alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)

a promo pic from the movie or something, i dunno )

Apparently Krysten's the second female lead in a new movie. The female lead is Isla Fisher (who?!); the male lead is Hugh Dancy (again, who?!).* Members of the cast I actually recognize include Joan Cusack, John Goodman, Lynn Redgrave, and John Lithgow.

As much as I love Krysten, I think I'll wait for this one to go to video.

As for the other item in my voicepost, I've been listening to the LibriVox version of New Chronicles of Rebecca on my mp3 player, after having listened to Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm a couple of months ago (that being my first introduction to the book, spoken or written).

*This is me being too lazy to look up the unicode for an interrobang.
alixtii: The groupies from Dr. Horrible. (meta)
My post the other night on person and tense was, admittedly, about equal parts tl;dr and navel-gazing (but then, that can describe most non-fiction posts in this journal), but its contents did also point towards a conclusion that I didn't draw then but will now: that our talk of "tenses" and "persons" in reference to fiction are oversimplifications, grammatical terms that just can't handle narrative. Is "Requiem at Reichenbach" (or "The Tell-Tale Heart" or Frankenstein or whatever) told in present tense or past tense? Is it in first-person or second-person? (I'd say the first, since it's Moriarty's rather Holmes' thoughts which we are privy to, but I've received plenty of comment discussing my use of the second-person.) One of my dreams is to write a novel told in alternating narratives, one in first-person and second-person, which finally culminates in "I" meeting "you" at the end.

Not to mention the possibilities like "first-person omniscient" or "third-person telepathic"--the latter being a POV I've written quite a bit, thanks to River and Drusilla.

Janet Burroughway in her textbook Writing Fiction (which I loved in high school because it was much more in-depth and complex than any creative writing work I've read before or since) provides as an alternative a series of questions, only two of which ("Who speaks?" and "To whom?") I remember off the top of my head, but my impulse when encountering a broken system isn't to create a newer, better, much-improved system but instead to ask whether it wasn't the systematizing impulse itself that was flawed in the first place.

Now I'm re-reading my post alongside Kristina Busse's blogpost on Speranza’s Written By the Victors as Exemplary Fantext and the resonances are striking. Victors, which is a novel-length SGA fic I have not read, is made of exactly the phenomena I was discussing on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning) a situation where the narrative itself exists diegetically within the fictional universe. Victors includes seemingly contradictory narratives which are nonetheless assumed to exist within the same fictional universe (i.e. the narratives themselves exist within the same fictional universe, but the events they describe cannot be reconciled and thus do not)--the situation "Requiem at Reichenbach" is in when read alongside the original canon narrated by Watson.

Requiem at Reichenbach: Moriarty's memories of Holme's first case <-- Moriarty's internal monologue as he falls at Reichenbach <-- Alixtii writing a fic for [ profile] yuletide
Conan Doyle's canon: The adventures of Sherlock Holmes <-- Watson's chronicling of his friends' adventures <-- Sir Arthur writing stories in The Strand

It's the two events in green (and not the two events in red) which are assumed to exist within the same universe--since all of the events in red cannot even exist in the same universe with each other; at the very least, it would be necessary to choose between the Moriarty backstory we are given in "The Final Problem" (where Watson first hears of Moriarty when Holmes is already running for his life) and The Valley of Fear (in which both Watson and Scotland Yard are fully aware of Holmes' obsession well before the events of "The Final Problem" are assumed to take place), which cannot be (easily?) reconciled with each other. To preserve the illusion, we construct the interpretation such that it is Watson rather than Doyle who has made a mistake. (Cf. other works of Sherlockiana, the most famous of course being The Seven-Percent Solution.) And none of this even touches on the subject of Watson's war wound or the question of how Moriarty brothers there were and how many of them were named James. Or the fact that there are stories in Doyle's canon which are not narrated by Watson.

That Doyle's canon has these features is, of course, no surprise: it is the text which gave birth to fandom.

Moriarty in "Requiem" has read the Watsonian canon pre-"The Final Problem" (which is of course assumed to be identical to the corresponding Doylist canon); he even makes a direct reference to a line in A Study in Scarlet at one point, when he compares his own first impressions of Holmes with those of Watson. The sketch we get in canon leaves the status of these diegetic writings rather in doubt; fanon generally imports as much information from the actual world into the fictional world as possible, so that Watson's stories were published in The Strand under Doyle's name, etc. (This line of logic leaves us to assume that all of the people who searched out Holmes to solve their mysteries within the canon after reading Watson's accounts didn't understand the notion of fiction.)

For Kristina, this type of scenario "mirrors fannish and academic disputes in analysis and interpretation by asking the reader to weigh the different historical accounts and documents against one another. As [she has] argued before, fan fiction does not consist only of individual works of art but must be approached as a collectively written, highly intertextual, internally contradictory text which is continually being written through the use of various modes of interface."

This all so very postmodern.


While the use of texts within texts is a common postmodern trope, it also predates postmodernism by several thousand years, unless we are to consider Homer to have been a postmodern when s/he had Odysseus relate to the Phoenician king the story of his journey. OTOH, if one accepts (as I do) along with Umberto Eco that the postmodern is a mode of reading rather than a mode of writing, than The Odyssey is totally fair game. After all, I once wrote a fifteen-page paper in undergrad on Troilus and Criseyde as postmodern text. (Note that T&C also contains multiple contradictory texts-within-texts!)
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The book I ordered, Alice's Adventures: Lewis Carroll in Popular Culture by Will "I'm Not Allowed to Say I Think Hayden Panettiere Is Hot" Brooker, has arrived. I'll tell you what I think of it when I've finished. That means, so far, I've gotten books by this guy, [ profile] henryjenkins, and [ profile] rozk, but I'm still waiting for [ profile] kbusse_blog's book to show up. Woes.


I posted fic Tuesday night, Emma and Kitty acting out one of the femslashier (and cross-gen-y) scenes from "The Snow Queen," in a way which actually fits into AXM canon. I thought my flist would eat it up. (Apparently not?)


Courtesy of [ profile] slammerkinbabe: The Roberts Court continues to prove itself activist. (N.B.: My intent is to make fun of the "activist" meme, not to endorse it. There are times when when the Court should be activist [I have a very expansive view of Constitutional rights] and times when it shouldn't. The best government isn't the government which governs least, but the one which governs best. In other words, I'm unashamedly partisan.) Actually, looking at the front page of the New York Times, "activist" doesn't really begin to cover it. God they were busy. (And conservative. Oh, so very conservative. Much more than I actually expected, really. I guess stare decisis is a thing of the past.)


Earlier today, I was confused whether it should be "Do you want Mom and me to go to the store?" or "Do you want Mom and I to go to the store?" On reflection, taking out "Mom and" makes it pretty clear that the "correct" pronoun is "me" (as one would never say "Do you want I to go to the store?") but I'm still not sure why that is the case, or what all of the pieces in that sentence are doing. Sentences that I can't diagram vex me.


The rector at my parish, who will be retiring shortly (woes!), gave me two books by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in order to clear out his own collection. I've only browsed through them, but in general I have to say I find theological works from that era absolutely fascinating, since besides a few pages of Tillich that I read and fell in love with in high school (yes, my Catholic high school had Tillich in its library) I've pretty much only read theology that was written since 1970 (mostly feminist, postmodernist, and/or liberationist theology) or else stuff like Aquinas and Augustine. The specific set of problems that a 1960's theology needed to address is similar in many ways to those of today, but alongside Beyond God the Father, Ecology & Liberation, and The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida it sort of ends up looking rather quaint, if you know what I mean. (OTOH, some parts I read and I totally go "OMG, I can't believe he just said that.")
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
This is how it works: Comment on this entry that you'd like to play, and I will give you a letter.Write ten words beginning with that letter in your journal, including an explanation what the word means to you and why, and then pass out letters to those who want to play along.

From [ profile] wisdomeagle, the letter E:

Read more... )
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessèd face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice
alixtii: The famous painting by John Singer Sargent of Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth holding the crown. Text: "How many children?" (Shakespeare)
Title: Requiem at Reichenbach
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Rating: PG
Summary: It is as if the whole universe were set in motion to bring us to this moment, Holmes.
A/N: Written for [ profile] yuletide. The version of this story in the Yuletide Archive (and the corresponding comments) can be found here.

Requiem at Reichenbach )
alixtii: The feet of John Henry and Savannah, viewed under the table, Savannah's not reaching the ground.  (Dark Champions)
Title: 2+2=5
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Main Character: Principal Snyder
Other Characters: Rupert Giles, Harmony Kendall, Xander Harris, Andrew Wells
Rating: G
Summary: "To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies—all this is indispensably necessary."
A/N: Apologies to [ profile] likeadeuce for a brief reference to a brilliant albeit unfinished comedic masterpiece whose title, contents, and url I seem to have misplaced.

2+2=5 )
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
When I was at the Best Buy looking for a birthday present for my brother, I came across the BBC's The Bernard Shaw Collection on DVD and of course I had to have it, seeing as Shaw is my favorite playwright. I ended up watching The Millionairess first because I haven't read or seen the play and because Maggie Smith rules.

It was everything it promised to be. Maggie Smith pwns everyone and anyone, including the criminologist from Rocky Horror, and ends up falling in love with the Fourth Doctor disguised as an Egyptian.

I am so full of squee.
alixtii: Peter and Susan, in extreme close-up. (incest)
Consider some texts, all of which count as fannish on my flist (if nowhere else):
  • Veronica Mars: A sixteen-year-old girl defies parental authority in many ways including, but not limited to, having sexual relations with three different individuals. (Admittedly this behavior led to her death, but the show consistently portrayed Lilly Kane in a mostly positive light.) After her death, her best friend defies parental and civil authorities by engaging in a series of investigations bringing many things to light. Ultimately, these authorities learn that the best course of action is to let Veronica run her course: upon finding his daughter in a coat closet, Keith remarks, "Yep, that's mine," and upon her graduation Van Clemens admits that he doesn't know if her absence will make his life easier or harder.
  • Matilda: A six-year-old (in bookverse) girl defies parental authority by playing a series of practical jokes on her parents and, when they are forced to flee the country, convincing them to sign over guardianship to a Miss Jennifer Honey, with whom in movieverse Matilda has a relationship of equals.
  • The Secret Garden: Defying the parental authority of her uncle and guardian Archibald Craven, as well as his surrogates Mrs. Medlock and Dr. Craven, Mary Lennox enters a forbidden girl garden and carries on a secret relationship with her cousin Colin, effecting his cure in the process.
  • A Little Princess: Even before Sarah Crewe is forced to withstand the authority of Miss Minchin, the text takes pains to underscore the girl's adult nature and the egalitarian character of her relationship with her father, who treats her as a miniature adult. It also uses the word "queer" a lot.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Four children defy the authority of the parental surrogates by hiding in a wardrobe, where they wage a war against the evil witch Jadis and save a magical world, becoming Kings and Queens in the process.
  • The Parent Trap: Two twin eleven-year-old girls defy parental authority by secretly switching places and living each others' lives. In the process, they manipulate their parents into meeting and falling in love again.
  • As You Like It: Two cousins defy parental and civil authority when they enter the forest to escape the rule of the evil Duke Frederick.
  • Harry Potter: Not that I've ever read the books, but a twelve-year-old boy defies the parental authority of his aunt and uncle by becoming a wizard. At the school of wizardry, three children operate outside of the school authority, continually disobeying the explicit directives of their professors, and in the process triumph again and again, presumably culminating in the defeat of the Dark Lord. While what the professors were thinking is debated, one theory is that it was their plan from the beginning to let these children run loose, recognizing they would be able to succeed where adults would fail. In any event, the disobedience of these children is celebrated by the professors as the children win the House Cup year after year.
  • Robert A. Heinlein: Where to begin? From Podkayne to Peewee to Laz and Lor, this is a multiverse chock full of supercompetent teenagers who either operate outside the bounds of, or are forced to defy, parental authority.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Another case of "Do I really need to say anything here?"
All of these texts act out a specific type of wish-fulfillment fantasy: the usurpation of parental authority by a child who is revealed to be more intellectually mature than her adult counterparts. It is a fantasy that pings powerfully for me (as well as many others), even now that I am no longer quite a teenager. It is an especially potent expression of the will to power, being beyond all authorities because one is just that good, ubermensch.

It is no coincidence that Sunnydale and Neptune each has one good parent, Joyce Summers and Keith Mars respectively. (Actually Neptune, while including a huge number of bad parents, isn't quite so bad as Sunnydale. Both Wallace and Jackie have parents who all, in the whole, good parents, and the Mackenzies and Sinclairs are not really bad parents despite their inability to meaningfully engage their respective [adopted] daughters.) Parents in this type of fantasy are like governments: King Log is to be preferred to King Stork, and the parent who parents least parents best.

This is the context in which fictional incest thrives. While "in the real world" (how I loathe that phrase!) incest, cross-gen, and mentor/teacher relationships all are problematic due to issues of consent, these difficulties disappear in the face of the radically autonomous children of the adolescent fantasy. Of course Lilly, Veronica, Matilda, Mary, Sara, Susan, Annie, Hallie, Rosalind, Celia, Hermione, Podkayne, Peewee, Laz, Lor, Dawn, and all the rest are capable of consent--the very nature of the fantastic world in which they exist assures they are capable of anything.

Keith/Veronica, Matilda/Jenny, Mary/Neville, Crewecest, Peter/Susan, Annie/Hallie, Rosalind/Celia, Hermione/McGonagall, Laz/Lor, Dawn/Giles: these are not pairings that Ari and I invented in our minds. For me (I won't speak for anyone else), the sexualization of these relationships is a response to--and a reaffirmation of--the fantastic element which attracted me to these texts in the first place: the radical autonomy of the pre/teen characters.


And I really should finish that "Buffy as Nietzschean Ubermensch" essay.
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
Since everyone else is doing it (at least [ profile] likeadeuce and [ profile] penknife), I will too. There are two things which are almost certainly on the list:

X. The novels of Robert A. Heinlein (so I can request Lapuz Lazuli Long/Lorelai Lee Long twincest, probably, although there's plenty of other interesting pairings, as the multiverse is so rich).

X. The Parent Trap (1999), Hallie Parker/Annie James twincest. (And, hee!)

[ETA: The really sad thing is that, in my head, Laz and Lor are played by Lindsay Lohan.]

I don't really know how [ profile] yuletide requests work. How specific a prompt does one provide? It couldn't be too specific, obviously, since just matching up fandoms is so much of a chore that they need to make computers do it. . . .

So, what else? (I'm assuming the fandom in my icon doesn't count as "rare," or else I'd try to get some more Rosalind/Celia. Which is definitely being put in my LJ interests, stat.)

X. The Truman Show, Truman/Sylvia.
X. My Summer of Love?
X. FHB? Previously years have had some really nice Little Princess and Secret Garden fics.
X. Shaw? I dunno, Violet/Anna or something? Or, I know--Eliza/Clara!
X. Stoppard? I need to reread Arcadia.
X. I really don't know!

ETA: And to keep a list of any new ideas )
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
Book meme )

Gakked from [ profile] witchqueen, with some alterations:
Post a link to your fan fiction. The goal is this -- when you spot the meme, click on the link to that person's fanfic and pick something you haven't read before or never commented on when you did read it. The goal is to send feedback for something that you genuinely love reading. Point out lines you loved, style choices you adored, that hot little thing that happened in the middle of the smut. Anything that you love to pieces.

You can do it as many times as you want for anybody you want but hopefully you should try to do it every time you see the meme. This way, for the next week or so, people will be getting all kinds of nice comments from people about their stuff, and I don't know about anybody else, but that always makes me happy. :) Plus, you might read something new that you missed before.
My fic index, as always, is here.

Also, in one meme or another I saw on my flist, there were the questions "Do you believe in heaven?" and "Do you believe in abortion?" For the record, I don't believe in anything. Instead, I utilize cognitive models to structure my experience. (Heaven is beyond experience, so meaningful human thought about it just isn't possible; the best for which we can hope is to resort to metaphor.) I am pro-choice, a feminist, a Christian, a Discordian, etc. but I don't believe in any of them--they are patterns of belief--or, more acurately, of interpretations.
alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
  • Sign at my work:

    A real "I don't think that means what you think it means" moment.

  • I have the maturity of a junior high student today, and I think it is really funny that Frances Hodgson Burnett is so fond of the word "queer."

  • What do these two things have in common?

    I will tell you. They both make very good introductions to a post about the author-function. I've been talking about author-functions a lot recently, but to some of you it may have seemed like I just began talking about a strange new concept out of the blue. I explain it in my thesis, but that is unfortunately a) flocked and b) long. And some of you are fluent enough in theory to catch my references, but having read Foucault really shouldn't be a requirement for being able to follow my line of thought in this journal.

    So hopefully, the two relatively real-world examples of the author-function at work given above will help me explain it. In the first case, I can say "I don't think that means what you think it means" because I can reconstruct what (I think or imagine that) the author meant--that people who are not authorized to enter alone can becomes authorized-of-with-an-escort--even though I find it at odds with the "literal meaning" of the words. What is at stake is the difference between two ways of constructing an author-function.

    In the second case, I know what "queer" means today, and I can use it to even further tease out some (in retrospect, rather blatant) subtext to be found in FHB's stories. At the same time, I know that that use of "queer" wasn't as common or as widespread as it is today when FHB was writing. So I can read FHB's texts in two different ways: the gay version, and the "normal" version.

    Neither of these two reading practices, despite the fact that they both rely on a conception of an author, are illegitimate. Indeed, any theory of signification that would render such common practices of reading would be by that a fact a reductio ad absurdim argument against itself. These are common, everyday moves which we have to be allowed to make.

    But they are not moves which involve authors. At least not real authors, not living flesh-and-blood authors who smoke cigars and read the Guardian and have opinions of their own--God no. What both moves ultimately rely on is an idea of an author, constructed by the reader primarily from the text with help from some extratextual sources (my knowledge of the English language in both cases, my knowledge of common business practices and the conventions of door sign messages in the first case, my knowledge of the history of the word "queer" and the linguistic landscape of the Edwardian age in the second case). The actual author is nowhere in sight, and so the intentional fallacy has not been committed.

    Here are some examples from Richard Lederer's linguistically-suspect (suspect because it relies sometimes on "rules" that aren't, most commonly rules about modifier placement) Anguished English. In each case, we manage to extract the "meaning" of a hypothetical author "in opposition to the literal meaning of the words" even though we know absolutely nothing about the actual author. We are utilizing only the texts in front of us, because we have nothing else at hand, but we are doing so in a way which involves speaking and thinking about authors. We aren't engage in strict exegesis as such, but a form of imaginative play:

    The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind, and they can be seen in the church basement Friday afternoon. [We "recognize" that the "author" meant "cast-off" (an adjective) instead of "cast off" (a verb and preposition), but we can also understand and snicker at the femslashy version. The two ways of reading the sentence do different things, but neither way is right or wrong.]

    For Sale. Three canaries of undermined sex. [We "know" the "author" "really meant" "undetermined." But how do we know?]

    Once I came across the idea of the author-function, in Foucault's "What is an Author?" I struggled with the idea. How was Foucault arguing we should engage the texts? Should we privelege authorial intent, or not? Was historical/biographical/cultural knowledge relevant, or not? Of course, the frustrating thing about Foucault is that he rarely argues anything. The few normative statements he makes are usually ones his method clearly cannot support, and leave the reader scratching their head and wondering how he could possibly write something so bone headed.

    But a few months later, as I was working on my honors thesis, and trying to figure out how exactly one extracted the meaning of Nineteen Eighty-Four (a meaning that was precisely the opposite of its ostensible meaning), it suddenly clicked. Of course the author isn't a person, but a discursive function! How could it be anything else? I asked myself.

    This allows the critic, as [ profile] hermionesviolin has pointed out to me, to have their cake and eat it too. And as I am a fan of cake--especially chocolate cake--this is a good thing.
    alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
    If you happen to be working on some creative writing project, fanfiction or NaNoWriMo or what have you, post exactly one sentence (or more) from each of your current work(s) in progress in your journal. It should probably be your favourite or most intriguing sentence so far, but what you choose is entirely your discretion. Mention the title (and genre) if you like, but don't mention anything else -- this is merelyto whet the general appetite for your forthcoming work(s).

    Captains Courageous )

    To Live in Hearts )

    Africana Seductrix )

    Untitled Sequel to 'Permutations' )

    Untitled Narnia RPF/BtVS crossover )

    Gakked from [ profile] likeadeuce (who actually dreamt it up, if I'm not mistaken, because she felt evil and wanted to mislead) and then from [ profile] buffyannotater (whose poll this one resembles more), see if you can guess the following.

    1) Shakespeare Play
    2) Non-Shakespeare Play
    3) Playwright
    4) TV show
    5) Novel
    6) Musical
    7) Movie
    8) Screenwriter
    9) Actress
    10) Season of Angel

    Also, ask me for top five lists, and I will provide you with the top things in the category you requested. Gakked from [ profile] inlovewithnight.
    alixtii: The feet of John Henry and Savannah, viewed under the table, Savannah's not reaching the ground.  (Dark Champions)
    [ profile] deliriumdriver was discussing V for Vendetta (the movie version, not the comic) in a flocked post on her journal, and it had me thinking about my own reaction to the movie. No one (and by "no one" I mean "neither [ profile] deliriumdriver nor I") denies that it's a powerful emotional experience while one is in the theatre, but there is a sense in which it sort of falls apart when one thinks about it afterwards. (As opposed to, say, Donnie Darko, which had me screaming at the screen all through the ostensibly science-fictional parts because they made NO SENSE WHATSOEVER.)

    Politically I suspect I am sympathetic to the views of the filmmakers, and I don't have any problem in principle with a movie being intended to be used to promote a political agenda; the intentional fallacy almost ensures the result will be richer and broader than the filmmakers intended. Some of my favorite literary works, from Shaw's plays to Rand's novels, were intended to serve as polemics (but succeed as literature for me insofar as they are read as failing at those intended goals; Shaw was a horrible polemicist because he always gave the devil the best lines). After all, texts don't speak with moral voices, or rather with a unified moral voice, speaking differently to different people in different situations in different places and times (who speak, so to speak, different languages).

    Although from an aesthetic viewpoint I suppose I prefer a little more ambiguity à la Shaw (although the movie did impose ambiguity at points, and I suppose asking for the ambiguity to be "resolved" would mean asking for the movie to no longer be ambiguous), but I don't know what political message the movie was trying to make--or, to avoid the intentional fallacy, I'm clueless how I should be constructing the author-function. I mean, texts don't speak with a moral voice in themselves, but the message to me in this socio-historical moment was . . . I'm not sure. I guess I walked away with a feeling that dystopian governments are bad. Which is all fine and good, but did I really need to be convinced of that? Does anyone?

    The claim that there is a point at which a government's authority becomes illegitimate and the only solution is violent insurrection is one that I can respect (and which, at its extremes, I suppose I hold--as probably everyone who is not a pacifist does). But the movie doesn't seem to answer the question of at what point a government has usurped its own authority, so I don't quite see what the point of the exercise was. There are not-stupid arguments that we have already reached that point, as Bush (or at least, Bush's lawyers) seems to be of the opinion that under Article Four he has the right to do whatever he deems necessary without oversight which to me is an interpretation of the text which makes Roe v. Wade look downright conservative.

    And on some levels I'm just an idealist: is it better to live in a flawed government (and how flawed is flawed?) or to die for an ideal one. I'm already on the record that I'd rather a person let the Earth be destroyed than compromise their ideals, and this seems to be a related sort of ethical dilemma. I'd rather let terrorists blow up America than let people's civil liberties be infringed upon*, because otherwise what we're left with isn't really America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. And practically speaking, I have to admit that this isn't a realistic perspective (hence the idealism).

    *Anyway to rephrase this sentence so the preposition isn't at the end of the clause? It's one of those passive constructions I'm so interested in, like "who(m) was whispered to."

    As far as I can tell, V for Vendetta just channels (from the viewpoint of the filmmakers [at least as I construct the author-function] righteous and legitmate) anger with Bush and the current administration to a strawman (which I suppose considering the tradition of Guy Fawkes' Day is somehow strangely appropriate) and if anything I think that hurts their (my?) cause, because I walked out of that that theatre complacent with my life (it was better than the fictional England!--even though on reflection I'm not 100% sure how so) rather than, say, formulating plans to blow up the White House (or, as a nice middle ground, ready to fill out a cheque to send to the ACLU). (Which reminds me I really should fill out a cheque to send to the ACLU. Why am I putting it off*?)

    "Off" is acting as an adverb in this question, if I'm not mistaken. Or else "put it off" just counts as idiomatic.)

    I think my initial response to V for Vendetta was that I was too close to the events to really judge, and I think that was a wise stance. I mean, Nineteen Eighty-Four--on which most of you know I did my honors thesis--is a pretty shallow book if one reads it as a diatribe against Communism (or the Catholic Church or the BBC), and my English teacher who said that Animal Farm isn't "really" about animals, but "really" about Russians, plain didn't understand symbolism. (Animal Farm is "really" about animals and figuratively about Russians--but it's also figuratively about a lot of other things since symbolism is never an A for B substitution the way metaphor is.) (And a simile is a type of metaphor, except insofar as it isn't really a type of figurative language since similes are literally true.) (Most of my teachers probably didn't understand symbolism, which signals to me either a) I don't understand symbolism, or b) our educational system--both public and private--is a mess.) Brave New World--well, one of the things I like about Brave New World is that I can't reduce it to a single line of thought; I have no clue against what Huxley thought he was complaining. He's a little like Shaw in that respect I suppose (and I suppose that Brave New World Revisited could be seen as the equivalent of one of Shaw's prologues).

    So the conclusion, insofar as there is one, seems to be that I should stop searching for V for Vendetta's moral voice (because it doesn't have one) and enjoy it (or not enjoy it, whichever the case may be) solely as a work of art, one which asks questions but does not provide answers. This is, of course, the type of hermeneutical process I outlined in my honors thesis, suggested for use on the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, based on part on this passage from Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus:
    6.53 The correct method in philosophy would really be the following: to say nothing except what can be said, i.e. propositions of natural science—i.e. something that has nothing to do with philosophy—and then, whenever someone else wanted to say something metaphysical, to demonstrate to him [sic] that he [sic] had failed to give a meaning to certain signs in his [sic] propositions. Although it would not be satisfying to the other person—he [sic] would not have the feeling that we were teaching him [sic] philosophy—this method would be the only strictly correct one.
    And because it seems an appropriate way to end this post, and because it's just that awesome, and because some of you might not be aware of it: Philosophy Songs, a site full of philosophical song parodies including "Antinomy" (to the tune of "Chim Chim Cheree"), "Solipsism is Painless," "Hume on the Brain," and (my favorite) "Supererogationisticextraobligation"!


    Jul. 26th, 2006 03:48 pm
    alixtii: Player from <i>Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?</i> playing the game. (Default)
    Convince me not to write Neville/Mary The Secret Garden musicalverse, please? Kthxbye.
    alixtii: Drusilla holding a knife to Angel's throat. Text: "Got Freud?" (Freud)
    After I accidentally deleted my open windows at skip=525, I worked my way back through my flist, reopening the windows, and IE crashed at skip=475. At that point, I gave up, and I'm just going to rely on newsletters to catch up. If anything interested, don't be afraid to drop a link in the comments.

    Speaking of which, meta on reading texts, detective novels, Veronica Mars, and of course the will-to-power ).

    I hope to do some longer and more sustained meta later, particularly a craft-of-writing on how we structure fic and how only a subset of fics are strictly speaking "stories," but as my life is going at the moment that "later" promises to be very long from now.

    Okay, back to watching the Lindsay Lohan Parent Trap on ABC Family. I really love this film, but a Londoner likes to eat her Oreos with peanut butter? WTF?

    Where is the Annie/Hallie twincest?

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