February 9th, 2014


Rec: "After War, a Failure of Imagination," by Phil Klay

(Excuse me while I roll ever further off-topic from SPN proper, but--!)

I was looking for this interview last night as another piece that might be of interest alongside Jamison's, but I only just now found it again, finally: Interview with Emily Rapp, on the death of a child: Say, “That sucks.” Don’t say, “I can’t imagine,” because of course the horror is that everyone can, but to say so feels isolating and cruel.

And today's reading: Phil Klay also offers an expansion upon Jamison's desire for "empathetic language" to change from "That must have been really hard for you" to "I can't even imagine." Klay argues against Jamison (and most of the trauma theory developed in the lat 30 years), and suggests instead that people should, and can, imagine just about anything:

To enter into that commonality of consciousness, though, veterans need an audience that is both receptive and critical. Believing war is beyond words is an abrogation of responsibility — it lets civilians off the hook from trying to understand, and veterans off the hook from needing to explain. You don’t honor someone by telling them, “I can never imagine what you’ve been through.” Instead, listen to their story and try to imagine being in it, no matter how hard or uncomfortable that feels.

(And indeed, that it is crucial to our era of increasingly depersonalized warfare that we do.)

The Apple Pie Life

So, my sister's not a writer. Never was, ever will be. But my other sister just found the first sister's "Watchdog Inc." diary that she kept when she was ten years old, and it is creepy as fuck.

Other Sister was typing out entries and sending them to me. They start off cute, like, she logged how many peas she ate at dinner one night (32). But then there's "For the first time Claire was absent on a reading budies day. I keep worrying about dying, I ate 9 full bowls of tortellini!" AND THEN...

"Beneath the dwellings of the dead, fed by dread, the dead will rise above ye grave. The end of the world will come. The unspoken of, spoken of. Forever fed by dread growning in number as we kill grieve. You cannot win the dead. The end of ends, the reign of the dead begins."


Man, you think you know a girl. XP I'm pretty sure that I didn't start writing creepy emo pornography until I was at least twelve. And it was fan fiction, not my personal journal. I mean, granted, the whole hurt/comfort thing is easily just as creepy to the uninitiated reader as this diary, but she was ten years old! Ten!

Also, I wished my grandfather a happy birthday on his Facebook page, and a bunch of my relatives were doing the same, saying, "Happy Birthday, Uncle Bobby!"

And I thought about that, and then I thought about my grandma scattering salt over her front porch so that ghosts wouldn't follow her home from a funeral she'd attended, and I was just like. My god, my bizarre family makes so much sense now!! (Remind me to tell you the -all-manner-of-ghetto Stanford story sometime. XD It actually makes me think of brightly_lit's Sam-at-Stanford fic, Alien, quite a bit. XD Or the fic reminds me of the-- oh, whatever. Linear time, who needs it!)

But before that illuminating series of text messages, what I really meant to write here was that I AM NOT ALLOWED ON LJ UNTIL I HAVE WRITTEN FOR fandomaid. NOT ALLOWED. MY NOTES WILL BECOME FULL SENTENCES. FULL SENTENCES THAT COHERE AND FORM FULL PARAGRAPHS. You have permission to shoot on sight if you see me engaging in anything that is not blatantly related to this activity. Unless I'm reccing fan fiction, because that always gets a pass! Right? :D?

Also, #FanficProblems: When you cast Crowley in a fic, the whole thing literally just turns into Crowley one-liners. A whole week of sharks Crowley one-liners.

Also also, did you know that the pectoral fin structure and musculature of bluefin tuna and shortfin mako sharks is extremely similar? And indicative of coevolution? Yup, shortfin mako sharks are alleged to be able to kick up to 60mph for a few seconds while in pursuit of bluefin.