Monday, August 31, 2009

Part IV of Prolegomena to Further Critique of Sadomasochistic Teenage Erotica

Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4) Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Breaking Dawn is the fourth and final book of Stephenie Meyer's vampire "love" story. This is the hardest of all for me to write about. The story is scattered across different narrators, has no story arc to speak of and drags the reader from chaotic scenes of violence to endless chapters of banal wish fulfillment. But unlike the previous books, there is no definable landing point either for critique or narrative discussion. Reading this book was like watching a slasher film on a TV with horrible reception- the picture keeps flaying out into blurry but disturbing images, only to be interrupted by ads for Hallmark and Wal-Mart: juxtapositions of physical and emotional violence with images of domesticity and consumption.

On top of that, I was bored to the point of literally needing to write "I'm bored" every 20 pages or so. Needless to say, I am not yet ready to equitably or creatively engage the issues of the text. I mostly just want to complain. But I will try to say something beyond “Why? Why? Why? Why?”

Whereas the three previous books in the Twilight Saga used awkward literary intertexts, arguably to underline a theme of Bella and Edward's relationship, Breaking Dawn has no such allusions. The first book, Twilight, has Bella reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. At first I thought this was an embarrassing plug to encourage girls to do their English homework. After the next two books, however, I realized this was supposed to serve as meaningful literary allusion. Bella reads Pride and Prejudice then meets an aloof, severe man who then turns out to be her ideal charming counterpart. At least that’s how it’s supposed to come across. Instead, we get the evocation of a classic prototype of the rude, narcissistic, controlling man as dashing romantic hero. Mr. Darcy and Edward Cullen do have something in common: they make women swoon by being uncommunicative and evasive.

New Moon has Bella reading and watching Romeo & Juliet. Then, surprise! Bella and Edward find themselves in a situation where one lover thinks the other lover is dead and wants to kill themself as a result. We have the reinforcement of star-crossed romance being noble and romantic- i.e.: the pairing of love with tragedy and adversity, rather than health and mutuality. Not to mention the fact that both characters fantasize about suicide and death rather than separation from one another.

By Eclipse, I’d come to expect these trite intertexts, but I was in no way prepared for the bomb Meyer set off in this third book. Pride and Prejudice and Romeo and Juliet are two of the most celebrated love stories in Western literature, so surely Meyer’s third choice would be something even more exemplary of our perceptions (however troublesome) of romantic love, right? Nope. Here I was reading the book through the lens of sadomasochism, and BOOM! Meyer lobs out Wuthering Heights in the very first chapter! My eyes nearly disengaged from their sockets. Wuthering Heights is THE sadomasochistic text of all time, barring the actual writings of the Marquis de Sade perhaps. Catherine and Heathcliff threaten one another, abuse and imprison others, and ultimately die in order to torture one another from beyond the grave. While Meyer’s characters debate about the idea of Catherine and Heathcliff being romantic characters- is there anything admirable about them at all?- such in-novel debate does not change the fact that the characters are being evoked and compared. Bella even interprets Edward’s actions using Heathcliff’s dialogue. Eclipse is actually the only case of appropriate intertextuality in the whole trilogy (except maybe the brief reference to Macbeth in Twilight). Wuthering Heights’ violence, dominance and dysfunction of enmeshed, co-dependant, petulant adolescents obsessed with one another matches Meyer’s characters perfectly. What her real intent was, I shudder to imagine.

But there is no 11th grade English class intertext in Breaking Dawn, the final book. Instead, we get Bella’s continually bruised, bleeding, ripped body that eventually (and painfully) transforms into a goddess-like body of a sex object. As usual, she finds continually creative ways to be secretive regarding her real feelings, resorting to manipulation and oftentimes begging in order to be listened to or have her desires responded to. She hides her suffering (physical and emotional) from her protectors (husband, male best friend/father/step-father/intrusive sister-in-law, dissociated mother) and when her injuries are too visible to be hidden, she convinces herself that there’s nothing wrong. This includes her waking up on her wedding morning covered with bruises from her husband’s (vampire) passion. She spends the morning trying to assuage him that the bruises don’t hurt…

Here is where I need about 50 more pages to talk. Fortunately, I’ve given myself a year to work on this text and these issues. So I’ll stop now.

Conclusion to my prolegomena: I find nothing redeemable or enjoyable about these books or these characters. So much suffering, so much guilt, so much dissociation, lying, SARCASM, anger, SARCASM, violence, self-contempt, not to mention the sickening paring of perfect family domestic life with gratuitous conspicuous consumerism. The Cullens are supposed to be the most generous and loving family ever to live, and yet they have millions of dollars just sitting around being spent on fashion, luxury cars and private islands. The Cullens are angelic immortals yet they keep $40,000 in loose change rather than, say, spending their eternal lives giving it away to those who actually need to eat. Also- while I’m on a Cullen rant- I thought it was problematic that Dr. Cullen kept purchasing blood from the hospital for his new vampire family members, but the only issue raised about it was the expense, not the fact that donated blood is there to save human lives, not sustain the appetites of newborn vampires. But I digress…

So many people I trust, value and respect have found great meaning in these stories. Now begins the journey of trying to understand why.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

"Dear Spinal Cord Meningocele Oversized Thecal Sac..."

Little more than a month ago, Maryann received some life-altering news about her body. Even more life-altering in the sense that she learned about something that had been there all her life, and in having never made itself known, was only life-altering once it was recognized. She could have gone her whole life without ever knowing it was there.

Her journey though shock, surrender, denial, rage, despair and survival has been perseveringly, vulnerably, hilariously, passionately and heartbreakingly recorded on her blog. There's still so much about which she's waiting for answers, not the least of which being when will she finally have surgery, but my heart has been soaring along with her ability to process and feel such highs and lows in the midst of complete and utter "WTF?!".

Her most recent post, felt like such a tender and brave step towards both accepting the reality of what she's learned, and asserting her own anger and hope at the same time. I have so much respect for her. I wanted to share with others this amazing letter she wrote to part of her body. Just reading her words makes my own heart feel 20 times more brave.

Thank you for sharing with us Maryann. You astound me.

(And don't even get me started on how this woman dances)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Self-Referential Haiku

Jeremy said I
write such sad haiku. Okay
if that made me smile?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Hope You're Right, Nathaniel Hawthorne.

"It is to the credit of human nature, that, except where its selfishness is brought into play, it loves more readily than it hates. Hatred, by a gradual and quiet process, will even be transformed to love, unless the change be impeded by a continually new irritation of the original feeling of hostility."

-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Finally feeling like that "gradual and quiet process" might be able to start.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gone Gone Gone Haiku

Well, good luck, I guess.
I wish that you had let us
love your frightened heart.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Part III of Prolegomena to Further Critique of Sadomasochistic Teenage Erotica

Eclipse (Twilight, #3) Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

See Twilight Post Part I for context explanation.

In Eclipse, we have the continuing issue of people, particularly men, undermining and re-naming Bella’s experience. She is repeatedly told, “You don’t feel that” “Don’t be silly” “You’re being oversensitive” “Don’t freak out”. What is worse, however, is that by this third book, Bella rarely needs to be told this by others, because she does it for herself. We see Bella compartmentalize her feelings before she has a chance to feel them. Every action she takes is out of a misguided sense of protection for other people’s reactions and feelings. She equates telling the truth with hurting others. She continually (Literally) asks others to punish her rather than forgive her when she says what she feels and it disappoints them. She looks for ways to bleed for others rather than acknowledge how they have manipulated, coerced or betrayed her. She blames herself for any “selfish” feeling regarding her own experience, but refuses to let others apologize, even when their behavior borders on abusive.

As a woman, hurting someone’s feelings is the most selfish crime one can commit. Better to remain silent than suffer the guilt after telling someone a truth they will not like hearing. If someone says you’re being oversensitive or silly, believe them. Others know what you’re feeling better than you do. A woman should never put a man in a position where he has to watch her cry, be angry or show any other emotion beyond compliance. If you do this, you are a selfish monster and don’t deserve to be loved.

That’s Book Three.

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Part II of Prolegomena to Further Critique of Sadomasochistic Teenage Erotica

New Moon (Twilight, #2) New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

See Twilight Post Part I for context explanation.

New Moon’s thematic trope has to do with abandonment and control. Bella is made promises by numerous males in her life that they will protect her at all costs and that she will never come to harm. Those promises are repeatedly broken, leaving Bella abandoned by those who made sweeping, possessive claims regarding their roles as protector. Thus, we have the repeating theme of men being both the self-proclaimed protectors and the ones who leave you unprotected. The men who swear to protect you are also the men who will leave you. Bella is not only abandoned by men, but bears the guilt of believing its her fault they left. In most cases, the men give no reason for their silence or absence, and she is left to find the cause in herself. When they return and cite their initial promises that they promised they’d always protect her, she feels even more guilt for how hard it is to trust their word. This crazy-making cycle always comes back to men who say, “Why did you doubt that I would protect you?” and then say, “I’m leaving and it’s for your own good.” Women are expected to trust men even when they break their word. If you doubt a man’s word, you hurt his feelings. Then he might leave you. The cycle continues.

Women, keep your fears and doubts to yourself. Men will make promises, break them, then reestablish trust by saying you were crazy for ever doubting them. Possesion/Abdandonement/Guilt/Possession/Abandonement/Guilt as pattern for relationship.

That’s Book Two.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Prolegomena to Further Critique of Sadomasochistic Teenage Erotica

Twilight (Twilight, #1) Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Since I feel awkward having these books appearing in my "read" shelves without any explanation, I feel I must offer a little context, before I unleash my full response to the Twilight Saga sometime next spring.

I'm currently doing research based on the series, looking at themes of sexual violence, specifically, identifying the Twilight saga as an example of a sadomasochistic narrative. Without going into the details, I'll offer my short version of the main theme I've found so far in each book.

Twilight introduces teenage Bella and her vampire lover Edward. My main take away from Twilight is that in order for Bella to receive physical and emotional intimacy, she must literally stand as still as possible, hold her breath and hold back any of her own responses. To receive closeness, she must shut down and dissociate. She is held responsible for Edward's sexual and physical actions. Its her job to make sure he doesn't lose control. If she does respond to his advances, thus arousing him, he gets angry, pushes her away and blames her for tempting him past his limit. He, however, is free to be as sensual with her as he likes.

Women as both the tempter and manager of men's sexuality- while their own feminine sexuality must be suppressed.

That's book one.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

District 9 and the Noble Savage or "Why I Need To Spoil The Film Everyone Loves"

*****Spoiler Alert***** (In more ways than one)

I saw District 9 on opening night. My two concluding statements: "I loved every minute of watching that movie" and "I officially despise this movie"

It took me about an hour to reach the second statement, but there were hints throughout. Though I was completely riveted the whole time, like, jaw-open-eyes agog-throughout kind of riveted, I was continually bumping up against issues of logic, suspension of disbelief as well as character/narrative issues. But I'll leave those for the film critics to parse.

What puts this film officially on my shit-list is that in its attempted exploration of issues about immigration, race, prejudice, oppression, power and privilege, it actually propagates the mentality its presumably challenging. Here’s some of what I saw.

We are faced early on with the blatant human disregard for the alien species, as we see them nicknamed, murdered, abused and displaced with flippancy by the South African community. This exposition part of the film is really quite stunning and disturbing- you see an unassuming paper-pusher of a man explain how the alien eggs (unborn children) burst like popcorn when they're burned, while he oversees the systematic destruction of a whole pod of eggs. He's giddy and childlike--his innocence to the horror he's committing is freakish, and the audience, understandably and appropriately, gasps. The parallels throughout the film regarding the aliens as refugees, slaves or genocide victims are hardly subtle. It's clear that as we watch, we are supposed to shrink in horror at the similarity between the atrocities being causally committed by humans against aliens and our own cultural histories and present tenses regarding outsiders, minorities and the oppressed.

But this is where the film gets dangerous or at least grotesque. The film never leaves the perspective of the oppressors. The aliens (clear stand-ins for oppressed cultures) are helpless, stupid, volatile and violent. In one of the first noticeable non-"archival" scenes in the film, we see two aliens scrounging for scraps. They are noticeably wearing clothes, (cue the viewer: all aliens look alike but this one's wearing clothing so you can recognize it- maybe this will be a main character). Next, a toddler sized alien appears, talking to the boldly dressed alien, (cue the viewer: this alien has a kid, so this is definitely the main character, and you are now going to sympathize with it because there's a little cute alien to go with it). I nearly "ugghhed" out loud when these aliens shortly reappeared in a new scene, confirming the stereotyped character coding.

Next, when the main alien character interacts with the humans, they all notice that he is smarter than the rest of the aliens. As I watched, I waited for when the film would explain that the aliens are intelligent, and it’s just prejudice framing them all as stupid animals. But this never happens. Not one reasonably sentient alien besides "Christopher" and his son ever appears. The film never alludes to why Christopher seems able to survive without killing others over cat-food (another offensive trend in the alien lifestyle- they inexplicably love cat-food (ahem-Crack) and will do anything for it). Christopher is merely the ONE alien who isn't a dumb-insect-riot monger-addict.

In hearing the alien's name, the audience chuckles or is confused by his Anglo name, Christopher Johnson. At first I thought this was appropriately upsetting, and a set-up for when we'd get to learn his true name. But we never learn his non-"Ellis Island" or oppressor-given name. It's never addressed. And maybe that would be an okay element of ambiguity/mystery in the narrative, were it not for all the other disappointments as far as the cultural parallels.

The worst element of all, however, is the fact that after being continually manipulated, abandoned, beaten, threatened and taken advantage of by the main human character, (including his son being essentially kidnapped), "Christopher" then turns to Wikus and refuses to leave him behind. While this reflects well on Christopher's integrity and shows-up Wikus's cowardice, what I really think it reflects is an oppressor's version of the scenario. It's basically a story of a beaten and abused slave turning to save their master from drowning. Of course that's the white people version of the story. To frame the story in such a way that the abused alien risks twenty times more on behalf of the white man than the white man risks for him, creates a self-aggrandized catharsis for us, the powerful and privileged, to get to watch a story of wounded, marginalized people wholeheartedly forgiving our oppression. It is the noble savage thanking us in a pure British accent, for domesticating him and teaching him how to behave. It's horrific.

Further, while the aliens are clearly the more sympathetic characters, the film ends focused on the pathos and tragedy of the human character having been transformed into an alien. We are left with the image of lonely Wikus the now-alien, rather than the victory of Christopher, escaping to free his people. We don’t even get to know if Christopher was successful in his mission. The end made me so furious, that it erased my entire experience of enjoying the previous two hours. Shouldn’t Wikus’s new identity as an alien/outsider, be his literal and figurative character transformation? The story was so clearly headed in this direction. But we never see Wikus repentant of how he’d treated the aliens (of which he is now one). We only see his survival instinct and his guilt. What’s the point of changing the oppressor into the shape of the oppressed if he is never made aware of his violence? Though I’m all for subverting viewer’s expectations in narrative tropes, this is one case where I felt gross when left with the aborted trajectory. If feeling gross at our identification with Wikus was the goal, then the film shouldn’t end with him making a tin flower for his wife. Really.

For a film about exposing the abuses we commit to “the other”, this film only furthers a colonialist view of other cultures, wherein those we conquer and subdue, probably deserve it because they are so uncivilized and, literally in this film’s case, inhuman. I’m pretty shocked and appalled that a film so close to being amazing, got it so, so, so wrong.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Horoscope Today

"...don't be so quick to negate your desires for the sake of the community."

It's like they know I'm a woman or something.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Countdown To Losing Ian, Part II: Wherein We Are Treated Like Celebrities

Tuesday we had an unexpected cancellation for a get-together with friends, so Ian, smart fellow that he is, made reservations at a favorite restaurant. Back in Ian's days as a hotel concierge, he made connections with quite a few fine eating establishments. This makes it very fun and rewarding to go out on the town with him.

First, the two of us met up for Happy Hour at Vessel, one of Seattle's premier cocktail bars. Two birthdays ago, Ian gifted me two free cocktail passes, and it seemed fitting we should use them for his farewell tour. We happened to be there on a night when they were hosting a guest bartender. We decided to order of the new list. Ian and I are both bartenders, and Ian knows a lot more about fancy cocktails than I do, but when we looked at the list, we only recognized two of the ingrediants on the whole page. We used his IPhone to look up things like Aperol and Gammel Dansk. This only heightened our intrigue.

We were both drawn to "Unnecessary Noise" a combination of various expensive spirits including Makers Marks Bourbon, Dolin Blanc and Pernod Absinthe. Since we didn't want to order the same thing, Ian took a risk and ordered the Haiku, whose ingredients you can read in the photo below. While Ian's drink was prettier than mine, with it's latte-looking foam art, it smelled and tasted primarily of beef jerky. Yes, the cherrywood smoked syrup was heavy on the smoke and light on the cherry. But Ian felt it was worth it since to order the Haiku cocktail, he was required by the bartender to write a haiku. We both clapped giddily when we were informed of this, and got busy wiritng. Ian wrote his in honor of his cocktail:
and I wrote mine in honor of him.

Always the leaver.
Never the one being left.
Not 'till this Monday.

After finishing our free cocktails, we headed down Pike street to meet up with two other friends at Steelhead Diner in the market. Before we had even ordered our entrees, an important looking young gentlemen who had come by the table to greet Ian, asked if any of us had any allergies. We said "no" and wondered what surprise would arrive. Shortly, we were gazing at the restaurant's famous "Caviar Pie", a cheese spread hors d'oeuvre featuring some five different kinds of caviar. It was delicious and disappeared quickly.

I had decided to spare no expense for our unexpected night on the town, so I treated myself to the Wagyu beef tri tip with golden russet potatoes, fresh greens and red wine sauce. If beef can be incandescent, this certainly was. Everyone else ate lushly and lavishly as well. We decided on two desserts. I really wanted the $10 sundae and shared it with Chase. Ian and Nir went for the Black Velvet cake. This was also the first time Ian and I had ever eaten out on the restaurat's balcony. We had a sweet view overlooking Post alley.

After our delicious meal was done and we were simply enjoying the atmosphere, BJ returned to say goodbye to Ian, and also to inform us that our meal was on the house. Yes, our $200 meal was on the house. I'm so glad I had decided to spare no expense since I ended up with no expense at all. In fact, the whole night only cost me about $16 in tips. And it was some of the best eating/drinking I've enjoyed in some time. It was magical. Another night of surprises during Ian's final week. What will happen next? Probably a call from Joss Whedon saying he'd like us to pitch him a new series and co-write it. Yep. He's probably reading our paper right now wondering how he can get us on his team. Joss, all ye need do is ask. And provide caviar maybe.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Time To Say Goodbye (Imagine this in an insipid Sarah Brightman voice)

Ian is moving to New York on Monday morning to start Columbia's MFA prgram for dramaturgy. Ian's parting is significant for me in many ways, not the least of which being that for 3 years, he's been the one person I could really talk shop with here in Seattle as far as theatre/collaboration/avant garde/narrative studies/crazy theatre patrons/crazy actors/and all the other things that marked my life before moving to Seattle. Not that I don't have great conversation partners here, but Ian felt like the place where I didn't have to do any translating about what the last ten years of my life have been about. With him leaving, I almost feel like Im losing my last link to New York. Which is ironic, since he's moving to NY.

But Ian leaving is also- as far as I can remember at all, the first significant time where I am the friend being left, not the friend leaving. All my partings have been me moving on to new adventures, or all of us friends in mass departure from college or something. I've never known Seattle, or Intiman Theatre more specifically, without Ian. I have no idea what it will be like without him. No idea how to prepare for that.

But at least we're doing a pretty good job with the saying goodbye part. Sunday, after the closing matinee of Othello, we raced over to Palomino via the monorail, whilst making a quick stop at the FunForest roller-coaster. As Ian is a crazy theme park fanatic, it felt appropriate that we ride at least one roller-coaster together before he departs. After tasty cocktails and wood-fired pizzas, we still had an hour to kill before revisiting Star Trek at the downtown Regal. Ian still had some GameWorks credits, so we journeyed into the darkened depressing depths of the arcade land to play some shooting/driving/dancing/tossing games. It was hilarious. After the movie, (which is like an amusement park in and of itself) I couldn't believe all the random entertainments we'd encountered in downtown Seattle. Felt more like a day at Six Flags. Love it.

We've been doing more celebrating since Sunday, but I'll do a separate post, otherwise no one will read it. Long posts = inevitable non-readership. But oh, last night was so blog-worthy!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

No, We Do Not Make Mojitos...

...but we do come up with clever cocktail tie-ins for every production.

Here's the batch from the last two shows at Intiman. The next show, which opens in two weeks, is gonna have cucumber martinis! My idea! (followed by collaboration on the recipe of course)

The Clown Car
Patrón Silver tequila
Rose’s Lime Juice
Splash of Sweet & Sour
Shaken and served up with a lime
(it's kind of a Tequila Gimlet)

The Chippermunkie
Maker’s Mark bourbon
Disaronno amaretto
Dash of bitters
Shaken and served on the rocks
Top with club soda
Garnish with lemon wedge and cherry

The Green-Eyed Monster
Bacardi white rum
Midori melon liquor
Pineapple juice
Shaken and served on the rocks
Garnish with a cherry

The Strawberry Handkerchief
Smirnoff Strawberry Twist vodka
Crème de Cacao
Dash of Campari
Shaken and served up
Garnish with a white chocolate truffle

This last drink was a victory.
(Side note- I came up with the name for this one before we had a recipe) We've been trying to get rid of Campari for two seasons- it tastes like a combo of grapefruit peel and gasoline- but one bartender had an ingenious thought: Campari is bitter- so is coffee- what do we put in coffee? Cream- why not try Campari and cream?
It was magical. We were already serving the Strawberry Handkerchief with the vodka, liqueur and cream- but when we added Campari, it made the drink not only more subtle and herbal tasting, but it turned the drink pink! Ideal for something named after strawberries.

Feel free to try these at home. The Chippermunkie is quite nice.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

"We will never know how the mind turns the water of our cells into the wine of consciousness"

Proust Was a Neuroscientist Proust Was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was drawn to Jonah Lehrer's book when I saw a light blue paperback with a madeleine cookie on the cover along with the word "neuroscientist". Tasty looking indeed. When I opened it up, I saw that an entire chapter was devoted to George Eliot and "The Biology of Freedom". With little more info than that, I basically took the book to the cash register and had at it.

To quote the description on the back, Lehrer's book explores the idea that "when it comes to understanding the brain, art got there first." Each chapter profiles a 19th-early 20th century artist and how their work revealed an understanding of how our brains function that neuroscience is only just beginning to discover. Most engaging was the chapter on chef Auguste Escoffier and the intuiting of umami- our only very recently canonized new taste- joining savory, sweet and the rest. The chapter on Stravinsky and how our brains learn to enjoy music was also refreshing.

Overall, however, I find I was most alert while Lehrer profiled the artists, particularly as he located them within the scientific atmosphere of their time. Once each chapter switched to descriptions of neurological functioning the writing became dense and hard to connect with. Maybe there's just no easy way to write about neuroscience no matter how many literary references one uses. Lehrer's effort is much appreciated, but still feels only mildly successful. I loved learning about the relationships (or animosities) these artists had to the scientific communities of their era, but the connection to what their art revealed about what we now know of the brain still felt like a bit of a reach. But still interesting. Ultimately, I love Lehrer's goal of fostering dialogue and mutual understanding between science and art.

"We now know enough to know that we will never know everything. That is why we need art: it teaches us how to live with mystery. Only the artist can explore the ineffable without offering us an answer, for sometimes there is no answer...When we venture beyond the edge of our knowledge, all we have is art."


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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Why Publish When You Can Just Twitter?

What's all that tweeting you hear? Oh, just the sounds of my fifteen minutes of fame getting used up. I'm not complaining. The following is proof that Twitter truly is the most powerful benevolent de-centralized (human-made) force in the universe.
It goes like this...

In August, Ian and I start working on a paper about Joss Whedon's series Firefly, to submit to the Whedon panel at the Southwest/Texas American & Popular Culture Association's Annual Conference. Then we write it. Then we go to the conference. We have a great time, we email the paper to a couple people we meet there. We talk about editing it so we can submit it for publication somewhere like the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. But the re-formatting alone would take major thought, and Kj's still only halfway through a crazy spring term. So we hold onto the paper with an ellipses as to what to do with it next.But in July (last Monday to be exact), we re-deliver our paper presentation along with a film screening at MHGS. Josué suggests we include a write up about the event for the new Experience MHGS website. He goes ahead and makes a paper link in case someone wants to read it. I think, "That's awfully nice, but who that's investigating MHGS is gonna read a 35 page paper about fundamentalism and a cancelled TV show?"

But I go ahead and tweet the link to the EMHGS site.
Then this happens. My initial tweet is way down there on the bottom, then next thing you know, It's on Whedonesque, the ultimate Whedonverse hub for both fandom and academia. So within a few hours, it went from living in my docs file to being accessible to every hardcore Whedon fan on the planet. By the time I got out of bed, it already had a comment stream 30 posts long.

So no more wondering who our audience is for this thing. It's out there. They're reading it, and they're already debating everything from the specifics of taking holy orders, to mind-reading to biblical innerancy, (not to mention finding all our typos).

Oh mighty Twitter. Thanks for getting us out there. You put a skip in my step all day. Tweet tweet tweet.