narcasse: Sebastian Flyte.  Brideshead Revisited (2008) (dictatorial)
This week is International Blog Against Racism Week, stretching from August 6th to August 12th. And initially it’s not really something I would have paid much attention to other than to glance over links or posts by [ profile] nekonexus or [ profile] kintail who are on my flist anyway.

The main proposition being:

If you would like to participate, here's what to do:
1) Announce the week in your blog.
2) Switch your default icon to either an official IBAR week icon, or one which you feel is appropriate. To get an official IBAR week icon, you may modify one of yours yourself or ask someone to do so. Here's a round up of IBARW icons.
3) Post about race and/or racism: in media, in life, in the news, personal experiences, writing characters of a race that isn't yours, portrayals of race in fiction, review a book on the subject, etc. (Linking back here is highly appreciated!)

As per this post in [ profile] ibarw.

But I find that I do have something to say after all )
narcasse: Sebastian Flyte.  Brideshead Revisited (2008) (people)
This morning I opened my bedroom door to discover a teapot sitting patiently outside on the floor having been left as some sort of unexpected tribute. It’s actually the teapot I’ve been meaning to pick up for [ profile] liyang but hadn’t gotten around to finding.
Occasionally my father revels in moments of surprising resourcefulness which are designed to confuse me, so the offering of a teapot is much like being silently handed some USB extension cable while I watched TV on the couch, only to have him attempt to take it away again when he was leaving the room.
I highly suspect that some monks will be getting USB extension cable soon as part of some offering packages too in the near future.

And an annoying piece of WTFery )
narcasse: Sebastian Flyte.  Brideshead Revisited (2008) (opinion)
"[John] Bowlby’s notion of 'maternal deprivation' was used to explain every conceivable personal and social problem, from educational failure and mental breakdown to delinquency, divorce, promiscuity and general social unrest."

- Lynne Segal "Slow Motion: Changing Masculinities, Changing Men"

(Referring to "Child Care and the Growth of Love" Bowlby, J. 1953.)

Aside from that amusing piece of insight into the 50s there’s also a section later entitled "Martial Men: the Appeal of Fascism" which looks to be interesting. Doubly so not only because of my own interest in idealised military ethics but also because not so long ago as part of an essay about leadership imagery, I found myself trying to explain the concept of violent patriotism tied in with the almost deifying of military leaders. Then I had to explain how that was linked to religion and came right back round to the concept of a divine mandate from Heaven, which is just absolutism all over again.
narcasse: Sebastian Flyte.  Brideshead Revisited (2008) (Hmm)
Finally gotten around to editing my latest Meine Liebe ficlet. After spending most of the day labouring under the weight of a bibliography for an essay that goes in tomorrow.
And earlier this evening my father seemed to be getting worried that I’m going to ditch the chance to do an MA and run off to become a civil servant. It’s a new one to me since I was always under the impression that you were supposed to run off and join the circus… and to be honest it’s not as if I can really contact juggle by any leap of the imagination. Then he was mournful over the fact that I want to head out to Europe rather than Burma, though in that case I think he’s selectively forgetting that there hasn’t been a British Embassy in Burma for… well, some time. And if they were to suddenly reinstate it I already know someone who’d jump at the chance and who probably has a better command of Burmese than I do.
And as a complete aside, there must be a piano arrangement of "Lament of Innocence" about somewhere. Though regardless of having the urge to play again it probably doesn’t help that my piano is in storage in Leicester.
narcasse: Sebastian Flyte.  Brideshead Revisited (2008) (smug)
Ever get to the point were you’re so tired that you’ll throw up if you don’t sleep? Today at around 2pm that was me. Which in some respects was kind of handy, since it meant that I got to escape this big gathering after only being there for three hours at the start. Actually considering those three hours, I’d already done my obligatory bit anyway. And one of my ‘cousins’, who is forever skiving off, could handle the rest.
Though she did ring me 20 minutes after she’d arrived, which was just as I was leaving, telling me to come back because she was ‘so bored’.

And a random aside - Small child playing the piano jerkily and in particular jerky scales today. There is a child who doesn’t practice 4 hours every day. But hey, I only mock because it took me years to get the thumb bit right.
narcasse: Sebastian Flyte.  Brideshead Revisited (2008) (Default)
Making progress here after feeling slightly crappy earlier today.
I’ve finally gotten off rambling about the significance of Buddhism in Burmese culture and on to the public veneration of General Aung San’s memory in my essay. It’s interesting, dissecting Burmese attitudes and examining the whole package that makes up Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership but I’m not sure I fancy writing another essay like this for a long time to come. I’ll analyse Burmese history or Buddhism happily but with something like this, examining all the little aspects of things, I’m having to try not to trip myself up with what I already know, what’s not obvious to an outside perspective and not ending up just being self-congratulatory about the fact that I’m Burmese. I suspect that I’m going to have to be my own harshest editor for this one otherwise my essay is going to degenerate into a list of things I’m patting myself on the back for knowing. I think I’m also a little bit too emotionally attached to some of the things I’m writing about. I had to put a note to myself in my essay notes to remind myself not to mention the infamous ‘Year of Tourism’ if I can help it, otherwise there’d just be a big rant about the building of new swanky hotels on top of graveyards.
Maybe I should have just done Oswald Mosley after all.
Then again, you have to have at least one big debate or write one essay on Burmese history, Buddhism, General Aung San or Aung San Suu Kyi as par for the course really. I wonder if I get bonus points for managing three aspects in one small essay then?
narcasse: Sebastian Flyte.  Brideshead Revisited (2008) (Default)
Issues with this essay: making sure that I’m not writing about Buddhism and its integration with Burmese culture.
Heck, most of the religious stuff is cultural really and the cultural stuff is Buddhist. And Buddhism is a philosophy of life not a religion anyway, according to the Oxford monk.
narcasse: Sebastian Flyte.  Brideshead Revisited (2008) (Default)
Why do I feel uncomfortable substituting the word ‘clergy’ when I’m talking about Buddhist monks and nuns in general, in my essay?
It could well be because for me it’s got Catholic connotations, though I’m not even sure we have a general word in Burmese anyway, or at least not one we tend to use. Everything just gets generalised as ‘monks’ when we say it.
narcasse: Sebastian Flyte.  Brideshead Revisited (2008) (Default)
Watching Saiyuki Reload with my cousin the other day in Manchester we ended up debating whether or not the journey west would take the Sanzo-ikko through Burma. All this during the episode where there’s a bizarre fortress in the middle of a desert where the people shoot first and ask questions later. Which sounded like a very Burmese thing to do. Though about 10 minutes of geographical debate later we gave up since it’s only anime.
Still, it’s like all the other times when you jump at the vaguest mention of Burma in films etc. Of course half the fun is yelling when some film director or author has botched things up.