lotesse: (afrofuturism)
Late-night hypothesis (i had a hard day i'm not thinking about it): might the weird misdirectedness of "sj shipping" and whatnot be a possible aftereffect of the hardcore fannish embrace of the death of the author?

Instead of accepting all fannish responses while questioning the motives/credentials of directors, movie studios, and various financiers, we seem to be ignoring the latter classes of being almost entirely to instead police fannish response.

I am pretty sure that a substantial chunk of this is "women can be easily made to feel badly about libidinal desires," but also think it's interesting that, after having gloriously launched myself into the arms of Barthes during the Harry Potter years, I now find myself endlessly wanting to remind fellow fen about who gets paid for these stories, who has control, and who exactly doesn't (hint: it's us).
lotesse: (open)
Watching Hannibal 1.08.

(I've been feeling frustration and dissatisfaction with my family; I do not know if it is legitimate. I feel as though I am not seen. But I'm less interested in proving the reality than I am in simply noticing the presence of my emotions.)

A (potential, theorized) central tragedy of human life, artfully demonstrated by Bryan Fuller: no one can save you but yourself. Even when it is not reasonable to expect anyone else to save you, help always seems to come with strings. Hannibal wants to Save Will Graham; Alana wants to Save Will Graham; Jack wants Will Graham To Already Have Been Saved so that he can remain useful and able to work. But each of these outside agents have agendas for Will, agendas that are their own and not his.

This is inevitable; how could they not? Only Will can have his own interests at heart purely. But ... he doesn't, I don't think he does. He makes gestures toward survival - he clearly knows where he needs to go vs. where he shouldn't, he tells people things like he's trying to remain accountable for his own well-being - but he doesn't follow through. (and yet, it's his self-sacrificing aspects that I find admirable. what does that say about me?)

I don't know - this all seems quite clear to me, but I've been trying to convince myself that "you've got to cross that lonesome valley, you've got to cross it by yourself" is no kind of a life-philosophy.

I wonder if it's good for me, to live within reach of my parents. I dunno that it really is.
lotesse: (edged)
heads up: potential OTW implosion sighted. Andrea Horbinski votes *herself* onto the Board. how lovely for her. MJ MacRae has comments about ethics. hilarious. ffa has deets

eta the whole board has now resigned. wow. what
lotesse: (glamazon)
I'm not planning on seeing Crimson Peak myself, despite my lasting love for del Toro, because it just doesn't look like my sort of thing (also because i walked out of Mia Wasikowska's Jane Eyre and i might still be bearing a bit of a grudge). But the talk around it has been helpful for me in clarifying something about my gendered investments in the gothic.Read more... )
lotesse: (Default)
first snow!
lotesse: (Default)
Tarot just laid some shit on me - I'm all shaky over. Read more... )

A Tangent on Sirius Black, my personal relationship therewith: I freaked myself out yesterday when I had the thought that, although I feel a lot of emotional kinship right now with Sirius, in re the being sort of forcibly stopped as a young person and then emerging 10+ years later as a traumatized, depleted, and weirdly-immature adult, when I first fell for him as a character that would not have been the case. He's always been my favorite, but for a good three years there we didn't have much in common. Then I started seeing my Ex. *shudder*
lotesse: (freedom)
So - I badly want to be more enchanted by Bernie Sanders than I am. And I'm not sure how legitimate "enchantment" even is, politically speaking, but noticing affective responses is kind of what I do.

I watched the Maddow-moderated Presidential Candidates' Forum tonight kind of backwards, Clinton first and then O'Malley and Sanders. Read more... )
lotesse: (starwars)
Man, each time I read Ben Carson's "as a teenager, I would go after people with rocks, and bricks, and baseball bats, and hammers" line, it comes out more and more like a Python sketch. "The Pirhana Brothers Take the Presidency."

"Vince: After that I used to go round his flat every Sunday lunchtime to apologize and we'd shake hands and then he'd nail my head to the floor.

Interviewer: Every Sunday?

Vince: Yeah but he was very reasonable. Once, one Sunday, when my parents were coming round for tea I asked him if he'd mind very much not nailing my head to the floor that week and he agreed and just screwed my pelvis to a cake stand."
lotesse: (Default)
my cat hurt her foot and i'm sure it's going to be all right but i'm still upset
lotesse: (open)
I'm going back in to rewatch and finish Bryan Fuller's Hannibal. I watched through the second season previously, but stopped tracking around the fourth episode - I couldn't figure out where the story was going, and thus couldn't identify hopes or fears to propel me through the matter of the story. I followed recaps and discussion of the third season, because I wanted to know what kind of a thing Hannibal was going to turn out to be. And now we know.

I feel like I approach narratives really differently based on where I think they're going. It has to do with how much I'm willing to let myself hope, and also with what the narrative is positing as the highest good. For example, one of the reasons why White Collar lost me was that it couldn't decide if it was Neal needed leashed or Peter needed freed, what kind of an ending would count as a "good one," and things got stretched tight across the polarity. So: there isn't going to be a happy ending in Hannibal; this is a study of a downfall. Will is to be empathized with, but not hoped for.

this is some bleak and gnarly analysis; tw maybe not good reading for people currently in the depths of despair  )

I wish the first episodes hadn't cued the show up as a procedural; although maybe the genre confusion is meant to be part of the effect?
lotesse: (Default)
Hallo, fellow yuletider! Thank you for writing me a story!

I like emotionally intense reading experiences, family stories, passion, complexity, stories about good problem-solving and communication skills that nevertheless don't save you from life's complications, and stories about people trying. I'll give fandom-specific wants/dnws beneath; I don't have broad squicks to speak of, but some canons work for me in different ways than other ones do. I tend to gravitate to happy-ending stories, but I also enjoy fiction that is elegant, ironic, gothicized, or kinky in its cruelty.

specific fandom/request deets:

Hamilton, Hamilton/Washington )
Earthsea, a story about Tenar's life as a young woman on Gont )
Sleepy Hollow, Ichabbie competence shipping )
Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Cimorene/Mendanbar reunionating )
Madeleine L'Engle - Kairos Series, Meg and Calvin when their family was young )
lotesse: (Default)
... I am so frustrated by the fact that the Vorkosiverse keeps giving more babies in number, when what I want is more babies in *content* - don't add any more of the dratted things, there are already plenty, just give me a real sense of what the "next generation" are like as parents! Or - Gentleman Jole spoiler )
lotesse: (Default)
update on the me: I've been doing some new gigs, at least one of which might turn into something substantial and good.

My aunt has worked for an MBA admissions consulting group for several decades now, and I've been pestering to get in on it since I was in college. She's been over-busy this year - she's trying to run my grandparents' old bed and breakfast at a profit, as if - and I've been getting some of her work kicked to me for a few months now to take off pressure. She's been on vacation this whole week, and I've been running the show. It's been fun! but stressful, because if this is an audition man I want to nail it. Not because the work is particularly interesting - but it's the best-paid I've ever been, and the group has been really good to my aunt, they seem like really supportive employers. I've never had one of those; I want.

It looks like I'm also moving sideways into secondary-ed-related work; I just got a contact from an old friend who works as a guidance counselor in one of the local high schools, and that might turn into a tutoring job; and I'm also putting in for a contract writing job developing reading comprehension assessment test questions.

(I've also been doing a lot of housekeeping work within my family, bc it's a way that I can give back; I'm cleaning for my folks, and I've been to my grandmother's for the last few months. I sort of like it; it makes me feel connected with the memories of both of my grandfathers to continue the work that they were both so involved in.)

if I had a dollar for every dollar's worth of work ect.
lotesse: (freedom)
Oh my god someone on ffa just mentioned the future possibility of Hamilton productions WITH ALL FEMALE CASTS. Oh my god. Hamilton and Burr as dueling antagonistic lesbians. Hamilton and Washington as a female mentor/female mentee pair. "My dearest ... Angelica"!
lotesse: (afrofuturism)
some things about Hamilton:

-the George Washington/Alexander Hamilton drift compatibility is increasingly my fave. I could ship it or not but the intensity is delish. "Meet Me Inside," with the "Son/I'm not your Son" refrain: nnrgh. The overlay of Hamilton's voice over George Washington's farewell address in "One Last Time," his writing in his commander's mouth, saying the farewell that he himself finds nigh-unbearable: ffwahhhhppdp. Pwahhhd.

-the characterization of Eliza works really well for me sometimes and frustrates me at others. I think this has something to do with my dislike of romantic jealously/infidelity narratives as a whole. And I really like that there's none of that with the sisters! "Burn" calls up both of my reactions: the crescendo on "you FORFEIT all rights to my heart/ you FORFEIT your place in our bed" is glorious and invokes my Thing about honor, but the way that she opposes his public career and private life irks me, and the ending of the song always catches me off-beat, because when she says "I hope you burn" I always expect it to finish "mine" - I'm burning your letters, I hope you burn mine. But her final apotheosis as historian always gets me where I live.

-"Hurricane" might be my fave track. "She was holding me/ we were sick and she was holding me/ I couldn't seem to die"
lotesse: (Default)
number of times I have made it through the Hamilton cast recording without uglycrying over the death of his son = approx 0
lotesse: (duesouth)
wow super duper didn't realize that Tori Spelling is married to Constable Turnbull.
lotesse: (Default)
here are some points about Quantum Leap, idk idk:

-it's just about the clearest possible example of the 90s White Knight Hero Disease a girl could ask for. It goes like this: as it starts to become clearer in the mid-90s that media needs to be more diverse and attentive to social issues, diversity and social issues become popular and also increasingly important plot elements/drivers. But make no mistake the heroes are still gonna be white men and no homo. These white male heroes thus end up hogging the stage while ostensibly crusading for minority rights/representation. ATS did that for basically the whole first season, coulda called it "Angel and Hurt Women: The Series."

In QL, this manifests as a particularly weird version of What These People Need Is A Honky, one that basically translates to "if this white dude lived your life, he wouldn't fuck it up the way you do." The reason why it's so weird is that it almost comes all the way back around to working. Not quite, but, like, almost.

One of the reasons why social prejudice is bad is that it screws people up long-term. Traumatized people make bad decisions. When you already carry so much extra pressure, deal with brainwashing, with microaggressions, shit with macroaggressions, dealing with the other shit in life doesn't always work out well. Oppression leads to cascading failure and emotional/psychological depletion. So it makes some realistic sense that a character like Sam Beckett, with his background and privileges and personality type, would be able to get over the rough ground of the "Leap-ees"' lives lightly, just by being soft and calm and brave and intuitive and gentle - and, most importantly, by being confident in himself and his rights.

As a woman, I see this operating most clearly in the crossdressing eps. Sam doesn't have the same lifetime of taught assumptions about how men are allowed to treat him (poorly), so when he's victimized as a female Leap-ee he resists it and makes changes - when the woman who had actually lived that life had been quiet and accepted it, and had been careful not to rock the boat.

This is one of the things that (dis)privilege is. Does the show know this? man idk. I sort of doubt it. It doesn't really work as a progressive narrative paradigm. You can't dismantle the master's house with the master's tools like that. What happens to those women when they return to their lives, for one thing? Female niceness is protective camoflage, bro, maybe they needed it.

-okay so also another thing: in a way, that (horrible, painful) ending is some spiritually righteous shit. It just feels really weird coming after a whole show that didn't engage at all at that level. I got a similar thing here where I can't get my head around there being authorial intent but the signification works out anyway.

[personal profile] giandujakiss's vid Coming Home was pivotal for me in seeing the possibility of this reading - although I might also be extrapolating wildly in the opposite direction of her intent? But - when I first watched - and loved - the vid, I was struck by the assertion of GK's fannish power with the manipulation of that final text card. Her use of her editing suite allowed her to "over-write" the ending, blacking out the word "never" and transforming the story from one where Sam never came home to one where he did. I liked that; I don't like "one goes alone" endings as a rule, and will cheer on anyone who resists them.

On subsequent watches, though, GK's music choice started hammering in something about the canon for me: while Sam Beckett may canonically have never have returned to his own timeline, he was always already "coming home" during each and every leap - building community with other humans at a level of intensity practically unreachable in mundane life. If "coming home" = attaining community/communion/belongingness, rather than = going back to Sam's particular space/time biological/social embodiment, well, he wins at the end, and that makes it almost a happy ending.

Sam's abandonment of his self in order to restore Beth and Al's relationship is a gesture of perfect spiritual abegnation, and he ends by ascending to - basically - sainthood, forsaking ordinary life for continuing deep communion with suffering souls. I used to use the iconography of the Hindu Bodhisattvas when I relied on this fantasy to justify my being abused by my Ex: the being that becomes perfectly compassionate and so attains enlightenment, dissolving individual singleness in the process. I do not know how I feel about Sam Beckett's story being about the holiness of the abandonment of the self in order to serve the needs of the world. But - watching the show now, man, that's kind of all I can see.
lotesse: (afrofuturism)
--I always find myself wanting to tell someone about, or write about, the times when I experience intense overlays of affect or signification. For me, this is what it's all about, what I read for, what I listen for, what I live for. But they're always so deeply obscure and personal that I'm never sure if they're worth sharing, if the frission of it is something that can be conveyed to people outside of my head.

I'm going to anyway, because this is my journal, and I can be self-indulgent.

The bit from The Dark Is Rising with "Good King Wenceslas" has always been important and central for me. Part of that is that I was a choir girl whose peak event of the year was the holiday concert with the local symphony orchestra; part of it has to do with my general Thing for traditional carols. But it was also about Will and Merriman, alienation and community unlooked-for. Will loses the support of his brother's voice, sings alone as he goes forward, and just as he's wondering what he's going to do to keep the song going by himself Merriman comes in on the joyful king's verse, lyrically offering protection and restoring harmony. The Old Ones aren't always good community for Will - there's a darkly funny way that I think of DiR as the opposite of Harry Potter, where becoming a wizard on your eleventh birthday means leaving your abusive family for a wonderful world of magic, because in his waking Will loses his family, his humanity, and his future, and only gains a set of crochety old absentee mentors. Will Stanton is the eternal graduate student. But in that moment, singing "Good King Wenceslas," Merriman comes through for his pupil. In that moment, at least, Will isn't left alone.

And it means something to me that this is all framed in terms of poverty, generosity, honor, and snow.

So, on the opposite side of the collision--

I keep drawing the Fool card in my tarot, shall I or shan't I, and one of the questions pulling at me now is how much I want to keep fighting to wodge myself into the world versus how much I want to just go be the crazy witch lady at the edge of the woods. And I've been reading a lot of pieces like this one at the Atlantic about reclusive or in-revolt artists who start letting the madness through; the link centers Blackness, touching on Kanye West, Dave Chapelle, Lauryn Hill, and Nina Simone, but Courtney Love and Tori Amos are also artists that are part of this for me, in addition to badgal Rihanna. I grok that there are racialized aspects of this subject position that I can't legitimately lay claim to, but it's been giving me language for the simultaneous turn-away and aggressive-visibility impulses I've been feeling.


I've had a rough few days, dealing with an unusually nasty menstrual period, handling unfamiliar work that I'm less fluent with, and also doing first talks with a new therapist that I'm checking out. So yes, I was watching What Happened, Miss Simone? on Netflix looking for catharsis; but I really wasn't expecting the doc to open with her coming onstage, pushing the edge of her alienation, and sit down at the piano and start playing "Good King Wenceslas." God. The footage is from her 1976 return concert in Switzerland. She casts this beautiful incantation - she draws her limits verbally, hard, and it's awkward, and she does the throw-away gesture over her shoulder, and tells them they have to go with her to the beginning, girlhood. And this is still before the title card.

I recommend the doc, fwiw. It bothered me sometimes that her songs were used so heavily in the soundtrack; it especially nerdled me that "Put A Spell On You" underscored the section on her experience of marital abuse. It's too specific and too general all at once; those songs are standards, not confessional contemp-style singer-songwriter pieces. The civil rights music is different, it belongs in the context.

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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