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Weather Harlot returns (northern Harlot, Momcat equals southern Harlot)

 

I am back from my vacation and am still in that awkward transfer from vacation zone-out back into the real world. As I get older it is harder making the adjustment. It’s a mild version of post-traumatic-stress-spring-feverish out-time that has to be transitioned across.   It’s painful coming back into reality.

 

At work I’m still day dreaming about the mountains, the beautiful fall foliage and the bracing cold. I can feel the wind burn on my lips. I actually had to use chap-stick, a once in a decade purchase for me.  I also miss Vala’s incessant jitteriness as she was bouncing about trying to keep warm. I think she is only truly happy when the temperatures soar and stay in the high-humid nineties.  

 

I’ve also enjoyed four weeks of minimal computer use, which gave me time to think about stuff that normally stays subsumed in my thoughts because I’m not particularly good with expressing intangibles in words this is going to be difficult to communicate.

 

 I have been thinking about several related topics one is why SGU universe isn’t connecting with me, and how that is related to other general and very old intellectual questions I been mulling about fan fiction since I first encounted the genre.( years ago ).   It goes back to reading Love and Death in the American Novel by Leslie A. Fiedler. I decided on vacation I was ready for a re-read of this amazing critical study. Since I’d forgotten most of it and because the intellectual issues the author addresses haven’t changed that much in forty years I knew it was going to be fun. 

 

Fiedler’s cultural criticism is more relevant with each passing decade and he gave me an interesting lens with which to interpret fanfiction and the media products they are based upon.

 

Momcat has been putting up with my rants about this for awhile--Why can’t young men get over their fascination with dark and edgy fiction about loners, psychopaths, and dark characters as the pinnacle of literary (or screenplay) sophistication.?  Or to quote the blurb on the back cover of Fiedler’s tome.  

 

“….. there emerges Fiedler’s once scandalous—and now increasingly accepted—judgment that our literature in incapable of dealing with adult sexuality and is pathologically obsessed with death.”

 

Here are a few more quotes, to get the gist of Fiedler’s points.

 

“Our great novelists, though experts on indignity and assault, on loneliness and terror, tend to avoid treating the passionate encounter of a man and woman, which we expect at the center of a novel. Indeed, they rather shy away from permitting in their fictions the presence of any full-fledged, mature women, giving us instead monsters of virtue or bitchery, symbols of the rejection or fear of sexuality

 

 

“--our classic literature is a literature of horror for boys.”

 

“...the typical male protagonist of our fiction has been a man on the run, harried into the forest and out to sea, down the river or into combat—anywhere to avoid “civilization” which is to say, the confrontation of a man and a woman which leads to the fall to sex, marriage, and responsibility.”

 

(Must get to work will continue this later)

 

 

 

 

From: [identity profile] momcat09.livejournal.com
It’s painful coming back into reality.

Yeah, re-entry sucks moat-water...!! I'm nearly caught up now, but I came back to a new supervisor, a new work-mode and an unconscionably early starting time... 08:30 meetings... what kind of sadist as meetings at 08:30??!!

Why can’t young men get over their fascination with dark and edgy fiction about loners, psychopaths, and dark characters as the pinnacle of literary (or screenplay) sophistication.?

Umm... I guess the short answer is "more testosterone than sense"... the good news is that they DO eventually grow out of it! The bad news is by the time they do, they're no longer young. Remember what I once told you re how fragile they actually are, for all their bluster and bravado? As annoying as male ego can be, it actually serves as protection for something that makes Waterford crystal seem as impermeable as a Sherman tank by comparison. And yes, if they're writing, they don't have a clue re how to write a fully mature intelligent woman because they don't know any -- and that for the simple reason that such a being scares the living daylights out of 'em... we're sure of ouselves, we know what we want,and we eat those boys for breakfast.. they do call predatory older women "cougars", y'know...

As for being obsessed with death... y'know, what is coming to my mind is the art, music and literature of the middle ages; a certain darkness of thought and spirit, skulls peering out everywhere, a kind of awareness of the impermanence of life... eynh...hell, you can get that just listening to the evening news... politically, ecologically, economically, we're all going to hell in a handbasket (besides being alliterative, why handbaskets? Just wondering...)
From: [identity profile] sporangia.livejournal.com
Here are some interesting thoughts on the Hell in a Hand basket phrase which is getting more usage of late. (big surprise there lol)
http://www.nytimes.com/1990/04/29/magazine/on-language-to-wherever-in-a-handbasket.html

I still can't figure out how to hide the hot link under a single word. I've read the directions many times but it's not getting through. Sorry.

What prompted my re-reading of Fiedler was my general frustration with the drift of television the last ten years. It's why I haven't been watching much of it. I'm not seeing representations of women who are like me--who are real. This isn't new, I have felt this way for the last forty years, I just don't have the patience to put up with it anymore--so I quit watching.

In my twenties I thought the problem of young male writers unable to write women was a generational thing, but if Fiedler is correct then the tendency goes much deeper than that. Are American male writer locked into a retarded tradition that keeps recapitulating, generation after generation, an escalation of gothic blood-curdling violence and fear of female contamination of some mythic male world-view? It sure explains a lot about American cinema if it is correct.

Recently producers and writers of SGU (the new Stargate series on SyFy) have been taking issue with negative fan reaction to their edgier and darker series. Presumably many female reviewers, but it could be male reviewers too, have been panning it. The Produces answer to the criticism is that they thought everyone wanted a darker grittier, version of the Stargate Universe.

In principle I have no problem with heightened realism, but SGU is mostly a heightened more gothic-violent version of the same omissions that annoyed me in their other stargate manifestations--The marginalization and absence of women, the privileging of male geekdom and the unwillingness to embrace female perspectives as anything other than ugly male-honed cliches.

The producers and writers have heard this complaint many times, and they continue to ignore all the female voices. When young men persist in a vision of art that drives women away, they should at least be able to grasp what is happening and why it is happening. The producers and writer's of SGU have ignored this to their peril, and now the critical flow of opinion is moving against them, and they feel betrayed even shocked that their visions aren't what everyone wants. When you get these kinds of disconnects I think you are dealing with something much deeper than just the egos of a few angry-young-male television writers. It is a systemic problem inherent to how young men think about what is and is not literature, and that is why I'm re-reading Fiedler.
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I'm working all weekend so I won't get back into my musings until early next week. I checked on Elegmi and she is okay, though she still sounds like a frog. She has lots of groceries and is going to be reading fanfiction all weekend. The SGA Big Bang (long stories)apparently releases today. God knows when I will have time to read any of them. I'll catch up with you later.





From: [identity profile] momcat09.livejournal.com
I'm thinking the other possibility/ probability is that they're trying to reach certain demographics in order to sell items to members of said population.

They're not interested in things that don't matter to the target population ... and let's face it, fully mature, self-aware women, by and large, don't care about the things that are important to 20-something males... I guess the question is, how many other segments of their viewing public will be similarly offended/ annoyed and will the number be sufficient to get 'em to change their ways?

BTW-- thanks for the 'handbasket' link... I've always wondered vaguely what a handbasket was...!

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