Wednesday, June 03, 2009

"It's a Barnum and Bailey World"

By the way, the secret word yesterday was "locomotive". Thanks for playing. Probably should've mentioned Jethro Tull.

People have personal relationships with works of art, and works of art don't necessarily need to be brilliant to make someone love them forever. For example, there's my perverse desire to watch Willow again lately, even though I didn't really enjoy it last time I did. I loved it so much when I was a kid, and no amount of assurances that it was ripping off Lord of the Rings could dissuade me from my love. And that's as it should be.

Which is why I'm kind of hesitant rant about the season finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's second season, which I watched last night. Buffy "coming out" to her mother about the fact that she's a slayer was obviously an allegory for teens telling their parents they're gay and parents not knowing how to deal with it. And Buffy is such a loved show. I imagine gay boys and girls drawing strength from the moment and I find that sort of beautiful so I don't want to disparage it.

At the same time, this is a prime example of why I don't like allegory. Buffy kills a threatening demon in front of her mother, and her mother asks her if she's "tried not being a slayer."


Did Joss Whedon think kids dealing with not fitting in is inevitably about them protecting their loved ones from physical harm? Joss, art can have meaning for people even if it makes sense. "No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved," as Oscar Wilde said. Which is to say, there's a reason The Cask of Amontillado isn't admissible in court. Or it shouldn't be, anyway. "It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors," as Wilde also said. It's not because the artist worked really hard at mirroring the spectator. It's because that's just one of the things that makes art what it is.

So, yeah. Not the show at its best. Buffy inviting Spike into the house for no reason except for a gag shot of him sitting with her mother, Buffy killing Angel for no apparent reason, Buffy skipping town for no apparent reason. There's an emotion and idea about alienation and about how the only person one can trust is him or herself. It just doesn't match what's actually going on. But, again, I don't begrudge anyone getting a meaningful experience out of it.

I just got back from an eye exam. I felt oddly happy afterwards--"What a wonderful eye exam!" I thought. No idea why. It was the usual puffs of air in the eye and reading of letters and numbers. It had been a very long time since I'd had an eye exam, and apparently there's a new arcade game portion where I follow a red dot with one eye and press a button whenever I see a green light flash.

Another new thing was the doctor telling me I oughta shampoo my eyelashes a couple times a week. Apparently I have extraordinarily long lashes.

I don't know, they don't look that big to me.

Last night's tweets;

Sleep deprivation works like alcohol.
Sometimes, I mean, sort of it is a buzz.
And I ricochet all over the hall.
Trying to remember where my thought was.

Every thought was a struggle yesterday because of the very small amount of sleep I got. For some reason it didn't put me in a bad mood, though. I think I did a little better to-day.

Here's a picture of a very young Ian McKellen I saw posted on the Vintage Photo live journal community I'm re-posting here because I know too many people who'd swoon over it;

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