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today's memes!

Adding another (non-serial!) one, because, uh, drabble bargains are sacred, and I don't very many will take me up on it anyway.

Drabble meme

Every person who wants to gets to request a drabble from me. In return, you have to post this in your journal and write a drabble for me.

Post all fandoms you're willing to write for. Your friends can pick a relationship, a story arc, a missing scene, or pretty much anything they want, unless the author has previously mentioned that they will not write it. They comment with what they want, and you write drabbles and post it in your LiveJournal.

Fandoms: Austen, Harry Potter, Middle-earth, and Star Wars; you can ask for anything from the canons (er, primary canons) or any of my stories yes, Austen friends, even that one

Star Wars meme

(4) Who is your least favourite character, and why?

Also challenging. Um. Anakin frustrated me as a character in the PT (and ROTJ, sort of), but Vader is amazing enough that I can make allowances for him. Padmé was an enormous disappointment, but again, that's because of the parts of her character I really like. Jar-Jar is mildly annoying in-story and exceptionally irritating meta-wise, but I don't think my least favourite. Obi-Wan is absolutely infuriating but I am fond of him, in an infuriated way.

Oh, I know! Palpatine. Not just because he's evil, and not because he's a poor character. Actually, he's a pretty awesome character, except in ROTJ. He's the only character I like better in the PT than the OT, because he was clever and competent and nuanced, and utterly hilarious once he dropped the Kindly Authority charade. But in a good way. Yes.

And still, I hate him. Not the personality - the character. I am not here for Palpatine. I know what his motivation is and it's boring. Well, that's it. His character utterly bores me. In ANH, he was kept wisely offscreen, like Sauron. In ESB, we saw him, but only briefly and just this vaguely menacing presence. In ROTJ, he keeps showing up and sneering and I am here for the Skywalkers, okay? I do not care about you, boringly evil man, and you keep showing up and taking time from Vader and Luke and Leia.

And in the PT (*rant ahead*), even though he's a better character, he's even more frustrating for me because this person I already disliked for taking over too much of the plot becomes the plot. He is behind EVERYTHING and I wanted to see How Anakin Skywalker Became Darth Vader, not How Palpatine Took Over The Galaxy. We're left with no idea why or how Anakin ended up (1) capable of mass murder and (2) espousing fascism, because this tidbit was apparently too boring or something and instead we get to watch Palpatine's fascinating political maneuverings. Seriously, I think Palpatine is the main character of the PT, which I'm sure is fine if you like him. But I don't. It's like if the Akallabêth were all about Sauron being evil and not really about Númenor at all. whyyyyyyy

In conclusion: omg Palpatine go away

Asexuality meme

(4) Do you identify as part of the queer community? Which communities do you identify with?

Oh Lord.

I do think of myself as queer, because in the ... um, culture that I grew up in, sexuality could neatly be divided into two groups: straight (good) and not-straight (abomination before God). It's not always laid out in those terms, but it was made quite clear that heterosexual marriage is a crucial step on the path to heaven, that God wants us to get married (and multiply and replenish!), that choosing not to get married is defiance of God's plan and a sin, for which the only acceptable reason is that nobody wants you. Any other reason, like not being straight, is a pitiable condition as long as it doesn't guide your actions; if it does, it's vilified.

You know, you grow up hearing people like you described as sinners and heretics for defying God's plan, you're suicidal by thirteen, you're stepping around psychiatrists to avoid getting diagnosed and drugged for your orientation, just maybe you might consider yourself queer.

But part of the community? Not really. When large numbers of a community consistently deny my existence, define and dismiss my experiences, and repeatedly refer to me as straight (idek), I can never know whether a given queer community will be safe for me or not. So I've never done more than occasionally think maybe I could get help there - oh wait, never mind. I'm only in the community insofar as the asexual community can be considered a sort of adjunct to it.

Wow, that was depressing. Hopefully the next meme is a bit more cheerful.

Fanfic meme

(4) Do you have a "muse" character, that speaks to you more than others, or that tries to push their way in, even when the fic isn't about them? Who are they, and why did that character became your muse?

I'll admit, the word "muse" tends to make me back carefully away. But it sounds like this is just talking about a character that inspires you and dominates your fandom-related thoughts.

Yup! Darcy for Austen, Faramir for Middle-earth, Luke and (especially) Anakin for SW, Harry and (especially) Snape, to a degree, in HP. I think it's mostly because they're...kind of why I'm there? I mean, I'd love the fandoms anyway (okay, SW without Luke and Anakin is a desolate husk for me, but the others), but I tend to get really pulled in by a character who fascinates me, and that person becomes my driving interest.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Jul. 20th, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC)
Darcy is wonderful. I mean Lizzie is a great character and I always cheered at her spirit but I could read about Darcy alone whereas I would not necessarily care reading about Lizzie if she never met Darcy. Now I have to go off and wonder why that is.
Hmmmm.
elizabeth_hoot
Jul. 21st, 2011 01:06 am (UTC)
That's pretty much how it is for me. Elizabeth is brilliant, but she interests me more in conjunction with other people than by herself, while Darcy is fascinating in his own right. I think it's partly because Elizabeth's personality is presented pretty immediately and straightforwardly - we don't spend much of the book trying to figure out what she's really like, we know from the first few pages. Darcy, on the other hand - !
(Deleted comment)
elizabeth_hoot
Jul. 22nd, 2011 03:03 am (UTC)
LOL, I'm still vague about the Trade Federation myself. And all the politics with "you shouldn't criticize it, it's for eight-year-olds" is a bit bewildering. I do like Palpatine as a foil to Yoda and the Force-lightning (I mean, Force-lightning), but he's so incredibly stupid the rest.

Just about every time Luke's about to lose it, the Emperor is like "give in to your hatred!" and Luke promptly steps back. I know every moment can be a teaching moment, but - ! Also, I just don't like him ... being so present throughout ROTJ, I guess, because it doesn't tell us anything very important, uses up time, and I think makes him much less menacing than he was as a kind of distant Sauron-y figure in ESB.
phyloxena
Jul. 21st, 2011 05:51 am (UTC)
Drabble request! Faramir the judge, pre-ROTK. Anything from quarrel between other children to substituting for Denethor (if you can make it credible - I know you can).
elizabeth_hoot
Jul. 22nd, 2011 03:05 am (UTC)
It's up!
fialleril
Jul. 21st, 2011 04:28 pm (UTC)
trigger warning for suicidal thoughts
You know, you grow up hearing people like you described as sinners and heretics for defying God's plan, you're suicidal by thirteen, you're stepping around psychiatrists to avoid getting diagnosed and drugged for your orientation, just maybe you might consider yourself queer.

Yes. Yes yes yes, to all of this and the following paragraph. Sometimes I laugh in utter despair at the strange, but entirely too prevalent, idea that conservative religious folks are more accepting of asexuals, because LOL NO, if that had been the case I would not have wanted to kill myself throughout high school and into college.
elizabeth_hoot
Jul. 22nd, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
Re: trigger warning for suicidal thoughts
Thank you! I can't say I'm glad it's not just me, but - do you remember that AVEN poll where like 70% of the respondents had considered suicide at some point, and so many people were all *shockface*? I don't think it's surprising, at all.

And I keep hearing people argue "the conservative religious patriarchy wants women/minorities/gays/lesbians/etc to be asexual" and no, silent and celibate and ashamed is not what asexual means. And I'm pretty sure my experience of the queer community is nothing special, either.
fialleril
Jul. 25th, 2011 06:06 pm (UTC)
Re: trigger warning for suicidal thoughts
The only thing that surprised me about that poll was that so many people were surprised. I mean, I can't speak for the rest of the asexy world, but I grew up thinking I was deficient, broken, a willful sinner, and apparently literally incapable of basic human feeling. I thought I was incapable of love, which of course meant I was inhuman. (I used to have this fantasy that one day my parents would take me aside and finally reveal that I wasn't really their kid, that they'd found me in a spaceship or something, that I was from another planet, and it would be such a relief because that would explain everything.)

Ah ha ha no. From my experience the religious right is every bit as uncomfortable with people (especially female-bodied people!) being asexual as they are with people being LGBT. I do think there's a connection - much of the reasoning seems to be "If I accept that asexuality is a thing, then I'm admitting that orientations other than heterosexuality exist, and then I might have to accept the gays, oh noes!" So I think we have to be fair and say this is definitely not divorced from homophobia. But there is still a difference in reactions. The fact that I didn't want to get married and make babies was a HUGE problem for the church I grew up in, and I don't think it was just because of the sexism (although that was definitely a big part of it). It was because this church's theology was "sex positive" (within a heterosexual marriage only, of course, and even then probably only if sex meant the missionary position and the possibility of babies, but still). They were very fond of the marriage metaphor to describe the relationship between God and the soul. The entirety of church structure was built around marriage and family structures. They literally didn't know what to do with a person who was "called to singlehood" (the language I used at the time, because it was biblical so they couldn't argue with it, even though they clearly hated it). I think, looking back on it now, that as much as they talked about Paul and Jesus as people who had lived single lives, when they were confronted with someone in the here-and-now real world who had no desire for sex or marriage or children (and a female-bodied someone, too!), they had no idea what to do with it. It completely overturned their worldview and their religious structures and it was so much easier for them to laugh nervously and say "Oh, God will send you the right man and then you'll have all those things you want," even though I didn't want them at all.
elizabeth_hoot
Jul. 28th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
Re: trigger warning for suicidal thoughts
I grew up thinking I was deficient, broken, a willful sinner, and apparently literally incapable of basic human feeling.

This, exactly. And from the stories I've heard, this is very, very common for asexuals - I'm guessing the "willful sinner" part may be specific to conservative upbringings, but otherwise.

Most of the religious right I'm aware of doesn't have much knowledge of asexuality, so I'm not sure if they're as uncomfortable. But they tend to lump all the "people not pair-bonding properly of their own volition" into one big bag of sinners - which yes, I suspect is tightly linked to homophobia.

I also agree that it's not all sexism, either, because - at least in my(...ish) church - it actually hits men harder. Men are supposed to do the choosing and women get chosen, so if a man is so selfish and wicked as to not choose, he's defying the, eh, established order much more obviously than a woman, who will generally be erased assumed to be just that undesirable. A woman who actually vocalized her choice, otoh, would be much much much worse off because those women, vocalizing their choices.

And ITA on the marriage metaphors and everything revolving around family structures. Yes, yes, yes. And heterosexual marriage was, of course, the ultimate zenith of human experience and the closest earthly parallel to the divine and idek. And yes, the discomfort around Biblical singles! And "God will send you the right man!"

I have to admit that it's both hilarious and horrifying to me that we seem to have had the exact same experience, even though I've heard all my life about how our religions are completely different in every way. :\
chameleon_irony
Jul. 21st, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
Your meta is fascinating. I can't stop reading even though we disagree on a lot of things.

in the ... um, culture that I grew up in, sexuality could neatly be divided into two groups: straight (good) and not-straight (abomination before God).

It was the same in the culture/family where I was raised. I'm not asexual, but I'm not cisgendered and straight either, and it was like what I was didn't exist. You have my sympathy.

I think Palpatine is the main character of the PT

Anakin is the official main character, but in reality... yeah. But it's funny that for you it's a reason to dislike the prequels while for me, it's why I like them (yes, despite the cringeworthy 'romance'). I do like the spiritual aspect and the relationships in the OT, but the scheming, the mind games, and the dramatic irony are so entertaining they almost make the OT seem boring in comparison. Of course, it's like comparing apples and oranges - the two trilogies are of completely different genres and a fair comparison is impossible.
elizabeth_hoot
Jul. 21st, 2011 11:38 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, thanks. I'm very flattered! I read yours all the time too. Even though we disagree on a lot of things. :P

It was the same in the culture/family where I was raised. I'm not asexual, but I'm not cisgendered and straight either, and it was like what I was didn't exist. You have my sympathy.

Thanks. I'm pretty sure I'm the only agnostic deist Mormon asexual in the world, but it's become apparent that the experience was by no means particular to me. There's erasure of everything non-normative, I think, and it happens all over.

Anakin is the official main character, but in reality... yeah.

Right. To this day, I have no idea who the main character of TPM was (Qui-Gon??), but obviously looking at the saga overall, it's got to be Anakin. But Palpatine drives everything in the PT.

But it's funny that for you it's a reason to dislike the prequels while for me, it's why I like them (yes, despite the cringeworthy 'romance').

Right - for me it's a reason to dislike them as prequels to the original trilogy; taking them by themselves, on their own terms, the political shenanigans are not necessarily objectionable. But they are prequels, and so while I agree they are absolutely apples and oranges and different genres and feel almost like different universes, that's... kind of the problem for me? I can't separate them out.
chameleon_irony
Jul. 23rd, 2011 01:04 am (UTC)
I noticed. My Guests is a nifty feature. :P
elizabeth_hoot
Jul. 23rd, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
Ahahahaha, yes. I was just about to switch wholly over to dreamwidth, too!
chameleon_irony
Jul. 23rd, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
Disabling the feature would be simpler. ;)
elizabeth_hoot
Jul. 23rd, 2011 01:52 am (UTC)
Er - I meant, I already have a dw and I was going to switch over all the way, but then lj came out with all those cool features! My Guests! Charts! I cannot resist charts. So I bought a paid account to get more of them and loaded up with icons. This path will forever dominate my destiny.
chameleon_irony
Jul. 23rd, 2011 02:03 am (UTC)
Ah, now I know what you mean. LJ has dominated my destiny since 2006, way before My Guests and stats charts (I even managed to resist the More Icons Temptation for several years), but now there is less hope of getting over LJ Addiction than ever before.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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