*seduces you with my extensive knowledge of buffy the vampire slayer*
arya should wear armor at some point of the show, yes? yes
So, I know I make a post like this about every two months, but I’m going to try to stop being so intimidated by this blog and just write things here. I’m always sort of wary of posting much because the original intention was to create a sort of informal resume, but I think just being my own dorky self would be an even better representation of that. I might even start reblogging fandom stuff—who knows.
Anyway, there was a big snow storm here so things are currently cold yet melting. Hope y’all are all good.
I love The Hunger Games series. I love the entire franchise way out of proportion to what I feel is the actual objective quality of the material. I love the characters, I love the setting, I love (most of) the plot, I love the stupid love triangles and the pragmatism that uses that love for survival. I love that the characters themselves are forced within the story to become symbols and themes in their own in-universe media frenzy. I love that the story is so fundamentally Marxist that it physically pains me when it rejects those Marxist overtones in the end. But what I love most is the movies. I’ve had many a fight over which is better: books or movies. That’s the wrong fight to be having. It’s not whether one or the other is better it’s about what happens to the text when you adapt it to the screen. It’s in the adaptation (and attendant media frenzy) that the true magic happens.
With a source text wholly reliant upon visual media, the power of the audience, and the power of visual media as a controlling mechanism, to then transform that written text into a piece of visual media is extremely evocative. In Catching Fire, scenes between Gale and Katniss seem uncomfortably voyeuristic—as they should: we’re not supposed to see them. We’re no longer in Katniss’ head, in the present. We’re the audience in the present, and by rights, the audience should only see the carefully staged and meticulously constructed show that is created for our consumption. Becoming the audience casts us ourselves as we watch the films in the role of the Capitol. It’s an uncomfortable place to be, as the thinly constructed issue of the first two novels is a criticism of that role, that system, and that space that—in moving from page to screen—we are forced to inhabit. We ourselves become the object of scrutiny.
The Marxist basics of the text turn into actual exercises in marketing. There are official make-up lines, official stylists, mass-produced merchandise like Mockingjay pins. The critique of the capitalist media machine becomes a glorification. The text is inverted, spilling out all of its goodies for us to snap up, and then inverted yet again as these items attempt to maintain their textual authenticity—their context. To go to the store, buy a mass-produced Mockingjay pin, and then wear it around is simultaneously a symbol of resistance to a set of ideas and complicity in the Capitalist system that one is attempting to resist.
Interestingly, the dichotomy of Capitol v. Districts is more relevant than ever, as rarely are any of the audience members in control of the means of production. The only thing audience members have to offer is labor in exchange for whatever meager material pittance that’s deemed acceptable. Yet here we have a revolution staged for us. See these oppressed peoples in this unbearable system so remarkably like our own? See how they revolt, they rebel, they take down their keepers? The catharsis provided by the film virtually quells all revolutionary instinct in the audience—it’s Commodified Revolution; packaged up and fed to the revolutionaries as a calming mechanism. To move the dissatisfaction with a broken economy from a real space into a fictionalized space redirects that anger at a force that is textually defeatable and simultaneously protects the mechanisms and systems that are producing the text in the first place. Our desire for resistance (even representative resistance) feeds billions of dollars back into the systems that we are attempting to resist. The Hunger Games truly becomes The Hunger Games through film even more eerily than through best-selling novel.
That’s what I love about this series—not its actuality but the fascinating things that it does without even trying.
All of this said, and with hyperbolic direness: we will never speak of Mockingjay.
It’s been about two and a half years now since I first watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and my obsession for it waxes and wanes. We’re currently in a “waxing” phase. Simply put: that means I keep finding myself being that obnoxious person who brings Buffy into every conversation, whether I try to or not. Because I won’t shut up about it, I also find that I keep having to defend the show’s basic integrity as something worth anyone’s time.
“That’s about some blonde chick in high school. I hated high school. Why would I want to watch a TV show about it?”
That’s where the fundamental nature of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is entirely misunderstood. It’s fairly universally accepted that nerdy people—anyone who would even entertain the notion of watching Buffy—hated high school. High school was a living hell. You might even say high school was hell. Perhaps it was even the very mouth of hell.
Wait a minute!
Ham-handed jokes aside, the entire point of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is that high school sucks. This is not Dawson’s Creek or Saved By the Bell—high school isn’t the banal background against which our drama plays. It’s not glorified or romanticized. The demons that Buffy fights are allegorical monsters that personify the tribulations of growing up. They become physical entities that she (and through her, we) can punch in the face. Buffy defeats her demons literally in a way that we can only long for as we struggle against ephemeral oppressions and emotions. And it’s not just to help you get over high school trauma (which it’s done for me at least three times now—oh, high school; the trauma that always returns), but it goes with you past that. It helps you come to terms with all sorts of things. Buffy isn’t about “lol what fun; high school!” It’s about treating the problems that you face in high school as real problems that real people deal with and giving agency back to a generation that’s growing more and more powerless with every passing day.
That’s what Buffy is all about, and just because it starts off campy, is sometimes goofy, and is always hilarious in no way diminishes its importance or potency. And just because the main character is a tiny blonde girl who likes to dress fashionably and has impeccable hair doesn’t mean it’s only for a specific demographic.
I love Almost Human so much, I can’t even quite describe to you how much I love it. I’ve got a thing for robots, and near-future dystopia, and advanced tech that seems like it’s now, and the crazy combo of Blade Runner and sleek iPod aesthetics.
I have some weird desires about it though. I want the terrifying vindication of a police state to get turned on its head. I’d love the arc to be that the police are unwitting (or possibly witting?) oppressive pawns and Kennex’ mysterious girlfriend (who I’m presuming is the plot arc) is some sort of freedom fighter.
I’d love Stahl to not be a love interest at all, but have some weird thing for her emotionally incapable MX unit (I had to look up Stahl’s name, that’s how blah I find her—I’ve just been calling her “the sexy girl” for weeks.) I’d love for Maldonado and Kennex’ bromance to be some sort of romantic friendship that takes center stage as the primary love affair.
None of these things will happen, and I’ll still love Almost Human to bits; but I would probably explode in squealing fits of glee if they did. And I really don’t have any “I’d love ifs” with regards to Dorian because, well, I love everything about Dorian already.
Oh, wow, my photography queue ran out like a month ago. That’s what I get for never logging in over here.
Watching early seasons of BtVS is emotionally confusing to me for so many reasons, but primarily because I am Jenny Calendar in my professional life, but I’m also Rupert Giles in every respect. So every time they have some silly fight about computers I’m like “YES, I AGREE WITH YOU. BUT—I ALSO AGREE WITH YOU.” Knowledge is just so great, man, and it’s super important to know how to get at it no matter what container it happens to be in (she says in conclusion, snidely aiming her remark at Giles and Jenny both.)