J.A.R. - SARCASM AND INDIFFERENCE HAVE driven me from you. I sail in next steamer for Europe. Shall I purchase tickets for two, or do you prefer to remain to wound some other loving heart? Answer quick, or all is lost. - EMELIE. (Dec. 18, 1865)
MAY MINNIE - FAREWELL, CRUEL GIRL! If not drafted, I will go as a substitute. Your scorn is harder and more pitiless to me than any Southern bullet could possibly be. - John No. 1 (Aug. 3, 1862)
X.Z. - IF YOU MUST HAVE A REASON why I refuse you, understand, then, that I cannot marry a man who wears soiled linen, has foul teeth and breath, and uses tobasco and whisky. Faugh! - GENERRA (Nov. 16, 1862)
Victorian era fanatic, Romantic poetry (and poets) maniac, will commit murder to get my hands on a cravat and top hat. Living in the world of Charlotte Bronte.
Some truly remarkable personal ads from actual Nice Guys of the 18th century.
“A Young Gentleman, desirous of avoiding a promiscuous Connection with the Fair Sex in this Town, wishes to form an Attachment with some agreeable young Woman, who can dispense with the Marriage Ceremony. As this Gentleman will afford a Sufficiency for her Comfort and Happiness, he hopes none will apply who have not Figure. Not being well versed in Intrigue, he hopes the Lady will strike out some Means, by which an Interview may be had with Secrecy.
Letters directed to A.B. to be left at the Penny-Post, Curzon-street, May-fair.”
Obviously mine and everyone’s favourite moment to watch. I’ll never forget watching the play back with Brain after this was shot.
This might be the best thing ever. We will go down with this ship!
UNF CAN I WRITE FANFIC OF THE WEB SERIES?? Like, is that allowed? Because it’s sort of fanfic of fanfic, but hot DAMN I love the Drarry in My Immortal….
Please PLEASE do this!
Technically it would be fanfic of fanfic of fanfic of fanfic. Ficception.
“My name is Molly. I’m 36, single, live in Brooklyn, and work in publishing. I love gloomy Victorian novels, obscure Korean horror films, Premier League soccer, and knitting. I’m 5-foot-5, slim, with brown hair and brown eyes. I am looking for a serious relationship. I suffer from mental illness.”
That dating profile is going to get me nowhere.
I am not ashamed of my condition. Or not exactly. I think there is still a lot more stigma than we admit, and every joke someone cracks about being “so OCD” makes it harder to explain that while you all think you’re totally cool with me being obsessive-compulsive, it’s a lot more than lining up pencils and touching the light switch… I have no qualms about someone seeing my cellulite, but I am afraid of him seeing my self-inflicted scars.
Molly Pohlig's brave, moving essay on dating with mental illness.
(via The Dish)
The inevitable is going to happen soon. I’m going to college this September. I try not to think of it, because every time I do I feel disheartened. I don’t want a repeat of my 3 years’ experience again.
I honestly don’t know what to do in life. Get a job I suppose, as is the norm. But what sort of job? Perhaps I am overly pessimistic but I thought of political journalism (which sounds interesting) and quavered at the prospect, because of my stammer. It’s not so bad now, and nearly gone, but it comes back when I am nervous, and meeting new people.
More stress at the lab, because of more labwork. Essays I can cope with; I have always been at least tolerable at essays, if not good. But labwork is the fastest way to make me screw up.
OH WHY OH WHY OH WHY
Because I didn’t have a choice. Because I did badly at all the other subjects, and have no interest in any other subject pertaining to this field. Because there wasn’t a taught Masters in this particular subject.
My parents have taken it into their heads that I might make a good lecturer. I doubt it. People never listen when I talk (at least, not when i’m giving a speech) I do not have the gift for holding people’s attention. I have no air of command, and names do not come easily to me, though I am not a bad hand at analysing personalities.
Keats and Wordsworth faced the same problem. Perhaps that’s a consolation. At least I can console myself with the thought that I do have at least something in common with 2 major poets. Even though I don’t write poetry any more.
So I don’t normally talk about this topic because it’s controversial, but I want to state the difference between racism and non-racism. But it has come to a stage when people can’t tell the difference.
This young Malay woman damaged the car of an elderly Chinese man and said racist things to him because he accidentally grazed her car while reversing his car. Hoping to reassure her he said that he would pay her. She proceeded to demand RM2000 from him “now!”. The old man said he had only RM200, and then she accused him of being a racist “You Chinese think you are better than us!” and hit his car several times with a steering-lock. Since then, the woman has been arrested and fined, and the old man refused to press charges, and has been hailed as a shining model of forgiveness.
What shocked me particularly was that there were several bystanders surrounding the two, who did nothing but watch. I suppose they wanted to make sure that the woman did not actually assault the man, but they were passive.
My mother was disgusted. Most of the bystanders, you see, were Malay, and she declared that they were being racist and “supporting their own kind.”
I begged to differ. “They were scared she would attack them,” I pointed out. “I mean she had that steering lock in her hands.”
"But they were strong men," said my mum, disbelieving me, "they’re the same - racist. Look, if the situation had been reversed - a Chinese bullying a Malay, do you think they would have stood still?"
The answer is, probably not. But I do not think it was racism. The old Chinese man himself said that the bystanders later offered him words of encouragement and supported his arm.
The difference is that, when it was a Malay bullying a Chinese, the Malay bystanders were, of course, shocked and sympathetic towards the old Chinese man, as a fellow human being. But they feared for their own safety, and thus could not act against the woman.
Had a Chinese bullied a Malay and made racist remarks, they would have acted - not because they inherently hate a member of another race - but because the hypothetical Chinese bully’s remarks would have personally insulted them. Of course they would be angry and their judgement would have been impaired, that consideration for their own safety might have been forgotten. It is anger that would trigger them to attack the bully, not grief and sympathy.
A Malay bullying a Chinese would not be personally insulting to them; it would only be a horrifying spectacle. But I call this human nature, not racism proper.
Ann Friedman's Disapproval Matrix for handling criticism is a thing of genius, not to mention essential internet-age literacy. She explains:
Critics: These are smart people who know something about your field. They are taking a hard look at your work and are not loving it. You’ll probably want to listen to what they have to say, and make some adjustments to your work based on their thoughtful comments.
Lovers: These people are invested in you and are also giving you negative but rational feedback because they want you to improve. Listen to them, too.
Frenemies: Ooooh, this quadrant is tricky. These people really know how to hurt you, because they know you personally or know your work pretty well. But at the end of the day, their criticism is not actually about your work—it’s about you personally. And they aren’t actually interested in a productive conversation that will result in you becoming better at what you do. They just wanna undermine you. Dishonorable mention goes to The Hater Within, aka the irrational voice inside you that says you suck, which usually falls into this quadrant. Tell all of these fools to sit down and shut up.
Haters: This is your garden-variety, often anonymous troll who wants to tear down everything about you for no rational reason. Folks in this quadrant are easy to write off because they’re counterproductive and you don’t even know them. Ignore! Engaging won’t make you any better at what you do. And then rest easy, because having haters is proof your work is finding a wide audience and is sparking conversation. Own it.
The general rule of thumb? When you receive negative feedback that falls into one of the top two quadrants—from experts or people who care about you who are engaging with and rationally critiquing your work—you should probably take their comments to heart. When you receive negative feedback that falls into the bottom two quadrants, you should just let it roll off your back and just keep doin’ you.
HAIL, Native Language, that by sinews weak,
Didst move my first-endeavouring tongue to speak,
And madest imperfect words, with childish trips,
Half unpronounced, slide through my infant lips,
Driving dumb Silence from the portal door,
Where he had mutely sat two years before:
Here I salute thee, and thy pardon ask,
That now I use thee in my latter task:
Small loss it is that thence can come unto thee,
I know my tongue but little grace can do thee.
Thou need’st not be ambitious to be first,
Believe me, I have thither packed the worst:
And, if it happen as I did forecast,
The daintiest dishes shall be served up last.
I pray thee then deny me not thy aid,
For this same small neglect that I have made;
But haste thee straight to do me once a pleasure,
and from thy wardrobe bring thy chieftest treasure;
Not those new-fangled toys, and trimming slight
Which takes our late fantastics with delight;
But cull those richest robes and gayest attire,
Which deepest spirits and choicest wits desire.
I have some naked thoughts that rove about,
And loudly knock to have their passage out,
And, weary of their place, do only stay
Till thou hast decked them in thy best array;
That so they may, without suspect or fears,
Fly swiftly to this fair Assembly’s ears.
Yet I had rather, if I were to choose,
Thy service in some graver subject use,
Such as may make thee search thy coffers round,
Before thou clothe my fancy in fit sound:
Such where the deep transported mind may soar
Above the wheeling poles, and at Heaven’s door
Look in, and see each blissful Deity
How he before the thunderous throne doth lie,
Listening to what unshorn Apollo sings
To the touch of golden wires, while Hebe brings
Immortal nectar to her kingly Sire;
Then, passing through the spheres of watchful fire,
And misty regions of wide air next under,
And hills of snow and lofts of piled thunder,
May tell at length how green-eyed Neptune raves,
In heaven’s defiance mustering all his waves;
Then sing of secret things that came to pass
When beldam Nature in her cradle was;
And last of Kings and Queens and Heroes old,
Such as the wise Demodocus once told
In solemn songs at King Alcinoüs’ feast,
While sad Ulysses’ soul and all the rest
Are held, with his melodious harmony,
In willing chains and sweet captivity.
But fie, my wandering Muse, how thou dost stray!
Expectance calls thee now another way.
Thou know’st it must be now thy only bent
To keep in compass of thy Predicament.
Then quick about thy purposed business come,
That to the next I may resign my room.
John Milton, At a Vacation Exercise in the College, Part Latin, Part English (1628)
Milton’s youthful manifesto to write in his vernacular English, rather than the classical Latin popular at the time.