I haven’t been posting much, because I’ve been stressed out and busy and tired, and who wants to hear about that?
I have, however, accumulated a couple of mildly interesting (I hope) things to post about.
( the Watchmen movie )
* Then the next night, jaydk
and I saw Coraline
. Proof that you don't need to be "edgy" to make a good movie: it was far better than Watchmen
. Smart, funny, well-written, beautifully filmed--the 3D was absolutely lovely. The story was creative and intriguing and eerie, and the lead character was clever and brave. Why do childrens' stories do such a superior job of portraying three-dimensional female characters? Is it just that we've been culturally conditioned to be unable to fathom a post-pubescent female in a way that doesn't put her sexuality front and center?
* I'm seeing a lot of talk about Doctor Who
finale casting spoilers. As far as I can tell, they're from a tabloid that regularly makes shit up, so why is anyone taking them seriously? Am I missing something? (This is a genuine question. Is there any reason to believe them? I don't want to get excited about something that's completely fabricated.)
* I'm reading Team of Rivals
, Doris Kearns Goodwin's book about Lincoln and his cabinet. It's really interesting and I'm enjoying it, but I wish she'd stop spelling out what the reader is "supposed" to think. I can make up my own mind about what these guys did and why they did it; I don't need the author inserting her own explanation that so-and-so was arrogant and ambitious on every page. Still, it's mostly good. After being so absorbed in the 2008 election, it's fascinating to see how American politics worked 150 years ago.
* And I'm still in the middle of The Disorderly Knights
. I'm going to finish it and then take a break from the Lymond series, since it's been less than six months since I re-read Pawn in Frankincense
. Speaking of which, my mom just finished it and is in awe. In retrospect, I think Pawn
is the best written and most moving book of the series.
( the Moonlight TV series )
Also, maybe it's just that I don't watch modern American TV anymore, but ... what is with the women
? As in, they are all exactly the same: tiny, emaciated, sharp-featured, and young. No matter what character they're playing--boss, geek girl, random vampire--they are all pulled from such an incredibly narrow archetype of "woman" that it's just completely absurd. Watching a show like this, you'd never even imagine that women exist on planet Earth larger than a size four, older than thirty-five, and without those sharp facial angles that Hollywood defines as "beautiful." At least the men are allowed to have some
diversity of age, size, and facial features, depending on the character they're playing, but every single woman first has to fit into this absurdly narrow definition of "attractive" before anything else is taken into account.
This is why I can barely watch American TV anymore. Once you step away from it for a while, you come back and suddenly it's like being hit over the head by how ridiculous
it is. This narrow bunch of nearly-identical Hollywood model types plays pretty much every female character and the majority of male characters. Sure, an occasional talent pops through, but it's painfully obvious that these people are cast almost entirely for their looks with no regard for skill. You end up with a bunch of interchangeable Barbies and Kens running around posing as every variety of adult human being. How am I supposed to take any of it seriously?
* But speaking of American TV that doesn't
suck, I have become completely addicted to The Rachel Maddow Show
. It passes the Bechdel Test every night! Real women talk to each other about real issues! With none of the insipid concessions to what "women" are supposed to care about--no celebrity gossip, no plastic surgery, no cooking and baking, no fashion bullshit, just women as real individual human beings, with their own perspectives, who care about the world around them. (This shouldn't be such a shock and a rarity!) And Rachel is brilliant, witty, funny, sweet, and adorable beyond words. I know she's not perfect and I do disagree with her sometimes, but I always love watching her. She makes me wish Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert would do less joking and more news--after I watch her show, I feel like I'm not getting enough content from them. (Don't worry, I still love them. Jon Stewart's smackdown of Jim Cramer
was a thing of beauty.)
* Oh, and I'm still listening to David Bowie. Ziggy Stardust
remains my favorite, but I've added Hunky Dory
, Aladdin Sane
, and Diamond Dogs
to the lineup and am enjoying them all. I tried to listen to Scary Monsters
on the advice of my friend Jason, but aside from "Ashes to Ashes" it just totally didn't work for me. I don't understand what happened to Bowie in the 80s. It's like he went from brilliant and hot and amazing to ... just ... so boring and annoying and straight
. Maybe I'll understand it better if I take each album chronologically. Or it could just be the Bowie draws from the zeitgeist of the decade, and the 80s was ... well, the 80s.
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