November 16 – 28, 2009

Well, I spent the evening screaming at my computer, but I did eventually manage to publish the comic, so hurrah.

22 thoughts on “November 16 – 28, 2009

  1. Comment re Rant: My computer did the same thing with DVDs that yours is doing. The problem was that the computer had gotten jolted one too many times, which knocked the laser out of alignment, so it wasn’t reading the DVDs all the time.

    Comment re Comic: Why didn’t Marie notice that the elevator was stuck, and that Rahim and Casey were in it?

  2. Marie lives in quite a nice apartment building modeled after one in which one of my friends used to live. That building had about six elevators. It would be easy to fail to notice that one of them had malfunctioned. The frustrating part for Rahim and Casey is that there’s an emergency phone in the elevator…but it’s not working. They have to wait until someone, probably the super, happens to start wondering about this one elevator that isn’t moving. In my building, which has only two elevators (and no phone), people would probably notice almost immediately.

  3. If Barbara is Frodo, that would make Marie, Sam. In that logic, Rahim and Casey is going to encounter hordes and hordes of Orcs and Trolls when they try to open the Black Gate erm elevator’s door.

  4. Hmmm… so then eventually the firemen who free them will represent the Ents, and then they will meet Marie’s parents, who have reincarnated as Marie’s White Parents?

    It might be better not to push this analogy much further…

  5. Have you ever wonder if classic literature get over-analyse like this? I remember reading Dante’s Inferno and reading all those little * and footnote where they say that maybe Dante is making references to this king or that prince who commit this and that, well maybe Dante just thought it sounded cool and had no idea who they were.

  6. I have no doubt that it is. When writing an essay for my college application, my mom spent a while detailing the various implications of a word that I had dragged thoughtlessly out of midair. “Mildew”, I believe. Ever since then, I have had very little confidence that much analysis bears any resemblance to the authors thought process at the time of writing. Flawed logic since I resemble to great writers in the same way that gummy bear vitamins resemble a healthy, balanced diet, but still. A person really can’t think of everything.

  7. Yes, well, that’s why literary critics avoid discussing authorial intent. I know this is one of the aspects of criticism that people mock most ruthlessly; however, it’s necessary. As erwaro has demonstrated, sometimes authors use words without considering all their implications. The words are, however, still there. If it’s in the work, it’s affecting the work. An author can create a certain theme in a work without “intending” to do so; we can analyse only what is there, not what the author is “trying to convey” (as students tend to put it).

    On the other hand, there is certainly such a thing as over-analysis. In the case of WoB, equating firemen to Ents would probably count.

  8. SunshineRain, I don’t think Dante is a good example. I’m fairly confident that he *did* intend his work as a commentary on his contemporaries.

    I have a beautiful edition with both the Italian and a metric translation in Dutch, but found it rather heavy going, precisely because of all the footnotes. I felt that, to appreciate it in full, it should be studied, rather than treated as a bedside book. So I stopped reading it, and may come back to it some time in the future. If I have time. Haha! *sigh*

  9. What are you saying Stefan? That WoB is not as good as Dante’s work? I will not stand idly by while you besmirch this masterpiece, after all stranger things has happen.

    Actually I quite like the footnote, otherwise us ordinary guys will have no idea what the heck was going on. I could sense there were some hidden nuances when Virgil and him talk but would have never guess what they were if wasn’t for those many footnotes.

  10. I, dude? I believe you are the one who needs to apologise. Your attempt to deflect the blame has failed. Shame, sir. Shame.


    (No, I don’t actually really know what I’m talking about here.)

  11. So, what is postcolonial theory? And why would it be considered rude to offer an honest opinion on someone’s work? Especially in acadamia. I really don’t like the idea that we should carefully sidestep things to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. Early on in life when you might have actual issues dealing with it, yes, go ahead. But adults? How can you travel through the jungle of academia and emerge without the capacity to deal with honest, blunt criticism? The worst part of it is that I think I might lack that capacity somewhat. Speaking as a third generation lineman, I am disgusted by the idea that I might freak out about honest criticism. Also, evidently I felt like ranting. Sorry.

  12. Erwaro: If you’re talking about Barbara freaking out…I don’t actually think she is. She’s just being her usual blunt self. If you’re talking about the examiner freaking out…well, it IS considered rude to call someone’s life’s work “incomprehensible,” especially if you are currently a student and thus in a subordinate position. It’s also worth noting that even if Barbara does have a legitimate point, that doesn’t mean the examiner is going to be reasonable about it. If someone attacks your three books and seventeen articles by declaring that they are crippled by jargon, you’re probably going to be a tad upset.

    For the record, I sympathise with Barbara here. My external examiner was worried that I hadn’t used enough theory. I had acknowledged the theory’s existence, but he wanted more.

    Postcolonial theory deals primarily with literature produced by inhabitants of or emigrants from former British colonies. However, the theory can also be applied to colonial texts, as well as texts from pre-colonial Europe. In the last twenty years or so, it has been a bit of a trend to apply postcolonial theory to medieval texts. Barbara studies Milton, who lived in the seventeenth century. I haven’t read any postcolonial Milton criticism, but that may be because I haven’t read much Milton criticism, period. It is entirely possible that someone has examined Milton’s Satan as an example of the “Other.”

  13. Mostly I was talking about the examiner freaking out. I like Barbara’s approach. Maybe she’s right, maybe she’s wrong, but to me the way to deal with it either way is analysis and discussion (although probably at a later time). Maybe the examiners papers really are weakened by jargon, in which case the discussion will strengthen future writing. Maybe Barbara is wrong to call it jargon, or simply doesn’t know as much as possible (as much as she should?) about terms relating to those topics. Either way, good odds that someone will be better off as a result of the analysis. Freaking out, on the other hand, is better reserved for undergrads at sporting events.

  14. Yeah, I know. It’s just that I’m having some major health issues at the moment, and I really don’t know how I’m going to be feeling by Saturday. At the moment, everything’s kind of up in the air, and I can’t commit to stuff. Sorry about that. I’ll let you know if I am miraculously cured in the next few days.

  15. Hmm…this scene looks veeeeeery familiar. I was made to wait in the hall for what seemed like eternity. I can’t remember how long, but after what was probably only 20 minutes, one of the members came out and said ‘oh, don’t worry, you passed, we’re just talking now.’ And then I had to wait even longer because the brand new departmental secretary had spelled one of my committee member’s names wrong on the form and they had to print new ones. Later, it turns out that she had given them the wrong forms to sign and my advisor ran around on the very last day to turn in paperwork getting new signatures for me on the correct paperwork. He only managed to find half the committee, so I had old paperwork stapled to new paperwork. It was nervewracking, to say the least. And now I’m rambling. Darn you Kari, you made me relive the bad memories!!!!!!

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