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burning like matchsticks in the face of the darkness
 
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Wednesday, June 9th, 2004

Time Event
9:44p
stories
My dad taped the wrong channel so i have an hour of the Tony awards instead of the Crossing Jordan finale. Oh well.

Am working my way through TNG S3. I’m often watching with my brother, and he often asks why something is happening a certain way, why the characters don’t do something else that he thinks would make more sense. It’s nice to know he’s not (always) a passive TV watcher.

In the S1 special features, Gene Roddenberry actually says, “This is a show about morality.” He also talks about how TOS (The Original Series) did groundbreaking stuff with race and women and stuff and come TNG that stuff is much less of an issue in the society at large that you get to tackle new problems (though of course we do still tackle those same issues over and over in TNG) and my first thought was “gay” [when is it not? ;) ] and of course i haven’t seen that even touched upon.

“You do like girls, don’t you?” Brenna O’Dell asks Riker in “Up the Long Ladder” (2.18), and he says, “Of course.” That’s the only instance i can think of wherein nonheterosexuality has even been hinted at in these first couple seasons. Shouldn’t “Justice” (1.08) have at least hinted at it? (Firefly did.) And certainly in “Angel One” (1.14) wouldn’t it have made sense for there to at least have been a hint of lesbianism? I mean hello ancient Greece “women are only for making babies; real intimacy is just between us men.”

No, don’t tell me whether they do or do not ever touch on it the next 5 seasons since i’ll be watching them anyway and once i’m done i’m all up for discussion about portrayals of sexuality, gender roles, the Prime Directive, anything else (including fic recs, of course). And just Googling to find the title of “Angel One” got me this site, which i’ll check out once i finish TNG.

One of the people on the S2 features says that one of the things they kept in mind about the Borg when designing how they would look was that you can’t tell if they’re male or female, that that’s one of the things that’s scary about them. Now, in “Q Who?” Q says to Picard, isn’t it scary that the Borg isn’t a he or a she but an it, but taken in the whole of the conversation, it’s obvious that the scare-factor is in the fact that the Borg are so far out of their realm of understanding; the indeterminacy of gender is merely one example of that. Having someone flat-out say in a commentary that not being able to tell someone’s gender is scary, in the context of the most terrifying species Star Trek ever created, is rather disturbing.

Someone in the S2 commentary also talks about arcing, and yeah i definitely felt the emphasis on Data’s (quest to understand) humanity while watching, for example, but i’ve also been frustrated by apparent inconsistencies in characterization, plotting, whatever, from episode to episode -- though some things are very consistent, and there are sometimes references to previous episodes. Gee, sounds like Whedonverse. I think i have really high standards. I’m so obsessive about continuity/consistency not to mention overall quality that i think my brain might explode if i ever tried to do my own series.

End of S2 and beginning of S3 i kept going “Oh, i remember this bit!” but not remembering full episodes. S1 and S2 had one episode each (“The Naked Now” and “Measure of a Man,” respectively) that i actually remembered watching, but S3 has had a few such so far. I was thinking recently about how little i remember in terms of actual episode plots of all these TV shows that were such touchstones during my childhood.

Sidenotes:

fox1013 complains about how Wicked fandom doesn’t seem to get the whole “you’ve got to be able to criticize what you love” thing.

onetwomany has an LJ entry on “Selfless,” DVD Commentary thereon, and the quality of the Swedish therein.



Thank you to athene for recommending Terry Pratchett’s Witches Abroad, about the power of the story. Quality.

I also approve of Philip K. Dick’s “The Minority Report” and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (think: Blade Runner).

I gave up on The Iliad midway through Book 5. It’s just a litany of battle -- damned boring.

Oh, i watched The House of Yes. I now understand why laynamarya said that having seen it, this was "way down on the traumatizing scale."

I read William Goldman’s “good parts” abridgement of S. Morgenstern’s The Princess Bride, which is essentially what the movie is. The beginning is different some, but by the time we get to the capture, some of it is word-for-word. Though things continue to be different at times throughout the book. Especially the end. (One thing i was glad got changed for the movie: “Let me tell you what’s been going on. No. There’s too much, it would take too long, let me distill it for you”) Goldman says the book is about how life isn’t fair. I was reminded of the moment in Laybrinth when Sarah realizes, “It isn’t fair, but that’s how it is,” which i found powerful. Goldman thinks the experts who say the book is all about satire are wrong, that the book is about the fact that life isn’t fair. Goldman says in the introductionary bit (page 27 of my text): “Morgenstern wasn’t writing any children’s book; he was writing a kind of satiric history of his country and the decline of the monarchy in Western civilization.” Can’t they both be right? I mean, the premise of fairness is the basis of all fairytales, ne? The movie plays with fairytale in an over-the-top manner, and the book is much more gritty and biting in its play, but they both satirize what we think of as classic romance/adventure tales to some extent.

Finally saw the original The Stepford Wives movies. Am curious as to how the remake will end.



I felt almost empty having no more fic-writing obligations hanging over me, though i got over that quickly, don’t worry :) Am currently taking a well-deserved break from fic-writing. Being done with all my ficathon assignments means i finally get to read all the fics written for me, which is exciting. Plus checking out the masterlists. Yay reading material.

Recommendations so far:

doyle_sb4 wrote me non-shippy Willow and Giles in England after “Grave”: "Life as a Killer"

doyle_sb4 wrote me Wishverse Tara and Ethan, with Burning Man and lots of familiar faces: "The Same Rainbow's End"

doyle_sb4 wrote me gen pre-Sunnydale Tara: "Decor"

moonanstars wrote me college-age Giles and Ethan in London, how it all began: "Mates"

vylit wrote me Oz/Giles: "Wind on Dry Grass"

sharp_thorns wrote a Tara character study, dark: "Report Cards"

keswindhover wrote how Tara got into college: "Cargoes"

There was a Potentials ficathon? I totally missed that. Not that it would have held much interest for me, but i’m used to feeling looped. I’m so not into Willow/Kenndy, but doyle_sb4’s "Tequila and Candlelight" begins: "Willow doesn’t seem to get that couples can fight and it not be the end of the world; Kennedy argues like other people sink into a hot bath at the end of a long day. It’s her release, her tension-breaker, and she never means anything by it. Just something to get her blood going, her heart racing, and making up’s the fun part anyway." and so i read it and lo i found myself not actually hating Kenendy.

Note to fic-writing world at large: If you mention that your fic is for a ficathon, please link to a masterlist because odds are many of your readers would be interested in such a list.
10:04p
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