solitary_summer: (kamille)
Hu. Because I seem to be in a writerly mood again all of a sudden, I went through my notes from rewatching Buffy - the whole of it; I actually made it through all seven seasons, albeit with the occasional bit of fastforwarding, as well as binge-watching over the Christmas holidays.

BtVS S 1-7 )


Wesley in BtVS and AtS )

solitary_summer: (emu)
Brainless update.

Buffy 2.09/10 and that... thing with the things is the grossest and most disgusting thing I've ever not seen (or heard, because I was screwing my eyes shut and stuck my fingers in my ears) on TV DVD, and hello, phobia. Also, the early Buffy/Angel is a bit boring when you already know where it's headed, and too much of man, woman, on screen = love story, very little work necessary. Or maybe it's that I don't really like Angel very much. In a nutshell, I prefer Spike's brand of stalkery creepiness to Angelus' sociopathic nastiness, and there's always too much of Angelus in Angel, too close to the surface, and he knows it. Spike retained more humanity, even as a vampire, Angelus pushes all my wrong buttons.


Pretty much decided I'll skip Russian class tomorrow. I stupidly agreed on Tuesday instead of today, but I've got a sore throat again and I'm too tired and braindead to even do my homework, I can't do eight hours of work, followed by Russian class, followed by belly-dancing class, home at 10, it's the last before Christmas, I'm planning to study a lot over the holidays, I'm better than anyone else anyway, and who the hell am I justifying myself to? Myself, I guess.

~


Loosely connected to yesterday's entry; also in a bit of a note-to-self sense...

Man has such a predilection for systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to distort the truth intentionally, he is ready to deny the evidence of his senses only to justify his logic.

(F. Dostojewskij, Notes from the Underground.)


solitary_summer: (Default)
Hm, I'm just watching Buffy 2.08 (quote Ethan, 'We go back. Way back.'), and having something of TW 2.01 flashback...

Which of course should actually be the other way round, flash-back wise.

solitary_summer: (Default)
Tired, cranky, headache. Don't want another family birthday. Even if it's my niece's. ::whine::


Since I never seem to have the time to actually sit/lie down and really read anything recently, I haven't much more than browsed through Russell T. Davis's book (although I have started at the beginning now, and it's rather fascinating. Also his frustration with TW 2.1, which I was going to say maybe was the reason why KKBB never completely worked for me, but apparently it got dumped on Chris Chibnall eventually...), reading a couple of pages here and there (so he wasn't completely happy with the Rose/Doctor.2 ending, either), but leafing through the pages I stumbled across this.

Put a man and a woman of roughly the same age on screen and you're telling a story. That's a love story. (Storytelling is very heterosexual in that sense. But that's why gay storytelling is exciting, because the images are still new.) The choice to put those two characters together on screen, in a story, is the crucial thing. Everything else is just detail. And luck. That's what makes you care. The archetypes. They run deep. [...] Man, woman, on screen = love story. Very little work necessary. (p 123)

Which I kind of agree with and kind of disagree, because while it's undoubtedly true, this (and I've said that before) is what for me makes so many of the heterosexual relationship on screen essentially uninteresting. Maybe/probably my brain is simply wired wrong, but if too much of the subsequent story relies just on this, and only this, I'll yawn and and switch off — or start slashing, depending on how interesting the rest of the show and the other characters are. It may be a love story, but it's also often (to me, at any rate) a boring love story. Now I'm not saying that I've never followed or enjoyed one of the will-they-or-won't-they-get-together storylines, but on the whole they don't make for the best storytelling, because once that question is resolved most of the time a) the show is over, b) they're heading towards break-up, or, special bullet point for Joss Whedon, c) someone gets killed.

So generally speaking putting a bit more work and character development into it is not actually a bad thing. The IMO still perfect example of Doing It Right are Sheridan and Delenn on Babylon 5, my OTPest OTP for something like a decade. It's hard to attempt looking at a show one has watched & rewatched with a fresh eye, but was there ever even the suspense of whether they'd get together? I don't think so, or at any rate one was rather more worried about them winning the war and saving the universe. Having a plot that encompasses and mingles action and romance rather than dividing it in two separate storylines, and upsetting a lot of tv gender clichés in the process is what made it so epic and unique. Thank you, MJS. :)

Now Joss Whedon frankly sucks at writing relationships, especially happy relationships, because as a rule he only sets them up to end them in the most painful way possible, but Buffy and Spike, in their own messed up way were a bit like that; even when it always was pretty clear they wouldn't have a happily ever after, they both learned something about themselves and each other in the process, which changed them for the better, it was plotty and not boring to watch. OTOH most of the male/female relationships on Angel were completely uninteresting; Cordelia/Angel as well as the Wesley/Fred/Gunn triangle, because they're indeed little more than man, woman, on screen = love story, and barely that, maybe partly because they never needed to work as relationships for the plot to go forward. I don't think saying that canonically Angel and Wesley had the most complex, if completely fucked up, relationship on that show has anything to do with slash googles, and one day I'm really going to write that essay. Or, Smallville, when I was still watching; Clark/Lex vs. Clark/Lana.

On a similar note, to be perfectly honest, Jack/Ianto would never have caught my interest, and certainly not got me writing all those endless rambling meta posts, if it hadn't come after Cyberwoman with the Fragments backstory and all the... if not exactly canonical, then at least canonically implied complexity and ambiguities resulting from that. So granted, once again a bit messed up, and maybe unhealthily codependent and whatnot, and apparently I've got a faible for that kind of thing, but take that away, and the banter-innuendo-coffee thing would be really kind of boring.

Well, in my opinion. It's pretty obvious that 90+% of fandom differs. Cf. above, brain wired wrong, and all that...

solitary_summer: (Default)

Ah well. There's always time, and - perhaps - just enough remaining brain power for a meme...


Joss-verse (BtVS/AtS)

1. The first character I first fell in love with:
Wesley? I think it might have been Doyle that first caught my interest, but I'm not entirely sure any longer.

2. The character I never expected to love as much as I do now:
Well, love is perhaps too strong a word, but Buffy. I originally started watching BtVS mid-season 4, and I never much liked her, her rather rigid way of seeing things in terms of black and white, good or evil. Too angsty, too... she's not an easy character to like, or to get close to. With her you really need to follow her arc from the beginning to fully appreciate where she's coming from, to understand the impact of the whole Angel fiasco, and what a burden being the slayer really is.

3. The character everyone else loves that I don't:
Hm. Xander. There are moments when I do like him, because mostly he does, in the end, genuinely regret when he messed up or went too far and, however hard it may be for him, apologises and/or fixes things, but I don't get the wide appeal of the character, and there are moments when he really irritates me, especially when it comes to Buffy and her relationships with Angel and Spike. Lingering jealousy, perhaps, and yes, from a rational POV his attitude is somewhat understandable, but there's a depth of hatred I just find off-putting.

4. The character I love that everyone else hates:
Well, I don't find Dawn as annoying as many seem to do, but otherwise... I like Riley, too.

5. The character I used to love but don't any longer:
Willow comes closest. Somewhere along the line I just fell out of love.

6. The character I would shag anytime:
Tara. She's pretty, and normal. Pretty much all the other characters come with too much emotional baggage.

7. The character I'd want to be like:
None! This is Jossverse where no one gets out alive has a chance for happiness, ever. Please. I have enough depression in my life as it is.

8. The character I'd slap:
I'm not one for slapping people, but Xander, on a few occasions.

9. A pairing that I love:
Canon-wise, Buffy/Spike. Fanon-wise, Wesley/Angel.

10. A pairing that I despise:
Angel/Cordelia; they worked so well as friends, why bring in the romantic element, except that apparently a tv-show must have romance. Much too saccharine amd forcedly angsty; from Angel's perspective I could never see Cordelia as more than Buffy rebound, and Cordelia always had delusions of 'He's got a soul, he's different' about Angel, more so than Buffy.



[Oh well, apparently I should have waited for someone to tell me what fandom to meme-ise... Suggestions, wishes - anyone?]
solitary_summer: (candles (© clive barker))

Long time, no update. Still alive, more or less, but the Christmas season is draining as always. Tired, physically, mentally. Apparently I still managed the occasional morning run this time last year - I don't know how I did that. Then again, the going to bed at 1 am certainly doesn't help...

Almost finished Buffy S7, and am rather less than enthusiastic about it. The first half was lacklustre, the second rushed, uneven and a little forced, and an overdose of feminism (should that go between quotation marks, I wonder...) doesn't necessarily make for good story telling, or make up for the lack of it. Also saw Harry Potter: GoF last Sunday, not enthusiastic about that either.

::yawn::

Detailed whining & nit-picking tomorrow.
solitary_summer: (Default)

Sunny and warm, beautiful day, slightly tainted by the faint melancholy of Sundays. Did this breakfast & movie thing with some people from work, we saw Fatih Akin's Crossing the Bridge, which is a truly amazing, wonderful film about the music of Istanbul and the power and impact of music, regardless of genre - everything from rap to the music of the Roma, Kurdish music, traditional Turkish music... Very powerful; beautiful shots, too.

I think I'll have to check out Gegen die Wand now. And buy the soundtrack, although I really should re-reconsider buying not really necessary stuff in view of the possible computer situation... ::le sigh::

)o(


Trying to unclutter notepad. Still. Again. Never ending story rambling. The 10? 12? 20? (can't quite remember) favourite emotional tv moments meme, picked up a long time ago somewhere in the wastes of lj-land.

Jossverse-centric, because that's what I've been watching recently, and while I would love to give a comprehensive and conclusive review of [livejournal.com profile] solitary_summer's most favourite tv moments evar, re-watching five season of B5 (or any other tv show I was ever fond of) just isn't happening at the moment. And really, I don't want to consider what it says about my psychic make-up that I even consider this an issue and would this be a good place to confess that I shuffled my interests around quite a bit for the 10 interests meme?

Sorted chronologically and by fandom, not squee factor.



17 (16) favourite emotional tv moments )
solitary_summer: (candles (© clive barker))

Last day tomorrow. Thank fucking god. One co-worker has decided to quit, and I'm already half way there, which, all things considered, probably hasn't been the purpose of the whole thing.


So, for something different. Fragmented ramblings, because I'm really not up to a coherent discussion.

Buffy S6 )

Also, meme, because I'm such a sheep.


You fit in with:
Humanism



Your ideals mostly resemble that of a Humanist. Although you do not have a lot of faith, you are devoted to making this world better, in the short time that you have to live. Humanists do not generally believe in an afterlife, and therefore, are committed to making the world a better place for themselves and future generations.


0% scientific.
40% reason-oriented.





Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com
solitary_summer: (Default)
I've been incredibly, horribly, embarrassingly, pathetically lethargic last week, so much that it's actually a good thing that I have to back to work tomorrow.

To retiterate, pathetic.



But when in depression self disgust procrastination mode doubt, post fanish stuff...

Buffy S5 ramblings... )


solitary_summer: (Default)

Project uncluttering notepad, pt. 2:

[Only I seem to be cluttering so much faster than I ever unclutter, mostly in the process of writing the project uncluttering posts, which kind of defeats the purpose... ::sigh:: ]

More fanish ramblings: the secret of interesting 'ships. )

solitary_summer: (Default)

In temporal order:

# Rest of last week: things returned to normal, more or less, which is a good thing? Probably.

# Saturday: family & potted plants )

# Sunday: camera woes and Angel S3 )

Still feeling vaguely sick, slight cold, clogged nose. I'd rather stay at home, but will meet U. and R. for coffee and cinema. Ah well...
solitary_summer: (creatrix (© clive barker))

Good: Despite the lengthy period of slackening I can still run my /-70 mins. A stunningly dark pink/purple sky at sunrise. A leisurely breakfast with the knowledge of a day off followed by a public holiday.

Not so good: Hey! Only two bags of marzipan cappuccino left... Where did they - er, right. Need to re-order.


Finished S2 Buffy yesterday... now Buffy is not my big fanish love, but I have a comfortable, warm, fuzzy fondness for the show and its characters, and it does have some truly striking moments.

Couple of days ago it struck me that it doesn't make much sense that I always tend to feel extra-apologetic (to whom?) when favourite tv shows include spaceships, aliens, vampires and whatnot: Come to think about it, the pseudo-realistic universes of shows like Sex and the City with their four hundred dollar shoes and eternal quest for better sex and/or better relationships have even less in common with my own life (ignoring for the moment what this may or may not say about my life), with my dreams and with what is important to me, and generally speaking I find myself more and more disinterested in shows whose main theme is putting characters in stylish clothing through one bad relationship after another. IMO this kind of realism, if realism it is, is vastly over-rated, and putting an artsy twist on it by making every character oh-so-interestingly angsty neurotic doesn't make that much of a difference IMO. The 'escapism' and suspension of 'realism' (quotation-marks, because what tv show is a hundred percent realistic) at least gives a show the freedom to still be entertaining but at the same time to delve into deeper layers of the human psyche, to tackle archetypal themes of human mythology; to more directly deal with hopes, dreams and fears; to go for the big emotions.

Obviously this perspective is influenced by the lack of relationships and relationship-related drama in my life, but I do think it goes beyond unacknowledged petty jealousy....

::shrug:: Anyway. Will buy S3 and be totally unapologetic about it.
solitary_summer: (Default)

[Some thoughts about what [livejournal.com profile] soavezefiretto said about seeing beauty in daily things... ]

There are moments when it's almost as if perception shifts a little or some sense expands, I'm not sure what causes it, but suddenly there's this feeling of awareness, of really seeing things, and everything (the shades of grey of a bare winter forest when it rains, the wet stones and decaying leaves on the path...) is... 'beautiful' or any similar adjective is a label, a mental short-cut, a (poor) translation into words, either because I don't have the fitting words or there aren't any. It just is, and that's enough to make it wonderful, somehow.

It's hard to (consciously) maintain this state of mind for a longer time, but I seem to be getting better at it...

*sigh* This doesn't make much sense, I simply lack the vocabulary to describe this kind of metaphysical/spiritual experience, if it is that at all; I've never been much interested in philosophy or religion, but in some ways for the first time in my life the emphasis on beauty and love in e.g. Platonic philosophy begins to actually make some sense... You can like a person for all kinds of things, a thing can be useful, those are more or less clearly defined qualities, you can rationally argue about them; but 'love' or 'beauty'... vague emotional superlatives that are almost impossible to define or to be rational about; maybe the words are only approximations, maybe this isn't so much about the 'object' at all, but about one's own perception and state of mind, and being able to experience it is (the beginning of) a kind of connection with the greater scheme of things...


Oh my. I should stick with not being interested in philosophy or spirituality; I'm not good at this.



Took the tram to Pötzleinsdorf and had a two hour walk, first in the park and through the forest, then back to the Underground station; sunshine alternating with dark clouds and rain, and at one point rain from a sunny sky and the most brilliant, picture-perfect rainbow I've ever seen, close, just across the street, spanning perhaps three buildings, with a second, fainter rainbow above it.
I really love the outer districts, the villas and old houses, where the city blurs into the country and you sometimes still get a sense of the villages that were there.

I could have taken so many pictures... this time I'll really use my Christmas money to get a digital camera. If only I knew where to even begin looking, or what to look for...


Watched more S2 Buffy, which I'm kind of conflicted about. What I love about the Buffy/Angel universe are the characters - quirky, not perfect, but all likable - and the relationships between them, the unlikely 'families'; there's something very touching and sweet about it I simply can't resist. The weakness IMO are the plots: With all the slaying going on, after watching four episodes I'm already having a hard time telling them apart and to actually remember who got slain when and why and how and does it really matter? *sigh* B5 has spoiled me...
solitary_summer: (Default)

torn between an increasing sense of pointlessness of keeping a journal & the nagging feeling of guilt that at this rate i'll never catch up. too many entries half-formed in my head and never enough time or energy to actually write them out. words never seem to fit recently, always akward, out of reach...


Sat:
'Don Giovanni' at Salzburg with the parents, by their invitation, obviously. didn't have the nerve to ask what the ticket actually cost. :: facepalm :: god. i'm feeling so very posh even mentioning this. about as much as i felt underdressed there.

anyway. in retrospect perhaps it was wrong wanting to see this solely upon M. Kusej directing. after all - and maybe i hadn't been sufficiently aware of this - direction is not the most important thing with an opera, or at least not as important as it can be with theatre - the music is; me being not much of an opera person i obviously lack a lot of listening experience to really appreciate the music the way it deserved to be. as far as i can tell, the singers were all very good. acted, too.

the production was sparely elegant, with Kusej's trade mark beautiful, rather static images, emphasising the emotional coldness, the brutality, the meaninglessness of the life DG leads.
about Leporello killing DG in the end - from what i gathered from various articles, the intention was to show that DG was already dead as far as his soul was concerned and Leporello was merely killing him as a kind of mercy. but seeing as this happens right before DG is being dragged to hell this still doesn't make a lot of sense to me (unless of course you're supposed to interpret 'hell' as a psychological process only, a kind of ultimate decline), though i actually did understand it that way at the moment i was seeing it. right then i thought perhaps he believed he might save DG's soul by killing him, though i don't think in reality there's much indication for that.

on the other hand, starting from something my mother said (despite the fact that her idea was derived from a misunderstanding of something she'd read) DG and Leporello might indeed be looked at as two aspects of the same person. after a series of unsuccessful tries at either making him change his behaviour or leaving him, starting from the non voglio più servir at the beginning, in the final crisis unable to save him he is forced to take a decision - kill him or be dragged to hell (or whatever mental and moral decline this is a metaphor for) along with him. i'm no longer sure it makes much sense put this way, but it did make sense in my head at one point.

that it's not Leporello, but DG who sings the first couple of lines might hint at this, and it would fit with what Kusej did with Hamlet a couple of years ago, merging several parts and having them personify the different voices in Hamlet's head.


the revolving stage with its doors and concentric structure - metaphor for the self-centered mind, the guilt (personified by his victims) waiting at the center, unseen or ignored, biding their time until he is forced to ultimately acknowledge them ?

interesting, too, that at the beginning of the 21st century 'DG' has become decidedly moral, presented in a way that isn't supposed to invite the least sympathy for the main character any longer. we see his skillfully employed charm at work in his seductions, but the brutality of his behaviour otherwise makes the sweetness all the more horrific. this is not the rebellion of the individual against social norms, but a libertà empty of meaning and lacking anything to defend itself against; no brave, if ill-advised, defiance of conformity until the end, no tragic hubris that has at least a touch of grandeur, but the necessary end to a meaningless life that revolves around an obsessive and neverending search for distraction from its emptiness. voglio divertirmi.

now this makes the opera very dark indeed, all the lives influenced, almost destroyed by and revolving about this centre of negativity...


pity that seeing it again isn't an option...






Sun:
visited Schloss Hellbrunn while i was there, very pretty. got wet at the trick fountains along with a horde of tourists, which was quite fun, especially in this heat. learned that the sunflower did come from Peru, which, in all honesty i hadn't known. never given it much thought.

my father insisted we all have lunch together, the result being i was sick on the train home and didn't feel too well all evening. :: le sigh :: family...


Tue:
actually managed to go biking for 3 hrs before work - i'm kinda proud of myself.


Wed:
drove the car over to my sister's place and returned by train - crossing the Danube offered an incredible view... the sun was just setting, the sky a very pale blue partly veiled with thin white clouds - somehow its reflection made the river look like it was made of some solid substance rather than water, a broad, light band just lying there, stretching under the bridge, absolutely unmoving. surreal.


also, Buffy finale. plot-wise, i wasn't overly impressed, but imho the show has always been better with the small touches, character building, humour and such, than the big plot arcs. however, i rather liked how it became more and more blatantly feminist towards the end - now one could or course argue that 'Buffy' is inherently feminist, but it never struck me as forcible as in the last couple of episodes when the girls stand up to the guardians of patriarchalic order - the police when they try to beat up Faith, the obsessively misogynist priest Caleb (imo one of the scariest villains in the Buffy-verse), ultimately changing the fundamental rules about there being only one slayer. it could have been horribly cliched, but somehow it wasn't...

plus, i've always had a soft spot for the Spike/Buffy , er, 'relationship' after her, er, resurrection, maybe because for (or because of) all the issues it's fraught with it's remarkably lacking in gender clichés...

sweet, in the end. ah well, enough said, it's almost 4 am & i'm drop dead tired... g* came over earlier & it was actually kind of nice, companionable. friendshipy. but now the caffeine is finally wearing off...

now i only wish some tv station would do a complete rerun, because i only started watching at some point mid-4th season...

solitary_summer: (Default)

lj has gone all german on me. irritating.


hmpf. i can't seem to get comfortable in this place, metaphorically speaking. my dj is this dark, cosy, if slightly tacky, corner where a few people who've already seen me at my worst and don't seem to mind, will tolerantly listen to me rant & whine. this journal is rather like hearing your own voice echoing through some big and empty place, much more polished and formal and rather clinically clean. i feel slightly lost, if that's at all possible or rational, and more exposed, even if my counter tells me i'm not.

i thought i'd use this account for discussions, but really find myself still reluctant to post in other people's journals or even to friend the fanish journals i check regularly. for one i feel slightly stupid and unsure about the social niceties when barging into a community i'm not part of, for another thing i'd have to seriously give thought to what i can say in this journal and still be socially polite, how to say it... so far writing for an audience hasn't been a priority.


though i certainly seem to develop some kind of journal-related neurosis. posted and subsequently deleted entires on an iraqi boyband (not kidding) and the brainless display of vanity that is our minister of finance's personal homepage, complete with childhood pictures and the option to ask for an autographed card (again, not kidding, though i wish i were), because two entries in a row solely devoted to snarking at something seemed just... wrong. not good for karma, not that i really believe in that.

.:@:..:@:..:@.:.


yesterday's buffy... :: sigh :: i probably shouldn't enjoy that as much as i do, at least parts of it. (others, like the *gasp*, it's the Fist Evil ™ ! revelation, not so much,) Spike/Buffy is one of the few het relationships (if you can even call it a relationship) on tv that i find myself both interested in and actually caring about... they've certainly had some lovely moments during this season and the last.

although i still don't like the concept of a soul as a commodity that can be acquired and lost, forfeited and rewarded, even in a metaphorical sense, because even then it draws ethical lines i'm not really prepared to accept exist....

.:@:..:@:..:@.:.


::nostalgic :: i really need to talk my sister into going to see 'elisabeth' with me, when they revive it this autumn...

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