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The Not-So Digital Natives

At some point, someone decided to brand all young people born after... the mid 80s? as "Digital Natives". They've grown up using computers and playing games and using t'internet and mobiles. Some people working in libraries have become rather panicked about the Digital Natives and are trying to repurpose everything in order to flatter the whims of these "Digital Natives" - or "Generation M" as they're also known. Apparently, we should make tutorials "game like". Does this mean I should be vaulting giant toadstools?

But I wonder if this oversimplifies the issue. When I do library inductions, there will always be someone who looks in terror when you say "You need to use the computer to look things up", or "there's lots of journalls online." You may even hear them say "Eww... I don't like using computers." Those, my friends, are not the words of a digital native.

In fact, I think that even the Digital Natives are misunderstood. There's an idea that the DN's have spent their childhood being relentlessly stimulated by electronic media, as if zapped in the head at 3 minute intervals by a cattle prod - yet this is the same generation which burrowed through thousands of pages of Harry Potter. These DN's are not scared of books.

And indeed, have they really sat there watching 3 minute pop videos all day long on MTV? (Generation M/MTV, see what they did there?). I would say not, and I don't think the people who come out with this have actually watched MTV recently. If the DN's have been plugged into MTV, they will have been watching Jackass, Pimp My Ride and The Osbournes. Which means that maybe information literacy classes, in order to appeal to the DN's, should be "repurposed" to include slapstick, UV-lights being stuck under desks and a menagerie of very small dogs.

So I have to wonder if the DN's were invented to a degree - by well-meaning people who want to make sure everyone is accomodated and comfortable, but I would, cynically, have to suggest that some people like to come up with these things to make themselves look busy.

Literally very annoying

The mis-use of the word "literally" is very annoying (it annoys me almost as much as the mis-use of "decimated"). Literally now seems to mean "like/can be compared to." But that isn't really what it means.

Because of the snow, there's a lot of journo hyperbole on the news, and so every time a reporter wants to say that a road is so icy and slippery that it's like an ice rink, they say:

"It's literally like an ice rink."

Or (even better):

"It's literally an ice rink."

But no. No, it isn't literally an ice rink. Is anyone skating on it? This should be a basic rule of thumb to find out if it is literally an ice rink - because people need to be skating on it. And sometimes a little man drives across it to polish it and make it skatable. And then there's a desk where they hire skates. And then a food concession where you can get hot chocolate and maybe a hotdog. Maybe some chips as well.

Does the empty, icy road still sound like it's "literally an ice rink"? It's literally an icy road, but it's not "literally an ice rink". Chelmsford's Riverside is literally an ice rink:


This road is literally a road:

(although that woman seems to be adopting a skating-like position, which puts a hole in my theory).

One of the worst offenders is Immodesty Blaize, who wrote a bonk-buster (so we hardly expected a literary gem, did we - but editors have a huge role in publishing these days and it really didn't seem as if anyone had bothered to look at it). It was peppered with "literallys". The most jaw-clenching one was about a man who was driving a small sports car:

"He was literally shoe-horned into it."

Really? Do you mean that? You actually saw the man using a human-sized shoe-horn in order to get into his car?

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why my boyfriend calls me Davina Mitchell. Yes, isn't that sad? Like... literally.

(Dictionary says:
1 : in a literal sense or manner : actually "took the remark literally" "was literally insane"
2 : in effect : virtually "will literally turn the world upside down to combat cruelty or injustice — Norman Cousins"
usage Since some people take sense 2 to be the opposite of sense 1, it has been frequently criticized as a misuse. Instead, the use is pure hyperbole intended to gain emphasis, but it often appears in contexts where no additional emphasis is necessary.)

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Wuthering Shite

Adaptation Studies is now a field of academic research within Humanities Dept - now is your chance to write a thesis on Sense & Sensibility & Emma Thomson. In fact, my dissertation was Agatha Christie & Heritage Culture, which involved me doing some adaptation studies work too.

Which waffle brings me onto... the HORROR I experience on Sunday evening. MY GAWD.

I know it's cheesy to say your favourite novel is Wuthering Heights, but mine is, so there. I've studied it at A-level and university level so I know the damn thing inside out and back to front (which the makers of this adaptation clearly didn't!).

Not only do I like the story, I also like the way it's written, the structure of it, which means that I'll come to blows with any adaptation of it, won't I? The cyclical structure echoes the cyclical plot, with the second generation mirroring and resolving the drama-ramas endured and created by the first generation. At the beginning of the novel, we have the famous window scene with Lockwood, the visitor, drenched by the rain, having his terrifying nightmare about the child's arm and the broken glass and blood, and it ends with Heathcliff by the same window, his arm cut, the glass broken, the bedsheets soaked with the rain.



But the adaptation seemed (I was cooking the tea so I can't swear on it) to start with 2nd generation Catherine being presented with her mother's book by Nelly. No Lockwood in this adaptation then! No scene setting the supernatural, uncanny atmosphere which haunts (literally) the novel? No... and as there wasn't the first scene to mirror at the end, it finished with Heathcliff shooting himself. No uncanny death for him; whereas in the book we're left with the unanswered question of what he dies of, where it seems as though his soul gives up and leaves his body to wander in a ghostly fashion on the moors with Catherine. Well done for ruining the novel and ripping out the whole point of it. Let's make it into a Catherine Cookson, shall we?

There's the famous - and decisive - scene where Catherine unburdens herself to Nelly, with the line, "Nelly, I am Heathcliff", as well as the "Heaven did not seem to be my home" speech (which Morrissey purloined). This adaptation had the "Heaven" speech uttered by Catherine in a church, by herself with Heathcliff. And did Heathcliff overhear only part of Catherine's speech to Nelly? ("It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now") So that he goes off in a rage, disappearing for 3 years, never hearing that she did actually love him after all?

Nope. The scene was interspersed with footage of Heathcliff (who kinda looked a bit like a young Keanu Reeves crossed with David Thewliss) saddlin' up his horse and ridin' away rather petulantly.

Throughout the beginning of the episode (it was shown in two parts), there were extra scenes shoved in here and there where people kept on about how Mr Earnshaw was probably Heathcliff's dad and that Heathcliff was an illegitimate bastard. Hilariously, at one point Hindley (Earnshaw's father) says "But people are saying that you kept a harem in Liverpool while mother was ill." O RLY? In those days, living in that bit of Yorkshire, if you were going to keep a harem, it'd be in Bradford or Leeds, not really far away in Liverpool! Not that you would keep a harem anyway. But it just really seemed to spoil the mystery of Heathcliff's origins.

Despite more or less stating that Heathcliff is Catherine's half-brother, they still stuck in a sex scene - well, H&C rolling about and then a few scenes later Heathcliff commenting on them having "laid together". I do wonder though how much influence the life of Byron had on the novel, so that the frisson of half-siblings getting it on may have informed the desperate passion between H&C - but I don't think it's literal, and surely that's the point of the novel and what drives it, the tragedy of unrequited, impossible love.

The effect of shoving in all these extra scenes means that the dialogue writers are hard-pressed to make it sound like it's from the novel. And it doesn't sound like it's from the novel. Christopher Lee once said that in one of the Hammer Draculas, he doesn't speak because he refused to use the script. He was astonished at how badly written it was when they had the source material of a fabulously-written novel. And this is my dismay watching this adaptation! WHY WHY WHY WHY....

There's a good review here which addresses the weirdness of them changing the characters' ages, so that at Mr Earnshaw's death, they're not children but teenagers, and also making Cathering die aged 25, rather than 18 or 19 as she does in the novel. And that the action for the second generation is randomly set in 1848 - despite the novel coming with a family tree complete with birth and death dates set out by the author! In the novel, Heathcliff's hatred of Hindley makes sense as he's been tyrannised by him since childhood, but in the adaptation, Heathcliff only seems to endure a couple of years, if that, of being bullied by Hindley. It seems to reduce his motivation in hating Hindley so much, because there wouldn't have been enough time for Hindley to have degraded Heathcliff to the point where Catherine feels she can't marry him (and how could she if everyone was so loudly going about saying they reckoned he was her half-brother anyway?).

It was shown in two parts but I couldn't bring myself to watch the second part because it was just so unrelentingly awful.

I think the best adaptation of it is the Ralph Fiennes/Juliette Binoche version. If you can get over Catherine having an ill-supressed French accent, then it is quite faithful to the book. Well - more faithful than this pile of tosh, anyway!!!

This is going to sound weird

How are you all? Did you have a good New Year? G and I went to the Rockin' in Brum New Year do which was ok - far less old people there this time, so fewer buffets. Except I took along some dips and Pringles.

At about 3.30am, I woke up with acid indigestion. As I sat up to reach my cup of water (I have one by the bed every night), I suddenly realised - I was going to barf. I'd only just swung round my legs to get out of bed when RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGHHHHHHLLLLLLLFFFFFFFFF...... I threw up all over the floor by the bed. And all over the front of my nightie. And all over my LEGS. Ewwwww!

The thing is, I didn't drink loads, and apparently there's some kind of bug going round where this kind of thing happens. Nice.

But that wasn't the weird bit
No. I appear to be growing a whisker ON MY FACE. I am clearly turning into a cat. :-/

Extra work
I worked yesterday 10am - 4pm, getting paid at double time. I did very little. This is awesome.

More lovely dresses
I've ordered some more lovely dresses for Pin-Up Parade. Just look at them!

VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!!!!!

Leave your voter apathy at the door - action is required!

Ok, a while ago I went to a gig with Olivia and one of the bands were called "Envy & Other Sins". I thought they were rather good - and so me and Olivia went to see them when they were doing another gig. I've probably added them on myspace as well, but anyway....

... I was reading the paper the other day and there was this thing about a competition for a band to win a £1million recording contract. And who's in the final??? Envy & Other Sins!!!


They kind of look like farmers. Yay!

I wouldn't bother you all with this unless I thought that the band are very good and worthy of your support! Let's face it, I went to the blimmin' Sanctuary to see them play the second time, so yes, I do really like 'em!

ANYWAY! You can help... voting ends tomorrow, and you just have to vote online here: http://mobileact.co.uk/

Yes, it's annoying as you have to set up an account, but it takes seconds, and you can vote once a day - so act fast and get a vote in today and remember to vote again tomorrow!

The results show will be broadcast on Sunday evening.

Le website:
www.envyandothersins.co.uk/

(also posted in myspace bulletin)

Why...

...are the only people on my friend's list obsessed with the Might Boosh in North America?

LGBT petition

Rock against genderhate
Instead of setting up a myspace with uninformed ranting and nonsense, it's much more productive to sign a government petition, I find.

So come on, you people in the UK, get signing! And also forward it to anyone else. If you'd like to, of course.

"In remembering the 40th anniversary of the Decriminalisation of Homosexuality and those who have been murdered and had their lives destroyed by homophobia, including David Morley and Jodi Dubrowski, we the undersigned urge the Prime Minister to introduce specific homophobia and transphobia hate crime legislation. We believe that the law should be re-written now to target incitement of hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Click here to sign!
Morrissey U.K. tour details are as follows:

Saturday 2 December - Glasgow - SECC
Monday 4 December - Newcastle - Metro Radio Arena
Tuesday 5 December - Nottingham - Nottingham Arena
Thursday 7 December - Birmingham - NIA
Friday 8 December - London - Wembley Arena
Friday 22 December - Manchester - G-Mex
Saturday 23 December - Manchester - G-Mex

Are you going??????????

Now's your chance!

Dear anonymous person,

Here is your chance to say what you really feel about me.

Thank you,

Helen.

Comment to be added

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Not only is my life an endless succession of people saying goodbye, it's also not particularly thrilling. I'm a provincial librarian, for heaven's sake. I moan a lot, and have steam-gushing-from-my-ears rants about things which most people are indifferent to. Or I do annoying picspams of my cat.

However, if for some plainly masochistic reason you'd like to subject yourself to my ramblings, please comment below.