Tolerance and Substitution

I promised you all 12 hours. But I slightly lied because I found out that transferring stuff from Google docs over to LJ html makes for some fucked up html. I had to clean that shit up otherwise this post would look like crap. Oh – and I forgot to mention yesterday – I watched a whole 10 minutes of True Blood Season 6 this year. By God, what I saw was shit. I watched no more and have no inclination to search for how it all went. I’m sure it’s craptacular. Oh – and as a bit of housekeeping, I’m thinking about turning on post moderation for all my old posts, as I get a lot of spam on them, and I don’t want to get all excited about a full inbox, and then find out that they want me and my guests to enlarge our penises. It would mean that all of my anons would still be able to publish, but I would have to approve comments on old posts. That would stop spammers, but it would only affect older posts – not the most recent ones. Which is cool because I doubt anyone looks at the comments of old posts any more.

So, for my first post back, we’ll be covering a topic that’s often brought up. It was mentioned light years ago on the Real Light of Tolerance post, and it’s about the concept that vampires are an allegory for gay people. This has been said quite a few times by CH herself, but she’s not big on explaining, so there’s lots of confusion and issues with the books because of it. So I’m going to lay it out as I see it.

Let me point out that you need to understand that these are fantasy genre books. In the fantasy genre, issues and dilemmas are blown out of proportion as moral dilemmas. Fantasy uses metaphor to explore issues, but in a way removed from the prejudice with which you usually explore issues. That makes it different from other genres, merely because it isn’t based in the real world. There are no vampires, witches or anything else in the real world. Fantasy uses the new world that is created to try and explore some of the underpinning concepts from your beliefs.

Note the contrast in the genres. For example, in drama, the question is open and simple – it presents you with a gay person, such as in Torch Song Trilogy (OMG watch this movie it is one of my favourites ever) or Philadelphia and poses open questions, prodding you to draw the same conclusion that the movie itself does. When you’re watching a drama movie like that, it poses only realistic questions, and really is quite specific about those questions. It’ll question what you think about a gay man being in love, or what you think about discrimination against gay people who are afflicted with HIV.

In fantasy, however, bigger questions are posed. It is no longer constrained by specific questions that can be applied to only a limited sector of people, and rather tackles the issues in a new environment where perhaps your usual prejudices are not with you. It is hard to really see yourself as which side of the Iraqi conflict you’re on, when you’re experiencing it from the point of view of Katniss Everdeen. In fact, this perspective of a war makes the audience think not only about the ethics of war, but what effect it has on children. Panem may not actually exist, but it’s a movie about power, politics and being on the end of things such as trade embargoes. Unlike its drama counterpart, however, it deals generally with a theme, and can’t just awaken ideas that only apply to Iraq – it can apply to World War II and to Vietnam.

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Next Year – Season Finale in a Foundry

You’ll have to excuse my lateness. It wasn’t slackness, it was actually injury. It was Father’s Day here in Australia on Sunday, and I cooked Mr. Minty potstickers. You can’t buy these delectable little parcels of deliciousness in Australia – not that I’ve found. And we both fell in love with them on a trip to Los Angeles. All was going well until I deep fried the tip of my ring finger while crisping up the first batch. Goddamn my finger hurts when I type. Wince for me every time I press the SWX keys….fuck that hurt. It’s times like this that I wish I was one of those chicken peck typists and not a touch typist. Book post is up here.

Russell the Paper Tiger

Well, that was the least amount of fanfare ever. No building tension – they ruined it by not having Eric give Russell shifty eyes across the room all season. Having Eric kill Russell seems like a lame cop-out honestly. Particularly since I don’t believe that Eric would have been hovering around looking for Sookie to see what had her worried. This just seems to be pandering to the Eric/Sookie shippers in the most phone-it-in way. *sotto voce* It seems to have worked. Those chumps are going on about an endless love of the ages. Popcorn for smart people – pffffft. Evidence says that not seeing through this flimsy ploy makes them not the smart people. *resume normal voice and makes you swear you won’t tell them*. If I recall correctly, he’s been sticking it to Nora with the soundtrack “Fuck Sookie”, so him crapping on now is just because he needs something. I must say, Tweedleshithead did look particularly attractive this episode – I think this should be the new viral Eric picture:

As I predicted, Russell was really a lot of talk – he didn’t do much other than kill extras. None of whom we’d seen or care about, which doesn’t leave one with a lasting impression that he’s a character to worry about. I’m sure they’ll find a way to bring him back because he was probably the only thing keeping the ratings up this year. But he didn’t really do much as far as on screen. I mean, fuck – Demon Anya killed as many fratboys as he did. And I actually cared that she did – amazing what a good script can do…and it’s a pity True Blood doesn’t have one.
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AB ‘n’ Me – Ruiners

For those of you who didn’t notice, I was late and slack on the whole book post, but here it is. I’m committed to the one book post a week thing. And I think at this point, the only thing keeping me to that promise is the reminder of True Blood every week. I’m hoping that my workload and schedule cycle down sometime soon so I can do more than weekly updates.

You know, I do believe the channel I watch True Blood on actually inadvertently provided a review with their ad for it. It said “Get ready for a big old bloody mess” – and they were right. Ah, even the people who sell it know, and they’re trying to warn us, the kind hearted souls.

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Foot Fetishist In Da House

I looked over at my husband during this episode – the lovely and adorable Mr. Minty – and he was picking a hair off his jacket. Yeah, he’s real invested in this show – it’s fucking riveting. We also had a chat about the fact that Anna Paquin is pregnant – mostly because I winced in that first scene when she fell over. I know she would have been protected, and not in any danger, but you just kinda can’t help it, you know? It doesn’t help that it’s fairly obvious just how pregnant she is.

I’d also like to note that there are now all these references to toes in the show – I heard toes twice tonight – once about Mike Spencer, and once about the ex-wife who named her toes or whatever. Geez – they’re so bored and inattentive they’re letting the foot fetishist put their two cents in.
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Needs MOAR Wang

This week’s highlight of the episode happened on my couch, not on my TV. When Mr. Minty has to look at naked men or wang, and particularly hairy arses, he gets distressed. A great majority of True Blood’s viewership is held to their screens by nudity. So Mr. Minty reeled back at the sight of SMoyer’s butt, ASkars butt, and many other butts. So this week’s opening wang had him going “Argh! Do they have to show that?” When I pointed out this was hypocritical, and that he doesn’t reel back when there’s naked women, he just looked at me like I was huffing something. So I then said “So what’s going to be your reaction to seeing boobs onscreen in future?” Mr. Minty finished the argument with “That there’s not enough of them.” I’m considering making him a desktop with a pair of boobs, and a wang photoshopped between them. So he’s compelled to look, and also horrified to look – see how he likes them apples. I shall report back if I do it.

Each week as the show goes on, I find myself bored with the storyline merry-go-round. Nothing really changes, and they’re not saying much. But at least they’re saying nothing lots. Most of the relationship chat – and there’s such a lot of it – is so empty and devoid of context. None of the characters even move forward and say more – they don’t continue their lives and show the legacy of the effects – they virtually wallow in the past, and with shit I’ve heard already.  But at least I can argue with my husband over pointless shit and plan plans to traumatise him.
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Illusion of Control

No spankings this week for me. I’m on time, and on my best behaviour (relative to the PMR standard of behaviour though). I actually wanted to share a funny link this week that I got sent – Straw Feminists – a hilarious take on the Straw Man argument technique. The comic is a hilarious depiction of the notion that all feminists are ball breaking bitches who want to kill men and destroy the world. I know I’ve had that one levelled at me, and I’m sure some of my commenters have too.

One of the things that seemingly became ultra-important in the latest book – at least for a subset of fanfic – is the Super!Sookie phenomenon. It was all born of the appearance of Mr. Cataliades, and wanting to get Sookie to handle her telepathy. I think this is a relatively shallow look to take at the idea – and I don’t think the mystical time when Sookie’s telepathy will be handled will ever happen. This is really about the hope that people have, and the illusion of control that people fall into.

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Eric’s Price of Life is A Couple Hundred Dead Babies

Just in case you missed it, there was also a post I posted (posted posting) yesterday which covers much about hair fluffing and power. I was late this week with my SVM, and I’ve spanked myself and told myself never again. I’m probably a liar, and I’m sure I’ll have to chastise myself again before the year is out. Bad me. Now that the ritual whipping is done, onto True Blood. What am I saying? That whipping is nowhere near as bad as watching this show. I’m clearly too easy on myself.
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Next time, I want SMoyer piggybacking Askars

His long legs hanging over Bill? Worth watching way more. So to the weekly ravings about how much True Blood sucks. I didn’t hear many spoilers this week of substance, beyond What the fuck? It’s hard to say what that sort of spoiler means, really. And unfortunately, it was a direct contrast this week – Breaking Bad Season Five premiered right before True Blood, in whose characters I am totally invested. So True Blood suffered for the comparison, because Breaking Bad is damn good television. I am in love with Gus Fring, who has all the qualities of the best SVM vampires – twisty, manipulative, clever and very measured. Not only that, but Breaking Bad actually deals with disabilities in a good way – while True Blood deals with them without a lick of understanding. If you want to watch a cool fanvid for Breaking Bad to see if you’ll like it, this one is pretty fucking awesome.

The blocking was better this week, but I’m curious now to see whether it’s just an Alan Ball issue. So I’ll have to stick around for the finale. They pulled the shots up tight in Fangtasia so that it didn’t look empty this time. Last week’s director was shit. This is a comparison from last week’s shot – this is a proper shot so that your rooms don’t look half empty and so you can’t see a whole swathe of floor.

Same amount of extras, a damn sight better shot. This is how blocking should be done – but like continuity of story, True Blood is probably going to be shaky on cinematography too.
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Licence to Kill

This post is more of that academic analysis that some people hate. Mr. Minty is just happy I’m inflicting it on someone or something other than him. An oft-complaint in our house is “Must you question everything?!?” Living with an academic can be a chore, I tell you. And Mr. Minty will certainly tell you – loudly, and often. But Sookie and Eric can’t complain, so I can do it to them at any time. They won’t tell me I’ve ruined the moment.

Before I start, just a bit of writing advice. I sometimes see academics or people who’ve done postgraduate research written about in fanfic. They’re usually written pretty badly, and with the outside view of them. For a start, the character might seem smart to the populace, but they aren’t very smart at all. Unfortunately, they’re usually written about by someone who’s never done any research and sometimes by people who probably didn’t do so well at university, if they went at all. They certainly don’t have an open minded, pitbull approach to anything. You can’t replace actual smart with picking up trivia tidbits on the internet and just inserting them into the character’s speech. Or rather, you can, but you’ll only fool people stupider than you. Anyone who’s smarter than you will see through your character in a heartbeat.

Being inside the academic brain is very different to others…well, if you think Sookie questions too many sacred things – like the blood bond – she hasn’t got anything on the academic brain. It’s all about questions and analysis. Nothing is sacred. My advice is to write someone who is as smart as you, and as well educated as you are. You’ll do better at it – it’ll be authentic. Don’t write someone with a speciality for sure. We’re weird creatures – and it’s not the education that produces it – it’s something inborn. Academia just gives it guidance. Our brains seize on things and question them – which is why we naturally have a series of questions at the end of undergraduate degrees, and think that we might like to do research at the end. Then it can’t be just casual “I wonder” questions either – it requires the dedication of writing (to start with) about 20,000 words on the same subject. I had about twenty questions I really wanted answered when I was at the end of undergrad. I chose only one. If I was offered vampirism, this would be the only drawcard – an immortal life to spend researching shit in every single instance I wish. But onto the boring academic type post.

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I Think AB Wants Us to Buy Budweiser

Well, this week was a good week to watch this stupid show. Because this was the episode that Alan Ball wrote. It gives an insight into what he thinks is important. So let’s see how illogical he can get, and his special wimmen hatin’ skills. One thing I’m noticing – particularly with this episode, is the lack of appropriate shot and blocking. For those of you who don’t know what blocking is, it’s where you get actors to stand – so that the shot looks full. Very important for theatre plays – so that you don’t stand in front of major characters. Except that the blocking has gotten really bad. Rooms look mostly empty because the shots aren’t tight enough:

That’s a fuck of a lot of floor I’m seeing – in a bar that’s supposed to be lucrative. I’m surprised the bar is still up and running – because this crowd is what? Fifteen people crowded around the action? Oooh – place is jumpin’. That’s not the only problem – it’s not even good filming any more. From a technical standpoint, the imaginings are lame. I mean, glamouring two people in the same room, and we’re not supposed to believe that they heard stuff; to the werewolf pack sitting around watching the packmaster necking with his favourite chickie in a barn because that’s their favourite night time activity; to the minute long branding of fucking Budweiser during Terry and Arlene’s scene:

They won’t be winning any awards for cinematography, that’s for damn sure. Good thing they gave up on getting awards for fucking writing, right?
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