dolorosa_12: (le guin)
Today's linkpost is a little early, and contains poetry, translation, and a literary treasure hunt of sorts.

This is a great interview of Zen Cho and Stephanie Feldman by Sofia Samatar.

Ted Hodgkinson interviewed Daniel Hahn and Fahmida Riaz about literary translation.

Samantha Shannon answers readers' questions. (Beware Mime Order spoilers.)

The Book Smugglers announced their new slate of short stories, which should be great.

Zen Cho has set up a directory of Malaysian SFF writers and projects.

A new issue of Through the Gate is out. I particularly liked the poem 'Juli' by M Sereno, which I found heart-shattering and powerful.

I love the Where Ghostwords Dwell project. The site is dedicated to discarded text, forgotten words and the memory of dead manuscripts, and each entry embeds links hinting at its origin, or pointing the reader forwards towards further connections. It's part Russian doll, part literary treasure hunt, and I love it.

I leave you with every argument about Buffy on the internet from 1998 to now. This is one blog post where you're going to want to read every single comment, and it makes me ridiculously happy.
dolorosa_12: (what's left? me)
Day Twenty-One: Favourite female character screwed over by canon

Kendra (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

The thing that frustrates me most about Kendra is that of all the show's wonderful recurring tertiary characters, she's the only one who feels as if she was just written to give Buffy character development and feelings. Buffy is generally excellent in terms of recurring characters - even if they only appear in three or four episodes, they feel fully human, with understandable motives, fears and developed personalities.

But Kendra is something of a blank slate. She has only two obvious personality traits: her fondness for the rules, and her lack of social ties. In other words, she is only remarkable in the ways in which she differs from rule-bending, social butterfly Buffy, and she serves to illustrate that Buffy is right in her choices. Kendra's rule-following makes Buffy look intelligently flexible and adaptable, while Kendra's apparent disconnection from other human beings makes Buffy look warm and protected by the support of her friends and boyfriend.

Now, Buffy is the protagonist, so other characters are always going to be used to move her plot forward and help her develop as a character, but Kendra is the only character who gives the impression that that's her sole purpose. And there's no reason why she had to be written in this way. Faith, the slayer who follows Kendra, is also written as a foil to Buffy, but the show also manages to show us why she is the way she is, and why she makes the choices she does.

As it is, Kendra shows up for a couple of episodes, makes Buffy feel inadequate before reinforcing the rightness of Buffy's choices, and then dies in order to illustrate the seriousness of what Buffy faces in the season finale. It's a profoundly unsatisfactory character arc - if arc is even the right word - and I can't help but feel that the character was a wasted opportunity.

The other days )

Also, I have been thoroughly enjoying the late autumn weather here in Cambridge, so have a few photos of yesterday's frost.

Photos behind the cut )
dolorosa_12: (buffy)
Day Ten: Favorite female character in a scifi/supernatural show

Tara Maclay (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

I know, I know, another Buffy answer. I have tried to write about a broad range of shows, but it's hard to avoid doubling up for some of these. It took me a long time to warm to Tara, and I think the first time I watched Buffy I didn't think much about her one way or the other, but over the years (and after many rewatches) she became my favourite. In a show where most of the other female characters are loud, dynamic and assertive, it takes a while to notice Tara's quiet strength, but in many ways she's the strongest and most stable character in the whole show.

Three Tara moments really stand out to me. The first is when she confronts her abusive family, who have shown up in Sunnydale to try and take her away, claiming she's going to turn into a demon and needs to be in their care for her own protection. Surrounded by her friends, secure in the knowledge they will protect her, Tara finds the courage to turn her back on her family. The second is in Season 6, which took many narrative missteps, but which came through in this particular instance. Tara has drawn certain lines in the sand with regard to her relationship with Willow, and once Willow crosses one such line, Tara emphatically walks away. I've always loved that her central moments of strength involve asserting herself towards loved ones, rather than enemies, as I think this requires a very specific type of courage.

The final thing that really solidified Tara as my favourite was that Buffy — who is not particularly close to Tara at all — comes to her to open up about her depression, her relationship with Spike, and her self-destructive feelings. Buffy is a character who always thinks her emotions are a burden to other people and finds it increasingly difficult as the series progresses to share her fears with others, so it's always spoken very highly of Tara to me that Tara is the one Buffy trusts to share this information. And Tara's response is full of understanding and compassion, giving Buffy what she so desperately needs at that moment: a non-judgemental listener.

I'll be forever bitter about how Tara's story ultimately went down. I sometimes feel like the writers never really had a complete handle on her, and always thought of her as Willow's girlfriend alone, rather than a character in her own right (as opposed to Anya, who never seemed defined solely through her relationship with Xander), and so only sought to use her story as a tool to make Willow feel various emotions. The three moments I've outlined above offer frustratingly brief flashes of the hidden depths of Tara's character that could have been explored further.

The other days )
dolorosa_12: (what's left? me)
Day Three: A female character you hated but grew to love

I thought about my answer to this question for ages and ages, and in some ways, it's the most difficult for me of all the questions in the meme. I tend to either love female characters instantly, or feel indifferent or neutral towards them, and my opinion very rarely changes. But then I remembered the circumstances under which I watched Buffy, and my answer became clear.

Back when I was in high school, all the girls in my friendship group watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer as it aired. I was late to jump on this particular bandwagon, and only started watching around Season 3, catching up by binge-watching VCR recordings of the previous two seasons at my then best friend's house over one weekend. So when I first encountered Buffy, Faith was just being introduced as a character, and I couldn't stand her. She just seemed so ungrateful. She'd rolled into Sunnydale and instantly become part of an amazing group of friends, and unlike every other Slayer before her, was able to share the load. Buffy's mother adored her, Buffy relished patrolling and fighting the forces of evil as part of a Slayer duo, and everyone seemed to welcome Faith into the Scooby Gang fold. And she repayed them by murdering a human, resenting Buffy for just about everything, trying to steal her boyfriend, and joining that season's Big Bad as he attempted to bring on yet another apocalypse in Sunnydale. I couldn't understand why Faith had made the choices she had, and the fact that Buffy and the Scoobies seemed so admirable to me simply underscored Faith's betrayal even further. My opinion of Faith remained low as I watched the rest of Buffy and then Angel as they aired.

And then, about four years later, I impulse bought the Buffy and Angel boxed sets, and I suddenly had an entirely new perspective on Faith. The thing that did it for me was the body-switching double episode in Season 4. Buffy had put Faith in a coma at the end of Season 3, and she had subsequently woken up and returned to wreak havoc. The body-switching allowed her to torment and traumatise Buffy, and she did some truly horrendous things to her, but what really opened my eyes was the final fight scene. The two are still in each others' bodies, and Faith, in the guise of Buffy, is absolutely pummelling Buffy, screaming abuse at her — but of course what she is actually doing is beating her own body and face to a bloody pulp. It was like a lightbulb going on in my brain: Faith's actions are all motivated by a kind of self-hatred. Suddenly she became a lot more sympathetic, and her 'ungrateful' behaviour in Season 3 made sense: here she was, a beautiful, strong, demon-slaying teenage heroine, and all people did was tell her to be more like Buffy and try to mould her into a more accommodating, less abrasive, and frankly, more middle-class version of herself. But why should she have to be like Buffy? Why should she have to be second choice, and second best?

Her subsequent redemption arc on Angel and Season 7 of Buffy is brilliantly done, but the most credit should go to Sarah Michelle Gellar and Eliza Dushku for absolutely killing it in the body-swap episodes. They made transformed Faith for me from a character I considered unsympathetic, ungrateful and unlikeable into one of my favourite characters on the show, and someone whose poignant story was tragic, believable and worth telling.

The other days )
dolorosa_12: (emily hanna)
The 'Aims Project' is a multifandom vid album, in which each participant has made a fanvid using the music of one song from Vienna Teng's Aims album. Each vid is astoundingly lovely.

I was recently alerted to the existence of 'We Are Sansa Stark', an old essay on Pornokitsch. I don't agree with every one of its conclusions - particularly that Sansa is definitely going to end up a major political player in the series - nor do I think it's helpful to criticise fandom for pitting Sansa and Arya against each other and then...do the same. But I love Sansa and characters like her, and sometimes it's just nice to see them get a bit of love.

This post by [tumblr.com profile] anneursu takes all the sneering critics of YA literature to task, and does so excellently. Read the whole thing.

'When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami' is a short story by Kendare Blake published on Tor.com. It's set in the world of her Goddess Wars series (which I hadn't heard of but then promptly reserved at the library), and is set in a mid-'90s Miami crawling with gods and goddesses, and Lost Boys-inspired vampire wannabes.

I'm a massive fan of this animated credits to Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Stephen Byrne.

While we wait impatiently for Ancillary Sword, Orbit has put an excerpt from the first chapter up on its website.

This Massive Attack retrospective sums up all my overwhelming feelings of love for this band:

British trip hop pioneers Massive Attack are one of the most celebrated acts in the history of electronic music. Their atmospheric take on hip hop and R&B, with elements of soul, funk, jazz and electronica, was an exciting new sound in the late ’80s and early ’90s. They pioneered the genre now known as trip hop and quickly became hugely influential all around the world. Few electronic acts are held in such high regard as the Bristol-bred outfit. If they had never released their five studio albums, some of today’s great artists may never have gone down the musical paths they chose. Massive Attack are more than a band, they made us rethink how music can be created, and redefined what a band could be.

I still haven't got my copy of Unmade by [livejournal.com profile] sarahtales (Sarah Rees Brennan) and thus can't participate in all the revelry, but she has some great fanart up on her blog, as well as the schedule for her blog tour. I'll be checking out all those posts once I've got around to reading the book.

'I Don't Know How But I Know I Will' is an 8tracks mix by angrygirlsquad 'for those days where you see no way through. you haven’t failed. you are alive. everything else is bonus'.

I hope you are all feeling loved by the people you love, flist.
dolorosa_12: (epic internet)
Recs behind the cut )

For the history lovers out there, I've also got a couple of fascinating videos. The first is archival footage of my Cambridge college (and the wider university) during the 1940s.



The second is something I encountered just today, and is truly amazing. It's a virtual map that traces the growth of London from Roman times to today, and is the best thing I've seen on the internet for a long time. I'm getting a very Troy Game vibe from it!



Finally, I've noticed some people have been complaining about the latest changes to Livejournal. As far as I can tell, I've managed to avoid them because I never chose to have the 'new' friends page (if I wanted have to endure endless scrolling, I'll go to Tumblr), and I'm only seeing differences on the login page, and if I comment on other people's posts. However, I think there's a possible way to avoid them if you go to Display section of the Settings page, and select 'View all journals and communities in my own style' and 'View comment pages from my Friends page in my own style'. That may make things slightly better. The only other thing I can advise is to keep your friends page in the 'old style' as long as possible. I'm not going to change until it's forced on me.
dolorosa_12: (epic internet)
These are all happy links! I've been feeling really down recently, so I think it's best under the circumstances to focus on the things that have been making me feel better for now.

First up, I was thrilled to discover that [livejournal.com profile] upupa_epops is hosting a meta comment-a-thon over on LJ.


FREE-FOR-ALL META COMMENT-A-THON!
(click on the picture)


You can get there by clicking on the icon.

On a much smaller scale, [community profile] fem_thoughts is hosting a comment meta about female characters, with some really interesting posts already up and running.

Those first two links are thanks to [personal profile] goodbyebird. The next link I encountered through [community profile] metanews, and is a really excellent analysis of Buffy Season Six by [livejournal.com profile] gillo. You can find it here. For a taste:

The point here, I feel is that nice guys do turn into nasty people. Nobody starts out life thinking of themselves as a jerk, but some people turn into jerks even so. And we see, step by step, how that happens – the losers are not losers when they are together. They can rejoice in their technical skills and arcane knowledge of films and TV which matter to them but not, as far as they know, to anyone else. Loners, they want to forge a sense of being part of something bigger. They need to feel adequate in the areas of life which peer pressure has marked out as important – making money, achieving targets, finding partners of the opposite sex. That need to feel adequate subtly shifts into a need to feel they excel. Warren goes the furthest down this dark path, and pays accordingly, but all three of them share that need to be not just good enough but actually important. When you are a child you assume all grown-ups are important – and when you get to be one it can be a shock to find out the truth. In this, as in so much else, the Trio echoes Willow - who also started off as nerdy in a sweet sort of way. You could draw a lot of parallels between Jonathon's increasing need for acceptance from Earshot to Superstar and Willow's need to be in control from advising Cordelia to hit the Deliver key through to riding that big truck.

It's brilliant stuff.

Still on the Buffy theme, Foz Meadows has been doing a rewatch, and has come to some interesting conclusions. I would recommend all her posts on Buffy, but in particular this one about the romantic relationships. I'm not quite sold on her interpretation of Angel, but she's spot on in every other regard, in my opinion.

This gif set on Tumblr is kind of adorable. Be warned, it contains massive spoilers for the most recent episode of Game of Thrones.

Finally, have a link to the Soundcloud page of Seven Lions, just because it is fabulous, fabulous music.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
When I was a child and teenager, I consumed stories with an urgent, hungry intensity. I reread favourite books again and again until I could quote them verbatim,* I wandered around the garden pretending to be Snow White or Ariel from The Little Mermaid or Jessica Rabbit.** I had a pretty constant narrative running through my head the whole time I was awake, for the most part consisting of me being the character of a favourite story doing whatever activity I, Ronni, happened to be doing at the time. (No wonder I was a such a vague child: every activity required an extra layer of concentration in order for me to figure out why, say, the dinosaurs from The Land Before Time would be learning multiplication at a Canberra primary school.) The more I learnt about literary scholarship, the more insufferable I became, because I would talk at people about how 'URSULA LE GUIN WROTE A STORY WHERE EVERYTHING HAS A TRUE, SECRET NAME AND THEN ANOTHER USE-NAME AND ISN'T THAT AMAZING IN WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT IDENTITY?!?!' For the most part, I don't inhabit stories to the same extent, and they don't inhabit me to the same degree, although there are rare exceptions to this.

The rare exceptions tend to be things that sort of satisfy my soul in some deep and slightly subconscious way.*** And the funny thing is that although I can write lengthy essays explaining why something both appeals to me on this hungry, emotional level and is a good work of literature (indeed, I have been known to dedicate a whole blog to this), I can also remember a specific moment when reading/watching these texts and they suddenly became THE BEST THING EVER. I can remember exactly what it was for all of them.

The following is somewhat spoilerish for Romanitas, Sunshine by Robin McKinley, Galax-Arena by Gillian Rubinstein, The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper, The Demon's Lexicon, The King's Peace by Jo Walton, Parkland by Victor Kelleher, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Robin Hood: Men in Tights,
Ten Things I Hate About You, Cirque du Soleil, Pagan's Crusade by Catherine Jinks and His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman.


Probably a closer look at my subconscious than is comfortable )

Do you have moments like that?
____________
*Which led to a very awkward moment in Year 5 when our teacher was reading Hating Alison Ashley out loud to the class, but would skip bits from time to time - whereupon I would correct her.
**(whose appeal was less that she wasn't 'bad, just drawn that way' and more due to the fact that she wore an awesome dress)
***I've seen people describe fanfic like this as 'idfic', but for me this tends to be a phenomenon of professionally published fiction.
dolorosa_12: (Default)
So, whenever I feel a little bit battered by life, I retreat to the comfort classics: The Pagan Chronicles, Ugg boots and leggings, the music of The Sounds. And Buffy. I learnt my lesson the last time I rewatched during a depressive period: nothing beyond Season 3. Season 6, in the wrong mood, can send me into paralysed, despairing inertia.* In any case, I'm going slowly through the episodes, and am currently partway through Season 2. You should consider what follows behind the cut as containing spoilers for the entire series (comics excluded), though.

Scattered thoughts on Buffy, with pictures and footnotes. Also be warned that I talk about the Hades and Persephone motif, which could stray into discussion of rape, so give it a miss if that's not content you want to see )
-------------
*And yes, I am beyond my early worship of all things Joss Whedon. There are significant problems with all of his programs, Buffy included, and I have heard all the criticisms, think most of them have some weight, and understand why some people cannot get anything of value from Buffy. But I think as long as I acknowledge that I'm being a fan of problematic things, it's all right for me to find strength and value in the show.
**Unless it's told by Stephenie Meyer (because that's what Twilight is, really. Never before was there an author with such interesting ideas and such terrible execution. I'm still irritated that Meyer came up with the concept of The Host, because, seriously, a love triangle with only two bodies but three conscious beings is really intriguing.
***Please don't take this as a shipping thing. My Buffy OTP is Buffy/happiness.
dolorosa_12: by ginnystar on lj (robin marian)
So, whenever I feel a little bit battered by life, I retreat to the comfort classics: The Pagan Chronicles, Ugg boots and leggings, the music of The Sounds. And Buffy. I learnt my lesson the last time I rewatched during a depressive period: nothing beyond Season 3. Season 6, in the wrong mood, can send me into paralysed, despairing inertia.* In any case, I'm going slowly through the episodes, and am currently partway through Season 2. You should consider what follows behind the cut as containing spoilers for the entire series (comics excluded), though.

Scattered thoughts on Buffy, with pictures and footnotes. Also be warned that I talk about the Hades and Persephone motif, which could stray into discussion of rape, so give it a miss if that's not content you want to see )
-------------
*And yes, I am beyond my early worship of all things Joss Whedon. There are significant problems with all of his programs, Buffy included, and I have heard all the criticisms, think most of them have some weight, and understand why some people cannot get anything of value from Buffy. But I think as long as I acknowledge that I'm being a fan of problematic things, it's all right for me to find strength and value in the show.
**Unless it's told by Stephenie Meyer (because that's what Twilight is, really. Never before was there an author with such interesting ideas and such terrible execution. I'm still irritated that Meyer came up with the concept of The Host, because, seriously, a love triangle with only two bodies but three conscious beings is really intriguing.
***Please don't take this as a shipping thing. My Buffy OTP is Buffy/happiness.
dolorosa_12: (Default)
Day 5. Pick a song that projects the same mood as your day or week and explain.

'Please Ask For Help' by Telekinesis completely sums up my week. 'I'm not going to knock you down, but I'm not going to help you up' essentially paraphrases how I've been feeling for the past few days: maudlin, unintentionally self-sabotaging, and able to see how to get out of this state of mind but not being able to do it. I'm frustrated with myself, and ready to go back to Cambridge, which, thanksfully, I'm doing in exactly a week.

As far as today goes, though, I'm feeling a bit lyric-less and contemplative. I'm about to head over to the apartment of one of my friends from my German class, where our whole class is having a sushi party, and it's hard to be in a bad mood when there's sushi on the horizon. In any case, while it's not fun to feel unhappy, I'm kind of okay with feeling the full range of human emotions, as I've explained before. I tend to get analytical about my feelings, focusing on them and trying to work out why I'm feeling unhappy at a particular moment, but I don't try to push the unhappiness away or hurry it up. Thus, today's song is 'Kaleidoscope' by Tiësto feat. Jónsi. I can't explain why this song reflects my mood, except to say that it always evokes the image of standing on a bridge, on the shore, on the cliffs of Selidor - some liminal space - and wondering.

The song I've been playing all week, especially over the last 24 hours (50 times!), is 'Girls Like You' by The Naked and Famous, but I don't think it's hugely reflective of my life, aside from the line 'run, whirlwind run', which is totally how I feel all the time. I'm even known as 'Typhoon Ronni' within my family due to my sudden melodramatic flarings of emotion, and the fact that I seem to walk into the house trailing drama behind me...

the other days )

ETA: You NEED to go and check out the Stratford-on-Hellmouth Tumblr. It's got Whedonverse macros with appropriate Shakespeare quotes pasted over them. My favourite is this one.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
I seem to be on a bit of a blogging roll right now, so here's a post about three things I've been musing about in relation to various things I've been reading in recent times.

1. I still find Buffy empowering, in spite of everything

Let's get this out of the way. Buffy fails on numerous occasions in matters of race, sexuality and even the feminism which its creator, Joss Whedon, claims. I personally think its storytelling is excellent, but I know numerous people who find it deeply problematic and even hurtful, with good reason. It is, to me, an example of a flawed story that nonetheless never fails to speak to me, and I know that I have in the past excused or failed to recognise its flaws due to ignorance.

Chief among these flaws is one that feminists often raise in relation to all of Whedon's work: he ostensibly writes stories about 'empowered' women whose source of empowerment is overcoming some kind of trauma, usually a literal or metaphorical rape.

And yet, for me, as a teenager and young woman, I found that particular story, especially as it was told in Buffy, extremely empowering. Despite having a relatively calm adolescence, with nothing worse than low-level bullying, I always felt broken (and indeed in my early 20s actually sought out situations that would give me an excuse for this brokenness). As such, the idea that out of brokenness came strength was incredibly empowering for me. I know now that we need stories about women whose strength is not simply an act of revenge, a side-effect of abuse or destruction, but back then, Buffy's was a story I needed to be told.*

2. Leave Twihards alone!
On a related note, I think the bashing of Twilight fans needs to stop. This is not because I think Twilight is a wonderful story, or that it's a terrible story but this somehow doesn't matter because it's 'light, fluffy entertainment' (nothing is 'just a story', and nothing is above criticism). It's because if I had been twelve, or fourteen or even eighteen when Twilight came out, hell, I would've been a fan too, and I think those of us who were introverted and 'only ever fell in love with fictional men' need to show a bit more empathy and compassion.

You know how I said I felt 'broken' as a teenager? Well, I used to think the solution to that 'brokenness' was an all-consuming, all-sacrificing, transformative love. I read just the kinds of books to feed my rescue fantasy, and I thought if the right guy (always someone 'dangerous' and 'damaged') would walk through the door, all my troubles and angst would be over. As a fifteen-year-old girl, it's a powerful idea: that true love is obsessive and dramatic and will cause you to change completely, and Twilight simply taps into that idea. As a teenager I was reading Cecilia Dart-Thornton and Sara Douglass and Juliet Marillier and a whole host of other female romantic fantasy writers who fell under the umbrella of 'Celtic-inflected historical fantasy', and who am I to say that they were any less damaging to my ideas about romance and relationships than Twilight?

I'm not saying that we should throw our hands in the air and give up criticising Twilight. No, we should criticise it until Stephenie Meyer is no more than a distant spot on the horizon of the YA corpus. But we should stop thinking of Twilight fandom as a new phenomenon and recognise that many of us read equally problematic books as teenagers, and gained equally disturbing beliefs about relationships because of them.

3. Hufflepuff and proud
I'm a self-sorted Hufflepuff, and actually only want to join Pottermore so that I can have this sort of officially confirmed. (I'm sad, I know, I know.) And while I know I'm overinvesting, it does make me sad (even though I know it's all done in humour), when people like The Last Muggle persistently bash my beloved house and the qualities that it epitomises.

This criticism does have some validity. After all, loyalty - the key Hufflepuff trait - does have a dark side, as one may be blindly loyal and supportive where he or she should be constructively critical or antagonistic. But I think that kindness, compassion, hard work, fairness and loyalty are unjustly underrated, and that these are qualities (kindness in particular) that we ought to demonstrate, not mock or belittle.

In any case, it seems to me that the whole Potter series is, in fact, arguing for a less rigid separation into houses, since people don't tend to only embody the traits of one House, but rather possess them all in varying proportions. Ultimately it takes representatives of all Houses, and the utilisation of the myriad traits they embody, to destroy the Horcruxes, not Gryffindor bravery alone. We are composite beings.

But then that's probably just me being earnest like the Hufflepuff I am.

_________________________
*Also, I rewatched Season 6 - not a fan favourite - at a time in my life when I really needed it, and I seem to be alone among fans in thinking that it was a well-executed season whose story perfectly matched where the characters were in their lives. (I do recognise, however, that many queer fans found the Willow/Tara storyline distressing and a betrayal, and, though they don't need my validation, I think they have a valid point.)
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
I've been chatting to Raphael on Twitter about Buffy recently. He's currently rewatching the series, and has just finished Season Three, which raised a lot of questions for him. He pointed me in the direction of these two great links:

Love Saves the World
Female Heroines in the Whedonverse

I also came across this excellent analysis of Dollhouse, through Whedonesque. It's probably the best assessment of the series I've seen so far, aside from the one on Tiger Beatdown.

All three articles are well worth a read, if you're a Whedon fan.
dolorosa_12: (captain haddock)
Last night I went over to my friend M's house for St Patrick's Day shenanigans. There was a group of about six of us. We basically hung around, drinking and chatting, and, as is our wont, listening to increasingly cheesy music. This playlist got quite an airing.

At some point, M, C and I separated off into a little Whedonite group and started discussing which Buffyverse character we identified with. C was convinced he was Giles ('Don't talk Latin in front of the books!'). M said that she was Buffy. I was more confused. I said I thought I might be a strange mixture of Willow, Xander and Dawn. C shook his head emphatically.

'You're Tara,' he said.

I'd never thought about that before, but as soon as he said it, I knew he was right. I'm both amused and confused about what this says about me.

In terms of Firefly/Serenity characters, it's obvious. I'm Simon. No question about it.

I've got some links for you tonight. This two-part interview with Jake Adelstein, an American reporter for Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun who spent 12 years writing about the Yakuza. The interview is absolutely fascinating.

I've been following the whole Avatar: The Last Airbender racebending debacle in a rather scatterbrained manner, but Hal Duncan has some rather important things to say about the matter. Check it out.

Sady Doyle's got some good points to make about the 'Telephone' video clip. Also, I've been saying for years that each era gets the vampires it deserves, but I never really thought much about zombies. But Mark Dery's done it for me.

Now, sleeeeeeeeeep.

ETA: I, um, have 'Mr Vain' by Culture Beat on repeat.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
I promise I'll write something of my own at some point, but tonight I just want to gather a few links together for your reading pleasure.

A great essay about Buffy, love and family. It pretty much says everything that I think about the series.

A cute (and rather old) post called 'TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life. What it says on the tin - an assessment of everyone's favourite black hole of procrastination.

Something I found on [livejournal.com profile] metafandom, Your Friends Are Not Watching The Same Show As You, And That's Okay. It talks about viewing/reading texts through various kinds of lenses (through the prism of a particular ship, etc), and is pretty spot on.

Okay, that's it for me for now. Have a lovely weekend, everyone!
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
So, I've been writing. I've written (finally) a post on Longvision where I analyse the Sibyl's prophecy to Drusus in Rome Burning. As I wrote a while ago, the wording of the prophecy is quite ambiguous, and I don't think it means, as Drusus thought, that he is destined to become Emperor of Rome.

There are lots of really excellent posts floating around online at the moment. Justine Larbalestier, is, as usually, providing much of the excellence, in this case linking to a post about unsung YA literature and eloquently discussing the latest round of debate about mainstream publishers' refusal to deal with serious problems of race and representation.

Sarah Rees Brennan posts a (spoiler-heavy) list of her favourite literary couples. I'm probably going to write something on this myself, but include platonic couples or pairs of friends as well as romantically-attached couples, since I think both are equally good at drawing me into a book.

John Scalzi linked to a really good post by Deanna Hoak about dietary habits for people who spend most of their lives chained to a desk. You may not know, but I've been on a bit of a weight-loss mission myself since last July. I'm mainly exercising (running every day) and cutting back slightly on junk food and snacking, but as someone who spends pretty much all day at her desk, Hoak's advice is really appropriate and useful.

Emma at Imaginary Dinosaur has written a really wonderful post about 'the problem of the hero protagonist', and while I don't agree with everything she said, I agree with her main argument that morally ambiguous antiheroes are more interesting and satisfying to viewers/readers than straight up-and-down heroes.

Finally, [livejournal.com profile] sophiamcdougall has a great post about feminism. Check it out!
dolorosa_12: (captain haddock)
I haven't had time to write anything today because I've been too busy moving house and agonising over what the hell to do with my life. Since I don't want to bore you with those details, have some links instead.

Here's a great post about the Buffy the Vampire Slayer film. I haven't seen the film, but conventional thinking about it among Whedonistas is that it was a flawed movie that failed to capture Whedon's vision.

John Scalzi and Neil Gaiman act like excited fanboys after meeting one another for the first time at Worldcon. I wish I was there. The comments on Scalzi's blog are, as always, hilarious.

Justine Larbalestier managed to get her cover changed on her book Liar. You may recall that I wrote about this a little while ago, and I am delighted that Bloomsbury changed their tune and are committing to ending the whitewashing of book covers.
dolorosa_12: (Default)
This is going to be a bit of a link, meme, thank you ma'am type of post. I just finished watching the season (and series?) finale of Robin Hood and will probably post about it at some point - perhaps in a post called 'How to lose viewers and alienate your fanbase, all in one 13-episode season'. Right now, however, it's meme time. This one's swiped from [livejournal.com profile] boojumlol.

Don’t take too long to think about it.
Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you.
First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.
Copy the instructions into your own post.


books, books, books )

Here come the links.

First up, I wrote a post on Longvision about the imagined modern-day Roman Empire of Sophia McDougall's Romanitas series.

The ever-wonderful [livejournal.com profile] elle_vee has written a great post about fandom rules. She also posted a link (from WorldOfWonder) to Michael Bay's keyboard. I thought it was hilarious.

I don't exactly feel up to the task of writing about Michael Jackson, but luckily, the author of one of my favourite blogs has done it for me.

Finally, to lighten the mood, have this fabulous clip which mashes Buffy and Twilight (with logical conclusion).

dolorosa_12: (daria)
I'm sitting around drinking Bailey's instead of doing anything productive, skittering between Youtube and Facebook and LJ in a desperate hope that someone will post something interesting. I sort of have a vague desire to post something ranty about the weird attitudes some reviewers seem to have towards 'inappropriate' content in YA books, but I think I'll leave it for a couple of days until I'm clear about what I want to say.

I can't seem to interest myself in any new books after Sunshine, and I don't really have any TV series to watch, so I'm just half-heartedly skimming through Youtube clips from the Buffy episode 'Once More With Feeling'. I'm avoiding listening to 'Something To Sing About', as [livejournal.com profile] losseniaiel can attest to the fact that I cry every time I hear/see it. It's still too close. Mostly, I'm repetitively listening to 'Walk Through the Fire', which sends chills down my spine. Yep, it doesn't need saying again, but seriously, Joss is a genius. That musical episode is creepily accurate, not just as a representation of all the characters' unspoken feelings and fears at that point in the series, but as a representation of what it is to be 21-25, and absolutely, spine-chillingly terrified, not of the vampires in the alleyway, but of adult life.

Four days until D(iss)-Day.

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rushes into my heart and my skull

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