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13 January 2010 @ 03:26 pm
The fic masterlist.

In the order in which they were written:

Harry PotterCollapse )

OtherCollapse )
No wait, one more catch up post to make, in terms of television:

I was pretty ambivalent on the Doctor Who special. It wasn't bad, but I didn't think it was all that interesting, either. Not that I will ever complain about having David Tennant on my screen. The only other show I've kept up with is Sarah Connor Chronicles. (Though I've seen two episodes of Kings, and plan to watch more when I have time [so, in a few months?], and occasionally watch an episode or two of Bones when I need cheering up. Dollhouse is off my list, though I'm still reading reviews in case there's an amazing change in the current trajectory.)

But, Sarah Connor Chronicles. That show. I am completely in love, and I am SO SAD that it's probably not coming back next year, because those last few episodes were spectacular. spoilers for the last two episodesCollapse ) I think the thing that gets me most about the show is that hero-narrative. What it means to be a hero, to be the hero, to take on that half-mythical role, to have everyone turn to you as the savior of mankind. And the people who support him, who give things up to allow him to be the hero, who are themselves the real heroes so that he can stand as the figurehead, who die for him (everybody dies for me). After all, that's why it's the Sarah Connor Chronicles, because it's not about the actual hero so much as it is about the construction of that heroic figure. That, plus cyborgs. Perfect show. (And by cyborgs, I do of course mean questions of identity, and what it means to be human, and what it might mean to be not-human, and did I mention how much I loved John Henry and Cameron? more spoilers, by which I mean incoherent flailingCollapse ) which all goes to say that I think this is the best show on tv right now and I really, really want another season.


In terms of things that fail, in case you haven't seen it, there is Amazon and its ludicrous ranking system, (ie, the suppression of sales ranking information/search results for books containing adult content, by which they apparently mean anything pertaining to homosexuality, including YA fiction.) Better summaries here and here.
05 April 2009 @ 09:39 pm
Since I started my sudden LJ hiatus right after Christmas, I never did get around to claiming my Yuletide story. I kind of forgot about it, but then I looked outside this evening and saw snow everywhere and remembered. Sigh. So, long belated link.

a few thoughts on YuletideCollapse )

Title: A Land So Wild and Savage
Characters/Pairings: Gen, Charles and Caroline Ingalls
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Word Count: 1519
Summary: He spends his savings on a tall horse and gathers his belongings into a bundle. He's heard there's land out west for the taking.

(he dreams of empty spaces)

I wrote this four months ago, and it's always interesting posting something a while after you've finished it, because you look back and think, wow, here's the stuff I would do differently. I think it's more fragmentary than I'd like - I was going for sparse, but ended up sort of disjointed. I do think it's funny to compare it to the other (agh, only one?) story I wrote last year, which was Between Stars, which is quite similar in terms of syntax, diction, and even overall structure, but much more connected (perhaps overly rambly?). I don't know, just two rather similar fics on the opposite ends of the continuity spectrum. I think once I have time to write again it will be time to experiment with other styles.
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I wasn't going to write this now, but then wanderlight said that she would be interested in hearing my Dollhouse rant, and I started composing it in the comments, and halfway in I decided it might as well be its own post. It got slightly longer than I had intended, but I don't know why that even surprises me anymore.

Warning: This is a rant.

I wanted to love this show, I wanted that so much. I wasn't watching television when the first three Whedon shows were around; I discovered them all retrospectively, after much of the squee was over. I love watching shows simultaneously with other fans, I love the squee and the meta and the picspams and the excitement, and I wanted to have that with a Whedon show. The premise didn't immediately appeal to me; I mostly watch television for character development, and don't really see the appeal for amnesia. But I thought there was a lot of potential in terms of questions of identity. What makes humans human, apart from their memories? Can you create a character without a consistent personality who still emerges as a unified, compelling character? (So far, the answer to this one seems to be, no.) There's also a lot of room here for a meta-textual awareness as well, with Echo and the other dolls standing in for actors, and the Dollhouse staff as writers/directors/creators. As problematic as it is, the premise wasn't without potential.

Unfortunately, it hasn't gone in any of these directions. It seems to keep trying to be a show about empowered women, in a format that really undercuts the whole idea of agency and empowerment. Each individual episode aims to be an arc about how victimized women are empowered, and that that seems to be serving as the 'feminist message'. But these 'empowered' female characters are created by men at the beginning of each episode, and at the end of each episode they're wiped and erased. These empowered women aren't women at all, they're male creations, imaginations, fantasies. Sure they get to play at being real, at overcoming obstacles while looking hot and sexy and scantily clad, but it doesn't count as empowerment if you stick them back in the box at the end of the day, remake them in the morning.

A recurring Joss trope: womens' strength consistently arises out of their victimization. I think Buffy (mostly) evades this problem, or at least moves beyond it, but the other shows fall into it over and over again. I could pull a number of examples from Angel (Cordelia's vision-suffering, Fred's cave, "Billy"), but it's much more evident in Firefly and Serenity. We get glimpses of child-River, but mostly we get River post her trauma, we get broken River, we get broken River drawing on her trauma and using it for her own ends, using it to become strong.

And it's not that this is necessarily a bad story to tell, the woman who is victimized and overcomes and rises above it. But more and more, this is the only story about women Joss seems willing to tell. River in Firefly is one of several female character arcs. River in Serenity is the main character arc. And then we get Dollhouse, which is all about this trope. And moreover, it seems to be wallowing in the act of victimization. (rachelmanija has a very interesting post: Why I would not have greenlit Dollhouse. Fascinating from a television perspective, but also points out that the structural problems of trying to tell this kind of story in this kind of structure. I might be willing to sit through a segment of female victimization in a movie, where the subversion of that system is always approaching - in the show, though, this exploitation is stretched out and stretched out, with no resolution even in sight. I don't need that.)

Buffy worked so well for me because it was about taking a trope of victimhood (the pretty blond girl who dies in a vampire movie) and completely subverting it. The very first scene in the pilot episode plays with our expectations; two characters sneak into an empty building to make out, a nervous shy girl and a confident guy who coaxes her along. But it's Darla who's the vampire, the guy who was the first of the series' (many, many) victims. Buffy takes the assumption of female victimization and moves on, subverts it.

Dollhouse takes the assumption of female victimization and explores it. How many different ways can women be exploited in the space of a few episodes? Even apart from the exploitation of the Dollhouse, within the space of the first three episodes we have: spoilers for first three episodesCollapse )

Okay. You know what? Female exploitation and female-directed violence exists, I get it. I'm afraid to walk home alone at night, I've been explicitly heckled on the street, I've been 'casually' touched in inappropriate ways by complete strangers, I've been threatened, I've been followed home, I've had a man try to grab me and pull me into his car. And I feel privileged, because nothing worse has happened to me. I am privileged, in that my only experiences with sexual violence have been ones of potentiality, implication, fear. I have friends who have not been so privileged, who have had that potentiality erupt into action. (And that's just going into direct acts of sexual violence, not to mention other forms of social exploitation.) I get it, Joss, WE get it. We live with this, the constant threat of male violence. Whether or not and to what degree we have experienced it, we live with that fear, every day at school and work, walking home every night.

I want a show that takes this premise of female-directed violence and moves on. Buffy moved on; Dollhouse is stuck in the constant reenactment. And the thing about reenactment is that you can't depict something like rape on a screen - you can't watch something like that - without entering into it a bit. Especially coupled with the way the show has been advertised, the way it's presented as "sexy Eliza Dushku doing different things every week" instead of even being a show about identity and overcoming victimization. It's pretty clear what kind of viewers Fox is trying to attract. Hint: it's not us. Their target audience for a show about female exploitation is male.

The thing is, Joss kept on talking about network interference, and I read and enjoyed the original pilot script that got scrapped. I kept on coming back in hopes that it would get better, that it would manage to get out of the network's attempt to make it about sexy woman and become the show I wanted it to be. And Joss kept on saying, just wait a few more episodes, it gets better, the sixth episode is the show I really want to make. So I gave up for a few weeks and then tuned back in for the sixth episode.

Spoilers for 106Collapse )

*There's a great vid out there somewhere that compares Echo and River to make the point that Echo's sexual exploitation and River's physical powers/programming both result from the same kind of male manipulation, and that maybe this trope of the 'female fighter' that is so prevalent in Joss' work is exploitative in itself - I'll see if I can hunt up the link for that. ETA: My Medea, by yunitsa. You should check it out even if you haven't seen any of Dollhouse, because it deals with a kind of female exploitation in Firefly/Serenity that tends to go more unnoticed. Read her notes, too. Plus, it's just a great vid. (Vienna Teng, too, for those of you who love her.)

In all fairness, I should point out that despite vowing never to watch the show again, the good reviews of 107 lured me back in. I thought it was a pretty good episode, and it dealt with some of the consequences of 106, spoilers.Collapse ) It certainly wasn't perfect, but I wanted to like this show enough that I was willing to give it another chance. But I hear that last night's episode wasn't very good, so, bleh. I'm just about willing to give up at this point, except for casting spoilerCollapse )

Heh, I SO did not have time to write that. Too late now.

(Icon used with a certain sense of irony.)
Current Mood: angryangry
12 November 2008 @ 10:25 pm
Okay, so, the Sarah Jane Adventures. They try rather too hard to be simplistic and child-appropriate, to such an extent that they're sometimes ridiculously watered down (honestly? I think kids are smarter than you think. Plus, if you give them good stories, they will get smarter!). And the writing is often clunky and expositiony, and they are constantly skipping over the parts that I want to be emotional payoff (I mean, Luke telling his friends that he was created by aliens? You would think it would happen onscreen, yes?).

That said, I kind of love it. Which surprises me less than it might, because despite its weaknesses, it really is my sort of show: three kids, they get to be friends, and then they go on adventures! Happy!me.

(Also, they save the world with mobile phones. Repeatedly. This amuses me to no end.)

Anyway. I'm watching 207 instead of writing my paper. And although the issues I mentioned are still there, this episode was kind of awesome. Spoilers for Mask of the Berserker.Collapse )

ETA: So then I watched the second half. more spoilersCollapse )

I am sad that there are only four more episodes (aka, only two more stories).

Now I really have to finish that paper.
12 November 2008 @ 07:27 pm
Dear Yuletide Writer,

Hi! First of all, thank you so much for writing for me. This is my first Yuletide and I’m unbelievably excited about all of my requests. I’m about to ramble on in extensive lengths about my preferences, but that is mostly because I’m verbose and like to explore things. I have complete confidence that I will love any story you write with the chosen characters, and my rambling is in hopes of assuring any worries you might have about my preferences, and possibly giving you a place to start if you're the type of person who likes to have something to work with. Really, I just enjoying flailing about my fandoms.

General fic preferencesCollapse )

In terms of specific fandoms, let me repeat the warning that I have been very rambly (especially in regards to The Five Little Peppers. Eek!). Please take this with the understanding that I just get excited about my fandoms, and don’t think that I’m hoping for you to fit in everything I mention. If you already have an idea, go ahead and write it without worrying about my further details – mostly they’re just there in case you need a starting point and want to know my take on the fandoms.

HornblowerCollapse )

I should warn, this next section turned into an overflowing of fannish love. I’ve never had an outlet for my love for these books before, so apparently it decided to erupt now. Please excuse the length.
Five Little PeppersCollapse )

Wind in the WillowsCollapse )

Casson FamilyCollapse )

Again, dear Yuletide Writer, thank you! I hope my ramblings haven’t scared you off. Really, I am very easy to please, I promise. And I can’t wait to see what you come up with!
11 November 2008 @ 09:29 pm
I'm currently working on my yuletide letter. (And my lovely Yuletide Writer, if you happen to read this: First of all, hi! Secondly, thank you! and Thirdly, I promise my letter will be up soon.) It's going quite slowly, mostly because I keep forgetting that I'm supposed to be elaborating preferences and such, and instead I keep on getting swept up in tides of fandom love. Most recently for Wind in the Willows. So I just thought I'd take a moment to say:

I love this book. I love this book so incredibly much. I love Ratty and Mole, and Badger, and Otter, and the Sea Rat. And oh, the wanderlust, the yearning in this story. *clutches heart* This is actually not a book I read as a child; I was probably sixteen or so the first time I picked it up. Despite that, I fell instantaneously in love. Everytime I reread it, I fall in love again. I opened it up just now in the attempt to find a favorite quote to use in my Yuletide letter. Instead, I ended up typing out a large chunk of the book before I'd even realized it. Um, yeah, sometimes I just randomly start typing up books. No idea. It helps me think.

Anyway. If you love Ratty and Mole at all, there are quotes for you under the cut. If not, you should peak under the cut and see if you don't fall in love a little bit.

it is a goodly life you leadCollapse )
10 November 2008 @ 02:51 pm
Real post later, but this is just to say: if you have any interest in Yuletide and haven't checked it out yet, now is the time to do so. Signups end at 9:00 EST tonight. A list of possible fandoms can be found here.

There are currently 1482 people signed up, which is a pretty good chance of finding someone to write in your obscure fandom. I'm excited. Also, I think you all should sign up, so we can give each other moral support. *pokes*
05 November 2008 @ 02:36 am
"Hello, Chicago."

Oh, you guys, I will post pictures as soon as I can. But. I am in awe right now. Watching that, surrounded by everyone, and there was screaming and singing and crying and jumping up and down. It was quite incredible. Afterwards, the streets were absolutely flooded with people, for as long as you could see, and every few minutes everyone would burst into a spontaneous cheer.

I've only done a quick glance over my flist, and found what I expected - a lot of happy flailing, with a few cautionary notes. I understand the caution, I understand that Obama's not going to be able to swoop in and fix all our woes, that he's neither all-powerful nor perfect. And yet, watching him up there, watching the people around me (all sorts of people, all ages, all colors, all backgrounds) - it makes it so easy to believe. And even if Obama isn't - can't be - the cure-all that some people are perhaps expecting, I think that belief is wonderful. It's time our country has something to believe in.

the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideal

Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic
02 November 2008 @ 09:10 pm
Yuletide signups are up! I'm not signing up tonight because I still need more time to think, but I'm very excited. I clicked on the link an hour or so ago, right after it first came up, and only seven people had signed up. Now, it's up to 148. I'm very much enjoying watching the Fandom Requests page turn colors. Also, someone offered to write Five Little Peppers! Which I nominated! I'm not sure if I'll end up requesting it, because there are so many good things to request, but I'm happy that other people are attached to those Peppers too.

Anyway. Signups go to the 11th, I think. You should consider doing it. If you're wavering, you can go look at the Fandom Requests page to see what's offered, and that may pique your interest.