sistermagpie: Sigh. (Monet)
( Jan. 2nd, 2013 01:38 pm)
The concept, I mean. According to Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth there are these stages the hero passes through as part of that big uber-story where the hero has a thousand faces (and one of them is Luke Skywalker).

I was thinking about this concept this week because I finally saw The Hobbit and really enjoyed it. I've been resenting the fact that they took this small book and blew it up to be possibly even longer than LOTR. I just hate the whole "we're splitting this one book into more than one movie" trend and have since DH. So I wasn't in a rush to see this, but I went with a group of fellow pervy hobbit fanciers, and it turned out to actually draw me in more than I expected. Some of the ways PJ found to add more weight--both in terms of the plot and the emotions--I thought worked pretty well. One moment I really liked was Bilbo's refusal/acceptance of the call.

More on that within... )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (I'm still picking.)
( Jan. 10th, 2008 09:41 am)
I watched the first episode of the US "How to Look Good Naked" and it made me all happy inside--yay for the girl to figure out she's pretty! There was only one moment that annoyed me because it referenced my pet peeve. When they put the girl's body on the side of a building and asked passersby what they thought of it most people complimented her, but one woman said, "That's what a real woman looks like."

This annoys me on two levels. First because I hate that phrase. I'm not a supermodel by any stretch, but it's gotten applied to me because it's always used to mean that a "real woman" has to have a certain body type--usually whatever body type the person using the phrase thinks she has, or thinks she looks better than, and that's bullshit. All women are "real women." Even supermodels before they're airbrushed. The whole point is there isn't one way women look, everybody's different and they can all still be beautiful. Trying to change the aesthetic to put your own body type on top isn't freeing you from anything.

Secondly in the context of this show I thought--why can't you just give her a compliment on her own? Why does there have to be this implied comparison to some other "non-real" woman, who we all know is a supermodel, so that basically you just said, "She doesn't look like a supermodel." I'm sure the girl knows she doesn't look like a supermodel. That's why she's insecure. We're trying to get away from comparing her to people whose body types she was not born with and celebrate what's good about her. I just feel like while everybody else was complimenting the woman, this statement is more a political statement about the agenda of the person making it--down with supermodels. It's a weird day when "nice rack" is the more empowering thing said to a woman, but there it is!

Anyway, this also made me think about something I was talking about on New Year's Eve about fan fiction and bodies, specifically in media fandoms. More about that within. )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (WWSMD?)
( Sep. 6th, 2007 12:29 pm)
I'm not dead--but my computer almost is. At this point opening Internet Explorer takes something like 30 minutes. Sometimes things just disappear too--oh, you've just written 8 pages of something in word? Zap! Where did word go? Ha ha! It's gone!

So I apologize to the many posts I've managed to read in the past week and not comment on. (And to my icons that no longer get used because that adds another 15 minutes to a post!)

I was just reading this post on whether fanfic authors should try to conform to the "morality" of original authors. That kind of question always interests me because on one hand it's usually a yes/no answer, but really it gets into that whole central tangle of issues about fanfic. Really, how would you even begin to recreate somebody else's morals? )
[ profile] lunacy helpfully linked to about five differnt interesting things in her last post, one of which led to this really interesting essay about Ender's Game. I've never read Ender's Game, but the essay is basically about how all of Ender's battles are set up along the same lines in the books, and how this all seems to feed into Orson Scott Card's overriding ethic. The author concludes:

God, how I would have loved this book in seventh grade! It's almost as good as having a nuclear device.

The problem is that the morality of that abused seventh grader is stunted. It's a good thing I didn't have access to a nuclear device. It's a good thing I didn't grow up to elaborate my fantasies of personal revenge into an all-encompassing system of ethics. The bullying I suffered, which seemed overwhelming to me then, was undeniably real, and wrong. But it did not make me the center of the universe. My sense of righteousness, one that might have justified any violence, was exaggerated beyond any reality, and no true morality could grow in me until I put it aside. I had to let go of my sense of myself as victim of a cosmic morality play, not in order to justify the abuse-I didn't deserve to be hurt-but in order to avoid acting it out. I had to learn not to suppress it and strike back.
We see the effects of displaced, righteous rage everywhere around us, written in violence and justified as moral action, even compassion. Ender gets to strike out at his enemies and still remain morally clean. Nothing is his fault. ... As Elaine Radford has said, “We would all like to believe that our suffering has made us special-especially if it gives us a righteous reason to destroy our enemies.”

But that's a lie. No one is that special; no one is that innocent. If I felt that Card's fiction truly understood this, then I would not have written this essay.

I can't really add anything to the essay itself about this book, but was really intrigued by the quote that starts it off--a quote from OSC that says:

There's always moral instruction whether the writer inserts it deliberately or not. The least effective moral instruction in fiction is that which is consciously inserted. Partly because it won't reflect the storyteller's true beliefs, it will only reflect what he BELIEVES he believes, or what he thinks he should believe or what he's been persuaded of.

But when you write without deliberately expressing moral teachings, the morals that show up are the ones you actually live by. The beliefs that you don't even think to question, that you don't even notice-- those will show up. And that tells much more truth about what you believe than your deliberate moral machinations.

--Orson Scott Card

I think that's true, and also think it's one of the things that makes for good fandom. )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Neville Magpie.)
( Oct. 9th, 2006 06:17 pm)
This weekend my keyboard started going incredibly wonky. Lowercase f becomes f+return. Lowercase g appears not where you type if but in the middle of random words pages away. V adds enter, Enter adds a v and a hyphen. Uppercase R highlights whole sections which are then deleted if you hit another key. Uppercase N just deletes the whole document. And m causes the cursor to run off down the document one letter at a time and make you chase it.

Needless to say, I am awaiting a new keyboard and hope this will stop.

I was having a thought about Numb3rs this week that sort of applies to fandom in general. This past week Alan, father of Charlie the Math Genius, is getting on his case about doing grown-up things like taking care of household repairs. This turns out to be a cover that he's worried Charlie isn't going to get married and have children and might instead turn out "like Larry," his weird physicist friend. Turns out Charlie has had the same fears. Not only did I find that a pretty disappointing thing to learn they think about their friend, I thought it was a profound misunderstanding of who Larry is. What about Larry? )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Totem)
( Jun. 11th, 2005 01:54 pm)
I was thinking about Star Wars this morning. Recently I read a conversation where a number of people said, "I couldn't care less about Han Solo." Now, I happen to love Han, but I didn't find this a shocking confession, especially given the way they explained it. They liked the Skywalkers because it was their story. I had to agree. While I love Han in the OT, I would always say that SW is Luke's story, along with Vader's. Leia is also a bigger part of it than Han is. Han gets involved with them and affects events (a perfect example obviously being when he knocks Vader out unexpectedly so Luke can get to the Death Star), but his personal development runs on a completely separate track from the main storyline. It's a subplot that could pretty much lift right out--it's really just extra that Lucas gave him a clear arc of his own, and in the end that arc is rightfully pushed to the background so Luke and Vader can have their final confrontation. Even the first time I saw RotJ I noticed that Han didn't have much to do, but while I'd liked to have had a better storyline than the Ewoks, I thought the resolution of Luke's story was more important, and that was done well.

In the prequels I was pleased that Lucas resisted the urge to stick in a young!Han to go along with young!Boba Fett and younger!Chewie. I'm sure a random scene where Lucas managed to have a boy on a street we could recognize as Han would have been a crowd-pleaser, but I'm glad that there was hint of Han whatsoever in the prequels, beyond what was, imo, an obvious foreshadowing nod to him and the world he lives in by Obi-Wan when he killed Grievous with the help of a good blaster by his side ("so uncivilized").

Anyway, this got me thinking about why I like Han for all these reasons, because I realized the same is true for what is probably my favorite character in the series, R2D2. They don't believe in luck/fate. )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (At home)
( Dec. 19th, 2004 12:51 am)
Watching ROTK:EE-spoilers within )

I don't know how I feel about it vs. the TE. I'll have to watch it straight through to see how I feel about the flow etc. Right now my main feeling is there were some things I liked and some I didn't--kinda like the other EEs and TEs.
I was talking to somebody today about LOTR vs. HP and slash. One factor that comes up in one but not the other is the fact that HP is a children's book and so, as we know, there's always that factor of, OMG, somebody think of the children!!!

The weird thing is that for me in some ways that seems totally backwards. )
Happy birthday [ profile] closet_geek!!!
Happily, she seems to have gotten at least one Very Thoughtful Present so far.

Ugh. What a day. The last of that hurricane flooded ALL the subways so none were running. There's something kind of weird about wandering around at 10:30 AM with everybody else who would be at work but we don't know how to get there. I took a bus eventually that got me there around noon. I could have got there quicker walking, but I had no intention of doing that. One weird thing is when I got home I had a card from the post office saying I got a package. In the "sender's name" place it said AUSTRALIA. Australia sent me a package? I'm completely mystified. Must go pick it up tomorrow.

I went over to TORC after that. My patience for rabid purists is getting really thin, which is sad because I was always all into being able to explain things rationally and talk to people with different ideas. But some people just get on your nerves. It made me think about things that really bother us in arguments. Like for me, I realize one thing that always drives me nuts is when people state things as facts when they're opinions, in such a way that you're supposed to just let them pass. For instance, this one poster always says things like, "There was no reason to move Shelob to ROTK and it's that change that destroys everything."

The annoying thing is this person will say this over and over, no matter how many times people (me) have explained how putting Shelob in TTT really is going to be difficult. It's not just a case of getting rid of Osgiliath (while of course putting back in Faramir's longer interrogation scene) and coming out even. Of course it *might* work--anything might work. But it drives me crazy when people throw out these premises--not even the argument they're making, but just things they're going to slip in along the way. Granted this is usually accompanied by snide remarks about people who don't agree, but I think what gets me is people slipping in false things as if they've been proven. I'm not sure why...maybe it's because I know how easily things become excepted facts just because they were said. The snide remarks are usually part of that anyway--"Of course Revisionists don't mind Shelob being moved because they [insert stupid reason that makes Revisionists look bad]."

Does anybody else have specific things people do that really get on your nerves in discussions/arguments/debates?
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Moon magic)
( Aug. 2nd, 2004 12:08 am)
So today I watched ROTK. It made me feel all warm and squishy. (When I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 there was a preview for a movie called Danny Deckchair that had Miranda Otto in it. )

Two random ROTK thoughts. )

Naturally, watching this movie made me think about one of my favorite book bits, Crickhollow. I think if anybody was to ask me what place and when in a book they'd like to be, that would be it. I don't mean what part of a story I'd like to live, just a fictional place I'd like to go--my happy place, I guess some people would call it. Maybe I'm just the most unexciting person in the world, but that's got to be my idea of the perfect evening--a cozy house on an autumn evening, a hot bath after a day with lots of walking, your best friends, good food, wine, and a fire. Usually when I think about fictional places I think about how they look, but when it comes to Bag End or Crickhollow when Frodo lives there I always think about how it must smell delicious. (And being a hobbit slasher, there would be a wide variety of board games to round out the evening in my smial.)

I'm trying to remember if there were any other fictional places I really wanted to climb into before Crickhollow. I used to sit on my parents' dresser and try to figure out how to get into the mirror. Also my mother had this doohickey thing hanging at the end of the chain to the light in her closet and I used to want to get into that. I always imagined it would look like the inside of Jeannie's bottle on I Dream of Jeannie, you know with the circular purple velvet cushion couch and the colored windows. Only it would float and go places, like Willy Wonka's Great Glass Elevator (which I don't think I knew about yet). I also had a specific book of The Snow Queen where the illustrations were all done with like miniatures and models and I always wanted to go into Kay's house with the window boxes and Gerda next door. But those were all visual things, not so much things I just got from a description. There must have been something. I'll have to think.

Anybody else have places like that?
I was having an annoying conversation today on TORC about Movie!Frodo. It really amazes me how casually judgmental and cold-hearted people can be. And yes, I know he's a fictional character, but the points being made are about wider principles in general.

Movie Frodo... )
Hee. A friend of mine called me yesterday and congratulated me on "the big win."

And I said thank you. Like I actually won something.:-)

Brief oscar talk. )

Meanwhile, there's an excellent discussion on Molly Weasley and all the yelling in [ profile] ivyblossom's lj. Basically, she's challenging the imo bizarre fandom idea that the best place anyone could wind up was in the warm bosom of the Weasley family, preferably by marriage. Had I been born into that family I no doubt would have spent most of my time finding places to hide, and I would have moved as far away as possible as soon as possible.

Which led me to the side issue that, wankiness aside, HP fandom seems to have some pretty consistently good character discussions. Yes, there's the stupid people whose character discussion basically consists of how evil the evil characters are and how great everybody else is, or how anybody who doesn't like their favorite character is a jerk, or that racism is bad and that's why hexing Slytherins is funny etc., but I'm talking more about stuff like this. My question is, Why is this, and why does it seem so much less the case in LOTR fandom for me? Somehow this eventually leads into a discussion of Frodo and Bilbo, which will hopefully contradict that idea! )
The last time I saw ROTK I found myself really wondering about Smeagol and Deagol. This was at the Lincoln Center thing, and when they started taking questions I almost wanted to ask Andy Serkis what he and the other actor worked out for that day. Like, what would Gollum's birthday have been like if he hadn't gotten the ring, etc.

Today I was in a store flipping through the book on "How We Did Gollum" or whatever it's called, and there's this great section where Andy talks about exactly that, what Smeagol was like.

Smeagol the Stoor. )

Also, there was an article in the New Yorker last week about trauma counseling and it spoke about how people just really like to believe that "one good cry" cures things like PTSD.

Kind of like a lot of post-Quest Frodo fics! )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Totem)
( Jan. 18th, 2004 12:07 am)
I was reading a conversation of those conversations that make you start shaking they make you so angry? Well, here's the thing. It actually relates to [ profile] oselle's post here in which she tells the tale of three phonies whom she had the misfortune to sit next to in a restaurant.

The discussion I was reading got into different directors vs. PJ. What was bugging me was not that there was a person who didn't care for Peter Jackson because there's no reason everybody should do that. The problem was in the way these directors were being compared. I thought this was just exactly the opposite of everything art is supposed to stand for.

More on this... )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (WWSMD?)
( Jan. 14th, 2004 12:00 pm)
I feel like last weekend lasted a lifetime...kind of like in the Narnia books when the kids reign for years then find themselves back at their Uncle's house. A whole weekend in Middle Earth--hurray! It was more fun than I'd ever thought it'd be.

Here I talk about the Trilogy watching experience )

The Q&A with Peter Jackson )

Then, the bad part. Well, it's my own fault. Never go to TORC's Movies forum if you want to avoid annoyance. There was this thread about Sean Astin not liking the take PJ used for his "I can't carry you" line which inspired a number of people to paint SA as a jerk. In response some random people decided to defend him by praising his honesty over the slick Hollywood-player fake that is Elijah Wood.

Anyway, this got me thinking about Elijah Wood (after I told them to SHUT UP! of course). I usually try really really hard to remind myself that the image of any actor I might have is not the actor himself, so I always feel hypocritical about expounding on the character of one as I see it. But I still do it, just like we all do. Even when I don't care about an actor I have a persona for him, thanks to the press. This criticism of Elijah made me think about what I associate with his persona and also what I think the negative description of him says about modern values. Yeah, I know it sounds ridiculous but it interested me!

Here I hold forth on it--and child acting besides... )

p.s. From today's post:

"Check out this item from the Post: FRODO is now the Lord of the G-strings. Elijah Wood and his "Rings" co-star, Billy Boyd, hit East 60th Street mammary mecca Scores at 2 a.m. Tuesday with two horny hobbits and, says our witness, "They didn't leave until the lights went on." Wood and company tossed back Heinekens and were surrounded by about a dozen topless dancers. When one exceptionally cute waitress named Nicole grabbed Wood's eye, he invited her to sit down with him, saying, "You're really pretty." He finally rolled out at 4:30."

Well, he is pretty.
Ugh. Got no sleep last night. I might as well have gotten up and written this at 3am because I could not sleep. Is there anything more depressing than lying awake all night and then hearing the garbage truck rumbling down the street to tell you it's almost time to get up?

Anyway, this gets back to Frodo and Sam in ROTK. There's certain interpretations of the way these two are in ROTK that I see all over the place--in fact, before I saw the movie this is the way their characters were presented to me. It's frustrating not only because it's inaccurate, but something else. Figuring out the "something else" led me to an idea I never thought I'd arrive at, which was that in some ways slash can really suck. )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (WWSMD?)
( Dec. 28th, 2003 04:47 pm)
Last night I was watching the FOTR:EE, which is even better after seeing ROTK. I also turned on the actor's commentary. It's fun to hear Orlando gushing about scenes he's "thinking about that are in the third film..." and the hobbits hinting that we'll "see more of Minas Tirith later," now that I know exactly what they're talking about. Also, Orlando is such a dork I love him. I also love hearing Elijah refer to him as "Orli."

Sean Astin's insecurities are another constant source of amusement. There's an ugly stepsister quality to the way he jokes about Orlando Bloom that cracks me up.

Then I thought about Frodo and Galadriel, or as Sam would call her, the grabby elf lady. )
So I saw ROTK again with my friend who's a newbie and her reactions were pretty interesting, I thought. )

I've also been thinking more about Frodo and Sam in the movies... )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)
( Dec. 20th, 2003 09:59 pm)
Well, I've decided to inflict my huge ramblings about ROTK just in general upon this journal as well. I'll probably continue picking at it in bits and pieces, but this is just a mad ramble in response to everything.

Spoilers, of course. )
I saw it last night. I feel many posts coming on. I did a long babbling one about my basic impressions which may just be too much for anybody to read through, but I might post it here anyway. Usually I prefer to focus on different aspects in different posts. I'll probably have to do one at least for all the hobbit stories. So I'll start with this little thing I posted on TORC today and throw it out to everybody in case they have opinions.

It's a little question about the critics' reaction to Gollum. )

Oh, and I loved it. Was too overwhelmed to be coherent afterwards, but yeah, I loved it. There were a couple of things I didn't love I can throw out quickly right away: Cut for minor spoilers )


sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags