Friday, December 22, 2006

Free Form Comments

Free form comments. Self-promotion, suggestions, anonymous criticism, any random thing you think we should know about.

Got a new blog, Powerword, from a friend of mine and his buddies (link to the right). The first post was a topic I wish I had thought to bring up myself: the debate Astronauts vs. Cavemen, featured in the season 5 episode of Angel where Illyria first appears. The genius of the debate is the total lack of context -- are the cavemen here? are the astronauts there? do the astronauts have weapons or their ship? -- so that the debate becomes, in large part, about imagining contexts. The genius of Whedon is how he opens the episode after the debate has been introduced -- characters at various points around the office, occupied with other duties, keep cycling back to it as an unfinished topic, keep thinking about variations to add in or ask about. And without spoiling the episode -- a very good one written by Whedon himself -- Whedon, of course, leverages this geek debate to establish the theme of his story; this nerd debate comes back in a heartbreaking way at the end.

I'm a caveman guy, myself.

On an unrelated topic (this is free form comments, after all) if you know of any freelance writing or speaking I could do let me know; I am always looking for ways to get extra cash (however paltry) while beefing up my resume and doing what I like to do anyway.

17 comments:

Patrick said...

The whole debate demonstrates ultimately how narcissistic Whedon's writing is, and how hollow it ends up being (at least for me).

Geoff Klock said...

Patrick: why is it narcissistic and hollow exactly?

MItch said...

File under recommendation, Geoff:

I rewatched the movie Hedwig and the Angry Inch (based on the off-broadway show)last night. Have you seen it? It's got a lot to do with Gnosticism (for example one character, a rock star named Tommy Gnosis, always appears with a silver Gnostic cross painted on his forehead)and I figured since you have written about it a lot, I thought you could explain the ending to me. haha. I know it has something to do with Gnosticism but I don't know what.

brad said...

Hedwig is my favorite musical adaptation of all time.

hcduvall said...

Well, I don't take to Whedon's banter negatively myself, or presume to speak Patrick, but it does contain a cliquishness to it and out of contextness to its jokes and commentary. This illustration may be of no use to anyone else, but a cousin of mine described Firefly as the perfect example of an rpg group. The tough brash one, the tough competent one, the medic, etc... and my alteration was that the way Whedon writes includes the comments of actors/players. I think it's the way Whedon interacts and includes his audience actively during his shows, making the audience more than, however enthusiastic, mere, spectators, but the sidekicks. That said, the cultivation of that sort of fan experience will close itself off part of the audience who aren't connecting that way. And occasionally, it exists only to amuse itself, rather than further a story, an arc, etc...

Maybe.

And thanks for the plug. I only hope the combined powers of 4 procrasinators will create enough content to amuse more than just us. The full blog title is "Power Word: Blog", which, like many of my half-jokes is a relic of the vast portion of my brain that is occupied by old hobbies and their fictional worlds. Now that I'm older, Wikipedia remembers for me.

Patrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick said...

I agree largely with what is said above, accept I don't think he cares about his audience at all. They exist only to gratify him and I can think of at least one steller example of him openly mocking his fans (Nerds of Doom anyone?).

Jay Nagy said...

Got a question? About anything at all? Click my name to ask a librarian, as long as you can wait til I'm home from work for an answer.

Cause it's fun, that's why!

For me anyway.

See ya then!

Geoff Klock said...

Mitch and Brad: I actually have not seen it. Sheesh, sounds like I need to.

Alex and Patrick: ok, I can see Alex's point (though I don't hold it myself and neither does Alex for the most part I assume), and I think he is quite right about making the audience into a sidekick. But the existence of the Nerds of Doom does not translate into Whedon doesn't care about his entire audience. Especially since characters like Willow and Xander are clearly sympathetic nerds and not all the Nerds of Doom turn out to be evil and deserving of hatred. That plot was not about hating nerds, it was about how Warren was the worst and most dangerous kind of misogynist, and how he bulled the other two, who had very little real experience of women, into going a long with him.

Jay: thanks man, will do.

Patrick said...

http://dir.salon.com/story/ent/feature/2003/05/13/spike_buffy/index.html

'Nuff said.

Geoff Klock said...

Patrick: that is a complaint about the second half of season 7. I don't disagree with that. I think most Whedon fans will tell you that's his weakest work. It's its a terrible representation of his work as a whole.

Patrick said...

Fair enough. I am unable to seperate season six and seven from my viewership of the series as a whole, and as such, I am unable to enjoy the whole anymore.

I wouldn't hold Xander or Willow (please don't get me started on Willow) as good counterpoints to the Nerds, because the writers did a very good job of destorying even the very possiblity of sympathy for them.

I hope you don't get the impression I'm trying to pick a fight here, I only want to share my impressions of tehe whole.

Patrick said...

Of the THE whole. Not tehe whole. ^_^

hcduvall said...

Patrick and Geoff: For me, it's at worst causes him to write a clunker of a line. But the nature of fandom (and his in particular) being what it is, it's probably someone's favorite line in all the world.

I'm not actually much of a Buffy fan as much as the other stuff he's done. What I know I know from osmosis mostly. But I think it sounds very much like the lifecycle of comic series: the bright start and serial nature, growth adn hiccups, the unfortunate end, the unfortunate restart, all combined with heavy engagement with its fanbase. All that said, he's written a hell of a lot of tv, most of it good so when I pick at it it's from expecting a higher standard.

But I've grown to dislike some other work the same way. Sometimes it's worth, if you expect better. Battlestar Galatica is always one epidsode away from tossing my interest.

Mitch said...

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays all you hollow, narcissistic jerks. I love ya.

sara d. reiss said...

I just want to point out to everyone here that Geoff has, in fact, seen Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I was there with him when he saw it.

so he's a liar!!!

well, actually, he just has weird memory blind-spots. we were busy all weekend so I didn't have a chance to respond til now. If anyone still cares I'll remind him about the movie tonite and perhaps we'll re-watch over new years' and then I'll make him get back to y'all on it.


happy almost new year etc...

Geoff Klock said...

OK I saw a pretty big chunk of it at a friend's house in Austin, but not enough to give a coherent response to the question asked.

Ack, new years...