Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I've figured it out.

I now know how to watch Scarlett, the movie of Alexandra Ripley's sequel to GWTW. I'll just think about it as fan-fiction. A very institutionalized form of fan-fiction to be sure, but fan-fiction nonetheless. I won't flinch at every mischaracterization or absurdity this way, I'll just take it for what it is.

Update, 6:50pm: It doesn't help.

Update, 7:02pm: Nothing helps.

Update, 8:03pm: I just watched Rhett Butler introduce Belle Watling and one of her, er, girls, to his mother. This isn't just fan-fiction, this is awful fan-fiction. The kind I stop reading after 3 pages in. I hate to say it, but I wish it stuck closer to the book version. And the book was bad.

Update, 8:18pm: Ew.

Update, 8:21pm: Scarlett: "Pansy, go tell Mr. Rhett that Sleeping Beauty
[i.e., Scarlett] is back from the Land of Nod." Quoting the movie to you is, at present, the only coherent way of expressing to you, dear reader, how bad this movie truly is. Still, I trudge on.

Update, 8:31pm: Oh no oh no oh no. I think Ashley is about to kiss Scarlett. While she is in his hotel room. While he is in Charleston. The sad part is that I think this actor, Stephen Collins (interestingly, the dad from 7th Heaven!) could make a fair Ashley if he had something in the way of a reasonable script to work with.

Update, 8:35pm: And then Rhett's mother kicks her out of the house?? Where is this even coming from? They're seriously deviating from the plot of the substandard book.

Update, 9:15pm: I can't decide whether to laugh or cry. I've settled on something in between. This is truly horrific.

Update, 9:32pm: Okay, so, I've decided to continue watching, guided by the idea that it has nothing to do with
GWTW. It'll be like watching the most recent Mansfield Park "adaptation," I'll disassociate it from the original and appreciate it on its own merits.

Update, 10:08pm: Scratch that. It has no merits.

Update, 10:29pm: Is Rhett seducing that girl? Ew.

Update, 10:38pm: Scarlett is pregnant and I'm pretty sure she should be showing at this point. Oh well. Why should I expect anything to be logically consistent?

Update, 10:59pm: The news of Rhett's re-marriage brings on the baby early. What an innovative plot twist. Yeah, that's not completely predictable.

Update, 11:01pm: They're tying her arms and legs to the bed while she's having the baby? What? This is too bizarre.

Update, 11:04pm: Homemade c-section. Lovely. Just what I wanted to see after dinner.

Update, 11:07pm: Am I really just halfway through this thing? Dear readers, should I stick it out and finish it tonight?

Update, 11:12pm: Why, despite not only my position that this movie has nothing to do with GWTW but also the fact that Timothy Dalton is spectacularly unsuccessful as Rhett, does it give me real pain to see Rhett happily married to someone other than Scarlett? Why do I want to throw things at him?

Update, 11:15pm: I feel I should confess my somewhat unpopular suspicion that, in "real" life (meaning, GWTW as a standalone novel, and apart from official sequels and fan-fiction), I do not believe that Scarlett and Rhett will get back together. Re-read that last chapter and hear the finality in Rhett's voice. No, perhaps that scene discussed above, with Rhett happily married to a decidedly un-Scarlett-like wife, particularly pains me precisely because I believe it could be "true."

Update, 11:38pm: Of course she falls off her horse. The damsel-in-distress thing can get old, though. *Sigh*

Update, 11:39pm: And, of course, she's taken care of by Rhett's new wife. LOL.

Update, 11:41pm: Why does she have to be all creepy?

Update, 11:45pm: Fox hunting is pretty lame.

Update, 11:46pm: Is her
cousin, the priest, in love with her??

Update, 12:13am: This might be the nicest thing I'll say about this movie: the guy they have playing Will Benteen is positively perfect. Exactly as I'd imagined him.

Update, 12:22am: This Ashley could be pretty good as well, if only he weren't working with absolute crap, script- and plot-wise.

Update, 12:33am: Yes, indeed, her cousin the priest
is in love with her. LOL.

Update, 1:08am: Why am I happy that Rhett's wife is dying?

Update, 1:15am: Bye-bye, Anne.

Update, 1:26am: Okay, so I've started watching it at double speed, stopping to listen to the dialogue at important-seeming scenes.

Update, 1:32am: A murder mystery? wtf.

Update, 1:36am: Rhett to the rescue! Damsel-in-distress again!

Update, 1:41am: How very Bridget Jones...

Update, 1:52am: The real Rhett would bribe someone. He has connections.

Update, 2:05am: And the real Scarlett wouldn't faint.

Update, 2:18am: So, I stayed up for this, Scarlett and Rhett getting back together, and yet when it happens it feel so... wrong...

Update, 2:21am: And, it's over. I'm going to bed! After watching a little bit of the real GWTW to get these people out of my mind.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

this happens to other people, right?

Despite my secondary school habits, I am not a fiction person. There is a very good reason for this. Fiction sucks me in. Once I start, I cannot stop. People who read a chapter or two a day are beyond my comprehension. If it's there and unfinished, I bury myself in it until it is finished. So, in the interest of getting something, anything, done, I avoid most fiction.

But when I do become involved with fiction for an extended period of time, I start to think in narration. There will be a running voice in my head, describing what's going on. "She opened the book, without a thought for the stacks of homework piling up on her desk."

Is this normal?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

just like old times

Despite a ridiculous amount of more important things to do, I stayed up until 6:30 this morning reading GWTW. This is familiar, just like middle school. But it doesn't work too well with grad school.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

wait a minute

So, I was looking at a new Gallup poll indicating what percentage of people would vote for different categories of candidates if they were "generally well-qualified."

Black 94%
Jewish 92%
A woman 88%
Hispanic 87%
Mormon 72%
Married for third time 67%
72 years of age 57%
A homosexual 55%
An atheist 45%

At first, I was like, "wow, we've come a long way from, probably, 10 or 20 years ago." But, then I looked at it again. 8% of the people would not vote for a Jewish person?? Until college, I never knew that "Jewish" was an ethnic category that people didn't like. I knew it was a minority religion, and I knew about the Holocaust, but certainly wouldn't have guessed that there was a present-day racism going on. And, yeah, sadly, the 6% who wouldn't vote for a black person and 13% who wouldn't vote for a Hispanic candidate don't surprise me in the slightest.

12% of people wouldn't vote for a woman?

And I can't figure out how I feel about the homosexual one. On the one hand, hey, 45% of people would vote for a gay person! That's gotta be an improvement over not long ago. But 55% wouldn't.

The atheist thing doesn't surprise me. Either people are more comfortable telling an interviewer they wouldn't vote for an atheist (after all, you're a racist if you say you won't vote for a black person and labeled a Nazi if you won't vote for a Jew) or there's something to this article, and while we're more accepting of minority religions generally we're reinforcing the boundaries between "religious" and "not-religious."

But what I really wonder is about the interaction. Let's face it, when the interviewer asks if you would vote for a woman, an implicitly white woman springs to mind. Black: an implicitly male black person. Gay: a white male gay person. So, what about lesbians? Black women? A female Mormon? A female FLDS Mormon* with the potential problem of sister-wives... are they first ladies along with the first husband? Do they all get to bring inspirational guests to the State of the Union? They're in the marriage, too...

* I realize that the entire point of my post is that barriers and intolerance are breaking down. Yet here I am making fun of a minority religious group. But, come on. Plural marriage is 1) illegal, 2) bad for women and children and probably men. Right? I know I've seen this. Is there a study on this? Either way, I don't feel too bad for making fun of them. But that's not to say I wouldn't vote for them. But it's extremely unlikely they would agree with me on very much.

Monday, February 19, 2007

never a good sign

I just found myself searching google for "gone with the wind fan fiction." I thought this period in my life was over, but it has been reawakened. Is this a genuine resurgence of interest in the best movie and book of all time* or some sort of unconscious attempt to keep me from writing and studying?

*Yes. Despite the racism and the sexism and my love and obsession with, among other things, Harry Potter and the entirety of Jane Austen, I have to admit that 1) GWTW is, if not better, often more satisfying, and that 2) I would never have read either of the others were it not for GWTW, in both direct and indirect ways. In fact, I imagine my life would be very different today were it not for GWTW.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I only wish I were kidding.

I just watched the entire (4 hour long) VH1 100 greatest One-Hit Wonders. For the second time in about a month.

It's not quite as bad as it sounds. The first time I was cleaning the whole time, and this time I got a great deal of writing done during the countdown.

Friday, February 02, 2007

So, Harry Potter.

July 21. The last book. Right after July 13, the Order of the Phoenix movie. I have complex feelings on this last book, but the complex feelings are largely crowded out by extreme excitement and giddiness. Even if it is the very last book, the very last midnight release party, and the end of speculation.

And, because it doesn't deserve its own post, but does deserve to be posted:

I'm currently reading The United States of Wal Mart. John Dicker, while discussing Wal Mart's strategies for keeping people in the store so that they buy more (retailtainment), mentions having in-store concerts, book signings, or cooking classes.

"Readers wishing to meet bestselling authors like Nicholas Sparks or Timothy LaHaye may suddenly realize they need trash-can liners (if their subconscious is in working order)."

Haha. Too corny. Yet too true.