Grimes, Nightmusic

I love how about two minutes into Grimes’ ‘Nightmusic’ the song just fucking takes flight with this weird pseudo-classical bullshit that completely rocks. And how the vocals are sort of incomprehensible aside from “Tonight’s the night…”, so it’s completely unclear whether the nighttime activities are going out and partying, fucking, or the dismemberment of the unrighteous, like some badass, evil version of Cocteau Twins.

Autism and tenseless languages

I’m reading Keiko Tobe’s With The Light at the moment, which is a really fascinating look at autism and family life, and, for the first few parts, the ways that autism runs counter to Japanese social expectations– which is really interesting.

The book is written in a kind of didactic, repetitive way. One of the things they repeat is that the autistic do better when they can “have an outlook,” i.e. an expectation of what will be coming next. This makes me wonder, though, about the way the autistic function in places where languages lack tense in the way Indo-European languages do. Do the autistic function less well in places where it’s impossible to explicitly designate the sequence of events syntactically? Or do they do just fine, implying that it’s not a series of events or narrative sequence per se that is important, but some kind of sensitization that’s independent of narrative sequence and the world of grammatical tense?

Grossman, The Magicians

I genuinely liked this book, for a lot of reasons– from the clever tweaking of Narnia (there’s something great about Ember and Umber) on up.

I think the central reason I liked it, though, was that, heavy-handed as it frequently was, I liked the Bildungsroman aspect of the text, the way it captured being at that point in your life in your late teens or early twenties where you aren’t sure just how self-absorbed and -interested to be; when you fuck up ethically, badly, and try to figure out what to do next. I don’t know many books that really engage with that first ethical crashing-and-burning, and I appreciated it, and frankly identified with it.

But Jesus, the ending of the book almost spoiled it: the final scene takes it from pulpy but sensitive (something quite like Buffy, honestly) to some lame movie that’s setting up the sequel. Even the Harry Potter books are better than that.