dolorosa_12: (what's left? me)
So, yesterday I did something that I normally deplore in others. I reblogged a quote from a Joss Whedon speech without knowing anything about its broader context. In this case, the quote seemed okay in isolation, but it was taken from this disaster of a speech which is (and cannot be framed otherwise) the unappealing spectacle of a straight, white, cis man telling women how to do feminism. And I have to be consistent. If it were any other man, I would have already been outraged. The fact that it was Joss Whedon actually hurts.

Because look. It's been a long time since I adored his work uncritically, and I've been careful to point out the very real problems in Firefly, in Dollhouse, even in Buffy. I've confronted his treatment of Charisma Carpenter, which was deplorable, but I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt if he showed evidence that he was learning.

Because after all these years, I still love Buffy. It was such a source of strength to me at the time, and when I rewatch it, it reminds me what I felt and what I've survived. Because I still think that Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, Tara Maclay, Cordelia Chase, Anya Jenkins, Joyce Summers, Jenny Calendar, Faith Lehane, Zoe Washburne and Kaylee Frye are fabulous female characters. (The less said about Inara Serra and River Tam, the better.) Because I still think Whedon's original Equality Now speech, the one about 'why do you write these strong female characters?', is an insightful examination of representation and why it matters. Because the way Whedon wrote Black Widow in Avengers was a gift - she had exactly the kind of power I wanted to see explored in a story. Because the way Whedon characters use words as a weapon even when their physical strength has failed is something that has given me such happiness and strength over the years.

Because (and this might just be internalised misogyny at work) I so desperately wanted a man to say publicly, 'I understand what it is that women are fighting for, what they experience. I understand it and I will try to help.'* Whedon's words and his works were so important to me, so close to my heart, that I needed him to Get It. I needed him to be on my side. I didn't need him to be perfect, but I needed him to try to be better with every new project, and I needed him to use his power and prominence for good.**

I can't give Whedon the benefit of the doubt any longer. That speech has shown that he's not going to learn, he's not going to change and he's not going to help. His words haven't changed my opinion of his work or how strongly I feel about it and identify with his characters, but they have certainly changed my opinion of his intentions. And that actually hurts. It's like closing a door on something. Joss Whedon! I trusted you! And you messed up.

_______________________________
* I should have realised that such men do exist, and in fact they exist all around me, they're just not going around shouting things publicly and being rewarded with acclaim for it. My own grandfather had a feminist epiphany after watching All About My Mother with me and my mother when he was in his 70s. As far as I'm concerned, he was living a feminist life before then, quietly, in his actions towards my grandmother, his sisters-in-law, his four daughters and their children. My partner had a similar epiphany a year or so ago when he told me, 'I get it, now. I get why you criticise media for representation, and I see what you see now. I see beyond the default.' It's a quieter kind of male feminism, but it's altogether more helpful, and I see no problem in drawing attention to it here.

** Again, since we're talking about famous men learning, changing, and using their power for good, I'd like to take the opportunity to draw your attention to John Scalzi. He is an example of someone in Whedon's position who does things right. He's not perfect, but in the years I've followed him, he's learnt and got better. When Racefail happened, he initially screwed up, but listened to friends' criticism, apologised publicly and then offered his (very widely read) blog to Mary Anne Moharanj, an author of Sri Lankan background, as a space to educate people about issues of racism and representation. He's gone on to use his clout in the sf/f community to agitate for panel equality and clear policies on harassment at conventions, and used the taunting of sexist, racist trolls as opportunities to conduct massive fundraising drives for charities supporting equality. In other words, he's taken advantage of the privilege offered by his position as a prominent white male author to amplify the voices of those without that privilege. And that, to my mind, is how it's done.
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: (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 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 knew my productivity would kick in as soon as term ended and the sun started shining, and I was right. This week has been fantastic. Every day I left the house around 9am, got to the English faculty library, worked until about 11.30 (by which time I would have written 1000 words), then went home. Then I'd go for a run, then eat lunch. By 2.20pm, M would be home, and since it's the holidays, he's only working his morning job (no teaching out of term time, of course), leaving us free to do whatever we wanted in the afternoon. The only unfortunate thing is that we're both ridiculously poor: I'm waiting on my April stipend cheque, and he's waiting on being paid next week, so we can't really enjoy all our free time in lavish style. Oh well.

Anyway, I actually came over to LJ to post some links. First up, a post by yourlibrarian on Dreamwidth about the ingredients for a particular fandom's success. I agree with the general argument, although I don't think it takes anime fandom into account enough (honestly, anime fandom is HUGE), nor of fandom that's not focused on fanworks. It's an interesting discussion nonetheless.

Check out Ursula Le Guin's rather excellent blog post about swearing. (Unfortunately, you can't link to individual posts and will have to scroll around a bit on the page to find it. Obviously it's full of swear words and NSFW for that reason.)

John Scalzi's got an open thread where commenters can recommend interesting writers' blogs. I think I'm going to have to check some of them out.

Over at The Book Lantern, they're discussing Australian YA books. Actually, if I haven't mentioned it before, The Book Lantern is awesome. You should be following it.

Finally, Pop Matters is doing a whole series of posts about Joss Whedon and his work. I've linked to the introduction.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
I knew my productivity would kick in as soon as term ended and the sun started shining, and I was right. This week has been fantastic. Every day I left the house around 9am, got to the English faculty library, worked until about 11.30 (by which time I would have written 1000 words), then went home. Then I'd go for a run, then eat lunch. By 2.20pm, M would be home, and since it's the holidays, he's only working his morning job (no teaching out of term time, of course), leaving us free to do whatever we wanted in the afternoon. The only unfortunate thing is that we're both ridiculously poor: I'm waiting on my April stipend cheque, and he's waiting on being paid next week, so we can't really enjoy all our free time in lavish style. Oh well.

Anyway, I actually came over to LJ to post some links. First up, a post by yourlibrarian on Dreamwidth about the ingredients for a particular fandom's success. I agree with the general argument, although I don't think it takes anime fandom into account enough (honestly, anime fandom is HUGE), nor of fandom that's not focused on fanworks. It's an interesting discussion nonetheless.

Check out Ursula Le Guin's rather excellent blog post about swearing. (Unfortunately, you can't link to individual posts and will have to scroll around a bit on the page to find it. Obviously it's full of swear words and NSFW for that reason.)

John Scalzi's got an open thread where commenters can recommend interesting writers' blogs. I think I'm going to have to check some of them out.

Over at The Book Lantern, they're discussing Australian YA books. Actually, if I haven't mentioned it before, The Book Lantern is awesome. You should be following it.

Finally, Pop Matters is doing a whole series of posts about Joss Whedon and his work. I've linked to the introduction.
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: (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)
You will probably have heard by now that those morons at Fox have cancelled Dollhouse. I am, as you can imagine, quite annoyed about the whole thing. I've been gathering links ever since I heard the news.

Joss has responded on Whedonesque, saying that he's got other projects he will be working on. A Dr Horrible sequel, perhaps?

Almost as soon as the news was out, a couple of bloggers posted very pertinent articles about the changing media landscape, how Fox is useless in harnessing new media and how Joss would benefit from doing so. The first is about Fox's ineptitude with social media. The second is a call for Joss to change the world and help make good quality online content the norm.

Finally, just before all this happened, an excellent essay by Scott Westerfeld about the reasons behind the appeal of Buffy. It's well-written and well-reasoned, and definitely worth checking out.

Now, time for lunch!
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: (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: (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.
dolorosa_12: (dreaming)
A cool comic pointing out to the Twilight fans that Buffy did it first - and better.

Know your internet cults, or the Whedonites will stake you.

Giles Anthony Stewart Head thinks a Joss-less Buffy movie will be 'a train wreck'.

Enjoy.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
I have had a fabulous 24 hours. Yesterday we had the last session of the Graduate Symposium, which is always, traditionally, followed by a 'compulsory' cocktail party. After several hours spent partaking in suitably ASNaCy-named drinks ('Dubh Gall', 'Cavamal', etc) I was totally sozzled. I was one of the last ones standing, or, to be more specific, dancing on the tables in the department's common room. I woke up this morning with bruises all over my legs and arms. Apparently I had jumped onto my knees a lot. But it was an excellent way to finish the term, and a way I would always like to remember my ASNaC friends: overly fond of a drink, and not embarrassed to look like idiots dancing on tables.

Now for the links.

Joss Whedon, Canberra, Gen Y and Maira Kalman await you behind the cut )
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
I have had a fabulous 24 hours. Yesterday we had the last session of the Graduate Symposium, which is always, traditionally, followed by a 'compulsory' cocktail party. After several hours spent partaking in suitably ASNaCy-named drinks ('Dubh Gall', 'Cavamal', etc) I was totally sozzled. I was one of the last ones standing, or, to be more specific, dancing on the tables in the department's common room. I woke up this morning with bruises all over my legs and arms. Apparently I had jumped onto my knees a lot. But it was an excellent way to finish the term, and a way I would always like to remember my ASNaC friends: overly fond of a drink, and not embarrassed to look like idiots dancing on tables.

Now for the links.

Joss Whedon, Canberra, Gen Y and Maira Kalman await you behind the cut )
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
I'm actually in a very good place, dissertation-wise. I've written the whole thing. All I need to do is add in a little bit about Purgatory and tighten up my arguments about Anselm's letters to Irish bishops, and it is fit for human consumption.

But until then, I'll continue to bring you your daily dose of linkage.

Ronni gets wordy )

I can't stop listening to Nightwish.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
I'm actually in a very good place, dissertation-wise. I've written the whole thing. All I need to do is add in a little bit about Purgatory and tighten up my arguments about Anselm's letters to Irish bishops, and it is fit for human consumption.

But until then, I'll continue to bring you your daily dose of linkage.

Ronni gets wordy )

I can't stop listening to Nightwish.

Buffy stuff

May. 8th, 2009 10:51 pm
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
Here's the rather excellent Cracked summary of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Major spoilers, of course.

I think I must be in the minority of Buffy fans who like (well, 'like' is the wrong word. 'Appreciate the quality of' might be better) Season Six and, for the most part ('Conversations With Dead People' aside), dislike Season Seven.

Also, any friends of mine who are Twilight fans, don't click on these links. The rest of you, enjoy some rather sarcastically articulate summaries of the problems with the Twilight series. The second link has a hilarious 800+ flame war going on in the quotes. Good times.

ETA: I try to refrain from Twilight-bashing because I have a live-and-let-live attitude to fandom (hell, I'd be in a pot-kettle situation if I started saying that Twilight was escapist, never mind most of the other things I think about it). However, I've just spent the past two hours reading all the comments on that Twilight article (the second link) and I simply had to respond to one remark: "I loved ‘Wuthering Heights’, but isn’t it about the same, and it’s a classic?"

Umm, if you think Twilight and Wuthering Heights are the same, you are doing it wrong. It actually makes me feel queasy (and sort of like removing my second X-chromosome) that you, commenter, cannot see that the relationship in Wuthering Heights (which the relationship in Twilight is meant to imitate) is incredibly destructive and abusive. Wuthering Heights shows what happens if you let your love of one person consume your whole life. It's terrifying.

That being said, I do remember what it was like to be a teenager, and to love my favourite books so completely, so utterly and so passionately. Measured criticism of my favourite books felt like my soul was being stomped on, because those books were, on many occasions, what got me through the horrible moments of adolescence. When a book-reviewer at The Sydney Morning Herald wrote a measured criticism of The Amber Spyglass, I sent her an abusive letter accusing her of not actually reading the book before reviewing it. Luckily, instead of telling me to get lost, she wrote me a polite response (saying, memorably, that I seemed to be denying her right to free speech and free thought, which, as a Pullman fan, I should have been defending). She also offered me my first paid job as a newspaper reviewer. Seven years later, here I am. I hope that some of those outraged Twilight fans can gain something as positive from the experience.
dolorosa_12: (dr horrible)
So true.

*holds out until episode 6, when Joss's vision will be revealed*

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rushes into my heart and my skull

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