"Being in love was like China: you knew it was there, and no doubt it was very interesting, and some people went there, but I never would. I'd spend all my life without ever going to China, but it wouldn't matter, because there was all the rest of the world to visit."Thursday
-Dr. Mary Malone in Philip Pullman's The Amber Spyglass
I’m sad that i’m not going to have a class with Michael next semester. There’s plenty i won’t miss for even a second about that class, but i definitely adore him.
We started Thursday’s class doing Emily Dickinson.
They shut me up in Prose---We talked about prose=closet (and also prose as being associated with masculinity and we talked about patriarchy and yeah yeah yeah)... “one is tempted to say The closet but that would be anachronistic”... i love that man. We talked about closet as coffin and being dead as being the ultimate “still and silent” and of course i thought of last week Jasmine calling him “Dead Thing” and the episode “Conversations With Dead People” and William the Bloody Awful Poet. Spike is subverting the patriarchy, yo ;)
As when a little Girl
They put me in the Closet---
Because they liked me “still”
And yes i so totally wrote Michael a long e-mail gushing about him and his class (but politely criticizing the group presentation aspect of the class) and talking about Buffy and words and Gertrude Stein... yes, in writing i have very little shame as regards going on at length about most anything in writing.
Giles: Cordelia, have you actually ever heard of tact?“Gertrude Stein went to Paris with her brother, and then dumped him for Alice B. Toklas.” Then we start to go over the section of Tender Buttons we had read and the title hits me for the first time. About 20 minutes later, after discussing what exactly a button is and how common push buttons were at the time Gertrude Stein wrote this and the various meanings of the word “tender,” we finally admit that no, i am not actually the only dirty-minded person in the room. (And i was later assured that all those non-straight friends i have in the class thought as i did.)
Cordelia: Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass.
-“Killed by Death” (2.18)
Those people in the front row (i don’t think Ria ever came up with a pithy name for them) tried to bring it back to motherhood, and nipples as tender buttons connecting mother and child is totally valid, but Gertrude Stein was
The section we discussed in class (“Vegetable”) had the line "cut in shoes" so Michael mentioned the Shoes passage (even though we hadn’t been assigned it) and talked about French slang and suchlike. The shoe passage mentions “shine” -- “shine... vaginal secretions signaling arousal.” I am really impressed that he said that and all the other stuff with a nearly perfect straight face. Good to know not everyone’s perpetually 12.
”Button, button, who’s got the button? My money’s on the witch.”
Two and a half hours after class that finally popped into my head.
Joss already did the whole lesbianism/magic thing. That’s been a theme (for both good and bad) for ages. I expect one could write an essay working Gertrude Stein into all that. Word play and word magic is a separate essay -- knowledge as power, words as power, flesh magic, all that (and we must include “Xander, don’t speak Latin in front of the books” -- ooh, maybe we could title the essay librum incendere). Why yes i am obsessed. I need a t-shirt that says, “You say obsessed like it’s a bad thing.” Not with any specific logo, because it applies to lots in my life -- LJ, Whedonverse, stalking.
I don’t always like Olivia, but i appreciate so much all the hard work she put into the Caper, and she adores Michael so that’s bonus points for her. I got to share my stalking knowledge with her. She doesn’t think she’ll take another English class, but she wants to audit one of Michael’s classes because he’s just so amazing, particularly taking Gertrude Stein’s “huh wha?” and teasing all this sense out of it. This makes me happy.
For aid and comfort, distraction and almost infinite patience with my distractedness, I thank my families (immediate, extended, and in-law), especially Lisa, Abby, Katie, and Megan, to whom I dedicate this book with all my love.My life is much easier when people are consistent. If you’re gonna proclaim your love for people in a book, don’t then complain about them in a classroom. Okay, so you can bitch about people and still love them, i just... meh. I’ve already complained about people bitching about their families. I’m not gonna rehash. And of course just because you’re in love with someone doesn’t mean you always will be. (One of these days someone's gonna smack me for being so obsessed and putting it all up on the Internet.)
”A person doesn't just wake up and stop loving somebody! Love is forever.”Yes i am all about the gratuitous quotage thank you very much.
-“I Only Have Eyes For You” (2.19)
"You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love 'til it kills you both. You'll fight and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other 'til it makes you quiver but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children, it's blood. Blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it."
-Spike re: Buffy&Angel in “Lover’s Walk” (3. 08)
My former roommate opened for Beth Amsel. They were both good. And Beth played “Louise,” which is the one song of hers i have on mp3. Yay. And she covered Maggie Simpson’s “Hunger” as she always does. I then bought OK Café because i had forgotten just how beautiful that song is, but um, was it on there? no. Bah. Note to self: read tracklist before purchasing a CD; we all know what they say about ass-u-me-ing. (I also now own both Billie Myers CDs because, half.com, $0.75/each+shipping.) Hanging out with silvermousepad was nice. It had been so humid all day we knew it had to start raining eventually, though, and that was what finally dispersed us.
Remember the rain Thursday night? Really wasn’t much. An all-out thunderstorm broke out shortly before i left work Friday afternoon, though.
We watched The Matrix at tea. Was good, though not as i might have expected from the hype (and no, i’m not talking about the fact that the special effects seem less impressive since they’ve been used so many times since).
“You think that’s air you’re breathing?” That was my favorite line until “There is no spoon.” which i now need to say at seemingly random moments.
Trinity is bad-ass.
Long black coats are sex-y.
My big beef unrelated to the movie as a whole: humans as virus?! Humans multiply, depleting resources, etc. So does every living organism. We just happen to not have any natural predators (save some diseases). We are at the top of the food chain. Don’t give me any of this “every other organism tries to maintain equilibrium with its environment.” Every organism wants to take over the planet. Every other organism has things to keep it in check. We keep ourselves in check. Yes, we have more destructive power than most any other organism on the planet, but we are the only one that voluntarily keep ourselves in check.
I can’t believe Neil Gaiman forgot to mention that Holly is going to Bryn Mawr.
Most of the one-act plays were strange and seemed not very pointful (my beef with so much modern visual art, actually).
However, there was Madeleine George’s “The Most Massive Woman Wins.” The stories were familiar (because body image is one of the issues i research on my own) and i thought they did a fairly good job. I was thinking about how all 4 women were average-bodied, though they’re all talking about being fat, but they are talking about experience leading up to a decision to get liposuction, so i’m okay with them being post-liposuction bodies. (Could we talk for a second about how they end the play taking off their hospital gowns, standing in a row in just their bras and panties, but when they return to bow, they are all in bathrobes?) So, i’m feeling on the positive side of neutral as regards the play. Then, the end dialogue... i now want to write something like The Hours with the multiple stories paralleling an established story and all relating, but also like what people like Donna Jo Napoli and Angela Carter do with retelling/modernizing fairy tales.
The one student-written play was “scar-fed” by flip ‘03. Now, i have never had the hate-on for propaganda poetry that marginaliana has, maybe because i have just not read the right poetry. (Michael argues for political poetry. I wish i were familiar with the poetry/poets he writes about so i could read the book. Yes, i know, this begs the question of whether i’m obsessed enough to actually read all those poets so i can then read the book.) However, this play... i wanted to throw chairs, at the play. We open with talking about how the food packets and cluster bombs dropped on Afghanistan look almost identical. Then we talk about how Bush's actions contradict his speech promises. Then we listen to him talk while seeing slides of war destruction (as well as stuff like a gratuitous “Got Oil?”). All in this weird avant-garde format to boot. Maybe because i’m disinclined to write people off as evil and stupid, but i want to dig deeper into this stuff, see if there’s context that makes budget decisions more understandable. Since there was torture and horror under Saddam, that aspect is certainly not black-and-white. I want to argue. I want to discuss specifics and subtleties and context and extenuating circumstances and complexities.
We note that one doesn’t see those FREE TIBET bumper stickers anymore and are tempted to snerk at length about the depressing aspects of too many protestors. (My father writes, It seems like before the war a lot of people said, "If I'm honest about how bad things are in Iraq, the US government will be more likely to go to war. And I don't want that. So I'll shut up about those bad things.")
Joan Kubicek (and Tom Stoppard’s “The Fifteen Minute Hamlet”) r0x0rs my s0x0rs.
We pause to remark on the irony that Margot tells me she loves my stuff but what i submitted is definitely not in the newest Labrys. Done pausing? Good. Now deluding self with grand intentions of much writing over the summer -- poetry, fiction, fanfic, essays.
What do i do to my pants that they develop holes near the seam on the inner thigh below the crotch? I need to learn to sew. It really pisses me off that the jeans are in perfectly good condition but for this.
I took the 12:00 bus to the mall, so we drove by the Northampton PRIDE March. It reminded me of the Memorial Day Parade at home and made me teary because it is so not something that would happen in my town. (Looking at the official website, though, there’s a logo which says “Peace Through Pride Northampton 2003” and i just, please don’t let that be equating queerness with anti-war-ness ‘cause just no. And yes, i continue to pimp Andrew Sullivan.)
The bad news for the day: My debit card won’t work, so i have to go down to the bank Monday morning.
The good news for the day: My uncle is stopping by on his way to visit my family this week and will take some of my stuff so it’s less of a tight squeeze when my parentals retrieve me on Saturday. (This is also necessary though not particularly welcome motivation to go through my piles o’ crap.)
Also, my high school is putting on "As You Like It" this weekend and the Saturday i get back.