A few weeks ago I saw Steven Wilson at the Royal Albert Hall. Beautiful venue, great seats, perfect show. Apparently Queen Victoria paused the building of the Royal Albert Hall when her consort- her lover- Prince Albert (the hall’s namesake) died. She was too distraught to go on with it. Now there’s a memorial to him beside the hall. The concert had seriously perfect sound. I highly recommend seeing him live ASAP if you enjoy his music at all. Throughout the show, he paused to be silly and “educate the audience.” When educating us on the mellotron, to exemplify the sound of strings on the mellotron, he played the beginning bit of In the Court of the Crimson King! What a treat.
Here, watch these and bask in his beauty: the wondrous Raven that Refused to Sing and the more upbeat Luminol.
Just a couple weeks ago I went to London Comic Con. Nerds unite! I love nerd/geek culture. Nerding out is the best.
Of course there was a giant Pikachu,
I met up with a friend- Marjorie, pictured above- from Dickinson there =) Marjorie taught me quite a bit of the bellydancing I know.
I used whatever I had to dress up as Zoe from Firefly, Sir.
And look at me, I have self control! I didn’t buy anything- not any of the cool shiny, steampunky jewelry or guns, the gorgeous corsets, or the kitschy items. But all of these will be in my future house:
And for all lovers of Star Wars, there was a badass costume group of Vader and his evil minions:
Apparently there’s a London Film and Comic Con in the winter and summer as well, so you’ll be seeing more awesome costumes and awesome purchases if I can save some cash. Once again, you’re really never too old to dress up. It’s fun to pretend to be something else for a day, or a week, or to bring out a different part of yourself, all the while paying tribute to some of our beloved films, books, and shows.
Now to a different note… I went on a Reclaim the Night March! It’s the same as Take Back the Night, which I used to help host at Dickinson. It’s a march through the streets at night, full of protesting and empowering chants, for women to “reclaim” the night that is systematically taken from them by the patriarchy via objectification and violence. This march commenced after an all day conference called “Feminism in London.” I couldn’t go because I had a research skills class that day.
The marches at my college were always indiscriminate. That is, all genders could partake, and in fact we encouraged many people who wouldn’t usually partake on their own accord to join and see themselves as part of the movement for just one night. Here, the march was for woman-identified individuals only. I get that- it’s important to create and ensure a safe space, especially when there aren’t any unless we create them. What I wasn’t on board with were the gender-targeting chants. Some of the chants were great, but some were unnecessarily gendered. For example,
“I don’t know what you’ve been told, women’s bodies should not be sold. We object to sexist men. Sexual violence has to end.”
Why not say “We object to sex-ism”? That’s more on point. We don’t just object to sexist men…we object to sexist anyone, sexist anything- sexism!- our sexist society. It’s not specifically men by any measure, and it’s the society that creates sexist men to begin with. Most men, most people really, are scared by feminism. Men often feel targeted by feminism and think it’s antagonistic to them. I think these men just don’t want to let go of their privilege and need to get over it, like many feminist men I know *have* done, but unnecessarily gendered language doesn’t help. It creates more of a divide between “the sexes” and I think reinforces the binary- something we really shouldn’t be doing as feminists (uh oh here I go being prescriptive 0.o). I hear the echoes of the old debate on whether to call the discipline “Women’s studies” or “Gender studies”: There’s an argument in there about the importance of claiming the category of woman yet acknowledging how it is problematic in other ways. Also, “Women’s bodies should not be sold”- No one’s bodies should be sold! (If one actually chooses to sell their own body, that’s a different story). I know like 9 times out of 10 it’s women’s bodies that are being sold, but it’s not just women. Let’s not be exclusive; let us not forget the others. I bet after women it’s gay men and trans men whose bodies are most often commodified and objectified. And out of the women, I know it’s trans women of color who experience the most violence and least respect in Western societies. I will say most of the marchers the other night were white, probably cisgendered women. Ooh the toils of the feminist movement.