Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical
hermionesviolin

Let's all take a deep breath... think i'm gonna make it after all...

Without specific input energy, things spontaneously move from order to madness.
-“Little Willow” on “Entropy”



My mother told me about the librarian action figure thing back in July, because the woman the doll is modeled on is the sister of my mom’s friend and coworker Susan Linn.


http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2003_09_07_archive.asp#106291844237851223

There's a librarian action figure on the way. Some librarians are apparently complaining about the "shushing" action of the figure, and, perhaps, that it isn't glamorous enough. Meanwhile there's a profile on the librarian it's based on in the Seattle Times. I think it looks genuinely fun. (I can understand a profession complaining that they are being mocked or stereotyped, but a real person isn't a stereotype.)


http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2003_09_07_archive.asp#106322413799495813

Speaking as a librarian who is surrounded by librarians at work who are offended by this new librarian action figure, I can only say that perhaps it's time librarians across the board discovered the value of a good custom repaint on an action figure....
Hoping to make mine look rather delirious and get a Shakespeare one to go with so the two of them can have interesting conversations,
Anita


I wonder if they ever had this trouble when they did the Diskworld Librarian statues. ("We are not all orang-utans.") It certainly makes me wish that DC would do a Lucien the Librarian Action figure for librarians everywhere.

Of course, if the whole point of the offended librarians is that librarians can, and, wisely, do, look like anyone, then any action figure would do. ("Isn't that a Gandalf toy?" "Nope it's a librarian. One with a hat and a beard." "And he's next to a... Bettie Page toy?" "Nope. Just a cute, half-naked librarian with a big smile and a Bettie Page haircut.")


http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2003_09_07_archive.asp#106326570732524682

I note in passing that all the taradiddle about "the first librarian
action figure" seems to miss the fact that there was a Rupert Giles figure
some time back, and he was enough of a librarian to appear as a role model
on the cover of a professional journal -- I think it was Ameriican
Libraries. The figure was prominently displayed during Anthony Stewart
Head's turn on Graham Norton, and that is quite enough to say.
-John M. Ford



Later we learn that DC put out (still purchasable) Dreaming action figures including Lucien.


I think i should start a collection of librarian dolls.

Remember, "Librarians rule. And they will kick the crap out of anyone who says otherwise."



E-mail exchange with my father on Friday:

I found out during the Morning News that NHS is putting on "Les Miserables." [...] It was the best NHS production since "Little Shop." Maura directed it and I told her that afterwards. [...]

I kept getting "Tale of Two Cities" vibes, and not just because a lot takes place in Paris, there are street battles, and a lot about rich and poor. There was all this Christ imagery and sacrifice and the question of who you truly are ("You're a thief and always will be." "You're a whore.") and having to hide your past, your identity, etc.

Which makes a good intro to the one thing I didn't like. After all their tribulations, Marius and Cosette are going to marry but Valjean tells them that he has to leave and go on a long journey (i.e., die). They sing. The ghosts of Fantine and Eponine appear. They will be reunited. Virtue will be rewarded. There is finally a chance at happiness, both on earth and in heaven. I'm getting misty-eyed (and I learned later I was not the only one). It is Sidney Carton saying, "It is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done. It is a far better place I go to than I have ever been."

But then the rest of the cast filters back on stage and sings a reprise--with different lyrics--of "Can you hear the people sing?" It was as if Dickens had continued for four more pages with descriptions of future battles and history and philosophy. Hey, you should have let the screen go black and put up the "Executive Producer: Joss Whedon" card.
I'm sad that i missed Les Mes since (1) i heart that show and (2) you said it was great.

Ooh, interesting thoughts about Tale of Two Cities (which i also heart muchly).

Hmm, hadn't thought before about how the finale song segues into a reprise of "Do You Hear the People Sing?" My guess is that the purpose is to end with a note about everyone, not just about Valjean and his people, because it's a story about a small group of people, but their personal conflicts are almost representative of the situations of everyone during the French Revolution, so the writer is saying "not only do Cosette et al have a happy ending, but ultimately good triumphs more generally." And reading the lyrics, the original song is mostly all about fighting, but the reprise seems to be about struggle and triumph more generally -- less blood, more glory ("They will walk behind the plough-share / They will put away the sword.".
Yeah. I got the impresson that the authors didn't want to end just on the "Valjean and his people" find happiness/salvation note. Too small, too bourgeois. But it didn't work emotionally for me. Perhaps because this isn't about the French Revolution. It's about post-Napoleonic France. The scene with the Bishop, where Valjean steals the silver, occurs in October, 1815, according to the novel. The Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon's final defeat, occured in July, 1815.

Counting backward, that means that Valjean was imprisoned in 1796, seven years after the fall of the Bastille. The "Reign of Terror" had ended on July 27, 1794 (9 Thermidor in the Revolutionary calendar) with the arrest and execution of Robespierre; Sidney Carton is guillotined in December, 1793. Valjean wan't sent to jail by the pre-Revolutionary ancien regime. He must have been imprisoned in the Directory period of the Revolution, 2 years after "Thermidor" and 3 years before Napoleon's taking power on November 9, 1799 (18 Brumaire in the Revolutionary calendar).

According to the short introduction to our paperback copy of an abridged "Les Miserables," the street fighting is part of the Insurrection of 1832, something that doesn't even rate a footnote in most English-language histories of France. In 1815, the victorious allies had returned the Bourbon dynasty to the throne of France. In the July Revolution of 1830, that branch had been replaced by Louis Philippe, a more moderate king. He in turn was removed in the February Revolution of 1848, which resulted in the election of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte as president. Within 4 years he had declared the Second Empire, with himself as Emperor Napoleon III. And so on.

So perhaps one reason it doesn't work for me is that the various uprisings and reactions in France didn't work to achieve much good.

edit: Upon seeing the show again the following weekend, my father wrote:

I liked the ending a lot more this time. I really tried to listen to the words and they made it seem much more like an extension of the penultimate scene (Valjean and his people have found happiness/salvation; as time goes on, many other people will, too) rather than a contradiction (Valjean and his people have found happiness/salvation; but many other people will suffer and die in recurring political violence that will at best be two steps forward and one step back). I also noticed that the instrumentation for the ending was less martial (e.g. no "beating of the drums") and more "sweet." Though it was impossible to completely lose the martial emotions; that melody was played in the background during all the street fighting scenes.
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