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Community - I gotta say, Abed's last  scene squicked me out pretty hard. I was just soooo embarassed for him there, and not in the good, think-about-these-things way. Just cringing.

Big Bang Theory - that was...dry. Sheldon's plot was ambitious, though Howard is the one that made it work. The other one was just kind of terrible. Never do earnestness, TBBT, it doesn't suit you and you don't need it.
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Ideal weekend: rain, books, tea, and geek comedy ftw. Tons of schoolwork, maybe less ideal, but some of it is actually really interesting.

(I went on a bureacuratic treasure hunt through the university and managed to sign up for an "introduction to lit theory" class, ("But why?" Lit department. "It sounds really interesting," I say. "You understand it's theory, yes? Just...theory.") and it's honest to god making me giddy. I'm sitting there in class while the prof explains the breaking of genre in Thelma and Louise and literally bouncing up and down a little. Structuralism! OMG, structuralism. Where has this been all my life?)

Anyway, ahem,

Community was pretty good, though on-the-nose social satire might not be their strongest suit. Read more... )

Interestingly meta episode from TBBT, which usually isn't meta in the slightest. Not as bleak as last week, but it had it's moments.

I got into an interesting argument elsewhere about which show is more politically progressive, and I really do have to go with TBBT, even though that maybe makes me insane. Community simply embraces a kind of post-modern fantasy of progressivism, you know? Both shows think the world is fucked and are critical of it, but Community creates an escape, while TBBT admits its power.

Characters on Community do escape, but into this fantasy world. (Community is at it's most interesting, I think, when it suddenly looks in the mirror and admits that Greendale isn't real life. But then it shies away from that again.) One that is properly racially diverse and celebrates education, growth and the ability of good friends and can-do spirit to get you through anything. TBBT has a bunch of people trying to do that, and failing. Dismally, pathetically and gracelessly, to an intrusive laughtrack and embarrassing jokes. (I find that hearbreaking and clear- eyed, but I see why it's not everyone's idea of a good time.)

It's just my usual argument about finding any kind of story that merely gets representation right more than a little politically tepid. Just because your show/book/whatever is wonderfully sensitive and inclusive of race/gender/orientation/etc, doesn't make it actively progressive, merely tolerable. (For example, Meljean Brooks books or even Brooklyn 99, at it's worst.) It can even obscure, rather than expose, the underlying structures of oppression.

I get that "exposing structures of oppression" might not be everyone's idea of a useful thing for a sitcom or a romance novel to do, but we're actually quite happy being super-critical of representation in precisely the most popular, omni-present sort of media. I really don't know which is more politically effective - the cynical exposure of misery or the presentation of a hopeful alternative.

It's very possible that the work the latter does, with the normalization of gay characters or women in the workplace or whatever else these things have contributed to has been more socially worthwhile. But as art, I prefer something like Scandal or The Big Bang Theory, or even Remington Steele, that subvert the post-modern progressive ideal by having it crash up against good old human folly and weakness. Showing the characters trapped in their socially curated needs to fit in, to be loved, to feel cool, strikes me as more interesting and more powerful than showing the people who've magically escaped.

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Seemed to solve it with shipping stuff here from the UK, which has better prices, more variety of sizes and oh, online shopping, which hasn't really caught on in Israel. Managed to sync up with a friend to buy enough stuff to qualify for free international shipping, were terribly pleased with ourselves...only to find New Look do not ship to Israel. Come on, you ship to Bahrain! There are like four people in Bahrain! Grrr, headdesk. I hate shopping. And I hate shopping that involves going into shops even more. Why, why must you make me go to the mall, global economy?
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God help me, I watch a lot of tv.

ok, I may ship Duncan/Britta a little. IDEK. Community )

There's my bleak, undignified, human-condition examining show again! Who's a good weird little sitcom? The Big Bang Theory )

I seem to be in a minority that saw the Boyle/Diaz stuff here as being shippy again?
Brooklyn 99 )

I haven't liked this season much, but Abbie is bringing out the worst in Jess and the worst in Schmidt and i'm kind of into that. New Girl )

Not a lot to say, except how much do I love that Sally really is this raging zealot and a cynical ambitious politician all at the same time? So much. Scandal )
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Can I get away with referencing Neal Stephenson in an academic essay, on urbanism in Doha, Qatar? 

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I see - and sympathize - with all complaining that no one is writing fic for your favourite rare pairing or obscure old fandom, but I will raise you all the sublime frustration that no one is writing serious meta for your critically unregarded comedy loves.

WHY can I not find a good analysis of the political subtext of Brooklyn Nine Nine? WHERE is the critical deconstruction of the narrative tools in How I Met Your Mother? HOW is no one jumping around on a barricade about class issues in Community? Why dost thou betray me and leave out to dry and with no one to talk to, oh fandom?

I'm going to sit here and stare at the wall, y'all.

Well, at the books, because I'm in a library.

Ooh, that one looks interesting.

Apropos, do you know how incredibly boring, obvious and unimaginative most serious books about tv are? All that "Philosophy of Mad Men" (we have no less than 3 books about Mad Men, and the series isn't even done!) or Women on TV: from Lucy to Friends type stuff. I sort through them a lot because that section tends to be a perennial mess, and SO OBVIOUS.
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Anyone have a favorite band or artist to rec?

(I feel like i've been listening to the same ten Leonard Cohen and Gaslight Anthem songs for a year. My taste in music is both eclectic and terrible (really, i'm completely tone deaf and the only thing I can sing so people even recognize it is the Internationale. And I have to accompany that with hand gestures) and it's pretty good odds I've never even heard of that really famous artist everyone has heard of. I mostly listen for the lyrics, but my idea of good lyrics stretches from Cohen and Springsteen straight through to Lady Gaga.)

Anyone? Literally anything?
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Knights of Badassdom is fine, but insufficiently funny. Also, I've run stuff that was essentially LARP, (a little more Marx, at one point a little more rockets from Lebanon, and once a shipping container fire, but aside from that, essentially LARP) and all my sympathy was with Rodney at all times. Stop whinging and play the game, everyone! Why are you out of character?  Where are you all going? You're supposed to be over <i> there</i> right now! Um, because there is a schedule. Stop it! The rules are there to make it fun!
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Is there a way to figure out if your fic has been linked somewhere? I've been receving relative oodles of kudos on one of them lately, months after I've finished it. Nice, but curious.
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Who was it that said that you can't make yourself stop being sad? And besides, I seem to have a recollection that they said it better than that.


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May 2017

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