Some thoughts on Buffy and Joyce on season 3

I got into Buffy rather recently.  I fucking love it.

Some thoughts. The whole fandom seems to be enamoured with Joyce. Such a sweet good mom, everyone says. And sometimes, I kinda hate her. Maybe I have crazy good parents, so I see that it's bullshit? I don't know.

I don't think one can fault her on the mistakes she made during most of season one and two, when she was in the dark about slaying stuff. And she did have some genuinely great moments, like when she tried to cover Buffy from the police after she thought her daughter had murdered Ted.
I don't even really fault her for telling Buffy not to come back to the house in Becoming. She'd just had a very rude awakening, and she was practically having a breakdown. But I do hate the way she behaves in season 3.
Kicking her daughter out of the house was something she didn't mean to do, but she did it. Yet, she never actually faces up to the consequences. In Anne, she tells Giles she blames him for Buffy's disappearance. She's right to complain that this grown man was having a whole relationship with her teenaged daughter behind her back , that's fair. But Giles was the one that offered Buffy unfailing support, the one that flat out told her he respected her choices and decisions. Joyce told her never to come back. She withdrew all support, meaning it or not. Suck it up, woman, live with it, don't blame other people for your failings.
And when Buffy comes back... boy, loads of people have complained about the way the Scoobies behave. They are right. And, hey, I know exactly what they were going through. My best friend went missing when we were fourteen, and I know precisely what it is to wonder about them all the time, to be scared about what they might be going through, to wake up in the middle of the night, crying because you have repetitive dreams that you find them and you keep waking up and realizing that it was just a dream. So I know how much it hurts. Still doesn't excuse their selfish behaviour or callousness.
But her mother acts like she was the victim. She acts as if Buffy was an irresponsible, unfeeling, selfish child that she is graciously conceding a second chance. I feel like Buffy is the one giving her mother a second chance, a chance to get used to the idea of slaying, to come to terms with reality.  In the end, and with time, Joyce will get it. She won't get it fully until there's Dawn, a younger daughter who effectively replaces Buffy as her 'baby'. Only having a younger child to protect forces Joyce to respect her daughter as an adult.
But in early season 3, she just doesn't get it. She insists on seeing Buffy as a child that needs discipline instead of the young woman who did a lot of growing up when she wasn't looking. And hey, not blaming her for that. Most people do their growing precisely when mom and dad are not around, when we can't play our parts as children and have to step up and do the adult thing. But Joyce refuses to see what's right in front of her, what Buffy flat out tells her in Band Candy. At seventeen, she had a job and a flat. If that's not showing that you are able to take care of yourself, then I don't know what does. Acting like you are the only injured party, the only one in the right, when it's your daughter that's giving you the chance to be her mother again?
Honestly, I don't know how Buffy copes with all the limits and restrictions her mother tries to impose (like refusing to let her daughter get a driver license , even though, as Buffy points out, she didn't need one to run away last time). And in the show, it is played out for laughs, with a funny aesop about how she's a silly kid that needs adults.  I think that what's acknowledged as the season progresses, and the show, too, that what she needs from her mother is love and unconditional support. It takes Joyce far, far too long to see that. Her behaviour in early season 3 brings more damage than healing.  Yet, this is never acknowledged or talked about, Joyce never apologizes or admits that she might have been a little wrong.
But then she dies.  And she becomes the sainted mother who never did anything wrong. Which of course she should be for her daughters, because that's just how we cope with death. But why for everyone else? The rest of the cast, most of the fandom? It's not an unheard opinion, I'm not saying anything new, but it is unpopular. Am I judging her too harshly?
Other parents in the Buffyverse are awful, and by comparison Joyce is a saint. But she's still not perfect. And while every other characters' flaws are highlighted and lampshaded, Joyce's are forgotten, hidden, never given any closure.
I guess I would've just liked to see a little recognition of that.

(I am currently rewatching Season 3, so that's where the rant comes from)


Being called a fangirl

I'm having a bit of a dilemma. I've been part of online fandoms for well over ten years now, and during my teenage years and even up until yesterday, I had never had any problems calling myself a fangirl. I'm a girl and I'm a fan of something. Of course, I had seen the term fangirl (and fanboy) in a negative context- "fangirls almost crushed Robert Pattinson to death", "the fanboys sent angry letters and death threats to the producers"- but not really used in the way it was used against me yesterday.

I've become a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire this summer, after watching the first season of the HBO show (A Game of Thrones) based on this book series. I was introduced to it by university classmates, people I was studying Medieval Literature with at the time. A good number of us then spent the summer reading and discussing the books in the university online forums. Now the second season started on HBO, we've been spending valuable studying time discussing the week's episode online.

There's this guy. He's the typical forum user everybody knows, who participates in every discusion and whose opinion is very respected. He's also become a darling of the professors lately. I must admit I've never spoken to him personally, and only in the last months I figured out who he was in real life. Now, I don't know if the fact that he has a certain authority online has made him feel more assertive about his opinions lately, but we've been clashing a few times in both the TV series discussions and the Books discussions (separate threads had to be created because TV viewers were complaining about spoilers).

I don't know how many in my friend's list are watching the show or have read the books, but if you are watching the show, haven't read the books and don't want to be mildly spoiled, I suggest you don't read any further. I tried to be as vague as I could, but you may be able to guess who it is, and in this show just knowing that he survives the book is an spoiler.

In Sunday's episode a character that starts as a villan and progressively as the books advance turns not into a "good" character but a very ambiguous one, does something that he doesn't do in the books and that's very violent and bordering on sociopathic. My opinion, expressed in very coloquial terms in the forum, was that this was not a good choice for the screen writers/producers/whatever because very soon we'll see this character change and we should be seeing him slowly making different choices, not making an even more terrible one that makes all his past "evil" actions seem smaller.

He answered he was in complete disagreement and proceded to say that he thought the character had his moment of epiphany and change in an episode that happened later in the books and presumably in the third season (let's call it "Z"). I agreed that that episode was a very important turning point for the character, but that I thought he had started to change sooner, when this other shitty thing happened to him, and in any case, given that in the TV series we have a much more limited time to explore all the different things that happened to him, it was not a very good choice to make him seem even more cruel to the TV viewers right before they would be forced to start seeing him in a different light.

Several other users agreed with me. I hadn't noticed at the time, but they were all girls. This guy's next post starts by saying "The problem is that you fangirls have the image of the rescuer as presented by Female Character (a naive girl who later falls in love with him) and get all upset at the show because it's showing how violent he actually is".

Please, tell me, is there any other way to interpret this statement other than "your girl brains can't be objective because you obviously have the hots for Pretty Man"?. Because I'm having trouble interpreting any other way. I tried to make light of it and answered with "woooow. who are you calling a fangirl. I'm going to set my dragons on you". I thought the reply said both "I'm annoyed by you calling me a fangirl and making assumptions about me" and "I'm taking that as a joke, let's move on". My post included references to events that supported my view as well, and the posters who had agreed with me from the begining contributed some arguments of their own, while others started talking about how this character IS a violent son of a bitch -to which I promptly agreed. Twenty minutes ago, I saw this guy had added a very succint response: "To all the fangirls, he changes when Significant Event "Z" happens to him. Period".

So not only he didn't get (or care) that I did not appreciate being called a fangirl, he blatantly disregarded any of the six or seven posts by me and other people with arguments and references to future events, fixating in his first argument, as if his was the word of god and all discussion should cease on his say so.

Now I am obviously angry. I am also confused as to how to proceed. This guy participates heavily on all discussions, and I've always seen him conduct himself rather well, as corteous and polite as one can expect on the internet. He's not the sort of troll who posts shit to stir up trouble, so I'm also surprised at his attitude. I've had disagreements with him before, but he had never been rude. I'm not sure whether to call him out on it in front of everyone, and possibly start a flamewar in a thread that had been quite fun and pleasant for the last six months. Maybe I should PM him, but I worry whether that's more drastic and too much trouble to be worth it.

But I don't want to shut up. I can't shake the feeling my opinions are being dismissed on the grounds of "being a fangirl" aka "having the hots for Pretty Man". I don't even do! The guy's a fucking wanker! But the fact that in the end there are no villans in the books, but rather a bunch of human beings that are in turn loving parents, murderous monsters, good friends and terrible lovers IS one of my favourite things about them, and I worry about how this will end up being portrayed on the screen. My opinion is not lss valid than his. Now how do I say this without starting a fight in a thread I enjoy participating in?

Dear HIMYM writers

Dear writers, directors and producers of the second episode of the third season of HIMYM:

Argentina is NOT in the flipping Caribbean. There are no beaches in Buenos Aires (well, there's a fake one, but it's new and lame). Even in the summer, the nights in the seaside are cold, and people don't live in huts there. Because it's cold and windy. A guitar is a lot more common to hear on the beach nights than drums. Also, you are more likely to dine on spaghetti than on exotic fruits, because we are not a tropical country.

I had some hope when in the last episode of the second season Barney actually says some really true stuff. But the rest of it? Total BULLSHIT.

(And yes, I'm only just starting to watch this sitcom. I kinda like it. I just gulped down two seasons in three days. I'm trying to watch all seven before classes start on Wednesday. I don't think I will make it.)

About the train accident


That is the train I've been commuting on since I was fifteen to go to school, to university and simply to go downtown. That's the train many of my friends and family use everyday to get to work. I have a cousin who overslept ten minutes this morning. I have a friend who decided not to board that particular one and wait for the next one in the hopes it wouldn't be so full of people. I have friends who were in that very same train and are shaken and haunted by the sight of the corpses.

It's not just about the sheer luck that prevented the people I know from injury and death. It's about the frustration that comes from knowing those trains are badly mantained, from a greedy company that puts its union reps in jail for showing up on TV to say that those trains are badly mantained and a danger to passengers. It's about the frustration of knowing that thousands of people tomorrow morning will have to board that train again to go to work, in cars so full it becomes difficult to breath during the rush hour (especially if you are short like me). Complaints are our daily bread. Angry passangers set trains on fire TWICE in the past six years, but 49 people had to die today in a train that was bought USED in the 1960s. Just... just fuck the lot of'em. FUCK THEM.

Post-Conflict Potter

Read this article. It's very interesting, slightly hilarious and right in a lot of places.

I think most of their ideas are great, and I always thought that something like the Truth and Reconciliation Comission would happen in the post-Voldemort War II time (though I do have a close second-hand experience of a country after a dictatorship, so it's not really something I came up with). Anyway, this is the stuff I felt was missing at the end of Deathly Hallows- I wanted to either see this things done or at least get some canon confirmation that they got done by way of the epilogue (I loved that you got the girl, Harry, but I cared more about the politics at the time).

The article fails a bit at the beggining, where the Order of the Phoenix is put on the same level as people who sound like right-winged bastards. Uhm, no.  The writer should have gone with some of the old Ministry crowd, like Umbridge (though I would expect to see her tried for basic human rights violations, not still working there) or aybe Dawlish. Alright, maybe there is noone left standing at the end of the books, but the Order? Really?

I'd love to comment on it but I'd have to register, and that's too much bother. I love that one of the few comments is about the Four Laws of Golpallot, though.

Is it just me, or...?

...or the people at Pottermore decided to send this pre-Welcome email just to keep us sane while we wait for the real Welcome email?

I was ridiculously excited when I saw on Twitter that the first few had started to arrive, and was writing an email to my best friend, actually typing "I can't wait for my Welcome email" when I saw the little yellow envelope and lo and behold, there it was. Except it just congratulated me.

I'm a third day-er, so I guess that means first week of September? I was hoping for August, because classes JUST started and I'm still rather relaxed while people are moving schedules around and giving introductory classes and the like- I will be busier by September. Oh well, at least I suppose I'll have got it out of my system by October, when I'll have midterms to sit and no time to fool around in a website.

(Though who am I kidding, I don't know. Pottermore will me my "breaks")

Random lycanthropy idea

I'm reading some werewolf fic when I really should be sleeping because tomorrow is the first day of classes. I'm trying to tire my eyes out, so I can go to sleep before my usual holiday bedtime (which is around four am). Anyway, the fic just -randomly- inspired me to realize this: if a werewolf moves to, let's say, Escandinavia- at least in the summer months- wouldn't that mean their transformations would at least last a lot less or even not occur at all? Of course come winter, they should go south, although I don't think there's an equivalent. I know there's normal nights in Tierra del Fuego and Antartida is not really a great place to live.

I feel very stupidly excited about this fictional solution of a fictional problem. I'm guessing my question is, why don't werewolves move far north? Or Apparate to Norway on the night of the full moon? Isn't it a GREAT idea? Somebody must have thought of this before.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 - Review

I finally went to see the movie on the 19th. It was a night show, at 10pm, because we wanted to watch in 3D and subtitled. The hour meant that annoying young teenagers and the Not True Fans were a minority, which is a blessing, really. I will never forgive the annoying teenage girl sitting behind me who giggled through Dumbledore's death.
There were still many people there, and we had to form three lines and then rush to the seats pushing people like in the trains. Since I am an expert in the art of using elbows to secure a seat, we had a good place, but a tall woman sat in the row right in front of me and I spent the entire movie sitting as upright as I could, otherwise the woman's head was all I could see. Apart from that little bit of bad luck, there was a good atmosphere.

That's what I'd like to talk about first. The thing I like about the movies the most is the sense of community one feels when you are watching a HP film. With any other movie, it would be unforgivable to clap or cheer in the middle of it, or to whisper back to the stranger sitting beside you about a particular WTF moment. That is all all right, because we are all fans in there. Maybe to this theatre there weren't any people in Hogwarts uniforms (in the main HP location, the Abasto shopping, I've been told you can see cosplaying people queueing for the movie any day), but we all shared the same emotions, the rage, the laughs and the melancholy- quite shamelessly and with no censure or shushing. And that's one of my favourite things. I've been eagerly awaiting the next film for ten years. For ten years, I've worn Hogwarts uniforms, carried wands and proudly displayed Slytherin ties or scarves. I am sad it's all over. I've always wanted to see a good film, but I realize now that the thing I'll miss the most is the experience. The HP Buenos Aires scene has been quite dead for a while now, and nothing will ever mean the same for me, since I can't grow up again.

This is a good place as any to post a picture of my tattoo. I celebrated my ten years in fandom last year- I got the first book on my eleventh birthday, and in July I wrote an email to the publishing house. They had a newsletter and put me in touch with other kids I started corresponding with. Then I became involved in a mailing list, I was friends with the founder of Harrylatino and by the time I was fifteen I dressed as a Hogwarts student almost every weekend and run away from my suburban town to the capital and played RPGs all night with my (much older than me) Harry Potter friends. My life would have been very very different without Harry Potter.

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