Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

04 Feb 2015, 16:15 p.m.

Zines, Twister, & Distinctions

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2015 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Zines: If you liked my zine about the animals who own bookstores and help each other out, I predict you will also like "Quill & Scroll", a zine that Brendan Adkins and I made together late last year. It focuses on a hedgehog who runs an all-night bookstore, and is a tribute to the Astoria Bookshop. I loved making it with Brendan; I encourage you to download and print it.

You may also be interested in Julia Evans's upcoming zine on strace.

Twister: This year's Festivids include two vids focusing on the 1996 movie Twister. I saw Twister on a date, as can now be told -- it was a date that I was keeping secret from my parents, with the guy who provided my first ever kiss. (I am tempted to go back and watch, now, movies that I originally saw on those handful of teenage dates, which would include Twister and Six Days, Seven Nights.) (And now I am trying to remember who in the world would have gone with me to Wag the Dog, Bulworth, and/or Primary Colors, or whether I saw them myself. Titanic I saw with Angel and my mom. I know I saw Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet by myself. I'm remembering seeing Air Force One in the theater with my parents and sister, and I'm trying to remember whether that's the last movie we all saw together in the theater, or whether my sister joined us for Life Is Beautiful in 1997.)

Anyway! Twister. I mainly remember two things about Twister. One is noticing that the opening title used the same typeface as Friends did. And the second is that for a few seconds, somewhere in the middle of the movie, a woman runs into the storm-chasers' workroom and yells something, and I sat astonished because she looked like me. I caught a glimpse of an Indian-American woman with short hair and a weird face and big eyeglasses, someone I had never seen before on the big or the small screen. I've looked at the cast and I can't find her. I wonder what I saw.

Polite, nice, kind, and good: wired discusses the distinctions, and metaphortunate discusses the role of practice. Recently Crystal Beasley said, "At the beginning of 2014 I resolved not to be nice. Helpful, loving, kind -- yes, but not nice for nice's sake." I realize now that "nice" goes into the bucket with "smart", "real", "normal", and a few other words I'm avoiding when talking with other people, because of all the assumptions they subsume. (My pal Sarah is doing similarly with "authentic.")