January 2nd, 2003

elijah

The one with the popslash.

I'm beginning to feel the lure...the lure of posting in the middle of the day. Having an LJ could be dangerous. I might actually post those thoughts which otherwise remain unpublished, kept secreted through sheer laziness. It was always kind of a task to update my blog.

I just read the funniest popslash story of all time. So says Sandy, and she is right. Find it here, and beware of reading it at work:

http://www.waxjism.net/jaesepha/coldhearted0.html

There's having an ear for dialogue, which I usually like to think I have, and then there's having an ear for *funny* dialogue, which clearly other people have spadefuls more of than me. Spadefuls of ears. Whatever.

Ever since the holidays started I've been restless at work, more days than not. I guess it's to be expected. I'm feeling all slackerish because I had yesterday off and for tomorrow the veep has given us free tickets to see The Two Towers, so there's at least a half a day happily blown. I feel guilty though, because I love my new position. This editor's position is everything I hoped it would be. And now I will knock on wood, because I've learned my lesson--I failed to knock after bragging about my car the other day, and within twenty minutes it crapped out on me for the first time in a year. More on that later, perhaps.

New Year's resolutions are being discussed. I've made resolutions. I'm torn between keeping them to myself and sharing them. Keeping it to oneself. Advantage: If you fail, no one knows it. Disadvantage: If you keep your resolutions, and try to backdate and brag about them six months later, people will be somewhat dubious. Sharing your resolutions with others. Advantage: If you succeed over the long term, you earn awe and respect. Disadvantage: If you fail, everyone knows it. Of course, everyone expects you to fail resolutions--that's what they're for, it's human nature, a tie that binds us--so the mocking is usually minimal. It's just that you end up feeling sheepish, weak, and ordinary.

Anyway, what the hell. I have the most common of resolutions, but it's not really a resolution. Resolutions are something you make once, and they're goal-oriented. I'm not looking ahead. I have put myself on the track of being physically healthy because I'm no longer willing not to be. Something clicked a few weeks ago and I looked at it--eating right, exercising, losing and maintaining weight--differently than I ever had before. I realized it's about process, not product. I think it's because I have the sobriety model now: one day at a time. You can't look ahead any further than that. There's no point. It makes things easier, actually. If you can manage one day, that's all you need. I've lost significant weight twice in my life--dropped 50 pounds or so each time. I've got a bit more to go this time before I hit the status I want to quo. And then there's drinking. I've been undrinking now for six months, with two lapses. One a deliberate experiment, one a social choice. I felt a bit rocky after the second time, because my mind started cajoling me in that predictable way it will, trying to weasel and negotiate for more drinking, but I picked up and went on again.

I know it's a cliche, but I'm weirdly certain of change. More certain than not. It's not optimism. It's more like necessity. And not because "I can't go on like this," because I could. But it's like a gear has switched, and if I stay in that gear, the momentum will continue. I'm not setting any long-term goals--"I'll lose 60 pounds in 6 months!" I have to recommit each day. Which isn't easy. It's just easier than setting goals. Because once you set a goal, you invest this huge amount of emotional energy in it, start thinking in terms of success and failure. You keep looking 10 miles or months ahead instead of focusing on what's happening now, today.

Okay, I think I've managed to pack every bit of existing self-help jargon into this regrettably earnest post except for "visualization," "affirmation," and "self-actualization." Consider them said.
elijah

The Style of Vampires

I think I'm going to be rather insufferable and redundant to some of you for a while, because now that I have this LJ, I'm tempted to (re)post all kinds of things I've only posted on lists before now.

This is from a thread on vampires, where I tangented off and proposed that representations of vamps come in two flavors: the stylized, which is what we see in canon, and the ritualized, which is what we more often see in fan-fiction or fanon--i.e., a focus on masters, sires, childes, fledglings, etc.




And I guess I lean more toward what we tend to see in Jossverse canon (I think), which is more of a feral or occasionally stylized vampirism, rather than a ritualized, or societal vampirism....

So, what I mean is, stylized vampirism: for the most part, vamps are caricatures--naturally, because 99% of them are simply bit players or slayer fodder. So we have only a concept of vampires, which becomes somewhat rigid and ingrained--or stylized--over time. Except for a handful of notable exceptions (the fanged four, Dracula, Harmony, Holden), they're static. They immediately become evil when rising--no difficulty adapting, no growing-evil pains, no residual soul. Their personalities are easily subsumed in vamp posturing (game face, violence). Game face itself is a kind of mask that renders them individually faceless and uniform. When put to the test, all eventually react in the same way--same loss of control, same gestures, same attack form. It's all dramatic and animalistic; vamps are active symbols of evil.

We see very little of the social side of vampires--we get just enough to extrapolate that vamp society *does* exist in some way, and may have its rituals and personality differences, but Joss doesn't want to go there. He wants to have his cake and eat it too: he wants a handful of exotic, individualistic vamps, but he wants to keep vampires as a whole a faceless mass, an evil army, because that's what slayer existence is premised on. It's a strangely reactionary and even ugly metaphor if you consider vampires as a race or species: the idea that a race is its stereotype--nasty, brutish, low, and evil--except for a few noble exceptions who transcend their blood/genes/kind.

But despite this, I'm not really thinking of "stylized" as a wholly negative representation--and really, I think it's something I try to replicate in my own writing. And you still have to consider as exceptions to any rule the "individualists" of the vamp world--Angel, Spike, et al. I don't write much about the other types of vamps--they're relegated as in canon to being fodder. I'm interested in the sports and freaks of the vamp world. Still, I think that writers who extrapolate from canon to write about vampire society and relationships are focusing on something very different, though. (Well, duh.)

And stylization and ritualization probably aren't opposites, of course. I'm just polarizing them in a handy rhetorical way in order to categorize my ideas.

And why am I starting all my sentences with "and"? Yay for incoherency. Yay me.