1.. Feminism - how people define this word continues to bug me.
Here's the wiki definition, because I'm too lazy to pull out a dictionary:Feminism refers to political, cultural, and economic movements aimed at establishing greater rights, legal protection for women and/or women's liberation. Feminism includes some of the sociological theories and philosophies concerned with issues of gender difference. It is also a movement that campaigns for women's rights and interests. Nancy Cott defines feminism as the belief in the importance of gender equality, invalidating the idea of gender hierarchy as a socially constructed concept. Feminists are persons of either sex who believe in feminism – and of course practice their beliefs.
In other words, folks, you are a feminist if you believe women are equal to men, should have rights equal to men, and should not be subservient or ruled by men, as the "weaker" and thereby
lesser, sex. Sigh, lesser, my foot. If you do not believe these things and think men, are, gasp, superior to women, you are NOT a feminist. And might I also state, a complete idiot. I mean honestly anyone who still thinks in this day and age, with information available at your fingertips, that one race, one gender, on sexual orientation, one ethnicity is better or more advanced or stronger or brighter than another is just plain stupid. Dangerously so in some cases. People don't generalize and make assumptions based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, nationality, size, and/or age, it makes you look like a fool. The item I struggle with making generalizations about is age. This weekend - someone told me that their 78 year old friend was off bungee jumping, zip-lining, and skiing. Mind-boggling. I can't do those things, and I'm much younger. Goes to show you, everybody is unique.
2. Read the preview page for Buffy issue 36 - out of curiousity - wanted to see what all the fuss on flist was about. Is it just me or does this plot thread feel a lot like the second season of Dollhouse? Possibly just me. Whedon seems a bit obsessed with the whole puppet thing, or doll thing - people using as dolls to entertain or satisfy someone else's fantasy or view of them. It's a theme I've seen done better elsewhere - notably the hilariously disturbing independent masterpiece "Being John Malkovich" - which is about celebrity and how we manipulate others to meet our fantasies. John Cusak plays a puppeteer who finds a way to enter John Malkovich's brain and literally pull his strings and do whatever he wishes through him, until he is finally forced to realize the nightmare himself, when he gets trapped inside the newborn child that ex-partner/girlfriend has with her new female lover. He can do nothing. He is just a bystander, his hands and body moved by someone else. There's also the quite splendid My Fair Lady and Pygamillion by George Bernard Shaw. And quite a few horror flicks that I've seen, including a B movie starring Vincent Price entitled House of Wax. Not to mention the superior and hilarious "Smile Time".
The idea of being used as a puppet or controlled by someone else is not new in science fiction or fantasy. Farscape plays around with it - regarding Crichton and Scorpius. It also has actual puppets, so part of playing around - is a direct commentary on the use of puppetry in the show itself. I adore puppetry - it is the one artform that seems beyond the grasp of technology.
There's nothing more magical than watching a puppet show - you know there's a human behind the puppet, but if the puppeteer is good, the puppet becomes more real, a character outside of the human, to the point you forget the human exists. There's a rather good horror tale based I believe on a Twilight Zone episode - where the puppet becomes more real than the man. He begins to pull the man's strings. Another good horror tale - is about people being turned into dolls - you are safer this way, I can protect you.( fairly long meta on Buffy comics, Angel and Spike, and puppetry )
3. Farscape - finished watching the brilliant and hilarious Look at the Princess arc in Farscape, along with Won't Be Fooled Again, Beware of Dog, and The Locket.
There's a great line in Look at the Princess - A Kiss is But a Kiss.
"Do you know what they want to do to me? Turn me into a statute for 80 cycles. If I ever return to earth after that - everyone will be dead. Dad, DK, my family, my cousins, my friends, Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz....Buffy The Vampire Slayer!"
I laughed my ass off. Yes, Farscape's writers watched Buffy.
They were also super-aware of their fandom. Ben Bowder keeps stating that he would just go read commentary or fanfic to figure stuff out that the writers didn't explain. The fans often did a better job.
I don't have a lot to say about the episodes, except that they do a great job of building the relationships between the characters, maintaining tension, conflict, and exploring the psychology of each one. Farscape unlike most sci-fi is a messy series - it goes into dark places, and plays with your head.
Funny story about censorship - according to the commentary, someone at the BBC got really offended by something in Won't Be Fooled Again and cut the episode to shreds, so that it was literally two minutes shorter. While the only thing Syfy worried about was when they blow up the Scarren's head, not to show too much gore on the wall. (Sigh, times have changed.)
Another bit of commentary - Ben Bowder apologizes for parents of the under-12 set for saying the word "shit" on Farscape. Okaay. This brings up a question? Why would any parent care if Ben Bowder said shit on tv - after watching an episode in which he has shot someone, people have died horribly, and been blown up? I mean, why are letting your twelve year old watch Farscape to begin with? It's a violent tv series with adult themes, and not written for a 12 year old.
Shit should be the least of your worries. Honestly, people, you don't think your kid doesn't hear shit on the playground, at school, or at the store?
I find the continued censorship of foul language on tv mind-boggling. Also a tad hypocritical. Just as I find the continued censorship of nudity and sexual content. Apparently we have no problems showing a man or woman beat a woman or man, smack her or him, shoot her or him, suggest attempted rape, suggest rape or attempt to rape her/him - but nudity, a kinky sex scene, or the word fuck, shit, hell, or damn sends us running for the hills. Yes, we are an evolved species. Can't you tell?