Oh yes, in other news
somehow, not even wired on coffee or anything like that, I swear, I wrote over six thousand words in a few hours yesterday. That was pretty awesome.
The only struggle I’ve had with this project is Not Editing before it is done. Typically I edit as I go, but this is an experiment to find out roughly how much I actually write out before I slash and burn. And how much do I really slash and burn? I never thought of quantifying that until the NaNo project, so this might be enlightening, or it might mean Nothing Whatsoever, but I won’t know unless I try it, will I?
Anyway, as you were.
I want to stress this again: In many, many parts of the country right now, if you want to go to see a movie in the theater and see a current movie about a woman — any story about any woman that isn’t a documentary or a cartoon — you can’t. You cannot. There are not any. You cannot take yourself to one, take your friend to one, take your daughter to one.
There are not any.
By far your best shot, numbers-wise, at finding one that’s at least even-handedly featuring a man and a woman is Before Midnight (on 891 screens) so I hope you like it. Because it’s pretty much that or a solid, impenetrable wall of movies about dudes.
Dudes in capes, dudes in cars, dudes in space, dudes drinking, dudes smoking, dudes doing magic tricks, dudes being funny, dudes being dramatic, dudes flying through the air, dudes blowing up, dudes getting killed, dudes saving and kissing women and children, and dudes glowering at each other.
Somebody asked me this morning what “the women” are going to do about this. I don’t know. I honestly am at the point where I have no idea what to do about it. Stop going to the movies? Boycott everything?
They put up Bridesmaids, we went. They put up Pitch Perfect, we went. They put up The Devil Wears Prada, which was in two-thousand-meryl-streeping-oh-six, and we went (and by “we,” I do not just mean women; I mean we, the humans), and all of it has led right here, right to this place. Right to the land of zippedy-doo-dah. You can apparently make an endless collection of high-priced action flops and everybody says “win some, lose some” and nobody decides that They Are Poison, but it feels like every “surprise success” about women is an anomaly and every failure is an abject lesson about how we really ought to just leave it all to The Rock.” —
The whole article is fantastic, as is pretty much everything Linda Holmes writes.
wow, our tumblr feed set a record today, with only two racist b.s. things to do with american indians! ONLY TWO!!!
you are off yr game, human persons! you’ll never get a job working for disney with creds like that!
Been way too long since I’ve actually been to Mexico City.
I only remark on this because I’ve just sent the main character in my book there, and I had to go look up the boroughs/colonias because I suddenly blanked on the location where I wanted him, and as I looked at pictures of the joint I thought oh hey now, I’ve been there, why don’t I remember that?
On the other hand, this is the kind of thing that makes writing a continuous process of discovery/rediscovery. I recommend it over any other spiritual path, but then I’m a tad biased.
Aaaarggh. Severe, severe depression. Wow. When it hits ya, it’s not at all like just getting smacked upside the head.
More like getting run over by a bus.
Anyway, probably not helping that I’m continuing to have physical issues, ie SCIATICA and attendent evils, along with it. I managed to edge myself gradually into one extremely simple kneeling asana, the name of which I forget, and that was interesting, until I had to carefully get myself out of it. At which point I realized yoga is still on hold.
When this issue first struck it took two weeks for me to get into a series of seven or eight different asanas, still couldn’t do basic downward dog but nonetheless, there was some improvement, and then I was an idiot and did a physical thing I should not have done, and now another three or four weeks later and I can’t do any of them. Yes, I do think it is possibly contributing to my depression.
However, I am still getting some writing done, and I’ve resumed cooking again which is good, AND I’ve almost finished a new series of amulet bags to go up for sale— maybe online, even, though I noticed Storenvy has decided to continue to discriminate against my browser, which I resent. Also I’ve had way better luck selling these darlings in the real world. We’ll see.
So at least there’s some minor forward motion.
I discovered today, to my chagrin, a former internet friend of mine, who started to go off the deep end so I cut her off (I hate internet drama), had apparently scaled to the top of the dungheap that is the so-called Men’s Rights Movement, and been summarily chucked off said dungheap straight to the bottom, which is only funny because dung is dung no matter where on the heap it shows up, but I digress. I wasn’t shocked to find her in this place, because she’s the sort of self hating female (with female children, alas!) who often ends up enabling the dicks who hate women too, but… damn, gurl.
What’s the opposite of irony, because seriously, you should have seen this coming.
The only thing I found a little odd was how quickly she managed to leap into a movement that is quite literally classed as an official Hate Group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. For some reason I gave her more credit than that, but apparently I was mistaken.
I feel about these people the same way I feel about White Supremicists. They have their little shadowy corners of the internet and the rest of society, they lurk around picking off the weak minded and vulnerable and insane, and generally I pay very little attention to them because they are so far off the mainstream of, well, everyday, problematic misogyny/racism that I can’t waste too much time on them. The only thing weird to me about the MRM-type hate group is that there are FEMALES who actually join these things. Whereas it’d be pretty difficult, as revealed in “Blazing Saddles”, for a Black person to join the Klan.
(One of my all time favorite comedy routines, I have to admit, was Dave Chappelle’s blind racist White Supremicist black dude character— which says pretty much all I could ever say about women who hate feminism, or, you know, Clarence Thomas.)
It’s funny reading the Swimmies of Doom post on how it’s impossible to read anything feminist, really, into the “Elementary” season finale unless you are trying too hard. The reason it’s funny to me is because yeah, I totally agree— but the thing that pissed me off about it (yes, in spite of everything I was suckered in— fuck me, seriously, when I say I’m not going to watch something ever again I should really stick to that instinct because I have NEVER been wrong)
wait, where was I going with that sentence? Oh, yeah, so the thing that pissed me off about it was THE HORRIBLE WRITING. THE LAZY WRITING. THE NO EFFORT IS GOING TO GO INTO COMPLEXITY HERE SO DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH WRITING! Jesus H., I despise bad writing. Bad plotting. Bad characters. I hate it with the hatred of a thousand burning suns. There have been shows I’ve dearly loved that, in the end, screwed up hardcore not with some overarching idea, and not with their lack of philosophical soundness, but with the BAD FUCKING WRITING. Shit.
No actor, no matter how great, can overcome bad writing. No director, no storyline, no philosophy can overcome bad writing. And by bad writing I’m not talking about grammar, though I can’t say I was impressed with the grammatical stylings of “Elementary“‘s season finale either, I’m talking about the content and the broader idea it conveys about character and plot. In the case of most television shows, plot comes first, character second. In and of itself not great writing, but hey, I get it that you have a very limited time to get your story out there, and with those kinds of constraints plot becomes exceedingly important. Television writing ain’t writing a novel. I’m up to 362,544 words on mine, I expect to lose approximately 100,000 of that perhaps, though I could be wrong and just be writing a spectacularly long book, and also I have all the time in the world. I can afford to let my many characters drive my story. If I had less than 45 minutes to tell a story, yeah, plot would definitely be taking a front seat for a moment, if only to clear my head of creative fog. So again, I get it.
But ohmyfuckinggawd, why did these idiots bother to bring Irene Adler into this in the first place? If you were gonna be all pretend-avant-garde, and make both Watson AND Moriarty into females in order to pretend you have something to say about, I don’t know what, roles in television for women, I guess? Why didn’t you just do THAT, and not go out of your way to destroy an individuated, interesting female literary character? Dumbasses, I say. Absolute dumbasses, right up there with that dumbass can’t write his way out of a paper bag Moffat over yonder on BBC’s “Sherlock” reducing Irene Adler to a pathetic crying nympho.
I find the compulsion to destroy individuated females an interesting phenomenom in our broader American culture. The compulsion is definitely there. The fact is Arthur Conan Doyle wasn’t trying to create a feminist, individuated character with Irene Adler, because ACD didn’t have a feminist thought in his head, but he allowed character to drive his plot, and somehow created this woman who, oddly, for her era, was completely individual. And a hundred and some years later supposedly more enlightened and advanced and inclusive people see this, and seem to decide Aha, bitch must be DESTROYED, she does not bow down at the altar of the mighty Holmes. What the hell?
But leaving that aside— what I really hated more than anything was the bad writing, and not just where the Adler/Moriarty mashup thing was concerned. The entire script should have been tossed into a dumpster and burned.
so i’ve seen a lot of criticisms of elementary’s move to combine the characters of irene adler and moriarty, and i want to address some of those criticisms because i think that this twist is absolutely freaking brilliant and i want to shout from the rooftops about it. so, here we go. one day i will actually learn how to write meta that isn’t so long it requires a read more.
forgive us, but this is a load of balls.
it is a desperate attempt to try to render something feminist when, in fact, it is balls.
the elementary fandom have been in this mode since the begining with the casting of lucy liu as watson, as if making watson female is, inherently, enough, when it is not. (now, if they had made HOLMES female, well. that would be another thing, wouldn’t it?)
now, in eliminating irene adler and transforming “her” into moriarty, we are all supposed to go oh WOW, look, a female villain, amazing, there’s never been anything like THAT on television before! this is fake subservision. it is fake because in positing the female of your species as villain, you pretend that this is in any way similar to positing her as powerful or individuated. the fact is, even as a male, moriarty was entirely a dependent upon holmes.
see, everything revolves around holmes in the non ACD canon. holmes as the Great White Male Genius who can behave any way he wants, and everyone else must be obsessed with him. this is why a female watson was not impressive, any more than bbc’s sherlock’s male watson has been anything other than pretty pathetic. you can fantasize them having sex all you want to, these watsons are entirely dependent upon holmes. in fact we suspect that’s why it’s easy to fantasize sex between holmes/watson in all new incarnations, because their relationship takes on a particular appearance of sub/dom dynamics.
moriarty is entirely dependent upon holmes. interesting, irene adler was NOT. which is why she has been subsumed into a form of moriarty, who excercises typical female power over a man by seducing him and breaking his heart, but who then proceeds to reveal herself as, just as the male form, obsessed with who?
this not an improvement, it is balls. irene adler is obviously too individual and complicated for the writers of elementary to get their minds around— a female NOT interested in holmes? OMJ! what?
let’s fix this by making her the fixated villain, and let’s let the fandom come up with clever rationales in order to dodge the fact that we couldn’t handle irene adler actually outwitting holmes in whatever modern way she would have done it— too tough for us! too complicated! can you imagine, writing a modern female irene adler who isn’t smitten in some way with holmes, and actually portraying her as outwitting him and then MOVING ON WITH HER OWN LIFE BECAUSE SHE ACTUALLY HAS ONE OF THOSE??? no, that’s too hard. and we can’t have a woman, The Woman, actually, you know, outsmart our fairhaired boy and walk away. and, worse, have him care about it, and her not. oh HELL no!
and then what would we do about watson, anyhow? joan watson’s self esteem is questionable to begin with, which is fine for actual characters resembling real human persons, but contrasted to a woman who just walked away?
let’s make adler into moriarty! now we don’t have to think anymore!
fortunately for us fish, we now have another weeknight free so we can learn all about this “twerking” thing. we are pretty excited about that.
Be careful with twerking, you can throw your back out. Seriously.
But I agree with the rest of your takedown of the rationalization of the Adler-Moriarty Mashup. It’s pathetic that there are so few engaging stories on television and so few female roles with any kind of oomph on television that some people will take ANYTHING, like starving people eating dirt cookies. “Elementary” is totally a dirt cookie. Or a bullshit cookie, whatever.
plot twist: several days after the season finale of “elementary” the writers/producers wake up to the realization that a nineteenth century male with little regard for females managed to write a completely individuated, interesting, clever female character with a career of her own and the ability to dodge a dangerous ex-lover’s brilliant detective with very little effort. this blows the minds of the writers/producers, who collectively spontaneously combust.
lucy liu and johnny lee miller arrive at work and find dead writers/producers everywhere, and instead of freaking out they take the opportunity to start “elementary” over from scratch. in the new “elementary”, liu plays holmes, a slightly unstable but brilliant detective and former major case squad cop, now moonlighting for the nypd. miller is recast as watson, the nerdy crime scene investigator who is temporarily on the outs with the police due to questioning some of the ways dna evidence is handled. they meet and immediately hit it off, because they treat each other with dignity and respect the way professional, intelligent people do.
bonus: gianncarlo esposito as moriarty.