Saturday, May 31, 2008

Random Thoughts on Christy

Was I really already in high school when I first watched this? I didn't think I was so old.

Wait, high school? God, I was so young back in '94.

Speaking of being young, it's really weird watching it now and getting what the doctor is saying from the start, rather than agreeing with Christy all the time. I mean, I get where she's coming from too, but he seems like less of a cynic/stick in the mud this time around. And not just because I know how it ends.

Watching the scene where they talk about the moonshine in the pilot episode is very different when one has yet to ever drink, versus watching while drinking a White Russian (with ice cream, yum). As a member of Friday Night Live, you are pretty much just thinking "alcohol bad!". As the Kalua drinker, you mostly just feel bad that they had to make do with moonshine.

I find it intersting that this is hailed as such a Christian show. I know it's mostly because the book is (books?) but this particular adaptation? Aside from Christy's internal monologues and her conversations with Alice, not a resounding endorsement for organized religion. There's a reason Christy picks the doctor over the preacher.

Also, there's just too many parallels between the doctor's arguments in favor of the moonshine and the situation of the modern poor, whether it's farmers in Afghanistan growing poppy or kids in "inner cities" that get involved in selling drugs. That's not really a perspective that the bulk of those that speak for American Christians and "family values" really get behind.

Wow. I can't believe I liked the preacher more than the doctor the first time. He's so young! Oh wait, that makes sense. And Christy is really young too.

Wow is this a surprisingly feminist show.

No wonder why I liked it. Now I feel less bad that I completely missed Buffy when it first aired. I'd recently abandoned fantasy/scifi for romance novels and historical fiction, and horror would not be on my list of things I liked for several more years. Buffy completely passes me by until the sixth season or so when I caught a rerun of Hush on FX. But Christy was totally on my radar.

Why is it feminist? Well, aside from the part where Christy not only says that she wants to do more with her life than keep home and have babies, the show lets her qualify that statement by explaining that it's the lack of purpose of being a female member of (high?) society that feels pointless to her, not the raising kids part. The mothers in Cutter Gap are all shown sympathetically (if at times cowed) and often as important members of the community, albeit not officially.

Most importantly though, there is Christy's relationship with Alice, which is just awesome. How often do we get to see older women mentoring younger women? Especially when the women are not related? This is a professional mentoring relationship, which grows to include the spiritual and emotional. I just love it so much. In no small part thanks to the fact that Tyne Daly is perpetually awesome. And Tyne Daly with a shotgun, more than awesome.

(Oh, wait, I need to add Cagney and Lacey to the list of dvds I need. I think I'm going to forgoe getting cable - or even any kind of broadcast television - when I move, and just spend the money on buying shows on dvd instead.)

And Christy's friendship with Fairlight? Very cool as well. I mean really, how many shows that aren't about Housewives or girlfriends in the City (and their relationships) do we have on now that center around a female character, her job and the people around her, with half of the main people around her being female?

Yes, sadly, there is a reason why it was shortlived. And Kellie Martin's sophmore acting wasn't it reason. (I think Kellie Martin can act, but Christy was not her best work. Not the pilot anyway.)

I hated David's sister the first time I watched this. Now I just hate him. Manipulative, self-centered asshole. I doubt she had very many other prospects, and what kind of a bitch would people think of her if she left her poor brother to fend for himself in the wilderness? As I said, not resounding endorsement of organized religion.

PS - it's hot. I hate trying to get to sleep when it's hot.

Can You believe That One of My Friends Once Called Me Unromantic?

I was in the middle of a Buffy marathon (quite literally; I was about halfway through the fourth season) when what do I spy at Target?



I loved this show back in the day.

I was so pissed when they started making the preacher guy not the love interest, but by the end I was as love with the doctor as Christy was.

God, I loved this show.

(I just hope I still do.)

So...the Buffy marathon has been interrupted and the Christy marathon begins in it's place. :)

(now all i need is Avonlea, the Cadfael Mysteries and that Heidi sequel on dvd, and I can die happy)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Interesting Sidenote

The LA Times has an article today about Susan Kare, designer of the icons for Mac Classic and more, and it not only mentions that she graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1975, which is normal enough, it also points out that MHC is an all-women's college - without that fact being referenced anywhere else in the article.

Which, I just find kinda funny for some reason.

It's like, "so and so went here. Oh, and by the way only girls go there isn't that weird?"

And omg, I want, like all of these.

Not only are they cool, they are from an MHC alum. Double cool!

Ooooh. and they are on sale. Which means they may be gone soon. I should buy myself an early birthday present. Or two.

There Are Times When Being a Supervisor Sucks

One, I hate disciplining my employees.

Unless they've pissed me off. Which isn't really the best way to handle things.

And oh, completely unrelated (NOT), coming up to a coworker and rubbing their shoulders, aside from being inappropriate* to begin with, is sexual harassment, even if the person getting the shoulder rub never complains. At least, it's sexual harassment if person doing the rubbing is male, the person being rubbed is female, and the person doing the rubbing would never dream of doing that to a male coworker. (vice versa, as well, of course)

And really, when how often is that "if" not true?

And why the fuck can't my supervisor see that?

I'm almost happy we didn't deal with this already, bc I'm totally making that point before we talk to the employee in question. I'm ok with the talk being more of a heads up than a warning, because of how the policy is written and because of how we generally deal with other types of disciplining. But only if my boss is agreed that it's not just inappropriate but also sexual harassment even if no one ever complains.

And yeah. I'm going to be a bitch about this - fuck, I'm going to be a man-eating cunt about this - because the other employes that this particular person works with the most also happen to be my youngest and least assertive employees.

And having people assume your body is community property because it's female not only sucks, but is really hard to fight when you are 17/18/19, don't have the language to describe any of this properly, and your bosses don't address the problem properly.

*perhaps in some workplaces - especially those that don't involve the workers being out in pubic view at the time - this is not true, but it is at my workplace.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Libraries Aren't for Playing on myspace!

If I hear read one more animal rights activist argue that yes! animal rights are just like children's rights! I am going to fucking scream.

The point of the title? I'm guessing a strong overlap between these kinds of people and those that are shocked that some crazy libraries/schools think that they are there to serve children themselves, and not just their parents.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Is Rainbow Brite Scifi?

(A question from this thread, via the Hathor Legacy)

The thing about "girls don't like [X]" is that they are always redefining what [X] is until that statement becomes partly true.

The Care Bears, My Little Pony, and Strawberry Shortcake are all very much fantasy stories, and, aside from a few fangeeks that are very into one and not the other, most people see SciFi and Fantasy and so analogous to be practically interchangeable. Certainly more interchangeable than Mysteries and Romance novels anyway.

Yet, somehow, I have a feeling that Rainbow Brite would not be on anyone's list of '80s scifi cartoons. I'm willing to bet it wouldn't even be on most people's lists of '80s fantasy cartoons.

Certainly there is a difference between ray-guns and the Care Bear Stare, but the biggest difference between "girl" and "boy" cartoons is not in the storyline or even the amount of action vs. drama (was any '80's cartoon more melodramatic than Robotech? Any 90's cartoon more soap opera-ish than Gargoyles?), but in who the story is marketed to. Which boils down to mostly window dressing and the number of times the weapon of choice is wielded by female characters.

This isn't to say that He-Man was really all that much like Strawberry Shortcake or vice versa, just that they both have equal claims to the fantasy genre, but only one gets used as an defining example of the genre. It gets to the point where The Smurfs and The Gummi Bears are not considered to by definitive examples of fantasy cartoons for kids either, despite the obvious untruth to that statement, simply because they are both less violent and less reflective of stereotypes of adult fantasy than Dungeons and Dragons.

Obviously, all of these strategically shifting definitions make for very circular logic when one then turns around and claims that boys are more into fantasy or scifi.

It's the same kind of effect we get from pretending that women played no part in history until we gained the vote. Ignoring girl's and women's experiences makes it really easy to flat out lie about what girls and women do and like.

Likewise, when one ignores or glosses over the connection between Lord of the Rings and Victorian fairy tales like The Princess and the Goblin, it's really easy to pretend that modern fantasy is completely disconnected from the princess stories my niece likes to act out. Which in turn makes it sound completely ridiculous to suggest that Rainbow Brite was Fantasy (rather than fantasy), much less science fiction.

Kind of the same way that ignoring scientific data makes it really easy to pretend that evolution is all made up.

And yet, aside from the flying horse, is there anything (other than gendered assumptions made by people that never watched the show) that cause us to define it as fantasy, rather than scifi? Or worse yet, fantasy-lite? What makes Teenage Mutant Turtles scifi for kids, but not Rainbow Brite?

Yes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles featured a bit of comic book inspired* radioactive gook in their origin story (which itself is very much a rip-off of the magical elixirs and pools in myths, which is why faatasy and scifi are so often lumped together). But ignore for the moment the rainbows and the martial arts, ignore your prejudices that says that boy = scifi and girl = fantasy. Which of the two characters below looks like they belong in a fantasy? A science fiction story?

Which of these two characters lives on another planet? Cavorts with friendly aliens? Uses technological tools? Fight enemies that use technology as well? Whose story features intergalactic travel? Uses basic physics (light and color) as a thematic metaphor?

Which character uses weapons designed centuries earlier? Whose story features lots of mystical sayings spouted by a Wise Old Man? Who fights enemies that wield mysterious powers? Even the very idea of animals that talk is a very fantasy-like element - despite the scientific origin story.

I like action, adventure, and even violence. And I think that a lot of "girls" cartoons could have done with a bit more actual action and a bit less less running around. More importantly, the writers could have bothered to give their audience more credit for being intelligent. But lets not pretend that quality is what defines something as scfi or fantasy. (If it was, we could simply pretend that the Gor novels have no connection to the genre either.)

Most all, lets not forget that Gummi Bears was not only vastly better than Dungeons and Dragons but also a much better example of Fantasy cartoons for kids.

PS - if anyone feels in the mood to add some more arguments for why Rainbow Brite - or any other "girl" cartoon - was really scifi and not fantasy or anything else, I may feel grateful enough to go digging through old photos and find the one of me all decked out in the incredibly awesome Rainbow Brite costume my mom made for me in third grade. :)

*appropriately enough, since it was originally a comic.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Conversations With Young People

So, I was chatting with a teen that comes into the library a lot.

Her friend is a volunteer and the three of us squeed over Dramacon a couple weeks ago, so we talk about what manga she's reading when she comes in now.

Anyway, she was showing me her artwork and mentioned that she had drawn some yaoi*, but that it was hidden underneath another drawing (in the clear plastic sleeve on the cover of her folder) because the boys complain about it.

I noted that they never seem to have a problem with the opposite. Which, in fact. is acceptable enough to be a common joke in mainstream movies.

Yes, I am on a mission to corrupt them all, one kid at a time.

*exceptionally tame, yaoi, as it turns out, in case anyone cares.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Someone Needs to Be Wrong

I got home from work about an hour ago, I'm tired, I'm frustrated, and I'm in an all around pissy mood.

Someone needs to be wrong somewhere on the internet - so that I can go yell at them.

Pretty please?

Friday, May 02, 2008

When Space Westerns and Lifetime Television Collide

Lifetime Makeover - now Dress-up Challenge - includes Princess Leia buns as a hairstyle option.

(and they say girls don't like Star Wars)

Leia, ready for a night out on the town.

I seriously cannot stop giggling.