Jul. 1st, 2010 02:45 pm
"I could kill you quite easily, Bella, simply by accident." His voice had become just a soft murmur. He moved his icy palm to rest it against my cheek. "If I was too hasty...if for one second I wasn't paying enough attention, I could reach out, meaning to touch your face, and crush your skull by mistake. You don't realize how incredibly breakable you are. I can never, never afford to lose any kind of control when I'm with you."

If you read those words, what kind of film scene do you imagine to go with them?

a) A romantic moment between two teenagers in love, or

b) A crazy-eyed guy approaching a cowering girl in a dark basement?

I mean, seriously.
This has just made my day. I cried tears of laughter and joy:

[ profile] ihlanya, you have to watch it, if only for the guy on the far right at 2.00 min.

ETA: embedding.

Teh Sparkly

Aug. 6th, 2008 01:28 pm
Everything I know about Twilight I have learned from my flist, and I know that I will never, ever read the books. I never intended to waste any words on them, either, but I would like some confirmation that what I've now read is true:

Bella gives birth to Edmund's Sparkly!Vampire!Magical!WerewolfSoulmate!Baby and the following things happen in the process:

a) she pukes blood
b) the Sparkly!Vampire!Magical!WerewolfSoulmate!Baby breaks her pelvis and her spine
c) Edmund uses his awesome sparkly marble teeth to bite the Sparkly!Vampire!Magical!WerewolfSoulmate!Baby free from the womb

Really? I mean, seriously? Because if so, then this is the most beautiful cracky squick ever, and I am seriously impressed with SMeyer. I would have never dared to put anything like that into a novel I intend to be published and read by children.

Then again, I am not a romantic :-(
... or: Is Donna a miserable old crank?

A friend of mine has written a novel and asked me to proof-read it. One of my major quibbles has been the way she handles the romances. For my taste, her romances rely far too much on "love at first sight" and the difficulties are caused by "external obstacles" as opposed to, y'know, your basic doubts and troubles and trust issues and general disfunctionality. But it's difficult to bring that across. If I say: "But these characters don't really know each other! Surely, the authorial voice should acknowledge that?", the author answers: "Oh, but they do! They used to play together as children, and when they met again, many years later, they fell in love instantly." Which I just don't buy.

Generelly speaking, I only buy romance in fiction when it's among equals who have a general idea of what they are doing. It's a very pragmatic approach, but there you go. And the aspect of "equality" is highly important for me.

Take Jane Austen's novels, for example, which I like a lot. Her romances often do not convince me.

"Sense and Sensibility": Col. Brandon falling in love at the age of 36 with a 16-year-old girl, because she reminds him of an old lover? Totally creepy.
"Emma": Mr Knightley falling in love at the age of 28 with a 13-year-old girl and spending the following 10 years forming and shaping her into what he wants his perfect woman to be? Creepy.
"Persuasion": Even though it's my favourite Austen novel, I think that spending eight years pining over someone you knew only for a couple of months in your late teens/early twenties is a bit pathetic.
So, I read the books because I like Austen's charaters and her wit and her criticism on society, but I couldn't care less about whether the girl gets her man or not in the end. I'd be perfectly happy if her heroines remained single.

And there's also the general disfunctionality, which makes me doubt the lasting success of a relationship.

A perfect example for that is the romance between Natalie Holden and Peter Carlisle in Blackpool - even though I do love the show to pieces for many reasons (David Tennant's fabulous wrist-on-headboard action being only one of them). "The love of my life" after only one date? Please. And even if I did believe in love at first sight etc., I still don't believe that Natalie and Peter will be happy together. Peter is not that different from Ripley. He is charming and tender to Natalie, sure, but I am convinced that Ripley was the same when he first fell in love with her. (We get glimpses of tender and gentle Ripley every now and then.) And both men rely far too much on Natalie's following them like a good little girl. Peter freaks out when she dares refuse going away with him and immediately starts abusing her in the worst possible manner. (And I don't care that he loved her and that he was hurt. Saying "I only slept with you to get to your son and Ripley" is just. Not. On.) Natalie herself realises that Peter's "got an eye for weakness". - And he has. And so, even though they are in love, I think that this will work only as long as Natalie doesn't stand up for herself. Just the same as it was with Ripley.

Moreover, I like romance only when it is rooted in a realistic setting, not an idealised one. Take that kiss in "Torchwood", for example:
Captain Jack is dancing with Captain Jack, in the 1940s, in front of a bunch of soldiers, and as sweet the kiss in itself might be, it just doesn't do anything for me. It's so obviously artificial, so created (as opposed to naturally evolved) that I can't identify with the characters' longing and desires.

The same scene works for me perfectly in "Queer as Folk, UK", where Stuart and Vince are dancing together at the wedding. Because there, it is realistic. The authorial voice acknowledges the difficulties, the reactions of the people around them, and I think it's sweet and lovely and very, very sexy. Even though they don't kiss.

In a nutshell: I'm fine with romances as long as they are not idealised. No "love conquers all", no "love at first sight" no "it's us against the rest of the world". Just give them some real difficulties and struggles.

Oh, and: It's not that life has made me callous and sucked any romantic feeling out of me. I've always been like that. I was ten when I read Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe" for the first time, and I commented on Ivanhoe's and Rowena's marriage with: "And after they had been married a while, Rowena would nag at him to empty the rubbish bin, and Ivanhoe didn't, and they had many rows and split up in the end." I wrote this down in my copy of the book, in pencil, and it still makes me laugh.
Hm. The reason why I hardly post anymore is that I just can't get back into the swing of HP and haven't found any adequate replacement fandom yet. I do watch Doctor Who and do moderately lust (after a short-lived period of passionate, fully-fledged I-want-to-shag-him-NOW lusting) after David Tennant, but I just can't take this show seriously enough to discuss it. I've tried. I read other people's posts but hardly ever comment, as my brain refuses to come up with any meta. I'm not passionate enough about Doctor Who to form an opinion on anything, really. Episode hate eludes me, because I find them all equally enjoyable, in a fun, 45-minutes kiddie telly sort of way. Doctor Who is like a superficial fling with a hot-yet-emotionally-and-intellectually-unfulfilling boy after having just come out of a long and meaningful relationship with a mature and interesting adult. Trust me, I would know.

Anyway. I might just mention that I miss the HP fandom and mourn the death of my deep love for it. All wankiness aside (which, BTW, is quite easy to avoid; I've managed to keep out of any wank for some three years or so), the HP fandom is fun. And it's delightfully kinky, which is something that is regretably missing from Doctor Who - or any other fandom I've been toying with in the last few years, for that matter. Tell me if I'm wrong, because I am willing to learn, but is there any other fandom which is so shameless and so filthy as HP? I mean, we pair everyone with everything, as long as it's got a pulse. Or not.*

So, Doctor Who has all these possibilities, what with alien creatures of all descriptions which could be the basis for seriously kinky and totally pervy alien sex, and the time travel which could be the basis for hawt Doctor/Julius Caesar, Doctor/Barbara Cartland, Doctor/Casanova, Doctor/Henry VIII, Doctor/Calamity Jane, Doctor/Xantippe, Doctor/Immanuel Kant, Doctor/homo erectus porn, but, sadly, isn't. Instead, we get Ten making tender love to Rose *sighs*

Love and monsters made me realise this sad fact anew, because the predominant reaction to Elton/spoiler ) seems to be "ew, creepy". Personally, I love it. And it says something about the quality of the much-promoted main pairing that I prefer Elton/spoiler to Ten/Rose. No competition.

On another pairing note: Jackie/Mickey is now canon, isn't it? Now that we witnessed her in her behaviour towards yummy young men whom she uses as handymen?

And finally: Does Ten dress Rose's hair? Is this what the swivel chair by the TARDIS console is there for? Because is not that easy to braid your hair into an elaborate do yourself, you know.

*Shamelessly stealing other people's lines. Yep, that's me.
I said so some time ago to [ profile] neotoma, commenting on how to write Lupin, whose notorious passive-aggression makes it difficult to see him in action.

Now, I'm in the middle of Jane Austen's "Persuasion", and here's what she's got to say about Mr. Elliot, the resident villain:

His manners were an immediate recommendation; and on conversing with him she found the solid so fully supporting the superficial, that she was at first, as she told Anne, almost ready to exclaim, "Can this be Mr. Elliot?" and could not seriously picture to herself a more agreeable or estimable man.

ETA: quotes cut for length )

Of course, Mr. Elliot turns out to be a lying, manipulative scumbag, whose only goal is to make sure he's not cut out from the legal succession of the baronetsy.

I should take the opportunity to point out that I like the Jane Austen villain. Colin Firth's magnificent smouldering in "Pride and Predudice" notwithstanding, the character bores me to death. Wickham, now, Wickham is fun. His cheerful lies and charming insolence never fail to make me smile. The discrepancy becomes ever more evident in "Bridget Jones" (the movie), where Daniel Cleaver has much better chances to win my, ah, heart than Marc Darcy (here again, Darcy's redeeming feature is Firth's magnificent smoulder). I love Firth's Darcy, mind, but I don't love Austen's Darcy.

In "Emma" in particular I developed a major crush on the anti-hero (Frank Churchill), while Mr. Knightley made me roll my eyes in exasperation. Frank's got charm, style and panache, while all Mr. Knightley's got is integrity. Frankly, I'd rather be entertained. Her villains might be great coxcombs, but at least they're fun.

To come back to Remus: He's got exact that sense of self-preservation and carefully maintained facade that characterises Austen's villains. He lies and sidesteps neatly and is generally pleasant and well-liked. The only one who sees right through him is Snape, which, logically, would make Snape the Austen hero.

When I was considering a HP adaptation of "Sense and Sensibility", I settled for the obvious cast of Snape as Col. Brandon (naturally), Sirius as Willoughby and Remus as Edward Ferrars. But this is nonsense. Remus doesn't have any of that moral integrity that is Edward's most striking feature. He should be Willoughby and abandon the girl in an act of self-preservation. - In fact, this is what Remus does at the end of PoA, when he abandons Hogwarts (and Harry) because his condition becomes known and he finds himself socially stigmatised.
Last week, it took my fancy to read Lucy Maud Montgomery's "Emily" series. I've never really been into the series as a child and have never owned and read the first book, so I hunted it down on the Internet. And then I met Dean Priest.

She heard him say, "My God!" softly to himself. [...] "How can I help you?" said Dean Priest hoarsely, as if to himself. "I cannot reach you--and it looks as if the slightest touch or jar would send that broken earth over the brink. I must go for a rope-- and to leave you here alone--like this. Can you wait, child?"

And then:

Emily knew he had been to college, that he was thirty-six years old--which to Emily seemed a venerable age--and well-off; that he had a malformed shoulder and limped slightly; that he cared for nothing save books nor ever had; that he lived with an older brother and travelled a great deal; and that the whole Priest clan stood somewhat in awe of his ironic tongue. Aunt Nancy had called him a "cynic." Emily did not know what a cynic was but it sounded interesting. She looked him over carefully and saw that he had delicate, pale features and tawny-brown hair. His lips were thin and sensitive, with a whimsical curve. She liked his mouth. Had she been older she would have known why--because it connoted strength and tenderness and humour.

Here, I had to stop reading and drink some cold water. Now, apart from the fact that I've got this insane thin-lips fetish (I'm probably the only person in the fandom who gets actually turned on by Snape's thin lips - instead of ignoring them bravely or explaining them away as being rather pouty, really, once one gets a better look at them. I rather ignore fandom!Sirius' lips being described as "full" and "girly" and - ew! - pink and - ewww! - fleshy.) - who could resist the connotation of "strength and tenderness and humour"?

But within a few paragraphs only, I fell out of love as quickly as I had fallen in. There are some things I do find disturbing, especially when they are voiced in passing and matter-of-factly. Then again, that's probably just me.

Behind the cut, Donna rambles randomly about pedophilia, respect, literary crushes and Snarry vs. Snack, but doesn't talk about men's lips as much as she intended to. )
I love reading all your first kisses. Here're mine.

("Top" kisses doesn't mean they're supposed to be nice, right? Because I really think Dudley/Aunt Marge is my best one.)

Bill and Sirius in It's a Long Way Home, R )

Sirius and Remus in Awakening, R )

Sirius and Severus in The Last Resort, NC-17 )

Dudley and Aunt Marge in Big D's Worst Memory, PG-13 )

Bill and Remus in Genesis, NC-17 )



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