Leave it to the other girls to play

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:05 am
musesfool: Jason Toddler shows off his new costume to Dick (everybody starts somewhere)
[personal profile] musesfool
Board meeting went well, even though it rained so the rooftop terrace at the venue went unused. Sigh. I went home afterwards and fell into bed at 8:30 pm after eating cookies and milk for dinner. I win at adulting!

Of course, the one night I go to bed without checking my flist, it turned out there was a question about my yuletide nominations. It is a spoiler for Crooked Kingdom but spoiler! ) As of this morning, he was approved without my having to say anything, but I did comment anyway to say what I said under the cut.

Now Gotham Academy has to be approved! I'm sure there'll be a question about Damian Wayne there too but he does show up more than once over the course of the comic. Which I guess is as good a lead-in as any to discuss Second Semester:

What I've just finished
Gotham Academy: Second Semester, which I enjoyed, though boy they do not shy away from making the kids selfish, thoughtless and highly teenagery. spoilers )

I did like that they have all really gelled into a team - I enjoyed Colton and Pomeline sniping at each other while they work together a lot. And any Maps+Damian team-up is A++ in my book. Best Team! For yuletide, I just want schoolgirl (and boy, though I care less about the boys) supernatural detective shenanigans, with occasional Robin.

Though have we ever gotten an explanation on why/how MacPherson knows Bruce Wayne is Batman?

This morning, I also read the Star Wars Annual #3 which is a nice Han/Leia story with some fun Indiana Jones references and Leia being her usual awesome self. I also liked how it explained Han sticking around with the Rebellion, neatly giving him an excuse he could live with to cover up the real reason.

What I'm reading now
Still A Ruin of Angels. I have to admit, I find "Trust me! / Don't you trust me? / I didn't tell you this hugely important secret because plot reasons it was too dangerous!" to be super irritating in a character so a lot of the plot machinations are making me say, "If Woody had gone to the police, this never would have happened!" "If Ley had just told Zeddig what was up, things might have played out differently!" Like, things still would have gone to hell in a handbasket, but I'd have a lot more sympathy for Ley when they did. Otoh, Izza and Kai and Tara! <333

And speaking of Crooked Kingdom above, yesterday I was thinking about how dropping the Crows kids into the Craft universe would work, since so much of the magic etc. in the latter is based on negotiation and deals, and the deal is the deal, right? Someone who isn't me should write that.

What I'm reading next
Two weeks until the new Magnus Chase comes out, so who knows? I do have a ton of stuff on the iPad, ready to go!

***

Adaptions and remixes

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:07 pm
selenak: (Borgias by Andrivete)
[personal profile] selenak
Two filmed novels in, the tv version of JKR's written-as-Robert-Galbraith mystery novels called Strike comes across as very enjoyable. Holiday Grainger is a delight as Robin, Tom Burke still isn't how I imagined Cormoran Strike, but he's entertaining to watch, and they have good chemistry. Inevitably, characters and subplots were for the axe in both Cuckoo's Call and The Silkworm, but so far they've kept the important emotional beats. In the case of The Silkworm, I'm especially glad my favourite sentence of the entire novel gets to be used in dialogue, though a different character gets to say it on tv: Writers are a savage breed, Mr. Strike. If you want life-long friendship and selfless camraderie, join the army and learn to kill. If you want a lifetime of temporary alliances with peers who will glory in your every failure, write novels."

Of the guest stars, the actresses playing Leonora and Orlando were especially good. I do notice that some of the sharpness of the novels is lost when it comes to politics. I mean, The Silkworm, the novel, has passages like this: : Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, was announcing plans to slash 350 million pounds from the legal aid budget. Strike watched through his haze of tiredness as the florid, paunchy man told Parliament that he wished to 'discourage people from restoring to lawyers whenever they face a problem, and instead encourage them to consider more suitable methods of dispute resolution.' He meant, of course, that poor people ought to relinquish the services of the law. Nothing like it on tv. But the result still doesn't feel as awfully castrated as the tv version of The Casual Vacancy, which lost all the bite and anger and ruined what might not have been a masterpiece but was a novel with genuine points to raise by turning it into inoffensive blandness, more angry reviews here, possibly because such asides aren't the main issue in the Galbraith novels.

In other news, [community profile] missy_fest has been revealing one Missy story per day-ish. This was the smallest ficathon I ever participated in, but a delight to write and read, and as soon as it's de-anonymized, I'm going to link and talk about the story I wrote. Meanwhile, check out the one I received, which was The Master's Faithful Companion (Forever or Just A Day Remix), which remixed my story Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

they wanna make me their queen

Sep. 19th, 2017 01:55 pm
musesfool: Batwoman (your name in the title)
[personal profile] musesfool
ZOMG this day! Board meeting imminent!

I just wanted to let people know, in case they didn't and were interested, that Alice Hoffman has written a prequel to Practical Magic about the Aunts, and it's coming out in October: The Rules of Magic! I only found out the other day!

I love both the book and the movie, though they are very different, and I'm excited to read the Aunts' story! #please don't suck!

***

but some things may stay the same

Sep. 18th, 2017 04:56 pm
musesfool: text icon: somewhere in this building is our talent (somewhere in this building is our talent)
[personal profile] musesfool
dear universe,

I have some complaints:

- as per this xkcd (hat tip to [personal profile] twistedchick), & should be used for friendship and / should be used for romance. Please stop getting my hopes up that there is new pairing fic to read in my rare pair when it is not, in fact, pairing fic.

- it's bad enough that I'm following a bunch of works in progress now, but what is up with people getting to the penultimate chapter of a work (and I'm not talking anything short here, I'm talking well over 100K words) and then just...never posting the last chapter? I would plaintively cry, "who does that?" except I am now in possession of such knowledge and it's more than one person! (And I know this because it'll be listed as 53/54 or whatever.)

- this is less a complaint and more a bit of bafflement, but I never know what to say to people who leave feedback along the lines of "I hope you keep writing!" or "I hope you've written more!" Like, click on my name in the by line? There'll be 700+ stories there? I mean, thank you! But yeah.

- why is writing such a garbage hobby? when I have the words, I don't have the time. when I have the time, I don't have the energy. when I have the energy, I don't have the words. Bah.

- subset of the above: I actually opened a story to work on last night, wrote one (1) sentence in two (2) hours, and gave up when I realized it would need to be all porn from there on out. Bah.

no love,

me

***

15 Characters Meme

Sep. 18th, 2017 01:31 pm
selenak: (uptonogood - c.elisa)
[personal profile] selenak
1. Norma Bates (Bates Motel version)

2. Philip Jennings (The Americans)

3. Missy (aka Gomez!Master) (Doctor Who)

4. Jimmy McGill (Better Call Saul)

5. Rachel Duncan (Orphan Black)

6. James McGraw/Captain Flint (Black Sails)

7. Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

8. Bernie Gunther (Philip Kerr: The Bernie Gunther Mysteries)

9. Sarah Connor (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)

10. Alfred of Wessex (The Last Kingdom)

11. Andra'ath/Miss Quill (Class)

12. Londo Mollari (Babylon 5)

13. Phyllis Crane (Call the Midwife)

14. Doc Holliday (Wynona Earp incarnation)

15. Jessica Jones (MCU version)

And you came up with some awesome prompts!

Now the questions: )
selenak: (Scarlett by Olde_fashioned)
[personal profile] selenak
I've acquired new fandoms and revisited some old ones since the last time I did this, thus, from [personal profile] astrogirl:


1) Make a list of fifteen characters first, and keep it to yourself for the moment.

2) Ask your f-list to post questions in the comments. For example: "One, nine, and fifteen are chosen by a prophecy to save the world from four. Do they succeed?", "Under what circumstances might five and fourteen fall in love?", "Which character on the list would you most want on your side in a zombie invasion?"

3) After your f-list has stopped asking questions, round them up and answer them using the fifteen characters you selected beforehand, then post them.

Also, this unique summary of A Legacy Of Spies cracks me up. :)
musesfool: baze and chirrut (i don't need luck i have you)
[personal profile] musesfool
Last night, L and I went to the premiere of this English language musical version of The Romance of the Western Chamber (Xi Xiang Ji in Chinese?).

It is not, in fact, Romeo and Juliet, or it kind of is in terms of love at first sight and climbing up balconies and exchanging poetry in letters, but without the tragic ending. Which I was glad for.

It's very charming, though the male lead's voice was not up to the singing, imo. The ladies were all fantastic, especially Mari Uchida as Hong-niang, the matchmaking maid. The women's costumes were lovely; the men's were...well, they started out all right, but Mr. Chang's wedding outfit was made of what looked like baby blue lamé, which is not a look I personally endorse.

Afterwards - and it was not a short play! - we attempted to go here, because it was a beautiful night for a rooftop bar, but apparently my randomly picking a place in the vicinity of the theater because it looked cool meant I'd actually picked someplace popular and happening? There was a large line outside the door anyway, so we were like, we are too old to wait on lines for bars - even rooftop bars! - so we hopped in a cab and had dinner at the bar around the corner, and then stopped off at Insomnia Cookies for cookies. Which I didn't eat last night, but which will be my breakfast this morning.

All in all, it was a lovely evening, and I got to wear my star-print sun dress from eShakti, which is such a pretty dress, guys. I love it a lot.

I also have been catching up on Gotham Academy so I can make my yuletide request, and when Amy showed up in Second Semester, I at first thought, ugh, did they try to shove Harper in here as well? but I sincerely doubt Harper would ever do the nasty things Amy does, so it's not her undercover. Whew. I'll probably have more to say on Wednesday!

***

And then there's this

Sep. 16th, 2017 06:47 pm
selenak: (Black Widow by Endlessdeep)
[personal profile] selenak
The other day, I could hear Arundhati Roy present her new novel and talk about the situation in India today in Munich. And reinforced that by now, I'm not just bugged but disturbed by part of Kala's storyline in Sense8, because it's so exactly in contrast to Indian reality, and so exactly what a vicious government propagandist would want people to believe, that I'm starting to wonder whether the reason why the Wachowskis and JMS came up with it wasn't that they otherwise would not get permission to film in India. Spoilers for both seasons of Sense8. ) Why? Because consider the depth of current day Hindu fundamentalism from Modi (the PM) downwards. Arundhati Roy mentioned the saying "there are just two places for Muslims - the grave and Pakistan", which gets said by officials in the country with the second largest Muslim population in the world (Indonesia has the largest). People get lynched for the crime of possessing or eating beef. Modi belongs to the RSS, the same organisation Gandhi's assassin did, and the vocabulary of said assassin is now mainstream politics. A popular taunt makes the word "secular" into "sickular". An MP could say Arundhati Roy should be used as a human shield in the war in Kashmir to punish her dissent, and not get reprimanded but applauded. (For more, check out check out these statements by today's most famous Indian origin writers.) Basically: the kind of story Sense8 tells is about as likely to happen in this India as a story about, say, a rabid atheist rising in Saudi Arabia's government and starting to persecute Muslims would be. Or, to bring it closer to home, a story about a fanatic atheist becoming a US government official and starting to surpress Christians. Which, of course, is what Breitbart & Co. tell their ilk already happened under each Democratic president. ("War on Christmas", anyone?) Which tells you what type of propaganda this is.

Now don't get me wrong: I don't believe the Wachowskis and JMS are aware. At first, I thought it was simply that they wanted Kala to be a faithful believer and needed some type of conflict for her that wasn't about her not wanting to get married, picked Hinduism as the most popular Indian religion (and the one with the film friendly statues), and didn't do much research about the Indian present. But now I wonder whether they did tell some staff member to do research, and that person came back with this storyline, getting it as a condition for the crew filming Kala's story in India. Because it's just too perfect BJP propaganda to come across by accident, my inner conspiracy theorist says.

For distraction, something lighthearted:

Avengers


Up in the air, Junior Birdman: in which the Avengers (plus Maria Hill, Sam Wilson and Rhodey) go camping. Set at some point between the frst and second movie, this Natasha-centric story is ensemble-tastic, and has Bruce as co-lead.
musesfool: Princess Leia (so what level up)
[personal profile] musesfool
I left work slightly early yesterday and today has been calmer, thankfully. I'm still dragging and my brain is on a bit of a time delay - why is sleeping so hard? even when I'm so tired? - but it's Friday and it's almost over.

Today, while I've been collating etc., I've been thinking about how in Leia, Princess of Alderaan, spoilers )

I really want to read that story without having to write it. You should get on that, stat.

***
musesfool: Artemis from animated Young Justice, drawing her bow (a woman's got ambition)
[personal profile] musesfool
I missed reading Wednesday in all the madness, but things are slightly calmer at the moment (though the MTA didn't help this morning with the 1, 2, and 3 being suspended. I had to walk through that long tunnel to the A, C, E at 42nd Street, which is at least slightly less rank than it used to be but also this morning it was full of a ton of extra people unhappy about being there), so books:

What I've just finished
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, which I loved after I got over my slight disappointment about it being an origin story. I liked that Diana got to save the world with a couple of teenage girls and recontextualize Helen of Troy a little while she was at it. Also, it reinforced the notion that spoiler ).

Star Wars #36, which I'll talk about by itself, since it is pretty self-contained. This is the issue where Artoo finally gets to the Devastator(? I think?) to rescue Threepio, and it's very cleverly done imo, with the narration telling us all sorts of typical instruction manual specs about the R2 astromech line, and Artoo being his usual badass self, thanks in part to some programming upgrades, some very skilled teachers, and of course, a complete lack of memory wipes. Everyone knows he's the real hero of the rebellion. (Sadly, he doesn't ever get to give Vader the tongue-lashing he deserves but I will just go on including that in every story I write, because it pleases me to do so. *g*)

What I'm reading now
A Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone, which is the sixth Craft sequence book - featuring Kai Pohala and her previously unmet sister, with a cameo (so far - could end up being more?) by Tara Abernathy. I'm enjoying it so far, but as usual, the random references to our world always make me blink - is this a super alternate universe? a far-flung future? Like, I guess I could accept a coffeehouse employee being a barista, even though there is no Italy in this world, but then it makes a Rent or a Casablanca reference, and I'm like, that is very specific to our world! I dunno. It's kind of a weird thing to get hung up on, but it strikes me every time.

What I'm reading next
*hands* One of the things I did last weekend, in addition to getting rid of more books and dvds, was to start sorting through all the books I've downloaded and adding them to iBooks or Calibre (though I can no longer dedrm kindle books via Calibre, which sucks), so I have a lot more books than I realized and they're mostly sitting around on my iPad waiting to be read.

Lastly, here's a link: Ranking the Robin Hood Adaptations — Which Tales Fly Truest?

It gets it right, I think, though there's a sad lack of appreciation of Alan Rickman's Sheriff of Nottingham, which is the only reason to watch the Kevin Costner version, and Robin and the Seven Hoods doesn't even get a mention! But I think the one-two punch of Errol Flynn and that Disney fox is the correct answer.

(I feel like there is also a sad lack of Jason Todd references in this post - after all, he was Robin and now he's a Hood - but I'm too frazzled to come up with good ones. Take it as read that Robins as in Batfam are never far from my thoughts.)

***
musesfool: jason todd is not all right (always all right)
[personal profile] musesfool
Yesterday, I ate my breakfast at 12:30 and then just didn't eat lunch. I could rant about what I think is poor time management and poor organization, which given the fact that I have never in my life not procrastinated on a thing to the last possible moment, would be really saying something, but I won't. It's pointless. I'm just here to redo all my edits because someone kept editing a(n old version of a) document after they sent it to me for updating. Whatever.

Monday night, I was here late and then L and I met up on the spur of the moment and I had three pints of beer, which I haven't done in years and which I should never ever do on a weeknight again. Ugh. I am officially too old for this shit.

Last night, I got home by 7 and just sat on the couch refreshing Tumblr and playing 1010 until it was time to go to bed. Yes, I know I said I deleted it off my phone, and I did, but that didn't remove it from my iPad, so I still have it (and I re-downloaded it to my phone the other day when I was waiting for a train) but I also found it online so I can just play on my laptop now. *hands*

In better news, I heard from the loan officer that my loan commitment letter is preliminarily approved but they needed me to send a bunch of documents I've already sent them twice, plus one new thing that just proves what a dumb racket the whole credit thing is because I have excellent credit, but since I've tried to purchase a home, my credit has been checked three times since April, which is concerning to them. The fact that it's all been in service of trying to get a mortgage, and that no additional lines of credit have yet been opened, doesn't seem to matter. It's like if you have too many accounts, they tell you it has a negative impact, but if you close an account to have fewer, that is also a negative. You carry a balance, which means you have debt! but if you pay it off every month, then that's a negative because you have no outstanding loans! No matter what you do you can't win, which is a clear indication that the whole thing is rigged against you.

I might just be exhausted and ranting. I don't even know. Anyway. Once I get the loan commitment letter, I have to send in the board application package and hope they call me for an interview. Of course this is happening at the same time I'm prepping for my actual board meeting (see above re: work), so the timing is terrible.

I did have a very cool dream where I visited [personal profile] destina and she fed me very fancy pasta and then we went to a murder mystery reenactment.

Lastly, I did my yuletide nominations while I had a free moment, because I didn't want to forget, so this is what they are right now:

Six of Crows
Inej Ghafa
Kaz Brekker
Nina Zenik
Nikolai Lantsov

The Middleman
Wendy Watson
The Middleman
Ida
Noser

Gotham Academy
Olive Silverlock
Mia "Maps" Mizoguchi
Pomeline Fritch
Damian Wayne

I guess I'll let you know if I change my mind.

***

Hillary Clinton: What Happened

Sep. 13th, 2017 04:15 pm
selenak: (Rocking the vote by Noodlebidsnest)
[personal profile] selenak
Briefly; originally I intended to wait for the library to feature What Happened, but the sheer amount of hate Hillary Clinton's book has already produced made me buy it in a hurry. Having read it yesterday, mostly I agree with this review on its major strengths and weaknesses. (My main area of disagreement is with the reviewer's screpticism re: the role of sexism in the election and her comparison between the respective type of hoslitiy aimed at Hillary vs her husband, John Kerry and Mitt Romney.) Therefore, I'll add some trivial observations of my own which are pop culture related:

1.) Wasn't surprised to learn that Hillary, as opposed to The Orange Menace, loved her SNL counterpart. Up and including Kate-as-Hillary singing Halleluja post election.

2.) Was amused that of the various new terms the internet coined in recent years, her favourite is "Mansplaining". (""The second I heard it, I thought"Yes! We needed a word for that.") Of course, the sheer number of guys currently mansplaining what REALLY happened in the election to Hillary Clinton was also predictable.

3.) HC also mentions The Good Wife among the shows she's watched post election for distraction. Given the various comparisons the show draws between the Clintons and the Florricks (my favourite being the Diane and Will conversation where he admits to not getting it and says Peter and Alicia are Bill and Hillary on acid), enquiring minds wonder how distracting that one could have been. Mind you, Hillary is way more positive about Bill in this book (and per previous one) than Alicia ever was about Peter. What Happens includes not just a wry "I heard it again in the 2016 campaign: that 'we must have an arrangement' (we do, it's called a marriage)" and lots of praise for his unwavering support but a straightforward love declaration as well as the statement that if she'd known what was ahead, dark times, public humiliation and all, she'd still marry him again without hesitation.

4.) She loved that pony meme as a summary of her dynamic with Bernie Sanders, and I have to confess it cracked me up as well.

5.) Apparently her Game of Thrones reference ("They shouted "Guilt!Guilty!" like the religious zealots in Game of Thrones shouting "Shame! Shame!" while Cersei Lannister walked back to the Red Keep") is held up as an example of Hillary not getting that Cersei is a villain? Which, well. There are lot of times GoT doesn't want you to sympathize with Cersei. That sequence, though, wasn't one of them.

6.) I don't know the woman, so I have no idea whether or not the book is Hillary Clinton unrestrained, but she certainly sounds like it. ("The President of China had to explain the complexity of the North Korea challenge to him. 'After listening for ten minutes, I realized it's not so easy,' Trump said. Can you hear my palm slapping my forehead?") Also, on Comey: "(Comey) said that he was 'mildly nauseous' at the idea that he influenced the outcome of the election. Hearing that made me sick." I have a bit more sympathy for Comey than she does, but yeah, no kidding.


Generally speaking, I found the book easier to read than her previous memoirs, not least because of her greater focus on one particular era and set of issues.

A trailer and a story

Sep. 12th, 2017 12:12 pm
selenak: (Ashoka and Anakin by Welshgater)
[personal profile] selenak
Trailer spotted: The Man Who Invented Christmas seems to be trying to take the Shakespeare in Love approach to Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol. The following thoughts occured to me in no particular order:

- Dan Stevens is actually made to look like a young Charles Dickens and has something of that manic energy, but:

- as Dickens' favourite daughter Kate Perugini put it, writing to George Bernard Shaw: "If you could make the public understand that my father was not a jolly, jocose gentleman walking about the earth with a plum pudding and a bowl of punch you would greatly oblige me."

- no such luck, Kate, not with this movie. Though Dickens really wasn't

- I know I complain about Mark Gatiss written episodes of Doctor Who a lot, but his very first one, The Unquiet Dead, actually did something more interesting with the basic idea of Dickens + Christmas Carol + supernatural elements than this trailer indicates

- why is it that "based on a true story" movies that tackle author plus famous work always feel the need to pretend the author in question had writers block and/or dire difficulties before hitting on the inspiration for the famous work? Do we blame Stoppard for this one, too? Finding Neverland did it as well, and it's just as untrue here (neither Barrie nor Dickens were when writing Peter Pan and Christmas Carol respectively in any type of financial or inspirational difficulties)

- the idea of Charles Dickens, of all the people, having writers' block is hilarious, though, because his problem was more the opposite. Neil Gaiman in the Sandman story Calliope lets Dream curse a writer with literally unending inspiration (spoiler: it's not a boon when you write your fingers bloody because you really can't stop), and Dickens wasn't quite there, but nearly.

Mind you, the film makers are probably safe to assume most tv watchers know zilch about Dickens' biography. But not for the first time, I wonder whether a miniseries wouldn't be a great format to tackle that, Dickens in his morally ambiguous complexity, covering the whole life from child-of-a-conman Charles to celebrated writer, philantropist and terrible husband Dickens going on one last reciting tour. Abi Morgan did a good job with The Invisible Woman, taking one particular part of his life, and she has tv experience, so she'd be my first choice to write such a series.

Meanwhile, in another fandom, to wit, Star Wars:

Balance Point: now by now there are some stories in which Force Ghost Obi-Wan Kenobi haunts Vader, but this story is the first one which lets someone else who used to be close to Anakin Skywalker do so instead, and executes that premise beautifully.Spoilers for Star Wars: Rebels ensue. )

and you say how appropriate

Sep. 11th, 2017 04:52 pm
musesfool: jar of flower petals, spilling (but there is this)
[personal profile] musesfool
this day is always weird and solemn, and for the past 15 years, I would call my dad and we'd be thankful he'd survived a terrorist attack (2 actually, since he was there in '93 too), but now he's gone.

The six-month anniversary of his death is Thursday, and then the fourth anniversary of my mother's death is a week from Saturday, so this is a rough stretch to get through, I guess.

On the other hand, work has been so ridiculously hectic that this is the first moment I've had to breathe since I walked in the door, so it kept my mind occupied, which is good. I might just crawl into bed when I get home. I feel like I could sleep forever, but the rest of this work week is going to be busy too, since we're gearing up for a board meeting next week. Boss1 bought me flowers to brighten me up.

***

Multifandom recs

Sep. 11th, 2017 06:01 pm
selenak: (The Americans by Tinny)
[personal profile] selenak
The Americans:

While pondering whether or not to volunteer for The Americans this Yuletide, I checked whether there were new stories since last year, and indeed there were. I especially liked:


It's never over: a look at Oleg in season 5.

My last night: Philip and Elizabeth post Martha.

The Defenders:

Saints in Effigy a Claire pov on her relationships.

MCU:

Spider-Sitting: what Happy Hogan thinks about basically being made Peter's handler.
musesfool: lester bangs on rock'n'roll (music)
[personal profile] musesfool
Yesterday, I had that awful achy skin feverish feeling and got nothing done. I just wanted soft, comforting things, so I went to finish my AtLA rewatch and discovered that it was no longer free as part of Amazon Prime! WTF?! I didn't feel like digging out my dvds (hush), so I ended up watching the back half of The West Wing season 2, and then this morning I watched "Two Cathedrals" and those final six minutes set to "Brothers in Arms" might be the best use of music on a tv show ever.

Which started me thinking about other iconic musical cues from TV shows, and this is a very short, very incomplete list:

- "Renegade" in the SPN episode "Nightshifter"
- "Don't Fear the Reaper" in the SPN episode "Faith"
- "Bad Moon Rising" in the SPN episode "Devil's Trap"

I could probably fill this list with ONLY SPN moments, so here are some others:

- "Full of Grace" aka, "the song at the end of Becoming II"
- "Devil Town" in the opening and closing episodes of s1 of Friday Night Lights
- "Come Back" in the FNL episode "Wind Sprints"
- "Eli's Coming" in the Sports Night episode of the same name
- "There She Goes" in the pilot of Gilmore Girls
- "Momentary Thing" over Veronica and Logan's kiss in VMars
- "In Your Wildest Dreams" in the HLotS episode "Full Moon"

I'm sure there are many others - what am I missing? I know "Life" used music excellently but I'm blanking on any specific moments right now.

*let's take any moment that uses "Hallelujah" out of the running for now. I still haven't recovered from its overuse in the late 90s.

***
musesfool: text icon: Gryffindor: We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty. (we have done the impossible)
[personal profile] musesfool
Here's a fanfic meme from [personal profile] misbegotten, but it's 50 questions long so I'm breaking it up into parts and will eventually answer them all.

So here's part 1:

Fandom Questions

1. What was the first fandom you got involved in?
Online? Homicide: Life on the Street. alt.tv.homicide was the first newsgroup I lurked on and then participated in. We're coming up on the 20th anniversary of that: November 1997!

It was an amazing newsgroup to break into online fandom with, and it was highly influential on my online behavior.

2. What is your latest fandom?
Latest, and also one of my oldest fandoms: Star Wars. I blame The Clone Wars and also The Force Awakens. The former for making me care about Anakin Skywalker *shakes tiny ineffectual fist* and the latter for giving me Rey and Finn and GENERAL ORGANA.

3. What is the best fandom you’ve ever been involved in?
Aw, they're all great (and terrible) in their own ways. Maybe MCU circa 2012 when Avengers came out, because it was sort of the culmination of friendships that formed when I was in XMM twelve years before. Harry Potter was great because it was such an upswell of creativity and making connections with other fans.

I don't really feel like I belong to any one fandom these days - everything is so disconnected and I don't really have a sense of community in Star Wars. It's more like my DW flist is my fandom, and to a lesser extent, my tumblr dash.

4. Do you regret getting involved in any fandoms?
Ahahahahaha. I regret the way my participation in a couple of them ended.

5. Which fandoms have you written fanfiction for?
Ahahahaha! According to AO3, and including one-offs, and lumping various comics and movie properties into umbrella fandoms, here is the list:

~68 or so fandoms )

6. List your OTP from each fandom you’ve been involved in.
I don't always have an OTP, but here are a few:

HP: Remus/Sirius, James/Lily, Harry/Ron/Hermione
Star Wars: Han/Leia, Rey/Finn/Poe, Baze/Chirrut
Ocean's Eleven: Danny/Rusty
Narnia: Cor/Aravis
MCU: Steve/Bucky, Tony/Pepper
DCU: Tim/Kon, Clark/Lois
XMM: Logan/Rogue, Charles/Erik
The West Wing: Josh/Donna
Gilmore Girls: Luke/Lorelai
FNL: Coach/Mrs. Coach

7. List your NoTPs from each fandom you’ve been in.
I don't always have a NoTP, but here are the ones I very definitely do have:

Marvel: Steve/Tony
Star Wars: Reylo
XMM: Jean/Logan
SPN: Dean/Cas
DCU: Clark/Diana
Gilmore Girls: Christopher/Lorelai

8. How did you get involved in your latest fandom?
It's Star Wars? I've been involved in it, or at least a fan of it, since 1977? If you mean how did I suddenly start writing fic for it after years of not writing fic for it? Well, Ahsoka Tano's appearance is a major key to that, as well as the sad lack of stuff dealing with Leia and Vader's relationship. And of course, the Clone Wars made me invested in Anakin Skywalker, and also provided me with characters like Satine Kryze and Asajj Ventress, whom I love! Those were the main things that I was interested in, and then Rey and Finn came along and I wanted to know more about them, too.

9. What are the best things about your current fandom?
Nearly everybody knows a little bit about it, so you can enthuse about it in public without getting odd looks from people. (Otoh, when you say something like, "But I really like Anakin Skywalker!" be prepared for people to judge you, and not even silently. *hands*)

10. Is there a fandom you read fic from but don’t write in?
Oh yeah. Mostly Yuletide fandoms (e.g., Queen's Thief, Gentleman Bastards, Rivers of London) or things like Discworld or Good Omens, where I would like to write but just haven't really had any good ideas. This also goes for a lot of the one-off fandoms I've written in - I'd like to write more iZombie or Arrow or Sports Night, but I just don't really have ideas for them.

I guess that's a good start!

***
selenak: (Partners in Crime by Monanotlisa)
[personal profile] selenak
In which our author in a way comes full circle, going back to the territory of his third novel and big breakthrough, The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, as well revisiting some of his most famous characters in this and later novels, to wit, George Smiley and friends. Though Smiley himself, in present day, only makes a cameo appearance at the very end. He's the Luke Skywalker to this novel's The Force Awakens, looked and searched for throughout the story by everyone, and none more so than a younger adlatus, who only tracks him down at the end of it. Mind you, "younger" in this case is relative, since the man in question is a senior citizen himself. He's also our narrator, and none other than Peter Guillam, possibly familiar to non-readers because Benedict Cumberbatch played him in the more recent cinematic version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy gets referenced a lot, and there are some other veterans from it making appearances, notably Jim Prideaux towards the end, but really, the Le Carré novel which this one serves as a remix, bookending, counterpart, whatever you want to call it as remains the earlier The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. The one which which, in pop culture consensus, Le Carré reinvented the spy genre, presenting a counter vision to James Bond in the form of his shabby, worn down civil servants and the way the Western side of the Cold War was presented as performing morally ambigous to downright villainous acts. (Mind you, as Le Carré himself acknowledged, Graham Greene went there before him, but Le Carré still popularized the type.) The film version had Richard Burton as Alec Leamas, and Alec Leamas is the (dead) character most revisited in A Legacy of Spies.

The premise: Peter Guilllam, enjoying retirement in France (the Bretagne to be precise, as he's half Breton and spent his early childhood there before being dumped into the horror of a British public school), gets summoned to London and given the unwelcome news that the children of Alec Leamas, Elizabeth Gold (and as it turns out the offspring of a third party who is new to the saga) are sueing the British government for what happened to their parents at the end of the earlier novel. (If you don't recall Leamas and Gold having kids in said book/film, don't worry; this is meant to be news to the reader, though Guillam knew about Alec Leamas' illegitimate son, if not about Gold's illegitimate-given-up-to-adoption daughter. Since the current secret service and government has no intention of being embarrassed, that means they need some individual to blame, and with Smiley mysteriously unable to find, this means Guillam as the sole survivor of "Operation Widfall", as it was called.

In practical terms, this means we're getting both flashbacks from Guillam and lots of excerpts from reports made at the time by various parties concerned. Le Carré avoids just rehashing old material (only viewed from the other perspective, as opposed to that of Alec Leamas) by not arriving at the actual events of The Spy... until the last third. Before, we get the backstory, involving Leamas as head of Berlin station and Guillam as a courier. It's also Le Carré's opportunity for a good old suspense plot; the extraction of an asset. Meanwhile, in the present day, the various current day "Circus" members are gleefully skewered and satirized in their fake chummyness. (Footnote: one of them is called "Bunny", which is all you need to know. Is there ever a male character named Bunny who isn't an object of satire to his author?) Guillam, being a Le Carré spy (retired), lies of course to his investigators. Whether or not he also lies to himself regarding his motives at various points is up to the reader.

Nitpicks: for starters, I think Le Carré is making things easy for the readers as who to sympathize with, which didn't use to be the case. Having established the "children sue" premise, he goes out of his way to not allow any narrative identification with them. Elizabeth Gold's daughter (and btw, the gender choice - a daughter for Liz Gold, a son for Alec Leamas - is another thing that strikes me as lazy) never makes it on screen, err, page, she's only referred to; Alex Leamas' son Christoph (half German, because of course he is) first shows up in the flashback as a sullen teenager, then in the present as a money-hungry thug, and by the time it's revealed that some spoilers ensue ), it's too late for the readers. The son of the new character, the asset Leamas and Guillam first had to cultivate and then to extract, an East German secretary code named Tulip, gets a bit more development in that he's presented as likeable as a child and the way he's as an adult is clearly due to what happened to his mother and the choices our heroes made back in the day. But again, he gets just one scene. Meanwhile, Leamas, Smiley (in the flashbacks - when I said cameo appearance only, I meant present day George Smiley, the one in the 50s and 60s gets a lot of scenes) and Guilllam himself get a lot of pages to show their mental and emotional state about those hard choices.

Secondly, it's not until the last third when a sympathetic female character not romantically involved with any of our male regulars shows up; she's Tabitha, Guillam's thoroughly unimpressed lawyer, and she's great, but until then, Le Carré leaves us with types: Spoilers explain a bit ). Since Le Carré in an article about the recent tv version of The Night Manager freely admitted the best thing about it was the gender change that allowed Olivia Colman to play the handler character, I'm surprised that he didn't at least try to get out of his boys' club mentality for this novel. Make Christoph a Christine, for example, who still is damaged, has spent some time in prison and is on a revenge quest, and then even with the drawback mentioned above you immediately have a more interesting character. Granted: as a rule, you don't read Le Carré for his female characters (with the odd exception), you read him for the various male characters with myriad issues neurotically interacting with each other, and as always, he delivers a plenty.

Thirdly, for a novel which has a trial looming as a threat, it's a bit frustrating that spoilers happen ).

Not a nitpick, just an observation: if you're only familiar with the recent movie version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and not either the 70s tv version or the novel, you might be surprised and/or annoyed that Peter Guillam isn't gay in A Legacy of Spies, but this was a movie-only thing, not mentioned or indicated in the original novel. Though while Guillam's het affairs are plot revelant, I admit he'd have been a more interesting character to me if Le Carré had decided to make him at least bi. Anyway, this novel isn't a case of a narrator truly telling his own story, it's more a case of the narrator telling other people's stories, in this case, Leamas', Smiley's and Tulip's.

Lastly: if The Spy Who Came In From The Cold advanced the cause of shadiness in the spy genre, it for all its moral ambiguity - Spoilers for a spy novel and movie classic ) - it did so with the underlying assumption that it was still justified by the need to not let the Soviet Union win the Cold War. A Legacy of Spies, written by a much older John Le Carré who is thoroughly disgusted by current day politics, has its narrator wonder increasingly what any of it was for. And then George Smiley in his Old Luke Skywalker cameo answers that question with a passionate declaration that's very obviously also an authorial fourth wall breaking, of a writer in the age of Brexit and Trump. Smiley, on why he did the things he did:

"For world peace, whatever that is? Yes, yes, of course. There will be no war, but in the struggle for peace no stone will be left standing, as our Russian friends used to say. (...) Or was it all in the great name of capitalism? God forbid. Christendom? God forbid again. (...) So was it all for England, then?" he resumed. "There was a time, of course there was. But whose England? Which England? England all alone, a citizen of nowhere? I'm a European, Peter. If I had a mission - if I ever was aware of one beyond our business with the enemy, it was to Europe. If I was heartless, I was heartless for Europe. If I had an unattainable ideal, it was to lead Europe out of her darkness towards a new age of reason. I have it still.

It's the last sentence that draws the line between nihilistic despair and critique allied to resolve and hope, despite it all.

I'll find my soul as I go home

Sep. 8th, 2017 10:42 am
musesfool: baby Terry from Batman & Sons (it's always time for hugs)
[personal profile] musesfool
Friday grab bag:

A. Ugh, the trains were disgustingly crowded and slow this morning, and then there was some sort of croissant crisis at the other Starbucks, so the waiting area was jammed with people waiting for pastries that were never going to come. On the plus side, it's Friday! on the minus side, we're back to full days on Friday. *sob*

ii. I forgot Timeless on my potential Yuletide noms post yesterday! Certainly Wyatt, Lucy, Jiya, and Rufus should all get nommed by someone who isn't me. Agent Christopher, too, I hope!

3. Some reading material:
- Donald Trump: the First White President by Ta-Nehisi Coates

- And something a little lighter: Mets Legend Keith Hernandez On Baseball, Books, Broadcasting And Battles at SI.com

d. And speaking of the Mets, y'all saw Dylan O'Brien throw out the first pitch the other night, right? He was very cute about the whole thing, though if I closed my eyes, he sounded like uncannily like my older nephew.

V. from the we make our own fun file: Batman & Darth Vader: two sides of the same coin? I amuse myself, anyway.

5a. And for more serious meta: the dark side is a choice. Oh Anakin. I'm probably gonna have to read this book aren't I? Sigh. #i'm not mad i'm just disappointed #i hate that i have ~feelings about darth vader now #the most problematic fave

5b. and for my own amusement - and from a different comic - someone telling vader what we'd all like to.

***

Of ficathons and story plans

Sep. 8th, 2017 11:33 am
selenak: (Uthred and Alfred)
[personal profile] selenak
Back after a week of hiking and little online access, I managed to finish my story for the Missy Remix just in time. Phew.

Meanwhile, Yuletide nominations are nearly upon us. Of the new fandoms I've discovered for myself this year, I still want to nominate The Last Kingdom - anyone wilth so we can get more characters in? I'd also nominate Wynona Earp, but it's above the limit due to the popularity of the Waverly/Nicole pairing. Class, otoh, should qualify despite the Doctor Who connection. (I mean, if individual MCU projects like Ant Man make the cut...) And since it's now officially cancelled, I feel the need for fanfic more than ever. Any willing Class nominators, again, to get more character options if we coordinate our efforts?

Book-wise, I won't nominate the Bernie Gunther mysteries because a) no one will pick that one up, and b) I have just one particular idea for a story, which would be an Agent Carter crossover, and finding the odd person who enjoys both Agent Carter and those novels would be even more difficult than finding someone willing to write for a WW II era book series set mostly inside Germany and occupied territories. Also, I might write that story myself, it's one of those "if I ever find the time" things. It would copy the structure of the later Gunther novels, i.e. switch back and forth between two eras, WWII and the 50s. During WWII, when Goebbels launches his big propaganda coup of inviting all and sunder to check out the newly discovered Katyn massacre site, Peggy is undercover among the reporters, with a mission (she thinks) to find out the truth and expose the Nazis for liars, only to discover to her horror that in this particular case, the Nazis actually said the truth, the Soviets did committ the massacre in question, but to admit this would sabotage relationships among the Allies and thus the Allied war effort which means her actual mission becomes burying the evidence. Meanwhile, the novels have Bernie Gunther in Katyn investigating that very event, so their paths would inevitably cross, and their interests clash but in some areas coincide. Cutting dialogue and murky ethical territory on both sides guaranteed. On the other hand, in the 50s, Bernie is the one on the run under a variety of false names while Peggy has just founded SHIELD and is on the rise when a murder happens that involves some former Hydra member who's been adopted via Operation Paperclip, and she needs an outside investigator who knows his way among former and not so former Nazis without being one, and won't be deterred should the killer be one of hers, either.
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