Providence #7
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alexx_kay
The new issue of Alan Moore’s Providence is out. I have some mixed feelings.

On the one hand, I am disappointed that the dizzying intensity of existential terror reached at the end of the previous issue is retreated from.

On the other hand, Moore has taken the well-worn Lovecraftian trope of the Clueless Narrator and driven it to hitherto-undreamed-of heights (depths? lengths? marls?). It’s so overdone it’s funny – which becomes horrifying in a very unusual way.
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Dream Snippet: B5
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alexx_kay
Cool: Running in to an old friend while both of us were on Babylon 5.
Less Cool: He was working a cash register at a hamburger joint in the food court.

(I was on B5 to attend the big annual interstellar SCA event...)
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Context is for the weak
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
Hawkeye is surprisingly effective against Galactus.

Hamilton
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alexx_kay
I finally got around to listening to Hamilton. Yeah, it really is all that. If you want an overview of what the show is, and why everyone is talking about it, Siderea did an excellent write up.

Having listened to the music, I began a cursory read of some of the associated meta-text; news articles, interviews, and such. In so doing, I’ve come up with one insight that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

The composer and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, reminds me of no one so much as the young Orson Welles, with one crucial difference. Like Welles, Miranda is brilliant, driven, and egotistical. However, unlike Welles, he understands that theater is not a zero-sum game.

Welles always had to be the lone genius. Though he surrounded himself with talented people, he always denigrated them, or played power games to assert his dominance. Karmically, this resulted in relatively untalented people exerting power and dominance games over Welles, greatly reducing the amount of art he was able to complete.

Miranda, by contrast, doesn’t seem to play power games at all, as far as I can tell. He understands that when everyone is working to make the best possible show, that results in the most personal gain for everyone involved.

What it was is an environment where everybody felt they could do their best. That sounds simple. But all of us have been in environments where we didn't feel like that. We felt like our best was going to threaten somebody else, or we were stifled in some way. But Hamilton was a carefully crafted environment where everyone felt like we could come in and dump all of our toys out in the center of the floor.

Dream Snippet
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alexx_kay
I'm in a sweets shop, with Rick and Libby. Rick hands me a chocolate-filled pastry to try. It's sweet, with just a hint of bitter aftertaste. Biting in to it evokes a story: The young ingenue and the old rake; he lusting to corrupt, she eager for experience.
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Frustrated
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alexx_kay
I am SO frustrated right now.

In the last week, many of my projects have suddenly acquired new urgency. In itself, this is exciting and good. I spent several days of increased productivity, spurred by exciting new (or recently revived) opportunities.

Then, yesterday evening, the pain hit. I hurt too much to do keyboard work, and even too much to do therapeutic stretching.

This chronic pain is infuriating. There is SO much to do! And I WANT to DO it! But if I don’t rigorously pace myself (i.e. only a few hours per day), it all comes crashing to a halt.

Yesterday evening, despite wanting to do active work, I ended up just trying to distract myself (with limited success) in a tablet game. Luckily, before bed I remembered I had a few issues of Squirrel Girl saved up, so was able to finish the night with a few literal LOLs.

Slowly recovering today. Mostly I like to focus on the positive, but some days I just gotta rant. Don’t worry; I’m doing my ranting into a dictation program.
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Crisis on Earth-Sandman updated
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alexx_kay
I have made an update to “Crisis on Earth-Sandman: The Uses of Continuity in Neil Gaiman's Sandman” (www.panix.com/~alexx/sandman.html), covering the (small amounts of) DC continuity used in Sandman: Overture. This update also includes a few corrections and expanded footnotes suggested by material in the last couple volumes of The Annotated Sandman.

Unusual dream experience
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alexx_kay
I had an interesting dream experience a few nights ago. In the dream, I was testing out a game I was working on. It was an immersive VR horror game, with monsters that were approximately “slow zombies”. In this run, the only “weapon” I had managed to acquire was a sharpened pencil; theoretically viable if you can stab a “zombie” in the heart before it gets you. I was trying to sneak past an un-alert zombie, when I accidentally alerted it. I quickly tried to stab it with the pencil I was holding in my left hand, and here’s where the interesting thing happened. Since I knew I was in a VR game, but did NOT know I was in a dream, I actually tried to make a stabbing motion with my real arm! Sleep paralysis prevented my arm from more than twitching, which was so frightening that it woke me up. The zombie wasn't nearly as scary as the sudden loss of control.
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First half of Providence annotated!
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alexx_kay
Providence number six came out a little while ago. I have finished two passes of help on the annotations at Facts in the Case of Alan Moore’s Providence. The primary creators of the site have been pleased enough with my help that I am now officially a member of their team as a “contributing editor”!

Thanks to my Patreon backers, for encouraging me!

Dream Snippet
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
Evening naps clearly make for interesting dreams, though this one isn't nearly as good as the last.

A sitcom set in a world where all religion and mythology is true. Emphasis on ALL – not just that which is accepted by official dogma. Our viewpoint into this world is a set of gossip tabloids, all competing to get the juiciest details of the latest drunk divinities before anyone else. Sort of a triangulation between American Gods, Fables, and Thorne Smith.

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