intertribal: (fuck)
Lessons learned from Season 4 of MTV's "Friendzone":

  • People who have been friends since childhood can't transition into more than that, despite what soft-focus romance novels and black-and-white pictures of children kissing may tell you.

  • The more confident you are that your best friend likes you back, the less likely it is that you are right.

  • Displays of jealousy are not an accurate indicator of the other person's feelings.

  • Do not ever do this in front of a group of people.  Especially if those people are your sorority sisters/fraternity brothers.  No but really.

  • It is uncanny the number of times that the other person responds with "yeah, I've actually... always had a crush on you too."

  • Sometimes, people do change their minds.

  • The worst?  When you tell someone you like them, and they say they have a crush on your best friend.

  • Don't ever try to get out of the Friendzone with someone who is in a relationship.

The "friendzone" is frequently and disparagingly described as such: Person A meets Person B, and instantly is attracted to Person B.  Rather than directly asking out Person B, Person A hangs around them, surreptitiously becoming their friend in the hopes that they will eventually change their minds, out of inertia if nothing else.  Frequently, Person A is described as a guy, and Person B a girl; Person A does good, friendly deeds for Person B with the expectation that Person B should love and fuck them in return.  The xkcd comic is a classic understanding.  The Friend-Zoner vs. the Nice Guy is another.  And I guess that's fair - there are people like that, usually guys who conclude that girls "just don't like nice guys."

But the reality is a lot more complicated, as "Friendzone" the show demonstrates.  Feelings are fluid.  Feelings are multi-faceted.  All of the people on "Friendzone" who are in love with their best friend genuinely and deeply care for both the best friend and their friendship.  They worry about losing the best friend and making the friendship awkward.  In real life, Person A may have approached Person B with interest, Person B declined, and years later, Person B develops feelings for Person A.  In real life, Person B liked Person A all along as well.  In real life, there is not always a hard and fast line between "platonic" and "romantic."  In real life - as long as they did not meet as children - both parties wonder if anything could or should happen with this person they click so well with, but fear is the mind-killer.  Fear that the other person does not feel the same; fear that a prior bad experience with a friends-to-dating transition will repeat itself.  "Friendzone" is more like "Fearzone," really.  And MTV knows all about that.

intertribal: (peace)

"It just goes to show you, you have to go with your first instinct.  If you were originally thinking A, then go with A.  It's good to know that sometimes your gut is right."

Bonus Nostalgia Songs on a Theme (and One Non-Nostalgia Song):
"Stories" - Trapt
"Letters" - Stroke 9
"Little Talks" - Of Monsters and Men
"All Good Naysayers, Speak Up! Or Forever Hold Your Peace!" - Sufjan Stevens
"Big Talk" - Speakerhedz

* Either MTV's most cynical or most idealistic show yet.

intertribal: (Default)

I promised Lindsey I would write this entry.

I recently decided to re-write a series of books I first wrote in junior high and high school (I wrote one book a year).  They were really quite terrible in too many ways to mention, but I was also a teenager.  I wrote most before I read anything truly good.  I decided this mostly because I think I had some really fun ideas in those books, especially pertaining to politics and religion, which are my favorite subjects, and like I "owed it" to the skeleton of this seven-novel series to not just let it crumble in obscurity (born in lust, turn to dust).  I think I also decided to do this because these characters were people I knew, long-forgotten friends who saw me through my most hormonal, unstable years.  And I missed them.  We've been through a lot together.  I named the series after Walton Ford's "Sensations of an Infant Heart" (this is the only thing I've ever written to Harper's Magazine about - I emailed the woman in charge of the art department and said, "So I have this picture from your magazine of a chained up monkey strangling a parrot and I have no idea who it's by, please help?" and she wrote back, "Oh, it's Walton Ford.  What a picture, amirite?").  I think I knew while writing it that it was juvenile and half-baked and that I wasn't ready for the story I was trying to tell.

I started publishing short stories a couple years after I finished the last book of this series.  I don't feel very much for my short story characters.  This enables me to do to them what I could never have done to these first proto-characters, my Adam and Eve.  It enables me, supposedly, to view them objectively.  There are some that have stayed with me more than others, like Lizbet from "Pugelbone" and the unnamed narrator from "Intertropical Convergence Zone," because they were drawn from places close to me emotionally - Lizbet was drawn from my blood, the army guy from, well, my dad and Suharto and other larger-than-life Indonesian men from my childhood.  But most of them are pawns.  I like to think they're reasonably well-rounded, but it's entirely possible that they read a little cold and distant because of this wall I put up.  I put the wall up for reasons that I thought were good: I was way, way too invested in my proto-characters, it got in the way of the story, and in the end their characterization suffered for it. "Are You Hurting The One You Love," indeed.  I know that Kill Your Darlings refers to words, but after this series I decided to use it with my characters.  These characters' next permutation were still near and dear to me, but much less so.  Because I was also becoming a better writer throughout this whole process, I associated the technique with good writing.

And I think this affected the way I read other books and watched movies/television, too.  I stopped getting emotionally involved with other people's characters.  I had gone through a period where I was very involved in fictional characters - incidentally, at the same time I started writing my overly-emotional series - and I was embarrassed by that side of me.  Sure, there were characters I liked, a lot, like Dale Cooper and Audrey Horne from Twin Peaks and Starbuck and the Agathons from Battlestar Galactica.  I think I only ever fell in love with Billy Budd, of all characters, after the calamity of The Song of Roland (and yes, they all end up dying, always), and maybe a little bit with Yossarian.  It took me a long time to find a female character I genuinely liked, and then I found myself much more sympathetic to a whole host of them: Eleanor Vance from The Haunting of Hill House, the narrator of The Bell-Jar, April from Revolutionary Road, Lily from Run, River.  But for the most part I appreciated these books and movies for other reasons - words or stories or ideas.  A lot of my favorite stuff, like A Sound and the Fury and The Violent Bear It Away and almost everything I've read by Cormac McCarthy, were populated entirely by noxious, terrible people. I wanted to see their worlds collide, I wanted to watch them climb over each other and go up in flames, but there was no visceral attachment.

Then I decided to rewrite this series.  Around then I started watching The Tudors (I know, I know), and I got all invested in the tragic queens.  I've gotten invested in television characters before though - I think it's an effect of spiraling melodrama, it catches you up the way sports catch you up - so that in and of itself was not worth much.  But I did end up writing a story based on Jane Seymour and Anne Boleyn, because they wouldn't get out of my head.  And then when I came back to DC this semester, I started watching that free Netflix series, House of Cards.  And I "met" Peter Russo.

Everyone I know who watches that show - and my sample size is all male, for what it's worth - loves the main character, Francis Underwood, because he's "boss" and callous and cool and is in control of everyone.  I think Francis is evil and horrible and shitty, but I totally fell in love with Peter's character.  I would start episodes being like, "Peter, you'd better not [insert stupid thing here]."  And Peter is a terrible judge of character and an addict, so there's a lot of "Oh Peter Russo no" in the show.  Peter is weak, while Francis is strong.  Peter has big dreams and really deep lows, while Francis is always level-headed, rational, logical, focused on the prize.  At the time I wasn't sure why I loved Peter so much.  I decided later that he reminded me of who my male proto-character was turning into, and man, I always loved/hated that guy - and it recently occurred to me that my proto-character evolved this way because he's like the id version of myself: the volatile, angry and depressive mess driven by resentment and self-hatred.  Starbuck is the female version of this, which is I think why I like her.  And my female prototype, the stoic good girl, is my super-ego side that most people see on a daily basis while I work and study and listen to people's problems.  This is a surprising realization, to say the least (and not one I was at all expecting), but may go along the way toward explaining why I keep writing this duo over and over, until the end of time.

Organizing and planning the rewrite is like a drug to me now (the outline for the first book - thankfully I scaled it down from seven to three).  I do think that the edited/overhauled version has a lot of potential.  I think it reflects how much older I am now - the characters and their relationships and the context they operate in are all vastly changed, having been boiled down to their core and seen for what they really are: damaged people, in many ways, the full extent of which I couldn't quite fathom as a high-schooler.  I also think it picks at a raw nerve in me, and I've always picked at wounds.

I still can't shake the feeling, though, that real writers don't write this way - not the ones that end up living relatively healthy, balanced lives, anyway.  I know that Caddy was Faulkner's heart's darling, but Caddy was barely ever on-page and never heard from directly - which mitigates, I would think, the detrimental effect of an emotional attachment to one's own creation.  Because writing is business, right, it's politics and nothing personal?

intertribal: (Default)
I'm back in DC.  Lugged my overweight (by two pounds! but that made it 52 pounds) suitcase through the metro system, including a mistaken early exit at the Archives station - always forget there's a station between L'Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place.  This is how my roommates greeted me:
  • Jordan: hug.
  • Aaron: hiding in my room and jumping out when I walked in, causing me to scream uncontrollably.
  • Byron: nod.
That pretty much sums up my roommates, right there.

My efforts to take a class at Georgetown to avoid taking a class with an unmentionably bad professor at my own university may have been foiled by an over-anxious Georgetown professor who wants to make sure his students (alas!) don't get shut out of their own school's class.  As I try to reconcile myself to taking the class at my home university, I get an email from Lincoln warning me, in all-caps, not to take unmentionably bad professor.  And then I think to myself, wow, this matters so little in the long run, so very very little.  Yet I spend an hour - after watching an episode of Real World: St. Thomas ("Wow, it's amazing how everyone paired up this season," I said, looking at Jordan, "it's so unusual."  And the result of everyone pairing up, incidentally?  Self-harm, alcoholism, and homophobia.) and an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia ("The Gang Gets A New Member," a guy who ends up being too awesome and self-confident for them, essentially, and gets kicked back out) - trying to find a new class, somewhere, anywhere, that has something to do with Asia.

When I went back to my room Idris left me a message on facebook: Dear Nadia, please pick up your phone.  Love, Idris.  So I called him back.  Halfway through our conversation, he says, "You sound absolutely nuts right now."

"Oh yeah?  Yeah, I've been sounding nuts for the past four months.  At least this time I'm not nuts in a bad way, you know, I'm not crying!"

It's dim in my room.  I need to get another lamp.
intertribal: (i'd rather die)
Jan what are you watching?
 me indonesian cryptozoology show
 Jan ok
i'm getting ready to go get some lunch soon
 me yum
 Jan you think?
 me no
i think they're hunting for a giant
or a giant something
the fuck is that?
 Jan idk
but it's cryptozoology
maybe it's an alien
 me mm
 Jan or a leftover dinosaur
or a variation on the burrito
 me ok
 Jan really?
 me giant burrito is swimming in caves in eastern indonesia
 Jan yummy
big party time
 me kinda slimy i would think
this is the most ridiculous conversation we've ever had
 Jan maybe it wears water proof tortillas
ok, i'm out of it
 me clearly you want a burrito
intertribal: (can we forget about the things i said)
My experiment with Mad Men is now over - it just got too depressing for me.  I have started devoting my couple hours of free time between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. (seriously) to Nip/Tuck, which so far I'm enjoying a lot more.  It's interesting, because they're ostensibly very similar shows - main characters are male professionals, there's a lot of emphasis on objectifying the female form and shallow facades (advertising, plastic surgery) - but whereas my reaction to Mad Men was "oh my God, I hate you all," my reaction to Nip/Tuck is "yeah, that's pretty much the way it is," and even though neither Troy and McNamara are anyone I want to know, I give them more leeway than I do anybody in Sterling Cooper.  I think it's a generational thing, though.  Like, which set of men and women are we taught to consider normal, or something like that.  Once again, I don't really like anyone (but ugh to McNamara's teenage son in particular), although I do have a strange fondness for Kimber and Julia.

I must say that I also enjoy the insanity and grotesqueness of Nip/Tuck.  And the music.  This is the full-length version of the opening theme - unsurprisingly, there's a ton of thinspo videos set to this song, but there's also a bunch of thinspo shit set to Radiohead's "Creep" and Fiona Apple's "Paper Bag," so whatever.  It makes me think of... well, grad school, but life in general if you're living in Go Getter World.  And I realize now that I am back in that world, and deeper in than I was as an undergrad because the emphasis now really is on becoming a full-grown yuppie, not just getting hot drunken pictures of yourself on Facebook (which is, I think, what it was in undergrad).  I kind of consider myself lucky that I fell into this job, even though I hate it and am fairly bad at it, because it hooks me up to the two professors who can connect me to anything/anyone in the very narrow field that I want to enter.  Hilariously I apparently decided to wed myself to this field in a matter of, oh, a month.  But I've sworn off government work as an option, so there you go.  I am left with think tanks.  I think I'm just kind of like, "okay, fuck it, Southeast Asia politics it is, fuckin' good enough."  My point is I don't necessarily feel like I have to struggle as hard as other people I know who are just starting to feel out a direction.  Of course, there is more to life in Go Getter World than having a well-connected job, as we all know, and I still feel pressure - "perfect soul, perfect mind, perfect face" - like whoa. 

Added: I think this pressure is also there for men in the grad program - obviously.  But it is different for women.  It's like we have to impress fucking everyone, all the time.

Also: It reminds me of whenever I'm asked "where else did you apply?" and I say that I chose AU over George Washington.  Even AU people don't get why I would, sometimes - why wouldn't you go for the better name, regardless of anything else?  And when I explain that GW didn't click with me, and AU did, I tend to get blank stares.  I usually have to add "well, AU is giving me way more money than GW would have..." before I get the "oh" of understanding.

intertribal: (pro nails)

It started with "Not In Love," and it grew all the way to 60 songs.  I have no idea if any of them fit the creators' very particular aesthetic, but they're songs that I either associate with the entire cast (like "Wife By Two Thousand," "Little By Little," "Love Will Tear Us Apart," or indeed, "Not In Love") or with a particular character.  Some are sort of "crack" songs (like "Telephone" and "Tainted Love"), but most are "serious."  I tried to give all major characters at least one song, but I know I'm missing some people (sorry Pete Martell and Andy) and I gave my favorite characters extra attention (hence why there is so much Shelly/Bobby and Audrey). 

The mix is divided into three parts: Welcome To Twin Peaks (general overview/character intros), A Strange and Difficult Path (secrets and complications), and The Gifted and the Damned (the BOB/Black Lodge mythos).  The music is sort of... rock/electronica?  I'm very bad at describing and categorizing music, so I have no idea - I just really like all the songs, obviously, and my taste is pretty consistent these days, so chances are you'll be able to tell if you'll like the mix based on the artists.  If in doubt though, you can either take a gamble or look the song up on YouTube.  I chose NOT to provide YouTube links for 60 songs, I'm afraid.  Links should connect correctly, but if not, this is the Twin Peaks folder on my MediaFire. 

Some additional notes: I deliberately put Mrs. Tremond's grandson and "Horror Show" at the end of A Strange and Difficult Path, to illustrate what the Lodge's inhabitants might think of the preceding human problems.  On "Strange Hours," I'm not implying that Laura's killer sacrificed her, but that she sacrificed herself "for the purity of all mankind."  Yes, I used "Dai the Flu" for Bobby and his father, because of the whole "now I know you love me/ thank god you love at all" part.  "Caribou" is basically just there to represent the French-speaking characters and because it sounds like a One-Eyed Jack's song.  I guess I think Hawk is a "Friend of the Night"?  That one's more about the feel of the music.  Hawk is awesome beyond words after all.  And yeah, "Coconut" is just too obvious for Dr. Jacoby, I don't even care. 

And for those of you who disable LJ-cuts, uh, I'm sorry.

Freshly Squeezed )
intertribal: (book of black valentines)
I'm going to DC for the weekend to search for housing in person.  And I haven't really been able to think about much else other than housing, so I hope I find something over the weekend so I can stop worrying about it.  I feel slightly like I'm going on one of those America's Next Top Model frantic go-sees, where the models have to scurry around an unknown city trying to make various appointments within four hours or whatever.  Sadly neither DC's streets nor its metro system make any goddamn intuitive sense (compared to New York's).  So looking at the bus maps I'm like "hoooow does this fit what I see on Google Maps...?"  And then I realize I have to turn the map 100 degrees.  Regardless, I will be in the far NW of the city, basically on the DC side of Bethesda. 

As my title indicates, my other obsession right now is Twin Peaks.  I'm showing it to my mom.  Basically I can't imagine a more perfect television show for me. 

I'm not really depressed - I mean, I even feel less anxious than I was earlier in July - I'm just kind of in that tense, awkward limbo between my life in Lincoln and my future unknown life in DC/grad school.  I just tell myself this is a "new adventure," to be all open and chill about it - remind myself of the mindset that I had when I went on my internship in Indonesia during college, because that was actually one of the happiest recent times of my life.  Basically, I'm trying to channel Agent Cooper. 

My friend Lucia is getting me this for my birthday.  Hooray, dinosaurs.

I was recently told that I was more fun than someone thought I would be.  That's nice, right?  Then again, this person was also amazed that girls like horror movies.
intertribal: (paint it black)
I discovered "Russian Bar" while watching America's Got Talent. And yes, I know. I watch for the danger tricks/magic tricks, okay?  Basically it's an acrobatic/gymnastic routine with extreme likelihood of death, at least from my vantage point.  Imagine the balance beam routine in gymnastics competitions (and yes, I picked the gymnast that I was "named after").  Keep in mind I already think the balance beam is very scary.  Now imagine the balance beam is made of rubber and bounces you thirty feet into the air.  The group on this season of AGT seem to be a lesser version of the group that performed on season 3 of AGT, the "Russian Bar Trio" from Quebec.  This is them:

Here's a routine done by Chinese gymnasts - look at how high she jumps around the 2:10 mark.  And look at the double-jumper thing at 3:10.  What the fuck, right? 

intertribal: (Default)
I feel like I haven't been to LJ in a while, but that isn't really true.

Dude I'm dating came back from Morocco recently - said there were some nice scenes of police beating protesters because they didn't have the proper permit to protest, of course.  Also, there's a large, beautiful mosque in Casablanca that is built on artificial land on top of the Atlantic - it's architect didn't take into account that the Atlantic will someday come back and bite that artificial land in the butt, eventually sinking the mosque.  It also cost the country a lot of money and displaced a bunch of poor people without compensation.  He also tried to climb this mountain, but failed.

Saw X-Men, don't have anything to say about it beyond what I told [ profile] cafenowhere (Leland Palmer as Dean Rusk?).  Yesterday I watched an interesting little extremely low-budget horror movie on Netflix called The Ceremony (don't ask me what's up with that cover), about a guy graduating college who finds that his roommate has left behind an odd little book surrounded by a ring of burning candles.  Being concerned about fire safety, the main character blows the candles out, and being a curious student, starts reading the book, which turns out to be a history of a ritual used to summon Satan, here "the man in the white suit."  Of course he reads some unfortunate parts aloud and things start happening around the house, culminating in a phone conversation where he tells a friend, "The furniture, it came alive.  It had to be contained."  It takes its cues from Paranormal Activity and had some interesting touches, particularly when the main character learns to his horror that he can understand as well as speak the language being spoken by the presence in his house.  It's creepy, it has a cast of essentially one person, and it's well-made on a shoestring budget.  Good job, director James Palmer.  Horror fans, check check it.

I've been putting all my writing efforts into the novel, which is now at 77,000 words.  Unfortunately, it's nowhere near finished, so looks like I'll be overshooting that 100,000 word goal.  This is how it's getting done: I made an extremely detailed outline of 10,000 words, and I'm writing it scene by scene, often out of order.  I do foresee problems with flow and continuity and a believable evolution of characters, doing it this way, but at least it's getting done this way, right?  I'm going to quit my job in July to devote the rest of the summer to writing this thing before I move to D.C. to start graduate school. 

Had a David Lynch moment today while driving to work.  We've had construction in the left lane of this one big swerving road for a month now, so all the regular commuters automatically drive in the right lane even before we're told to merge right.  But today there was a new big flashing construction sign telling cars that the right lane would be closed up ahead, so go into the left lane.  Everybody's like, wow, maybe they finished the left lane and are starting work on the right lane?  And after about a mile of driving in the left lane, with no sign of construction on the right, the old familiar big flashing sign pops up telling cars that the left lane was closed, so we all scoot back over to where we started.  Calisthenics for cars, I guess.  Speaking of David Lynch, I'm trying to convert my mom to Twin Peaks.  It's going... interestingly.  One of my tactics is comparing it to our favorite shared show, the British cozy-mystery series Midsomer Murders.  They both feature a gamut of weird people in seemingly-innocuous, scenic small towns, grisly murders, and supernatural undertones.  If you're unfamiliar with MM, I've always thought it was what Hot Fuzz was tipping its hat to.  MM is also one of the few TV shows to ever make me cry (in the episode "Green Man," which is very environmentalist).  Someday I'll do an ode to my favorite MM episodes, cuz it's a wonderful show.

I'm almost done with Alan Heathcock's Volt (one more story to read).  Also almost done with Godforsaken Lord of the Rings (two more chapters).  

Here's an acoustic version of Korn's "Freak on a Leash," with Evanescence's Amy Lee.  Shut up, I don't shop at Hot Topic!  Also, Evanescence did a cover of "Thoughtless" that I like, but a lot of Korn fans are all "what the fuck this song has to be full of AGGRESSION and RAGE D:<" and I'm like, whatever.  

intertribal: (black wave/bad vibration)
Dog Day Afternoon, another great '70s crime movie that I had never seen before.  And by another, I mean in addition to Taxi Driver - my repertoire is pretty slight in this area, unfortunately.  The IMDb tagline is "A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus," which I guess is accurate, but makes the movie sound more farcical than it is.  It kind of makes me sad, how commonly-referenced and parodied this scene is, because when he starts saying "put 'em down!" I actually got a little weepy.

By the way, this is what "Attica!" is a reference to.  I highly suggest you click the link, if you don't already know.  And I wouldn't say that Dog Day Afternoon is even unfair to cops - Detective Moretti, the first hostage negotiator, is actually a sympathetic character who tries to stop the moronic cops who assume an asthmatic black hostage being released is actually one of the bank robbers and immediately start treating him as such.  And both Sonny and Travis Bickle, the criminal heroes of Dog Day Afternoon and Taxi Driver, are veterans of Vietnam.  

Yeah, I know I still haven't talked about Taxi Driver.  I guess what I can say is that this type of movie - the atmosphere, the narrative style, the "message," etc. - is not at all what I write, and something I can't spend a lot of time with before I become claustrophobic and panicky, but is something I really, genuinely admire.  The Attica scene would never happen today, and we're worse off for it.  We're so inundated with cop-centric crime narratives (even the grittier stuff you see on cable channels, it's pretty much all "woe the fractured lives of cops," so I guess hooray for Sons of Anarchy?  But even that is about alternative methods of "law enforcement," not being anti-establishment, so...), so conditioned to look at crime as a single, selfish act of law-breaking, and very quick to excuse police and military brutality as somehow "deserved," no matter what.  You see this on 24 and Law & Order: SVU.  I suppose we made the bed we'll die in. 

We'd much prefer to read stories about "police vigilantes" acting outside the law in fulfillment with some kind of higher calling of justice, destroying evil-doers - a short story in Alan Heathcock's collection Volt, "Peacekeeper," is exactly this sort of story.  There's Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil or Chaotic Neutral and it's this big cosmic struggle played out usually on the dead or missing body of a young woman.  Those are popular stories.  But that isn't really the story of police work in the U.S., just like it isn't the story of the U.S. military abroad.  The real story is a hell of a lot more banal than that. 
intertribal: (black tambourine)
Okay, laughing a bit at all the people vigorously claiming that AMC's The Killing isn't a Twin Peaks rip-off.  Granted, it's a remake of a Danish show that I haven't seen, so either the Danish show is ripping off Twin Peaks and the American show is ripping off a rip off, or the American show is ripping off Twin Peaks all by itself.  Yes, there's the ridiculously ripped-off tagline, but the point of no return for me was the scene where the dead girl's father finds out that his daughter is dead while he's on the phone with his wife, who's at home in the kitchen.  It is sad and dramatic (the dad does the whole Mystic River thing, the mother is screaming at home).  But it felt so very "done before" to me because, look:

That scene (with Grace Zabriskie as the mother) was sort of the defining moment in Twin Peaks' pilot, and I could not believe that The Killing did something so similar.

So when I read reviews like "What really stands out for me, in this age of cookie-cutter procedurals, is how The Killing dramatizes the devastation a violent death has on a family, a community, on the people involved in the investigation" and "not as much about a young girl's murder as it is a psychological study of what happens afterward, how a tight-knit community tries to recover and how a dead child's mother, father and siblings learn to deal with their pain in their own private ways" my reaction is, have you seen Twin Peaks?  I get that two shows can be aiming to do something similar but not only is the approach the same, it's practically the same dead water-logged high school girl, secret life and flings with the town's most powerful grown men and BFF and inconstant boyfriend and all.  But no demon.  Which is a shame.

Cuz it's the tone of The Killing that really sets it apart from Twin Peaks.  It's basically Twin Peaks minus the humor and minus the supernatural.  It's all grim, all the time, with no moments of insanity or absurdity.  I do like the lead actress and the subversive undercover cop (the closest thing this show has to a break from the mundane, grim norm), and it's certainly not bad in any technical way, but it's nothing special.  Twin Peaks is special, and it's actually its particular supernatural trappings that make it so.  Randomly inserting people that happen to be vampires and werewolves clearly does nothing for a show; what I mean by supernatural trappings is Twin Peaks' embrace of the truly not-natural and not-normal and not-scientifically-objective, the "half light" in between spaces and times and states of consciousness/rationality, if you will.  And that stuff is not uniformly anything.  It's definitely not uniformly gloomy.  Like the dreams and the death omens and love and unusual ways of grieving and people who talk to inanimate objects and fish-coffee and secret government projects and inhabiting spirits all that "other" crap that's a part of human experience and human understanding.  Watching Twin Peaks was like finding a kindred spirit, for me.

On the other hand, I was watching Luther the other day - a BBC show with only six episodes in its first season - and while it doesn't have the same sort of prestige touch as The Killing and has been received poorly by the British press, it's the more interesting crime show IMO.  For one, it has Idris Elba as the lead (and yes, this is the main reason I started watching).  For two, it has a serial killer named Alice Morgan who's the self-described matter-destroying black hole to Elba's bright sun.  She kills her parents in the first episode but because there's no proof she's free to go, and she's like this recurring narcissistic ghoul that sort of tries to help Idris Elba's character resolve his personal problems but goes about everything very badly - Alice is great.  My favorite episode was the fourth, and actually it wasn't either of them that made that episode - it was Nicola Walker, who played the wife of a man she thinks is a recovering small-time crook but is actually a serial killer.  The scene where she finds out what her husband's done in a police investigation room is great in a way that Grace Zabriskie's Twin Peaks scene is great, though of course with very different emotions on display.  And Nicola Walker's ending... well, you can see what she does in this fanvid, although it doesn't do her justice.  She was a great emotional pivot.
intertribal: (baby got an alibi)
Some poetry reading thing at the White House, a rapper named Common is invited (didn't this guy date Serena Williams?), Fox News goes crazy because he's a misogynist and a cop-killer, apparently.  Jon Stewart responds.  Title is from the first half of the segment, which is here (that half goes into how ridiculous this reading of Common's poem is). 

I posted the second half not for Jon Stewart's attempt at rapping but because the hypocrisy/double standards (Johnny Cash and Ted Nugent) are pretty hilarious/pathetic.

The Daily Show
Tags: Daily Show Full Episodes,Political Humor & Satire Blog,The Daily Show on Facebook

The comments at EW are interesting - many of them agree that Fox is going after the wrong target, but they're now disagreeing if race has anything to do with Fox's response.  It's just because he attacked Bush in a poem, not because he's a black rapper.  So now they're arguing about the race card and etc., and it reminds me of something I thought of a while ago - I think the way kids are taught about racism in this country is all wrong.  Racism is seen to equal the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis, and maybe Jim Crow, and everybody agrees that the KKK and Nazis are totally evil and crazy, so basically what it comes down to is "I'm not racist because I'm not evil and crazy."  Or, "I'm not racist because I don't literally want to kill every member of another race."  And basically it means that for the accuser, being accused of racism is worse than racism itself.  So of course we end up talking about that instead of about racism itself. 

And the whole thing is a false connection, because that isn't what racism is.  It's not genocide.  It's not "the absolute worst thing a human being can do" (not that I know what that is).  It doesn't make you a KKK Grand Dragon Whatever and it doesn't make you Hitler.  It doesn't mark you as someone who would beat up or spit at someone of another race.  All it does is put you in the company of most of the other people who share your one-ethnicity-dominant country.  It's a problem at the system-level, not the individual-level, and I wonder if maybe that's part of the problem - we don't want to admit we function inside a system, or even a society?  Regardless, painting it as this big Boogey Man that individuals are supposed to, like, ward off with torches just makes people less and less willing to admit to their own racist behavior without actually putting an end to racist behavior itself. 

Do we need a new word?  Because I think racism, as a word, is almost useless at this point.  It's just this incendiary flashpoint.  Should we start using xenophobic or some variant?  It seems to trigger less of a knee-jerk "no no no I am not that!" response, although I don't know why.
intertribal: (baby got heart attacks)

Fuck.  Yeah. 

I always felt Haley Reinhart had potential, but early on she did not know what the fuck she was doing.  I think doing duets with Casey Abrams helped her find her musical footing. 

Also, I was not overly familiar with the song before, but BRB getting every single version of it now.  Fascinating history, as it's a genuine folk song, author unknown:
The gender of the singer is flexible. Earlier versions of the song are often sung from the female perspective, a woman who followed a drunk or a gambler to New Orleans and became a prostitute in the House of the Rising Sun (or, depending on one's interpretation, an inmate in a prison of the same name), such as in Joan Baez's version on her self-titled 1960 debut album, as was Jody Miller's 1973 single. The Animals version was sung from a perspective of a male, warning about gambling and drinking. Bob Dylan's 1962 version and Shawn Mullins' recent covered version on his album 9th Ward Pickin' Parlor is sung from the female perspective.
intertribal: (Default)
The happy news is that I am definitely in a reading mood, for the first true time since like... I don't know when.  A very long time ago.  Middle school or something.  My first Amazon batch of this new euphoric period - Pym and Volt - arrived a couple weeks ago, and I haven't gotten the chance to read them because I've been finishing up Hostage to the Devil, by Malachi Martin.  [ETA: I got this book on [ profile] handful_ofdust's recommendation - thank you!]  It's a book about exorcism.  Martin was a theologian and Catholic priest, and the bulk of the book consists of 5 case studies of Americans in the 1960s-1970s who underwent the rite of exorcism - each time with a bonafide Catholic priest, not somebody called in by Lorraine Warren.  It's non-fiction. 

Each case study spends a lot of time developing a nuanced, multi-decade view of the exorcist and the victim of possession, because in this book, that's how long it takes.  It's not exactly playing with ouija boards one day and levitating the next week.  Evil has to be allowed in, and weaves its way into an authoritative position of a person's life - to the point that it provides ready-made answers and decisions for the person to accept that are designed to separate the person from humanness - over many years.  It's a complicated, invisible downward spiral.

My favorite case of the 5 was the last (very long) one, The Rooster and The Tortoise.  It's about a scholar of parapsychology, Carl, who the book readily admits has psychic capacities of some kind and eventually was convinced that he was the reincarnation of an ancient Roman and had to go to ancient Aquileia to worship some thing called The Tortoise.  The priest, Father Hearty, also has psychic capacities of some kind, and had taken classes from Carl at a university.  The whole interaction between psychic phenomena and academia and spirituality was pretty interesting, but what made the story for me was this part where Carl is talking to his mentor, a Tibetan guy named Olde who practices Tibetan Buddhism.  Carl had already been in contact with the evil spirit at this point, but was essentially ignoring that it was evil - anyway.  He's trying to learn higher planes of consciousness.  I was really afraid that Olde was going to turn out to be evil, but not so:
Finally one day Olde seemed to have no more answers.  Every soul, he said, which turns to the perfection of Allness is like a closed-petaled lotus flower in the beginning of its search.  Under the direction of a master or guide, it opens its eight petals slowly.  The master merely assists at this opening.  When the petals are open, the tiny silver urn of true knowledge is placed in the center of the lotus flower.  And when the petals close in again, the whole flower has become a vehicle of that true knowledge.

Looking away from Carl, Olde said gratingly, almost inimically: "The silver urn can never be placed at the center of your flower.  The center is already taken by a self-multiplying negation."  A pause.  "Filth.  Materiality.  Slime.  Death."

Carl was stunned, literally struck dumb for an instant.  Olde walked away from him, still without looking at him.  He was about five paces away when Carl broke down.  He could only manage a choking exclamation: "Olde!  My friend!  Olde!"

Olde stopped, his back to Carl.  He was utterly calm, motionless, wordless.  Then Carl heard him say in a low voice and not particularly to him: "Friend is holy."  Carl did not understand what he meant. [...] Olde said only this to Carl, words Carl could never forget: "You have Yama without Yamantaka.  Black without white.  Nothingness without something." 

As Olde turned away again, Carl had a sudden reversal.  He seemed for a few instants to be absorbed in "higher prayer."  His surge of frustration and anger gave away to contempt and disgust for Olde.  Then as he looked at Olde's retreating back, he was filled with a warning fear of Olde and what Olde stood for.  Somehow Olde was the enemy.  Somehow he, Carl, made up a "we" and "us" with someone else, and Olde could not belong to it.

"Enemy!" he suddenly heard himself shouting after Olde.

Olde stopped, half-turned, and peered over his shoulder at Carl.  His face was back to its usual repose.  His forehead, cheeks, and mouth were unruffled and smooth.  His eyes were calm, wide open, just gentle deeps of impenetrable light, as they usually were.  The compassion in them hit Carl like a whip.  He did not want anybody's compassion.  He took a step back, wanted to speak, but could not get any word out of his throat.  He backed away another step, half-turning away, then another step and another half-turn, until he literally found himself moving away.  He told himself he had walked away, but deep in himself he knew he had been repelled, had been turned around and propelled away. 

Apparently Olde too had his own protectors.
I've been thinking more about morality lately, and turning against relativism.  I think this is actually due to a combination of reading about the use of torture and reading that whole "bankrupt nihilism" epic fantasy smackdown a while back.  The idea of a divine goodness and an evil that transcends particular religions really appeals to me, but is probably hopeless naive.  But I am a religious naif.  All I know is few things bother me more within this subject than listening to Christian exorcists say that Hindus worship Satan because Kali is in their pantheon.  I like to believe that people of multiple religions can touch/experience the same basic "Allness" in their worship.  But anyway.  I'm sure I sound like a moron, so I'll just move on.

This book taught me a lot about Christianity.  Before reading this book, my knowledge of the subject was restricted to my experience living among and being close friends with Christians (for some reason I get along better with the orthodox/LDS variety than the moderate kind), basic pop/mainstream culture exposure, the American religious right in politics, the Unitarian Universalist church (but only marginal exposure to that one), college courses on colonial and U.S. history (not flattering depictions), and Jesus Christ Superstar.  And none of those things gave me the same impression of Christianity as Hostage to the Devil does.  As strange as it may sound, I never "got" that Christianity was about love before this book.  I mean, I'd heard that, certainly seen the church signs saying "Jesus Loves You" and so on, but mostly my impression of Christianity was this and Jesus Camp.  I know a lot about - and disagree to the extreme with - what the dominionist religious right does politically and the tactics that they use, and I'm still allergic to Left Behind, but this book was like a small revelation to me.  It's kind of funny that a book about exorcism and dealing with evil is what gave me this compassionate, loving view of Christianity, but in the end that's really what it seemed to be about.  The emphasis really wasn't on horror, although there were unsettling passages.  But then the depiction of evil also wasn't something I expected - I think I was expecting pain or cruelty or hatred, and that's in there, but more than anything else, evil in this book is about meaninglessness and nothingness. 

It took a little getting used to - I had particular trouble with the attack on evolution in the chapter Father Bones and Mister Natch, but by the end I felt like I understood, somewhat, what Martin and the exorcists were getting at.  Not that I can put it in words right now.  I'm planning to reread the book.  But I do feel like this was an eye-opening experience for me.  It made me think a great deal about evil and humanness and goodness and Earth, and I was quoting passages of the book to my mother, who really didn't want to hear it, I don't think.  My mother is an atheist who gave me a horrified "are you becoming Christian? do you believe this guy?" line several times.

And no, I'm not saying Hostage to the Devil made me a Christian.  That would be too easy and thoughtless a conversion.  And as to whether I "believe" Malachi Martin, I guess I'd say that "I don't think he's lying," to paraphrase Scully.  In any case, I'm glad I read it.

And now I get to go write my book about non-evil "demons."  Heh, as Lindsey says.  At least the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church doesn't seem to believe in the gag-inducing deliverance movement (it's probably connected to the Alaskans that believe there's a demon queen on Mt. Everest), so that's something I can leave to my charismatic church.  Going off that tangent:

I caught an episode of the new Animal Planet show "Demon Exorcist" last week.  I like some paranormal-reality TV, for the same reason I like horror, and I like AP's "The Haunted" quite a bit, but "Demon Exorcist" was hysterically horrible.  A lot like "Extreme Paranormal."  Suffice it to say that if you catch that show, about a ghost hunter who has some run-in with an evil spirit and then becomes a wannabe John Constantine (I wouldn't be surprised if he somehow got licensed to practice "demonology" over the internet, and no, I do not take "demonology" seriously), the rigorous, devoted exorcists in Hostage to the Devil are the polar opposite of that guy.  For one, this guy totally violates the spirit of working under the banner of the power of God instead of making it about the exorcist himself, cuz the exorcist ain't strong enough (has he not seen The Exorcist?  "The power of Christ compels you!"), because he wants to be a hero.  For two, this is the kind of person who sees anything vaguely malicious and says "demon."  No question about mental or physical health.  Just straight to "demon," every time.  He's a lot like the Warrens.  Maybe it's a demonology thing.
intertribal: (Default)
I have written/elaborated on an outline for the novel (yes, the same one I've been "working on" for the past 6 years).  It is 16 pages (9,700 words = 10% of the novel's projected word count) long.  I think my goal is to somehow write the novel by continuously elaborating on the outline?  I guess this puts to rest any idea that I might be a pantser instead of a plotter.  LOLOLOL.  Don't even tell me if this isn't going to work, all you people who have successfully written novels.  That's pretty much what I accomplished over university closedown.  I didn't do any work on short stories, people.  But good news is, the two short stories I spent autumn working on - "Absolute Zero" and "Infested" - both made it into the anthologies they were written for (Creature!  Thirty Years of Monster Stories, ed. Paul Tremblay and John Langan, and Bewere The Night, ed. Ekaterina Sedia).  Just got the acceptance for the latter story this afternoon before I headed out for New Year's, so I was already in a chipper state before I had the ouzo.

The Twilight Zone marathon has been on SyFy all day.  Saw "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" earlier.  Still a great and necessary story about I-have-seen-the-enemy-and-it-is-us in my book, as trite/predictable as it may seem to modern audiences (clearly not so trite/predictable that we have learned not to repeat Maple Street's mistakes).  ETA: This episode reminded me somewhat of Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived In the Castle, particularly when the one guy's like, "Are we going to pick apart the idiosyncrasies of every man, woman, and child..."  But I will make a post specifically about We Have Always Lived In the Castle.

This year, like last year, I celebrated New Year's with the local Greek population.  But this year I not only broke a plate, but I participated in the women's folk dance!  Second time around I started getting the steps right.  Considering that last year I chickened out for fear of embarrassing myself, I for one am fairly proud.  Onward, to Namek2011!  Selamat Tahun Baru!

intertribal: (one-two-punch)
I finally got with the internet and tuned in to The Walking Dead last night.  It is certainly a tension-filled show.  But for the most part I was left feeling sort of turned off - I think maybe I've just overdosed on too many immediately-after-the-apocalypse scenarios.  I used to be really, really into the genre, back when I first saw 28 Days Later.  But I've become more and more frustrated with what I see as the genre's common pitfalls (like Hooray for Patriarchy, and Lucky Token People, and Good Vs. Evil).  I recently watched the first season of the (canceled) BBC show Survivors - which, when I first heard of it last year, really intrigued me - and just had to stop because I couldn't take it anymore: the succession of deliberately-crafted morality plays (it's like everyone wants to write their own Left Behind according to their own personal, political, and religious compass), the very hammy acting, the predictable ups and downs of the survivors' emotions. 

Survivors is definitely worse than The Walking Dead.  So I wonder if my un-enthusiasm for this critically-acclaimed show means that this type of post-apocalypse scenario just isn't my thing anymore.  I still got a real kick out of Pontypool, but Pontypool was very, very different.  No guns in Pontypool.  No foraging.  No emergency transportation.  No strangers thrown together, even, just co-workers.  Contagion - which is what I really like about zombie movies - remains.

Or maybe I just need to take a break from massive apocalypses.  I'll probably keep watching The Walking Dead, but with lowered expectations.
intertribal: (stu and tatum; scream)
After good to poor experiences with Showtime's Masters of Horror, I decided to watch the first season of NBC's Fear Itself on Netflix.  Both are TV series that consist of hour-long stand-alone horror stories directed by various people.  Quite a few of the Fear Itself episodes are directed by people with horror pedigree, but save for a few cases, there's really no point in choosing the episodes by their directors.  Some good directors made some schlocky Fear Itself episodes, and some directors who've done schlocky things in the past made some good episodes here.  As I see it, Masters of Horror episodes took more conceptual risks and had a greater chance of being frightening.  On the other hand, most of the risks didn't pay off, and a lot of the episodes seemed like "what is the weirdest way I can get T&A in here?"  The stories in Fear Itself work with much more traditional monsters, but did more within this constraint.  So my experiences with Fear Itself were more like great to poor; I guess that's kind of an improvement.  Masters of Horror lasted two seasons.  Fear Itself only lasted half a season, and some of the later-season episodes were never aired. 

I didn't watch one episode - "Family Man" - and I only watched five minutes of another, "Spooked."  So I won't discuss those.  Of course, there is huge subjectivity in the following reviews, but I think this entry actually says a lot about my taste in horror and narrative, so there ya go?   I think the main take-home point is that I want to give horror stories the benefit of the doubt. 

Terrible episodes first.  "Eater" is basically a supernatural version of Assault on Precinct 13.  Except the assault is being done by a single cannibal/serial killer who eats people's hearts and thus their souls.  The main character is a ridiculously jumpy and incompetent female rookie cop.  The police precinct has no security.  The plot makes preposterous leaps.  The episode implies that Cajuns are cannibals.  I don't even know.  This was just painful.  You're better off watching the X-Files episodes "Fresh Bones" (with bonus awesome post-colonial stress disorder!) and "The Gift" (sympathy for the cannibal).  Similarly, instead of watching the terrible episode "Community," just watch the X-Files episode it's obviously based on, "Arcadia."  Both are about a supposedly perfect suburb that requires its homeowners to live by ridiculous rules, or else.  Except "Arcadia" is funny and the monster is scary, and "Community" is just long and draggy and preachy, and there's not even a real threat ("you'll be in breach of contract!  OH WOE").  "Chance" is about a guy who starts impulsively killing people that piss him off one day.  He seems to have an evil doppelganger.  Either way, totally noxious main character who freaks out about destroying evidence and then kills more innocent people.  He finally accepts his evil doppelganger.  Ick.  "Echoes," about a guy who thinks he's the reincarnation of a 1920s thug, isn't really shit, it's just really boring - but YMMV.  I tend to think reincarnation/living-history stories are boring.  They're right up there with entertainment!ghosts. 

Oh, I almost forgot about "The Circle," which is also terrible.  But this one deserves its own paragraph.  Premise: a writer goes to a cabin with his wife, who has secretly invited his agent, publisher, and editor to come stage an intervention, because there's been no sequel to his ultra-successful gory horror novel.  It's Halloween.  Two creepy little girls come to the door - in the prologue you've already seen them being victimized by some horrible witchcraft ritual - and give them a book, The Circle.  They all think it's the writer's sequel, but the writer insists he doesn't know what it is.  The Circle's text reveals that the events of his first book, Blood Thirsty, are going to come true in this cabin - that is, black goo is going to start possessing people and turning them into zombie-demons, a la the ridiculous movie Mortuary.  The black goo eats the publishing people.  The writer's infected with it, but not his wife.  Then a witch comes to the door and explains that she wrote Blood Thirsty for the writer because she loved him, and because he took all her success and refused to leave his wife, she's now carrying this whole mess out as punishment.  And at this point I'm just like, "Sigh." Only Dario Argento gets away with evil witches, ok?  We are living in a post-Charmed era.  Coupled with the whole "horror writer whose works come true!" claptrap, "The Circle" felt like a really retrograde episode - just like "Eater."  Backward social norms, regressive horror.  Just no. 

Thankfully, the other half of Fear Itself is a lot better.  "Something With Bite" sees a werewolf getting brought into a vet's office when someone runs it down.  The werewolf dies, but not before biting the vet, who discovers that becoming a werewolf is the best thing to happen to him - he eats better, has sex with his wife, generally is in a better mood.  The subplot has to do with people being torn to pieces by an unknown assailant.  It's a cute episode.  Kitschy as all hell, but cute, and the only one that tries to be funny of the entire season.  "Spirit Box" actually scared me because all ghost stories scare me.  It's about two girls that decide to contact spirits for fun and get the ghost of a cheerleader who supposedly committed suicide.  This is not original, although there's a decent twist at the end that I only guessed a couple minutes before it was revealed.  But it's executed well, and I absolutely loved the main character, played by the fantastic Anna Kendrick (her Jules is probably my actual favorite character in Twilight).  She plays a pseudo-goth swimmer, and she says the line I used as the title.  "The Sacrifice" also isn't terrifically original - about a group of guys that ends up stranded in a fortress-village run by a few creepy-sexy blondes and a Nosferatu-ish vampire - but it's an engaging episode with a nice twist.  The episode's not called The Sacrifice for nothing, and just goes to show that a little three-dimensional characterization goes a long way. 

Then we get the three that I considered really good - a cut above, and worth watching on their own.  "In Sickness and in Health" has a hell of an opening - on her wedding day, a bride who's rushing into marriage gets an anonymous note: "The person you're marrying is a serial killer."  The whole thing feels like an urban legend put to screen, so you know this is going to have to resolve itself with a bang, and that it does.  If you want a good example of building narrative tension within a very tight setting, look no further.  I think if the entire season of Fear Itself consisted of these last-minute plot twist episodes, it would get old.  But this one is witty and pulls it off.  "New Year's Day" is the series' zombie story, but if you have zombie fatigue, do not let that turn you off.  The main character - who I related to so much it was almost creepy, esp. in the context of what happens - wakes up on New Year's Day with a terrible hangover.  The apartment's dark and there's sirens going off all over the city.  Zombie apocalypse!  In the dark, she decides to go back to the scene of last night's New Year's party, because she's in love with the host of the party.  Shit happens, as you see bits and pieces of what really went on the night before.  There's another last minute twist in this episode but it works so well and I did not see it coming at all.  Original, emotional.  Fantastic episode all around. 

Though it does make me wonder if I just couldn't really relate to the episodes I deemed terrible, which seemed to be told from a fairly male perspective (two of them were about a Joe Schmo who's afraid he's turning into a killer) that I found boring and tedious.  Question mark?

And finally, my favorite episode, "Skin & Bones."  The husband/father of a ranching family has gone missing in the mountains with a couple ranch hands - but then he comes staggering back to the ranch.  Just a bit changed.  He looks totally ghastly and emaciated, claims to be hungry, but throws away platters of food.  Oh snap, he's turned into a wendigo!  Wendigos are my favorite monsters of all mythology, and if I see one in a story I'm almost guaranteed to love it.  This was a slightly different rendition of the myth from others that I've seen - the wendigo being a malignant "spirit of the lonely places" that offers life to dying people who are already "too angry to die."  Turns out this guy's wife was sleeping with his brother.  The wendigo-dude is actually really creepy - creepy-looking, creepy ass howl, creepy gliding across the floor - and then you throw in the little son going, "Don't hurt him!  He's just sick!" and the wendigo telling the Indian ranch hand not to be tempted to kill him, since no one will believe the Indian guy over the rich white rancher... wow.  Really fun, and really gruesome.  It turns out this was directed by Larry Fessenden, who is as obsessed with wendigos as I am, and has already made two awesome movies (Wendigo, The Last Winter) about them.  But this was really different from those movies, and I wouldn't have guessed it was him.  Good to see you're at least making different kinds of wendigo movies now, Larry!

Plus something I realized?  Here's a monster whose body is both very identifiably masculine but very identifiably monstrous.  Most of the time when you get a male villain in these stories he's just an ordinary man with an ax or a chainsaw (or a bad set of teeth).  When you get a female villain - not in Fear Itself, but in other stories - it's often her body itself that's monstrous, broken or fucked up in some way.  I mean, contrast just the appearance of Christian Bale's Patrick Bateman and Sissy Spacek's Carrie.  I haven't really thought this through and there are probably dozens of exceptions, but it just occurred to me while thinking over "Skin & Bones."  It would make some sociological sense, after all.  Men are active wielders of powerful weapons.  Women are bodies, and a monstrous woman is a deformed body.  Or something like that. 

But the main thing Fear Itself has going for it?  The theme song, "Lie Lie Lie" by Serj Tankian of System of a Down.
intertribal: (can't look)
This is a 2007 video that [ profile] sockkpuppett (Luminosity) and [ profile] sisabet made for Vividcon - the theme is the depiction of women in Supernatural, and the song they used is "Violet" by Hole (which should tell you in what direction the video's going).  It's extremely graphic - but of course this was all on the CW - and potentially triggery.  It's called "Women's Work."

As I don't watch Supernatural, I defer to [ profile] cofax7 for some extra words: "I've been aware for the entire time I've watched the show that there were problems with the presentation of women, but this vid really provides the ammunition for that argument. Because even if the male deaths total the same number (which I don't know), the fact is that they are filmed entirely differently: they are clothed, the camera doesn't linger on them, they're not swimming, in bed, in bedclothes, bathing. Women in peril are sexy, and in a different way than the Winchesters in peril. Dean on his knees is sexy not because he is in peril, but because we know he's going to get up and kick ass in just a moment, because the show has identified him as the Hero. Whereas none of the women have that protection in the text."  More commentary on [ profile] sisabet's LJ here.
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