May 6, 2016
February 18, 2016
July 8, 2014
Some folks were not quite as happy about that, but I think that the more restrained expressions of emotion fit the setting better than the much more over-the-top mannerisms of the 1992 anime (though those were a lot of fun to watch). Usagi in particular is a bit more believable – she has flaws but she also has virtues. She isn’t merely a vehicle for humor.
I am still developing the next part of "My Side of the Story".
May 22, 2014
He had reason to believe that some people who’d talked him into moving to a particular backwater neighborhood might be involved, but he chose to let that part go since the investigators didn’t catch that detail and no harm seemed to have been done. His proof was circumstantial and he didn’t want to ruin anyone’s life. He couldn't believe they would be hardened criminals, given that several members were 'respectable' leaders in a nearby church. Unfortunately, the thieves were not as decent as he was. Instead of being ashamed of their behavior, the would-be thieves used their connections to slander him in the neighborhood and even lied about him to his superiors during a routine check-up. It didn’t work, thankfully. Grandfather had a clean record everywhere he’d been and his commanding officers alerted him to the slander. He couldn’t believe his own ‘friends’ would do this to him. He spoke to them about the slander and he thought they made peace with him. Well, he had let it go, and had been given cause to think they would stop. They didn’t.
My aunt was also slandered, threatened, sexually harassed, and physically attacked because of lies the local harridans told about her. Unsurprisingly, she moved away as soon as she could and it looks like a few cousins have since done the same, for exactly the same reasons.
I was threatened and hurt by kids I didn’t even know as a 1st and 2nd grader in the local elementary school. I kept coming home bruised and crying. Mom and Dad home-schooled me as a safety measure. Many times, I’ve had cause to be grateful that they watched my back, even in our own yard.
This rural neighborhood has managed to be as vicious as any urban area I’ve ever heard of. Many times, someone tried to force their way into the house at night. There was even ‘random’ gunfire (conveniently when my brother and I were outside) from careless hunters (or were they?) some years. A visitor was nearly killed by it. The extremes of people continually trying to run cars off the roads and shooting across yards has stopped, especially once law enforcement started looking into it, but the ugly slander is still a huge problem.
It was still very much an issue in my last semester at community college. I was harassed taking tests. I was pointed at and made fun of, and all by people I’ve never known in my life. There were people trying to catch me off by myself, acting like they intended me harm. One man (who had no reason to be there) was running around with a folder pointing me and my parents out to people in the employ of the college even, and didn’t even hide it until my parents reported him to the right authorities. The thing is, whatever “evidence” he thought he had is completely bogus; we’ve never harmed anyone. Not me, not Dad, not Mom, not my brother, nor anyone else. We do defend ourselves (nonviolently, for preference), and we obey the law.
Until fairly recently, this place was never too concerned about justice; you just DON’T want to know how long it took for most people to feel safe here, especially minorities. I still don’t feel comfortable inviting any friends over; I’ve yet to see most of the neighbors treat anybody who isn’t white, rich, and/or from one of their cliques with ANY respect.
Consequently, they were not prepared for was the nearly upended moral code present in this backward community descended largely from smugglers, plantation owners/workers, and pirates. That’s not hyperbole. Some of the families we know were involved with the harassment are said to be the descendants to wreckers (That’s land-based piracy - wreckers lured ships into wrecking and plundered the survivors and the ship’s remains.)
March 2, 2014
Lots of people have fallen in love with this song. It's beautiful, well-written, and powerful. It also doesn't hurt that the original is sung by Irina Menzel, who also voiced Elphaba from Wicked. I've had this stuck in my head for awhile, ever since looking up Frozen trailers back in December. The animation is stunning and the theme is a bit unusual, singing about someone who had been required to conform to a very rigidly defined role, and finally was free to give rein to her natural abilities and to delight in them. (Although, I'm no princess or queen, the theme really spoke to me; there was a fan group Mom and I left years ago that tried entirely too hard to dictate my interests. Certain of them mocked, "shunned", lied about my work to the groups they didn't approve of, and did worse... while Mom and I were busy looking after Dad in between operations. Needless to say, it was obnoxious and came at a VERY bad time. Thankfully, the bullying seems to have mostly stopped) Now I'm curious about the context of Elsa's break from her past. (didn't get to see it in the theaters, so I'm waiting for the dvd release) However, there are some gorgeous alternate takes on the iconic theme of Frozen to enjoy in the meantime!
As ever, the Piano Guys did a great job! In this case, they blended it with Vivaldi's Winter, making a driven theme appropriate to an action sequence.
How about the version Alex Boyé did that went viral? Although the audial cultural mash-up is a bit of a head-scratcher, the arrangement is well-thought out and the performances are smooth. Mr. Boye’s voice and the drums offset Lexi Walker’s voice and the choir very nicely, making a rich song with several layers of depth. I think it’s as much the beauty of their performances as much as the reinterpretation that helped this song go viral. Congratulations! For once, something that went viral is actually beautiful!
Incidentally, both of them made their videos in the same place - Midway Ice Castles.
February 28, 2014
February 16, 2014
We all know about the “popular” series that get promoted to
the moon and back. There’s a definite inclination to groan and wish them a
speedy departure. However, sometimes truly beautiful art rides in on the coat
tails of otherwise lacklustre experiences.
What kicked this blog off was discovering non-brain melting ways to enjoy a few different series that otherwise I’m not
particularly fond of. Specifically, I’m going to be talking about fan works for
Twilight and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
Let’s start with Twilight. Meyer’s concept was not bad; it was just poorly handled. Used skillfully, it is fascinating and can make for a gripping story. Thankfully, this thought also occurred to other people.
“Buffy vs. Edward”, an excellent parody and exploration of some of the more unhealthy attitudes espoused in Twilight, follows a theoretical journey from the first encounter between Buffy and Edward to the last. It feels like an actual Buffy episode, while retaining its own character.
Incidentally, its history also provides an excellent example of the Fair Use clause. If you have any interest in copyright law, you might find reading about the video most illuminating.
However, the crowning glory of the theoretical “what could have been” for Twilight is the fan novel Luminosity. I cannot help wishing that this was the real Twilight, because there is so much to it. Alicorn took the outline formed by the original novel and fleshed it out, turning it into a living, breathing world. Luminosity’s premise is “what would happen if Bella was clever and loved to think about the world around her?” While not a grand planner, this Bella does think things through, and while on the whole, her efforts to help do good (at first), the novel also shows the dangers of relying overly much on one’s own cleverness. (in this case, one small detail Bella overlooks undoes her) It’s a surprisingly balanced story, and, even if you cannot stand the original books, is highly enjoyable.
The theme song for Breaking Dawn part 1 is lovely (and the only part of the film I like lol), and so is the PianoGuys' cover of it.I liked song (particularly the melody) before finding out that it was written for a Twilight film; I still think it is beautiful. :) Apparently this cover was made as present to a family member of theirs.
The current MLP fandom never ceases to amaze me. The same passion that drove this fandom to howl all over the internet for months about a character's promotion also fuels far more creative - though equally involved - endeavors. One of the most impressive gifts this fandom has to offer is its music, including full, nuanced symphonies and soundtracks! Here is one of the loveliest of the fan albums I've bumped into. I was pleasantly surprised to find this in my messages one day (in a fan art group that accepts all kinds of fan art) It sounds like the highlights from an epic fantasy film. :)