinary luck that Kvothe has the sense to take advantage of, at which point he goes off to a university of magic, but one that is entirely unlike Hogwards. In fact, if any of you have ever read “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality”, it’s basically Hogwarts as if that version of Harry ran it. Much of the ‘magic’ is actually good use of (real but obliquely described) chemistry and the laws of physics. One of Kvothe’s teachers has basically figured out how to make light bulbs. And Kvothe himself has enormous problems with his student loans and paying them back. It felt a bit like reading about my own current predicaments, only in some version of early Rennisance Europe. Sort of.
There’s real magic, alright, and it still operates on distinct principles – indeed, basic magic seems to follow laws of thermodynamics to some extent. The high magic is treated as something strange and powerful and incomprehensible indeed, and is only barely sprinkled into the narrative… and even then, it’s not mountain-moving or earth shaking, but rather something subtle and terrifying. Making walls vanish. Bidding the air to move.
There’s a dragon, yes, and there’s a girl, but neither are what you’d expect. The girl is as strong as a girl in a medieval analogue culture can be, but in a realistic way, and Kvothe even comments on this. The dragon is more like a big drug-addled cow that happens to breathe fire, a misunderstood creature that ultimately is, like so many of the other characters, in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The book has a cruel end in that I want more and I’m not going to get it until April. Patrick Rothfuss has somehow gotten me excited about fantasy literature again in a time when I’m really, really jaded about this sort of thing. I’ve nursed a “seen it all” attitude for so long that this came as a real and genuine surprise.
… heh, and here I started out intending to complain about the fantasy literature I’m reading right now, which I’m not liking in the least. Perhaps I’ll save that for tomorrow. In the meantime, you should all go read The Name of the Wind, because it’s excellent.