fireez: (Marvel Movies - Loki say whut)
Yesterday, my bb and I had a very interesting discussion about interpreting fictional characters, and stories in general.

The whole thing grew out of me having a rantfest about how fed up I am with pretentious SJ wankers on tumblr insisting that they have the one true interpretation of a character, and everyone who denies that is obviously not only wrong but a social justice sinner.

And I'm sitting over here making a face not unlike the one in my icon and thinking to myself "have you people ever heard of things like literary theory? Of authorial intent and reader response? How can you stand there and proclaim that your interpretation is the only valid one when there are so many other ways of seeing this?"

Saying "it's obvious that the author meant X" is being pretentious to the extreme. For one, the only person who knows what the author meant is the author himself. And if she or he is dead, good luck with asking them. And even if you can ask them, authorial intent is not the be all and end all of literary interpretation. Once you put a story out there, you are inviting others to see it through their eyes, to see it with their subjective and personal point of view. To them, the words you wrote might have an entirely different meaning than to you.

That's also something people often seem to forget. Interpretations of literature depend a lot on the person doing them. On who they are, what experiences they have had during their life, their age, the country they live in, the times they live in. The interpretations of a 20-something from the US are going to be vastly different from those of a 40-year-old Englishman in the 1890s, simply because times, values and society are different in every country and every decade.

So sitting there with your interpretation and declaring them the obvious truth is not only silly and pretentious, it's also pretty sad. You're robbing yourself of the chance to assume a different point of view, a different perspective on things. And here's where the disrespectful from the header comes in. I think it's disrespectful to any piece of literature to reduce it to one "obvious" interpretation. You are doing the story, the characters and the author a disservice if you don't at least try to see things in more than one way.

And really, what are stories if not gateways into the minds of people who are not like you? Why do people read, if not for going places, times and circumstances that they would never be able to go otherwise? It's... sad, seeing people adhere to this "one right way of seeing this" school of thought. It's what a lot of teachers in high school do. They give you marks according to how well you parrot either their own or the interpretation du jour. Doesn't matter if you can actually back your own interpretation of things up with arguments. It's not the "right" one, so it doesn't count.

Which is exactly what those people on tumblr and other platforms are doing. They're stuck in high school. Bad high school. Where there's one way of seeing things and all the others are wrong.

It's one thing I really loved, and still love, about the Watchmen fandom. You were able to have civilized, mature discussions about how the characters might be interpreted. Some people are of the opinion that Adrian is clearly a sociopath who doesn't really care about humanity as much as he cares about his own glorification. Others, like me, see it differently. And both sides can back their interpretation up with arguments. I might not be swayed by them, but I don't deny that you could see it that way. I don't insult people for thinking differently.

It's similar, only a lot more vitriolic, in the Berserk fandom. Is Griffith a sociopathic monster or not? Most people think he is, some think he isn't. But civilized discussion is a lot harder because people refuse to be, well, civilized.

So far, I've been quite impressed by the Hannibal fandom on this account. There's a discussion going as to if Hannibal cares for Will on some level, or if he's just using him as an interesting experiment, like you would a guinea pig. Or maybe he's doing both at the same time (my own interpretation) because the way thinks is just so far removed from "normal" that he can actually do both. His moral compass is so off, it doesn't even exist any more.

Basically, I think that people are robbing themselves of a lot of fun by clinging to one interpretation when it's obvious that there might be different ones. But then, I prefer intellectual excercise over intellectual masturbation.

Must read

Jun. 9th, 2013 04:29 pm
fireez: (Default)
Over the last few days, I've been devouring "Among Others" by Jo Walton. It's won both the Hugo and the Nebula award, and I can really see why. It's an amazing book, a magical realism coming of age story about books, reading and finding yourself. And unlike some other stories about books, it's not about "proper" literature or "the classics", but about SF and Fantasy (though mostly about SF). Thinking about it, that could have played a role in why it won those awards :P. Anyway, I highly recommend it. It's one of those "oh I'll read a bit and oops it's 100 pages and an hour later" books.

Also, there's a few quotes I really liked

In here )
fireez: (Marvel Movies - Erik)
So yesterday's ep of Hannibal tore me to shreds. My poor feels. But that's not what I want to talk about. I just want to share a quote from that episode that I thought was really amazing. It was said by a mother whose daughter suffers from a rare and particularly severe form of mental illness called Cotard delusion

"But mostly what I learned is how little is actually known about mental illness. All they know, it's rarely about finding solutions. It is more about managing expectations."

So true. And I wish there was more research into mental illness, but there isn't. Mostly because there isn't much funding. Because who wants to invest money into the crazies when they can research "real" illnesses. And fuck that the illness I suffer from has a mortality rate of 15-30%. Even if you don't count in the suicides, people with bipolar usually die earlier than people without the illness, simply because (wow surprise) it puts an enormous strain on the body. Oh, and meds. Let's don't forget the taking meds for life, meds that often come with a bunch of side effects that aren't all that nice.

It doesn't matter if people die because they take their own lives, because of a drug overdose, a car accident or because there is something wrong with their bodies. What matters is that people. die.

fireez: (Quotes - Geek Fangirl no apologies!)
Apologies to those who see this twice. X-posted from my fic journal [personal profile] sermocinare 

Fandom: Les Miserables
Title: Nothing to regret
Pairings/Characters: Enjolras/Grantaire, most of the other Amis are along for the ride
Rating: R (lol)
Summary: None of this would have happened if Enjolras hadn't gotten drunk with Grantaire, of all people. Then again, maybe it had been a good idea after all.
Warnings: Drunk sex, self-esteem issues
Notes: All of this grew from a friend's prompt of "Enjolras and Graintaire, drunk sex, regrets, 15 minutes late with Starbucks and a happy ending". I love my friends :P.


In the end, it all came down to the fact that Enjolras didn't drink.
fireez: (Les Mis - Enjolras gun)
So all this wank over "how dare you make a gay character" (who is never said to be gay in canon) "straight/bi/pan/asexual/etc in your fic, that is QUEER ERASURE" (by which I mean gay erasure but hey gay is the only queer that counts) has got me thinking. And this thinking has led me to play the tiniest violin for those people even more than before. Because you know what, dear shrieking crowd? 

You may get erased in fanfic. Us non-monosexuals - bi and pan - get erased in canon.

Here, I'll give you two examples.

Example one: Willow from Buffy the Vampire slayer. Willow was once in a relationship with a guy, and then she was in a relationship with a girl. Wonderful example for a possibly canon bi character, right? Only that the show's writers then decided that it would be so much better to have her say that she's a lesbian now. Now, don't get me wrong. Sexuality can change, and everyone has the right to identify as whatever they want.

That doesn't change the fact that the writers took what was a wonderful non-monosexual character and turned her into a monosexual one. In canon. Other  examples of this same thing would be Brittany and Santana from Glee. I've read some arguments about "but can't you see that we're upset because you take this wonderful, multi-faceted, amazing gay character away from us when we get so little of those". Well, hey, guess who gets even less? *points to self* Yup. Non-monosexuals. So why the fuck are you up in arms about someone writing a possibly gay character as bi- or pansexual? If you really care about representation, you should be aware of how we get fucked over even more often than you. In canon.

Like with Captain Jack Harkness. He was an amazing actually pansexual character. The only one I can remember ever seeing in mainstream media. Aaaand then the writers, silently and stealthily but still noticably, turned him gay. Gee, thanks for that. Thanks for taking the only character whom I canonically shared my sexuality with and turning him into something else. There goes my representation. Bisexuals gets some representation, but it's mostly negative, because everyone knows that someone who is attracted to both sexes is a huge slut.

And asexuals? Get pretty much the same amount of representation as pansexuals do. Read, zero. Nada. Zilch. None. But still, the wankers are up in arms if you dare turn a character into an asexual in fic.

Bunch of hypocrites. You don't give a fuck about actual queer representation. You give a fuck about gay and lesbian representation, and I can't help but think that this is because you look down on other queer sexualities. It's not unheard of. Actually, it's quite heard of that bi, pan and asexual people aren't welcome in queer "safe spaces" if they bring their opposite-gender partner along. Because if you are with an opposite-gender person, you are clearly not queer enough. You're probably straight and only doing the whole bi/pansexuality thing for attention.

And I've seen this kind of thing happen in several fandoms. Whine whine bitch REPRESENTATION but not for you you weirdos, you don't count and we don't give a shit about you.



fireez: (Misc - pillow fort)
And the drama with the ex-house continues. Now they're bitching because husband put a new wooden ceiling into the bathroom. I repeat, he PUT. IN. A. NEW. WOODEN. CEILING. Because the old one was, quite frankly, fugly and oooold, and back when we moved in, we got the OK for it. Now it's all omg how could you you should have taken that down we wanted everything the way it was.

You know what, OK. You wanted everything the way it was? Then we'll go over there and remove the tiles from the bathroom walls. We're going to shoddily glue on the tiles from the windowsill and laugh when they come down. We'll remove all the wallpaper and put back the four layers of fugliness that used to be on the walls before we busted our asses renovating that place. You want your old baseboards back because they match the hardwood floor? Gladly. At least we won't have to put any holes in them because they already got more holes than swiss cheese.

20 bucks say that they'll blame the crumbling walls on us, too. Or the fact that the plywood! walls are kind of warped. You rented us a crumbling mess. We did the best we could to make it livable.



Cut for fandom talk. Or, why I love the Hannibal fandom. )
fireez: (Monty Python - Monks)
...or, here's the biggest reason we just HAD to move.

Everyone on that street is stuck in the 50s. No, seriously.

Today, we did the inspection and handing over of the old place. And let me explain to you a thing, dear journal.

First thing: everything your landlords say when you move in will be forgottten when you move out. Including "oh, those tiles on the window sill are really old, if you want to you can replace them with whatever you like". NOPE. And yeah, OF COURSE the tiles didn't just drop off becaue they were simply glued onto a bit of polished wood, which is shoddy work if I ever saw it. NOPE. "My mother did that herself, and she always does good work. All the other tiles are still there". Well that's because they're on top of the windowsill and gravity does not work on them.

The dampness in the bathroom is TOTALLY NOT because the shutter casing is leaking. NOPE. It's because we didn't open the window after taking a shower! Also, yeah, no way the silicone in the shower has to be replaced after a few years. It's so shit because we didn't open the window!

But the worst thing came when the whole thing was basically over and we were standing in the kitchen. Apparently, they were unhappy with our cleaning job. Here's a quote for you, said to my husband: "After all, you have a wife!". Oh, and: "I only saw him (hubby) doing work in the evenings for the last two months. Something has gone really wrong, I'd say."
Oh and then I got bitched at because I smiled. No, wait "grinned". Tell you what, lady. For one, I was trying to be polite (but apparently, I should have been ashamed of myself because a woman is defined by her cleaning!). And second, you would NOT have liked the face I made seconds before that.

It looked kind of like a cross between these: 






Because really. Really?

I've been living there for like 6 years and they NEVER NOTICED that I actually have a full-time job? Where the fuck did they think I went every morning? The fucking hairdressers? Or maybe they did notice but think that a woman should have a full-time job AND to all the housework. Because we don't need things like rest or time for our hobbies. Oh and they didn't notice that I WASN'T EVEN IN TOWN for two months.

I mean seriously. This is the 21st century. There's been this thing called "feminism" and "social equality" which led to women joining the workforce and couples sharing the housework and stuff like that. But I have this feeling that this great invention totally passed our landlady and her daughter by.



I'm just.. a weird mix between flabberghasted, angry and amused.

GOD I AM SO GLAD THAT WE ARE OUT OF THERE AND LIVING IN A NEIGHBORHOOD THAT HAS ACTUALLY ARRIVED IN THE 21st CENTURY.



fireez: (Quotes - Geek Fangirl no apologies!)
Not really a review.

...I'm legitimately crying over here. Damn you, writers, for giving me all the feels.


fireez: (Misc - Caution ZOMBIES!)
So we moved house yesterday. It was EXHAUSTING.



All of the furniture we need is now over at the new place. Shittons of boxes, too. With... stuff. Which shall be slowly unpacked. Gwyn was the last thing that was moved.

But the new place is totally worth it. There will be pictures once the boxes are unpacked. There's so much light in here! Our old place was kind of dark, and now... LIGHT. Windows everywhere. Two sides of the apartment are basically made of windows. We have two balconies, one smaller one and one HUGE one. Every room has a door that leads outside. I have my own kitchen which is MINE and looks amazing because purple accents. There's less space in here, but we'll make do.

So much still to do.

Did I mention that I now have a bathtub? Because I do.

Back to unpacking boxes.

fireez: (Les Mis - Enjolras gun)
This is a crosspost from my tumblr. I want to keep it because reasons.

Background for those interested: there's a huuuuuge wankfest/shipwar going on because some people dare ship Enjolras with Eponine. Now this is a total crack pairing, but hey, whatever floats your ship, right? Only that some angry SJWankers and Enjolras/Grantaire shippers took this as an opportunity to cry out "omg queer erasure!!!". I think you all know my opinion on that kind of thing. But yeah. Getting all worked up about "how dare you take this canonically queer character away from us". Which btw is not true because HUGO SAYS NOTHING ABOUT ENJOLRAS' SEXUALITY OK? Not. one. word. Besides "he don't have time for that shit, he busy with revolution".

And now for my post, which explains why this makes me SO. FUCKING. ANGRY.

My two cents on the whole  )
fireez: (Monty Python - Monks)
...or, thank Cthulhu it's finally over.
Spoilers )

In short:
Dear Len Wein,

fireez: (Marvel Movies - Erik)
My bb linked me to this a while ago, and I'm reblogging it because I think that everyone who wants to be able to understand what it's like to live with depression should have a look at this: http://www.depressionquest.com/

Comes with a trigger warning for people who are already depressed.
fireez: (Misc - Steampunk Vigilante)
Since our original plan of going to an Abney Park concert didn't work out after all, the husband and I decided to go do a bit of window-shopping for kitchens and then drive on to Essen and see Les Mis in the cinema.

See, in Germany, we have this really weird custom about how people take their kitchen along when they move. And I don't mean the fridge or the stove. I mean the whole fucking kitchen, cupboards and all. When you rent somewhere, chances are that there's no kitchen in there. So far, we've managed to move around without having to aquire a kitchen of our own, but our new aparatment will need one. Thus, window-shopping for kitchens, to get some ideas, and see how much it will cost us.

And then, Les Miserables. In the most awesome movie theatre ever. It was one of those really old ones, huge and with a balcony, which we of course were seated on. Because balcony.

Spoilers for Les Mis, as if you didn't know the story anyway )

fireez: (Marvel Movies - Loki say whut)
This time: crime and punishment. Though the punishmet is more on the side of the viewer.

So I've started to watch a new crime/serial killer show, "The Following". I just can't resist a good serial killer story. And this one sounded really interesting - an ex-literature professor whose killings were inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe, and who has built a cult around himself and the premise of Poe as an inspiration for killing. Oh, and he's using the whole thing as a kind of live-action writing process.

Unfortunately, the premise is the only good thing about this show.

Very slight spoilers )

SPN review

Feb. 10th, 2013 07:37 am
fireez: (Quotes - Geek Fangirl no apologies!)
Might as well get into the habit again ;).

Mostly because the Men of Letters are my new favorite thing.

Spoilers )
fireez: (Marvel Movies - Tony tech)
also known as "fuck you Tony, stop ruining my life"



And then there was this baby and OMG BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH I think I have a nosebleed now




fireez: (Marvel Movies - Black Widow boom)
...even though he was an editor on it. Or maybe he just really really hates and really really doesn't get the character of Adrian Veidt.

A spoilerish essay by a disgruntled fan )
fireez: (Monty Python - Monks)
First, Ozymandias. Worst first, heh.

God that was painful. Not in the good way that Minutemen was, but in the "this is so bad it hurts" way. But then, that's what I expected.

Len Wein once again managed to completely screw up the characterization and turn the story into a total yawnfest. Seriously, I am sick and heavily medicated, and I could have come up with something better than this.

Spoilers and macros and a Monty Python sketch )

And as an extra, the Dollar Bill oneshot, which was sadly also written by Len Wein. Which becomes pretty obvious once you read it because the storytelling device is the same - which is rather silly, because come on, narrating your own autobiography when you're DEAD??? - and the language is pretty similar. Pretty sure Dollar Bill didn't talk like that. Whatever.

Some spoilers )

Once again, my battle cry is "Why couldn't Darwyn Cooke write this one, too???"

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