i can’t tame wild women…

In response to scott’s comment here, on the Whedon EqualityNow speech.
I was quite struck by Whedon’s comment about not only writing strong women characters but also writing male characters who thought they were the fushizzle. One the one hand – yay! – but on the other, I was reminded of some thoughts I’d had previously about the way some men/male characters are attracted to strong women/characters. They may love and adore them, but some are also attracted to the idea of controlling or weakening them (which reminds me of a Hot Club of Cowtown lyric: “I can’t tame wild women, but I can make tame women wild”). This seems to apply to people like Spike.
In the most recent Angel I’ve watched (Guise will be Guise) the fake swami makes a comment about how Angel needed to find a small blonde woman and trash her as a way of dealing with his anger/distress about being trashed by Darla when she found out he had a soul. Angel’s response was non-verbal, but he was obviously thinking ‘hm, he might be right’. That could just have been Angel piling on a little more guilt (he is guilt-meister), but it mightn’t…
Of course, the blonde in question was Buffy – and Angel made an effort to trash her in the last Angel episode where we saw her in L.A. (I Will Remember you). He might remember that visit fondly, as the one chance he had to be human with her, but she left only remembering his totally trashing her. He knows this, he’s packing guilt for it (as per usual), but… don’t mean he didn’t get some passive-aggressive payback pleasure re Darla/Buffy moving on with Reilly-ace-of-spies.
But of course – Angel has issues. That’s his job.

so like, you know

So I’ve watched the OC about 4 or maybe even 5 weeks in a row now.
I think I’m hooked.
It’s so completely ridiculous – the ‘teenagers’ speak like world-weary script writers, everyone’s either really rich or ‘living in a caravan’ and really rich. Even the ‘poorest’ characters wear clothes that are about 10 million times more expensive than mine. They all live by the sea, drive expensive cars and are ridiculously skinny.
I was a bit of a Dawson’s Creek fan, in that I wouldn’t turn it off it was on, but I wouldn’t tape it or seek it out. I was delighted in the last episode of Buffy that I watched (Out of my Mind to see Spike declare that Pacey was being an idiot because ‘she’ didn’t love him.
Poor old Pacey. I was sure he was a special needs character from the ads. But he …wasn’t?
Yeah, so I’m watching the OC. I forget about it as soon as the program finishes, though the ads kind of catch my interest.
It is so ridiculous. I have no idea what’s going on. But I have Opinions about the characters:
Marissa (the teeny sex queen one who’s on all the ads for shampoo and stuff):
Is a skinny dog who really annoys me. She needs to pin her hair back.
I’m not convinced that she’s actually an alcaholic.
Seth (the dark haired young fullah):
is obviously the one I’m supposed to dig because he likes manga and arty stuff and reading.
His minor lispy thing is meant to be hot.
I like him but he kind of annoys me. I can’t bring myself to be really impressed or to actually care.
Look, I’ve lost interest in this silly list.
Why are all the characters so young? Even the mums and dads are young, or trying desperately to look young. Yucky.
The only thing I really care about is that these kids seem to go to Buffy’s high school in Beverly Hills/Sunnydale. The same school that the film Loser was set in.


the first disc of season 2 Angel is missing from the video shop. What will we do?

that big fat bottomless pit of uncritical critical theory (wherein Buffy, ibooks and a horde of cyberdykes take on The Man)

I think this series of entries is really me logging in my reading process, as I go through an article in a journal. Tedious stuff if you’re looking for a coherent, sensible argument. Interesting stuff if you’re into active readership… dang. Did I give away the punch line?*
If you’ve already read my last entry (who am I kidding?), you might be interested in reading this – it’s the McKee text I quoted. Interestingly, McKee notes that

I’m trying to encourage people to break out of their normal habits, to think about the culture they consume. I’m thinking that maybe we shouldn’t just do the same thing, every day week in, week out.
….a global campaign encouraging people to boycott books for one week and to challenge you to explore new ways of passing time.
You could try talking to friends, or dancing to some music. You could even watch some television!’

Do you like the way McKee lists some of my most favourite things there? And how, for me, these are the cultural practices in the forefront of my mind? Will I dance? Will I stay home and watch telly? Will I talk with friends while watching telly? Will I read? Oh, dilemma, dilemma.
I still feel, even though I love telly and understand all those arguments about high/low culture, loving mass culture for its own goodness, that perhaps encouraging people to ‘turn off their telly’ for a week is not a bad thing. And not just because it saves power.**
Look, I’m getting off-track now, and I still haven’t read that article, but really, why am I so bothered by McKee’s comments? Surely it’s not just because it seems to have toppled into that big fat bottomless pit of uncritical critical theory which seems to dogg me at every conference***?
Geez. I wonder if all this confusion and brow-furrowing on my part is really just a result of watching too much Buffy and Angel, where there seems to be an eternal tension between ‘old knowledge’ and ‘new knowledge’, namely in the persons of Willow (read: Witch/feminist/lesbian/macslut****/hawt young thing with irritating approach to slang English) and Giles/Wesley (read: Watchers’ council/patriarchy/booknerds)?***** Probably.
and CRAP, where is the INTERNET in all this book v telly crap? I mean, geez, hasn’t anyone read that thing about media convergence yet?****** Or is that as totally uncool as globalisation/global media now?*******
*this was meant to be a joke where I linked to a post by a local Aussie acblog, but I can’t find the link now. Sorry. It was funny and clever. Was.
**this is where I link to what I’m thinking of as the ‘sequel’ to the save water campaign in Melbourne. I’m kind of interested in the ramifications of this power campaign. I like the whole ‘you have the power’ plug (so to speak) – it makes me laugh to think of how this switching off unnecessary power soures is kind of functioning as an incitement to quit consuming… vig gov goes socialist? I wonder how origin feels about all this?
*** Hell if I’ll name names – these doods seem to be so online I’ll totally get busted. But you know who I’m talking about. Don’t you? They tend to be a bit slow to engage in any satisfying way with issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, etc, beyond glib book titles and throw away lines. And they love that new media.
Though, frankly, who doesn’t love that new media?
****Go on, tell me you didn’t find Willow’s steady progression to the world of macdom just a little bit signficant to her appeal as thinking-woman’s-hero/hawt-young-dyke/Wicced-kewl young thing? Go on, admit it – you just love to see a slightly-undernourished-young-academic-sexually-ambigious-mildly-androgenous-gingah sporting those sexy safety-corner apple products. you bet your i-life you do!
…you know that we’ve been sitting here on the couch the past few months quietly noting her progression from ugly, clunky pc desktops in Ms Calender’s class to her clunky oldskool macbook, and now are waiting (somewhat breathlessly) for her ibook to appear. But be assured – I will blog it as soon as it appears.
*****off-the-top-of-my-head reference: Blind Date in Angel season one, where Cordy scoffs at Wesley’s slooow old school bookteck, while kicking his arse in the research stakes with her computer, and yet also spending 1 hour and 40 minutes on the phone to Willow who has also been decrypting files all day (ref for the Buffy parallel eps where that goes down – the Yoko Factor and Primeval). Though, really, if I was Cordy at that moment, and considering Willow’s recent Outing at that point in season 4 of Buff, there’s plenty to talk about – at least 1 hour and 40 minutes’ worth.
******Wait til you read my thesis. It’s right there in Chapter 5:DJing as the convergence of media forms and practices in embodied dance discourse
*******Chapters 2 through 6.
Post Script
You might be interested in this issue of the CSAA newsletter, three articles down, where Greg Noble writes about “A cultural studies anti-canon?” Speaking as someone who did an MA on newspapers (how uncool! how …analogue of me!), this caught my attention…
NB the whole mac thing – you know that I’m making a joke about how mac has so totally scored with its marketing towards my demographic with the whole white/safety corners/block colour thing, right? Right?

media watch

It’s been quite a few years since I watched television regularly – share housing and going out late most nights made it impossible. But the thesis has demanded I take early nights in the last few weeks. So I’ve been watching some telly.
First. The O.C.. On some commercial channel, at some time. I have no clue.
Why, why, why am I interested in this? What is going on? It’s crap! But not good crap – pretentious crap. But I can’t watching it.
Second. Jericho. ABC. Some time, some night. I love it. I love mysteries, and I love crime drama without all the bullshit sciencey crap. It’s just straight detecting. And I love it.
Third. Spicks and Specks ABC. Some night, some time. I love it SO MUCH. I think I need to marry Myf. It’s great telly, really great telly. I love the way everyone on it has a great time and really enjoys themselves. I like the singing and the silliness.
Four. Absolute Power. ABC. I think it’s after Spicks and Specks on the ABC. Wonderful. Oh man, I love Stephen Fry. And I love PR/media satires. For obvious reasons.
Five. The news. ABC and SBS. Because.
Look, I don’t know what’s going on here. I mean, we have a digital set top box (go get one – it cost us $49 from JB) so we get not one, but TWO ABC channels. And two SBS channels. So we watch a lot of aunty. It’s great.
I’m also getting into the ABC online. I’ve gotten into podcasts. But nothing cool – Radio National, News Radio, and that John Safran show (but I can’t listen to much of it because he’s a bit annoying). It’s great. Now I know stuff.
And, in addition, we’re up to season Five of Buffy. Don’t you just love that last episode of season 4 with the Last Slayer? And I think the producers are right – it was the most disjointed season, but it had some of the very best episodes. My favourites would be:
Living Conditions, where “Buffy becomes convinced that her annoying roommate is evil, but her friends think she is mad.”
Beer Bad, where “Buffy drowns her sorrows in beer with some upperclassmen; Xander grows concerned when they start to get in touch with their primordial roots.”
January 2022  (3)