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truly a site unseen

Archive for the 'Generally speaking' Category

Wouldn’t we all?

Hayden Panettiere’s character in Heroes is more or less immortal: she can regenerate injured body parts as needed. This is a useful trait, to be sure, but in real life, she’d like to be able to disappear:

“[I would like] the ability to be invisible. Obviously we can blame most of it on the people who are doing the bad things that they’re not supposed to be doing. But with cameras in your face all the time, it leaves you no room to mess up even slightly. If I could lock up my door, and drive my car out of my [driveway] and not be followed by paparazzi, I would be a very happy person.”

On the other hand, you have to figure that someone is bound to notice a car that doesn’t appear to have a driver.

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She’s audible, too

Alexa Hamilton, the Invisible Woman of a 1983 NBC television pilot, has reinvented herself as a singer-songwriter, and a pretty good one at that (with or without a hyphen between “pretty” and “good”).

If you’re curious, this is how she looked in mid-vanish; perhaps she’d just as soon not remember this particular project.

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A slight upgrade

We are now running WordPress 2.2.1.  Please advise if anything is hard to see.

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Sometimes it’s better to fade

Jessica Alba, the Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four franchise, apparently envies her character in one respect: her photo on the cover of Parade this week is captioned “I Wish I Were Invisible.” Or at least less noticeable, anyway:

I prefer to be a little more anonymous, under the radar. I like to be able to slide in and out of situations unnoticed.

Whether she’d use a force field or not remains to be seen, I suppose.

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Going unnoticed

You may remember Marcie Ross (played by Clea DuVall) from the Buffyverse: she was an otherwise-normal student who was overlooked so often that eventually she literally vanished, at which point she decided to avenge herself on everyone.

Now there’s a Japanese spin on this sort of story:

A very different tone from samurai drama and violent horror is struck by Kazuhiro Okamoto’s TRANSLUCENT, the story of an introverted junior-high school girl named Shizuka, who one day begins to turn literally invisible as well. The mysterious disease, whose cause, cure, and path of contagion are all unknown as the story begins, becomes a metaphor in the ordinary lives of the students in her class as they try to work their way through their relationships and friendships. Although not considered a shojo manga in Japan, Dark Horse believes TRANSLUCENT is a title, like OH MY GODDESS!, that will also interest shojo readers in America. Writer and artist Okamoto knows how important surfaces are to people — especially at this time in people’s lives — and TRANSLUCENT’s shifting variables between what people can see, what people think they see, and what people wish to see in themselves and others makes for a manga of emotional sensitivity.

According to MangaBlog, Translucent is due out this summer.

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A new theme for spring

This is a somewhat-modified fSpring by Fredrik Fahlstad, tweaked for some slightly-darker hues and easier accommodation of the blogroll, largely at the instigation of Winston Rand, who was also struggling with blogroll issues, since solved. I hope you like it, because I don’t want to go through another round of this for a while.

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You probably can’t see this, either

But this site has been upgraded to WordPress 2.1.  Should any side effects appear, please advise.

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Is he seeing someone else?

Once in a while I’ll find an e-book with an invisible character, and usually I’ll buy it just to see what it’s about. Some of the ones I’ve seen lately:

On the way here:

These tend to be filed under “Fantasy” or “Romance — Paranormal,” which isn’t too bothersome a characterization: H. G. Wells gave The Invisible Man a subtitle of “A Grotesque Romance,” which fits with the traditional connotation of “romance” as “adventure,” sexual content notwithstanding.

I should point out that I’ve written a couple of short-short stories on the topic, one of which isn’t all that bad.

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Czech it out

I don’t speak a word of Czech, so I have no idea what this is all about, though I recognize the photos — they’ve been circulating through Yahoo! Groups — and I suspect that there’s a distinct “WTF?” air to it. (Or whatever the appropriate letters might be in beautiful downtown Prague.)

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Please don’t look at me

This might hurt a bit:

As a kid, you always wished you could become invisible, but as you got older, you started to wish you were invisible in the eyes of the one you love. You begin to wonder why God never made the power of invisibility possible for us, when he knew we’d get hurt.

Too easy, maybe?

I wrote a very short story once about an unlikely couple: everybody could see her but him, and no, he wasn’t blind or anything like that. I don’t know quite how this would have worked out, but apparently this was foretold by one of those soothsaying types, and presumably everyone lived happily ever after.

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I guess you can write your own joke

At another site, I run something called The Femmes Invisible Database, and tonight it got ten hits in about twelve minutes from an IP in Saudi Arabia.

Visions of empty burqas dancing in their heads? The mind boggles.

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Or would you rather fly?

This question has been kicking around for years, but it really didn’t come down to an A or B choice until Ira Glass devoted a segment of This American Life to it.

Tonya asked her guests one evening, and then made her own preferences known:

I choose invisibility. And I do so for all the wrong reasons. I want to sneak into places that I don’t belong. I want to hear what people say about me when I’m not around. I want to watch people when they don’t know anyone is watching them. And, yes, I’d watch people having sex. Who could resist? I even tell my friends that maybe I’d watch them having sex.

Lyra Alluse was asked The Question in English class, and this was the result:

A great majority of the girls choose invisibility; whereas a great majority of the guys choose flight.

And Meg doesn’t want any part of it:

I’m not sure anything good would come from invisibility. I think it’s sort of deceptive in a way, and an excellent means to find out all kinds of stuff that you really would rather not know…. Besides that, what else would one want to do with invisibility? Listen in on conversations? Molest objects of desire? I couldn’t think of anything invisibility would offer that wasn’t deceptive in some way.

Does eluding perception constitute deception? I’ll have to ponder that for a moment or three.

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We didn’t see you coming

Invisibility, in the popular press, is usually a metaphorical concept: it’s not that we can’t actually see you, but for some reason we don’t.

But suppose we couldn’t see you. Literally. You look in the mirror, and no one looks back at you.

We are assured that this sort of thing is a violation of the laws of physics, and maybe it is. But that’s never stopped anyone from asking What if….? before.

So we’re asking now.

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