prodigy: Vesper Lynd smiling and sunlit. (all the roses in the garden)
Sitting on third base, angling for home tomorrow! At least, it's late, I hope there are only three bases in baseball. There was that time when I was playing scales in piano and accidentally invented a note, "H." Except no, because that implies there's been only one time in my entire piano career that I've inadvertently renamed A "H."

More to the point, WLtWFH business as usual, and that business is spoilers.

Day 6: Why A Song of Ice and Fire Needs Her )
prodigy: Titus Pullo looking really sad. (sorry about that)
My God, it's full of spoilers. No, seriously, today really is, so if you have any intention of reading to A Storm of Swords skip right on by. (Thanks to [personal profile] relia for the idea suggestion for today's essay!)

Day 5: Lady Stoneheart )
prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (Default)
Pip necessitated hosing out her litterbox out in the yard again, at which point a wasp promptly stung me through my shirt. Our cat's badness level is unusually high for someone her size.

This is the late-night and semi-belated rendition of Round 4 of WLtWFH, brought to you by yellowjackets, coffee, and spoilers.

Day 4: Ned Stark and Petyr Baelish )

Other: Say Yes to Gay YA, in which agents demonstrate a level of cynicism and heterosexism that should be shocking but sadly isn't and in which writers stand up for the queer characters and elements in their books. Go represent.
prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (stephen - o rly)
Third verse, same as the first. It's starting to occur to me that I don't actually have any icons on this account for this fandom. Spoilers killed Dumbledore.

Day 3: Lady Stark )
prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (I used to live alone before I knew you)
We Love the Women Fandom Hates week continues today with day 2, In Which We Address A Pretty Large And Uncomfortable-Looking Elephant In The Room: so why does fandom hate Catelyn so much?

Spoilers as always for the books. Longer than the other days' posts, probably.

Day 2: So What's the Problem with Catelyn Stark? )
prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (vess harpist)
Hi there, all. You're reading this post because I made the perhaps ill-considered decision to sign up for We Love the Women Fandom Hates and commit to posting one thing every day for a week on the topic of Lady Catelyn Stark nee Tully, of A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones fame, a major protagonist in the A Song of Ice and Fire series who's probably also, of the protagonists, the most universally hated by fandom. Obviously, I think this is a problem. So before I go into today's mini-essay, I'll start off with kind of a mission statement for the week: what I hope to accomplish by writing about Cat Stark. This is going to be restricted to the books for the sake of scope and consistency, but a lot of this stuff also holds true of the Game of Thrones TV series.

I'm not here to convince anyone to love Cat. Realistically, not everyone will fall in love with every sympathetic character, especially in a series like ASoIaF when so many of them are flawed, prejudiced, frustrating humans. On the scale of POV characters, Cat is maybe a tier 2 in intended hierarchy of reader sympathy -- principled and intelligent, but judgmental and unforgiving. Cat's a character you're supposed to care about, grin when she kicks ass, worry when she's in trouble, grit your teeth when she's stubborn or short-sighted. She's not perfect. She's not meant to be perfect. You're not meant to agree with everything she does. And I wouldn't set out to try to get anyone to: go ahead and dislike Catelyn. It doesn't mean you're a bad person. It doesn't even mean you're a misogynist. But hating her for misogynistic reasons does -- and I hope I can convince at least a few people not to dislike her for the wrong reasons. I think A Song of Ice and Fire is all the better for having her as a character, but to be able to appreciate that you have to appreciate her part in the story as a complex individual.

All of these are going to contain spoilers for the books and TV series.

Day 1: Cat Tully )
prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (stephen - o rly)
[personal profile] eruthros's Top 100 SFF reader poll. It has its own hilarious skew, given "Shoebox Project" is on there among other things, but it's multimedia and if you're as interested as I am in how the demographics of this will bear out from a polling standpoint and not seeing the Shoebox Project make it onto the Top 100 anything, take a gander.

Aside from that, I have a few proposed movie titles to describe this weekend:

"Our Idiot Cat"
"Along Came Pippin"
"Me, Myself, and Pippin"
"Thoroughly Modern Pippin"
"Pippin & Me"
"Iron Cat"
"500 Days of Pippin"
"Breakfast at Pippin's"

It turns out our cat is basically Brick Tamland.
prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (vess harpist)
So, yeah, Harry Potter. How about that? We saw it at 12:20 AM in Cherry Hill and had to sit a row apart because we made the mistake of getting there all of 20 minutes early, which wouldn't have been so bad did it not mean that I was sitting directly behind the Notorious Cherry Hill Hysterical Laugh-Sobber. I have nothing else to report about seeing it except that it took a full half hour to get out of the parking lot after and that when the "19 years later" screen showed for the epilogue, the whole theater groaned and somebody shouted "That's bullshit!"

But I'm wool-gathering, aren't I. How do you describe a generation like Harry Potter? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? You don't, I guess, you either live it or you don't -- I lived it. Other people didn't. Here's some perspective:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone as it was originally retitled in America, came out in the US in October 1998. I'm 20 years old now, for a few more weeks. I was eight years old then, living in Portland, and I had a lot of time to myself. The first HP book had a funny cover and a funny title. I didn't pick it up for a few months, until the hardcover book with the funny cover and the funny title tempted me a little too much and I did read it. At the time I was the only kid in my class who'd read it: that would change in a few months. I read Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban when they came out too, and the first self-insert I ever dreamed up was an Evans-sister love interest for Sirius Black, at the age of nine or ten, before it ever occurred to me that self-inserts didn't have to be girl stand-ins. So that was that.

The first film came out in November 2001. I had just turned 11, my family was about to go bankrupt, and it wasn't lost on me that my Hogwarts letter should be due this year if I was still the kind of kid who admitted to waiting for Hogwarts letters. Which is to say, it wasn't lost on me that my Hogwarts letter was due this year, but silently. It was also the first time I got to have spirited book-to-screen casting opinions, thinking already that Rupert Grint was too round-faced and Daniel Radcliffe was funny-looking. So that was that too.

Somewhere between then and now I fell out of love with Harry Potter -- the series, though also the boy himself, with whom we all so readily identified in book 1 and were thoroughly sick of by book 7. I think some of this was the series decay everybody knows about, the fact that the books did, in fact, get worse, and some of it for me was "growing up with Harry Potter" like everyone is always talking about -- just that in my case, it was less growing up with a childhood best friend and more growing up with a childhood best friend that you turned around once and realized wasn't the friend you first made years ago any more, and neither were you. But there's no denying this series was my first fictional best friend; there were others I loved before, but none that I spent so much wishful obsessive time with, and nothing I loved when I was eight that I still have complicated fandom opinions on, or that I'll go to see the last movie version of the night it comes out. I'm no longer best friends with Harry, but sometimes late at night I'll look him up on Facebook and wonder how he's been. But I don't think we could reconnect.

Anyway, I think that, via [personal profile] themis, Michelle Dean's What Harry Potter Knows is an irritating, passive-aggressive article with which I agree, and which says what I mean. I guess I'll close by repeating something I just said regarding that, which is that Harry Potter was a bigger part of my life than many of my living relations. I'm a few years out of college, we don't talk so much any more, but I remember pressing my hands up against the glass at Waldenbooks and speculating on what a Goblet of Fire was. I wish I'd never found out.

H/C Bingo

Jul. 5th, 2011 06:39 pm
prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (Sherlock goes hmm)
So I signed up for [community profile] hc_bingo. Ayup. But my card doesn't format correctly on the Dreamwidth default layout )

Truth be told, I find [community profile] hc_bingo to be charmingly absurd and straightforward in concept in a time when it's really, really uncool to admit you like stupid shit in fanfiction unironically. I also like bingoes because they have a maximum sense of accomplishment for a minimum time pressure, and also because you get a bingo card. There is something inherently appealing about bingo cards. Also, this challenge has soulbonding in it!! Soulbonding!!! What even is soulbonding??? Who knows!! Who cares!!!

Probably going to do a mixture of original and fandom on this one! Who knows, I'm sure I'll make up my mind in the eons of time allotted to make up my mind.

Regarding H/C, Exploitation, Fandom, and Why I'm Doing This )
prodigy: Glorious 25th of May lilac with "How do they rise?" caption. (how do they rise up)


It's funny, I do think I've put more consistent effort into commemorating this fictional holiday over the years than any state or religious ones, including the ones I celebrate. Terry Pratchett did have something brilliantly memetic on his hands in the Glorious 25th of May, I wonder if he knew -- I'm going to be out with friends tomorrow, but hope to get some lilac one way or another. I wonder if non-Discworld fans (or less passionate Discworld fans) wonder what the big deal is about the 25th of May, if it's just a general fannish gesture of dedication or a way to indicate you like something that doesn't normally have a lot of logos or T-shirts or whatever. My roommate wore a lilac pinned to a towel one year in college, which I think is basically the most expedient way to indicate you are a cool person.

To some extent, though, I think the "geeky loyalty" you proclaim first is a sort of statement of identity -- or it is for me, anyway. I don't do the towel on Towel Day not out of lack of respect for Mr. Adams or his legacy, but because I feel it would be sort of dishonest on some level: I loved Hitchhiker's Guide when I was a kid and first read it, but it didn't change my life. I don't actually have the entitlement to make myself out as that kind of fan. I know it sounds funny, taking fan cred seriously in some way, but really, I do think sports fans do have the right to be snobby if they're the type who goes to every match talking to someone who owns a T-shirt and casually roots for the team anytime they're on TV, and it's the same with media fans. There's a definite fallback of "you're so weird, it's just fiction/media/whatever!!" and sneering goggling at the Trekkies and Browncoats and the like who take it too seriously, and while I'm not a Trekkie or a Browncoat... what's wrong with taking it too seriously? Is it bad to admit that media affects us as strongly as it does? If it doesn't, what are we doing in the art and business of creating it, anyway?

I read Night Watch just before I transferred to UCSD, I think, not long after it came out. It was the latest Discworld book out, in hardcover, when I was finishing up my ravenous read-through of the Discworld series. Terry Pratchett's my favorite author. I haven't had many favorite authors in my life. I don't even write comedic fiction (well, not primarily, or not intentionally primarily I should say, good Lord), and I can still count Discworld as probably the biggest wedge in my pie-chart of writing influences, shoulder-to-shoulder with A Song of Ice and Fire and a number of classic Vertigo titles. My old copy of Night Watch was dog-eared and highlighted to all hell, for purposes of [community profile] literaryquotes. It was one of the stories that really taught me what I wanted to do with stories.

So I guess on the Glorious 25th when a bunch of people commemorate the deaths of a bunch of police officers in a nonexistent universe, what I'm saying with the lilac is that: thank you, Terry Pratchett. I'm willing to embarrass myself as One Of Those Fans who Takes It Too Seriously this time, at least, because it's worth that much to me, anyway. But I know I'm not the only one.

There was some laughter. We who think we are about to die will laugh at anything.

What a bunch. I know you well, gentlemen. You're in it for the quiet life and the pension, you don't hurry too much in case the danger is still around when you get there, and the most you ever expected to face was an obstreperous drunk or a particularly difficult cow. Most of you aren't even coppers, not in your head. In the sea of adventure, you're bottom-feeders.

And now, it's war...and you're in the middle. Not on either side. You're the stupid little band of brown-jobs. You're beneath contempt. But believe me, boys -- you'll rise.


Thanks.

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prodigy: "Blondie" from Leone's Old West trilogy accompanied by Pikachu. (Default)
the late, or rather, later Henrik Egerman

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