It's Hard To Let You Go.

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:23 am
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (hope is all we have)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
I've never grieved for a public figure like this before. I'm not sure I even realised it was possible. I loved Hybrid Theory so much when it first came out, but I didn't really get to know the band members as individuals until the concert a few weeks ago, so it's a weird double-punch of 'he's been important to you since you were a child' and 'you didn't know him for long enough'.

My birthday was two days before Chester's death, and [livejournal.com profile] th_esaurus gave me a DVD of Linkin Park's 2010 'Shadow of the Day' concert in Madrid. I was actually watching it when the news broke, and, unsurprisingly, I didn't finish it that day. I couldn't contemplate watching it yesterday, either, when I hadn't slept enough and I was still intermittently crying and I could barely eat. (Getting tearful again typing this, come on. I'll move past this, I'll be okay.) But this morning, after a full night's sleep, I started it up where I had left off, in the hope it might offer some sort of catharsis.

I think it helped.

Below the cut are the text messages I sent to [livejournal.com profile] th_esaurus while I was watching, both before and after. I'll spare you the messages I sent at the moment I actually learnt the news.


Linkin Park, 'Shadow of the Day' concert DVD, interrupted reactions. )


Thank you for everything, Chester. I wish you hadn't left us. I wish we could have spoken. You'll be missed.

WEDDING QUILT OMG SO HAPPY

Jul. 20th, 2017 10:11 pm
happydork: A graph-theoretic tree in the shape of a dog, with the caption "Tree (with bark)" (Default)
[personal profile] happydork
A few years ago, I watched my BFF, [twitter.com profile] amymariemason, spend a year making a beautiful wedding quilt for a friend of hers. I’m not saying my jealousy was the only reason I married [personal profile] such_heights, but I coveted that quilt, oh my goodness I coveted it so hard.

So when [personal profile] such_heights and I got engaged in August 2014, I asked my BFF if she would, maybe, perhaps, make us a wedding quilt, too?

It’s now July 2017, the wedding quilt is finally finished, and OH MY FUCKING GOD IT IS THE MOST AMAZING THING IN ALL EXISTENCE COME LOOK HOW TALENTED MY BFF IS SHE’S THE GREATEST THIS IS THE GREATEST COME LOOK COME LOOK COME LOOK OMG!

Many photos of the world's greatest quilt )

Leave Out All The Rest.

Jul. 20th, 2017 08:38 pm
rionaleonhart: final fantasy x-2: the sun is rising, yuna looks to the future. (Default)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
Chester Bennington has died.

I'm devastated.

You were a big part of my early teens. I thought going to see Linkin Park in concert would just be a fun nostalgic thing, but you were so good on stage. I've been hoping I might be able to see you perform again ever since then. I can't believe it was only on the third of this month.

I'm glad I was able to see you once, at least.

Thank you for giving me so much joy over the last fortnight. And, on a less intense level, thank you for the joy you've given me over the last seventeen years. Also, fuck you slightly for being the reason I've been sitting here and crying for the last hour? (I'm trying to proofread this entry right now, and I can't see the screen through my tears.)

But 'Leave Out All the Rest' asks us to forget the wrongs that you've done. So I'll forgive you, I suppose. When I'm not quite such a wreck.

It also says, 'Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed.' I think you left behind your own reasons.

There'll never be another.

God, I fell so hard for you and we never even met.


Confusing What Is Real.

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:21 am
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
Hmm, I thought. As I love the music video for 'Heavy' so much, maybe I should check out some other Linkin Park videos and see whether they spark any writing inspiration.

(Did I forget for a moment that I'm supposed to be trying not to write Linkin Park fanfiction? Er, possibly. I maintain that music video fanfiction doesn't count.)

I'm now deeply conflicted over the video for 'Leave Out All the Rest', which depicts the band on a spaceship that ends up drifting into a star. On the one hand, hey, an interesting AU setting! On the other, it's an interesting AU setting that I never want to write about, because it sets off my fear of space very badly.

I'm also intrigued by the 'In the End' video, with its charmingly turn-of-the-millennium graphics and young Chester being an attractive little shit (his smirk in the bridge!), in which they sing a desiccated wasteland back to life and for some reason there are flying whales. It's a strangely hopeful video for a song with hopeless lyrics. You tried so hard and got so far, in the end it doesn't even matter, but the video is telling you that you can move past this. Your life still has the capacity for beauty and flying whales.


THE BOOKENING TITLE #14: The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins

A real book! An actual, proper book that non-fannish people have read!

This is not my usual reading fare, but I enjoyed it! I was interested, but not invested, if that makes sense. Most of the time, when I was actually reading it, I was gripped. When I wasn't reading it, though, I didn't think about it at all. So I'd tear through a hundred pages in a sitting, and then I wouldn't touch it for days; there was never any point where I thought 'wow, I can't wait to get back to that book' or found myself speculating on the solution to the central mystery. This was a book that only existed when it was in my hands.

The main character struggled with self-loathing, made terrible decisions and couldn't trust her own perception of reality, which are all qualities I enjoy in fictional characters (I repeat: the music video for 'Heavy' is so good). I also liked the way she made her own personal fandom out of the people she saw from the train, and then basically self-inserted. Everyone in this book is very difficult to like (poor Cathy is the only half-decent person in a sea of arseholes), but I did end up with a touch of fondness for Rachel, and I really liked the scenes between her and Anna towards the end.
happydork: A graph-theoretic tree in the shape of a dog, with the caption "Tree (with bark)" (Default)
[personal profile] happydork
I watched A Very British Sex Scandal last night — it’s a great docu-drama made in 2007 about the Wolfenden Report and the Montagu Affair, largely following Peter Wildeblood. The Montagu Affair was a very high profile case in the 1950s in which three men were tried for “homosexual acts” — it’s credited with helping to change public opinion and, eventually, the law. Wildeblood was one of the men tried.

I strongly recommend the film. The docu bit is fascinating — the contributors are queer men born in the 20s and 30s who watched this all play out, including, rather amazingly, Lord Montagu himself.

The drama bit is sweet, compelling, understated, and doesn’t take too many liberties. I was also particularly touched by the context-setting voiceover, which provided us with such gems as, “In 1952 The Daily Mail was a serious establishment newspaper. Its opinions were highly respectable.”

After watching the film, I immediately bought Peter Wildeblood’s Against the Law, first published in 1959, which is largely about Wildeblood’s experiences of being gay, the Montagu Affair, and Wildeblood’s subsequent time in prison. In it he argues equally hard for the decriminalisation of homosexual acts and for penal reform in general. It’s reckoned to be the first sympathetic book about male homosexuality to reach a wide audience in Britain.

It’s hard to overstate how brilliant and brave this book is, and I would have loved it for that no matter how it was written — but it’s also such a clear, spare, honest, witty, engaging piece of writing, one that leaves me feeling both in breathless awe of this hero of a man and, at the same time, like it’s only an accident of space and time that we aren’t friends. When I finished it, I missed him.

Yes, so, I fucking love this book and I recommend it even more strongly than the docu-drama. (I think there’s a new docu-drama coming out pretty soon, actually, called Against the Law? AVBSS was made for the 40th anniversary of decriminalisation, and AtL is for the 50th anniversary. So if you’re only going to watch the one docu-drama, you’ll soon have a choice.)

My version has an intro written by Matthew Parris which I liked a lot and found very interesting but at the same time ended up disagreeing with quite strongly in places. (Which is, tbf, my normal reaction to Matthew Parris.) If you get the same version, I’d suggest not reading the intro until after you’ve read the book itself.

I also wanted to share with you the absolute gut punch I got when reading the very opening paragraph of the book.

Sometimes, when a man is dying, he directs that his body shall be given to the doctors, so that the causes of his suffering and death may be investigated, and the knowledge used to help others. I cannot give my body yet; only my heart and my mind, and trust that by this gift I can give some hope and courage to other men like myself, and to the rest of the world some understanding.


It’s. I don’t know. I read that, and I was struck by how very different it was from David Wojnarowicz’s If I die of AIDS - forget burial - just drop my body on the steps of the FDA — but at the same time, by how strong the thread is that connects them.
rionaleonhart: the mentalist: lisbon, afraid but brave, makes an important call. (it's been an honour)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
Okay, look, this doesn't count as Linkin Park fanfiction. It's fanfiction for a music video. It's completely different.

(I never thought I'd write fanfiction for a canon that's less than three minutes long.)

I had to tie myself to a door when researching this.


Title: Keep Spinning
Fandom: the music video for Linkin Park's 'Heavy'
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 1,900
Summary: Two broken people, trying to hold each other together.


Keep Spinning )
rionaleonhart: okami: amaterasu is startled. (NOT SO FAST)
[personal profile] rionaleonhart
The sudden flood of Linkin Park posting will die down eventually, I promise! I love being into something in an enthusiastic, 'compelled to talk about it constantly' way, but my real-life friends who are into Linkin Park are more interested in normal 'what's your favourite song?' conversations than in 'let's discuss the strange intensity of Chester's eyes for seven hours', so I just end up throwing all that enthusiasm into my Dreamwidth.

I'm starting to feel that Linkin Park are personally poking needles into my resolution not to write fanfiction. I've only just watched the music video for 'Heavy', and !!!!! it features Chester screaming at himself and beating himself up and then being dragged out of his psychological breakdown and comforted by an equally broken person, HOW DID YOU PUT SEVERAL OF MY FAVOURITE FICTIONAL TROPES IN A MUSIC VIDEO.

'Heavy' isn't one of my favourite Linkin Park tracks, but it's catchy and I like it and it worked really well live. I was actually pleasantly surprised when I first heard it, because for months I'd been seeing 'this is so good, UNLIKE HEAVY, THE WORST SONG EVER MADE' comments on every Linkin Park song I listened to. I had to brace myself to listen to the song; I was confused but pleased to find myself enjoying it!

'Heavy' and the other songs on One More Light are very different from Linkin Park's older work, certainly, but they're not bad, and I like the band's willingness to experiment with new genres. They don't want to keep putting out the same album endlessly, and that's a good thing! I love Hybrid Theory to pieces, but if I want Hybrid Theory I can just listen to Hybrid Theory again. 'Breaking the Habit' would never have existed if they hadn't been prepared to go lighter than their 'signature' sound, 'Guilty All the Same' would never have existed if they hadn't been prepared to go heavier, and both songs are fantastic.

I mean, yes, sometimes they make genuinely bizarre decisions (did you really release a concept album designed to be listened to from beginning to end in 2010, you maniacs?), but their willingness to take risks has resulted in a huge, diverse, interesting collection of tracks. I like 'Crawling' and I adore 'Numb', but they're very similar songs, and it would be unbearable if they'd just been releasing songs in the same style for the last seventeen years. I wouldn't love 'Numb' nearly so much if they'd diluted its impact with a hundred songs that sound exactly the same. So, even if I'll happily listen to that song ten times in a row, I'm glad One More Light is something new, rather than 'Numb' Again, Ten More Times.

Wait, I'm not supposed to be talking seriously about music. I'm supposed to be daydreaming about scenarios inspired by that music video. Chester and his duplicate, circling each other warily. Getting under each other's skin (CRAAAAAWLING etc.). Maybe angrily making out a little. Look, it's not as if nobody knew I was thinking it; I might as well say it out loud.

Incidentally, this weird but endearing clip, which I assume was born of Mike being insecure about his height, is the most strangely beautiful I've ever seen Chester being (from the moment he stops stooping). Apparently 'filmed slightly from below, in profile, in black and white' is his best angle.

why have I got it so bad for Chester Bennington

this is EXTREMELY EMBARRASSING
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