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Feb. 19th, 2009

# Long time, no update. Mostly due to being tired and inarticulate and really boring, and did I mention tired? Slept until 11 on Sunday, and then again three or four hours in the afternoon. Didn't even manage to do my Russian homework.


# New layout, because I needed something a bit more colourful in this dreary weather, and liked this one when I saw it on someone else's journal. I only kind of wish I'd known it'd also involve hours of inapt chasing after and trying to eliminate all the underlines and bottom-borders that the usual A {text-decoration: none} typed into the custom CSS box wouldn't take care of, and then changing the link colour for the entries since the links were barely visible without the (pseudo-)underline, and giving them a mouse-over colour. However, mission accomplished. Stop laughing now, nacktmull70. ;)

Alternatively, I wish I were less obsessive about underlined links. But I really do dislike them.


# Dollhouse ep.1: I'm not head over heels in love with it (yet), but I found the realisation a lot more interesting than the premise - which wasn't very, when I first read about it. I wasn't completely sold on the abduction plot, but overall I think it has the potential to address all kinds of interesting philosophical and ethical questions, and seeing as Echo seems to undergo this as some sort of punishment, it actually reminds me a bit of B5 and the 'death of personality' concept. Maybe more importantly, unlike Firefly it doesn't seem to be the wrong show at the wrong time. I can imagine all kinds of places that Joss might go with it, but it seems to be wrapped in a more conventional plot and less in the face of the zeitgeist. As far as one can tell, after one episode.

On a sidenote - I absolutely would buy it legally instead of downloading it to help the ratings, but iTunes Austria doesn't sell TV shows. At all. Not even inane German reality TV. I guess there all kinds of extremely complicated legal and commercial issues involved that I'm not aware of, but sometimes I do wonder why TPTB are so very slow in this respect, and rather than invest time, energy and money in lawsuits, aren't working on a way to make content available faster globally. Of course not everyone who downloads a show would be prepared to pay, but I think plenty of fans would, if they knew it had an impact on the longevity of the show.


# Being Human ep.4: Actually quite liked it - especially Mitchell had some good moments -, until the ending made me wonder why I should care for the character at all. I just don't think I understand his motivation any longer. Was turning Bernie an act of remorse, a genuine attempt to help, or a subtle revenge - directed at mother, the 'normal' people who judged and persecuted them? Letting her make the decision whether or not to let another killer loose on the world? Show up their hypocrisy once their own interests are at stake? Clearly he isn't happy with what he'd done, but then why did he do it when no one forced him to? I can see that it's hard for Mitchell to continuously condemn his own existence and fight his very nature, but seeing as he does regard killing people to feed on them as an ethical problem, why would he condemn a kid to this - either to become a killer, or to an endless painful struggle not to become one? Turn a kid he actually liked, and instead of taking care of him dump him on a woman who can have no clear idea what she's getting into or how to even feed her changed son, because other than in Buffyverse blood bags aren't an option? This is just as bad as what he did to Lauren, even if the motivation was different. Not to mention that everyone who's ever read a couple of Anne Rice novels, which Mitchell clearly hasn't, knows that turning children is a Very Bad Idea.

Was the attempt at being human just a fad then? Doesn't he realise that even if he was judged and harrassed for all the wrong reasons, he (unlike, apparently, George) does have plenty of blood on his hands? I'm almost starting to wish they'd stuck with the original idea and left the supernatural element out of it, because it seems a bit... pasted on, not really thought through. It doesn't really merge, and the best elements, the most touching moments of this episode would have worked without the supernatural.

George... Is it just me, or was the character a lot more... focused in the pilot, the acting a bit more understated? I liked him a lot there, but his mannerisms are really starting to get on my nerves. Plus, he hits my embarrassment squick a bit too often.


# There's some kind of huge TW S3 spoiler that I'll now have to avoid until, what, June? For months? Oh, *sigh*. Not that I actually hang out in TW or DW related communities, but I do remember where I found out about Snape killing Dumbledore, and it wasn't anywhere HP related...


# I got the DVD from our belly-dance show yesterday, but haven't dared watch it yet, because what if it makes me want to give up dancing out of complete embarrassment? Which would be a pity, because we're working with a veil this semester, and I do enjoy that...


# Read Robert Menasse's Die Vertreibung aus der Hölle over the weekend, the first book in a long while that I actually read from start to finish in three days and couldn't put down. Now if I only were able to say something appropriately clever about it... Part of the problem is that it's an intelligent and complex novel that I'd probably have to reread to really discuss, because I think I missed a lot, and my brain still doesn't seem to be completely online, but more importantly it struck me as a very personal book. I've read a few reviews, and most of them dwell on the the historic elements and insist that it's actually two novels, but IMO that is wrong, at least insofar as what the book is getting at and actually discussing is something beyond the sum of the two story-lines, something for which the historic elements and the whole structure of the book serves as a vehicle, a parable, a rhetoric figure, so to speak. Essentially, IMO, it's a book about identity, specifically Jewish identity, and it seems disrespectful to analyse and make assumptions from an outsider perspective.

I guess this is where people who embrace the whole 'Death of the Author' thing have it easier. I felt uncomfortable enough talking about TM's Doktor Faustus because it's such a personal novel, even if TM himself wrote a The Making Of novella emphasising how personal a book it is, and then handed over the missing pieces with the diaries, and maybe I should dig up, finish and post that entry one of these days. Not to mention he's been dead for quite a while.


# Every time I fall in love with a new show I have the tendency to friend all kinds of communities that I barely skim anymore a few weeks later mostly because of the ratio of stuff that's worth reading vs. stuff that isn't, but sometimes keeping them around is actually useful. bbc_merlin_news linked an interesting essay by lilithilien about Tarot symbolism in Merlin. What especially struck me in view of my own lengthy ramble about The Labyrinth of Gedref was how the image of Merlin and Arthur facing each other across the table and the two cups mirrors the Two Of Cups card in a way that I don't think can be coincidental. I'm not familiar with Tarot beyond the reading un_crayon_rouge did for me once so I wasn't aware of the symbolism of the card (which essentially seems to be in keeping with the dragon's 'two halves of the same thing', and the process of getting there), or, in fact its existence, because as far as I remember it didn't turn up then, but it neatly falls into place with my own interpretation of the episode...

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
fpb
Feb. 19th, 2009 11:19 am (UTC)
OT
You might like to read this obituary, http://fpb.livejournal.com/375817.html, but at any rate there is a message for you near the centre of it.
solitary_summer
Feb. 22nd, 2009 12:50 pm (UTC)
Re: OT
Thank you for the encouragement! :)

I've gone through the photos from Salzburg from last summer recently and realised I never posted this anywhere and thought you might like it...



fpb
Feb. 22nd, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC)
Re: OT
Stunning. Take an already powerful subject and multiply its impact by well-designed placement against a black background. I am impressed out of my wits. Only one question - how can someone who renders so well the emotional impact of Christian imagery be an agnostic?
solitary_summer
Feb. 24th, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC)
Re: OT
It was the well-timed (& -placed) sunbeam, I simply have a weakness for this kind of light effect. :) The composition is mostly due to keeping the stark light/dark contrast in the picture and everything else out of it...
un_crayon_rouge
Feb. 19th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
At least you DO post, my brain seems to be to empty to do even than... And you read, another basic that I've been neglecting lately. Where did the time go? Or my brain, or something. Grah.
solitary_summer
Feb. 22nd, 2009 12:46 pm (UTC)
That was the first book I've really read since way before Christmas. Everything else is just... rereading a few pages here and there, reading a bit at work, but mostly I'm just completely unable to really focus. And there's always too little time... I need a holiday badly, but right now I really can't get one.... *sigh*
davenport_6
Feb. 20th, 2009 03:24 pm (UTC)
I've also felt very little motivation to write about anything over the last few weeks. I go through phases with my journal, I guess. Sometimes I'm positively obsessive about it -- and other times I all but ignore it. That, and my life is so boring (for the most part). . .

I want a new layout, too.
solitary_summer
Feb. 22nd, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
I go through phases with my brain, I think. Sometimes the words come easily and naturally and the urge to write is simply there, and sometimes I sit over a two paragraph entry forever, because my brain refuses to process language at all...
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