Wednesday, July 21, 2010

80's Fantasy Villain Throwdown

Jareth vs. the Lord of Darkness

Evil Deeds
Darkness--Tries to make the unicorn go the way of the dodo, which would bring eternal darkness
Jareth--Kidnaps baby, cheats at his own game
Winner: Darkness. That doesn't exactly need much explaining.

Evil Intent
Darkness--Wants to rule over everything
Jareth--Wants to rule over the heart of a 15 year old girl
Winner: Darkness. Put that way, Jareth's motive almost makes him look like an anti-hero. Almost.

Darkness--Attempting to seduce Lily, sticks her in a vampy, revealing outfit
Jareth--Attempting to seduce Sarah, dresses her up to look even younger
Winner: Jareth, for the pedo-squick factor. Sure, Lily's supposed to be "innocent," but Sarah's explicitly underage. Also, have you seen those pants?

Biggest, *ahem* Screen Presence
Darkness--You know what they say about big horns, right?
Jareth--Pants, Magic Pants
Tie: While scale certainly does matter, Big D's, uh... big d. doesn't get framed as prominently as the Area. Nor does it have its own religion.

Winner: Darkness. Although Jareth's crystal balls appear more frequently, it's implied that, full power, Darkness could get up to some seriously bad shit.

Winner: Jareth. Legend may have more glitter overall, but it belongs to the good guys.

Glam Alter Ego
Darkness: Dr. Frank N. Furter
Jareth: Ziggy Stardust
Winner: Jareth. It's really close, but he is the original glam rocker. Um... after Marc Bolan, that is. Ok, make that the original semi-fictitious glam rocker.

Rock Star Hook-up of Said Alter Ego
Jareth--Mick Jagger
Winner: Jareth. Allegedly.

Winner: Jareth, because they're just so darn cute.

Surprisingly Bad Acting from Co-star
Darkness--Future Oscar nominee Tom Cruise
Jareth--Future Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly
Winner: Darkness. It was Connelly's first movie, so she had an excuse.

Darkness--Lily's songs or Tangerine Dream, depending on the release
Jareth--80s Bowie
Winner--Darkness, even though it's not as bad as Tonight

Shipper Fuel
Winner: Jareth. Although I'm sure there's plenty of Darkness/Lily fic out there, the UST in Labyrinth is thicker than Ludo's fur. Plus, it helps that Jareth/Sarah is the only post-pubescent, non-squick ship available.

Tie: The subtle psychological nuances have helped Labyrinth weather the years. And while the original US release of Legend is still pretty bad (especially when shown on late night TV), the director's cut is a vast improvement.

Fight Between Them
Winner: Darkness. I don't think Jareth could sing his way out of that one.

Ultimate Winner
The fans.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Writers' Block and Some Other Stuff

Over the years, I've heard many writers (and writing professors) claim that writers' block doesn't exist. They claim that it is just an excuse we make for ourselves for why we're not writing. Because, of course, we should be writing every single day. And getting up at 5 AM to do it. Just like Papa Hemingway, goll darng it. (Oh, that's where my sarcasm went.)

I disagree. Sort of. (Definitely about the 5 AM part.)

I like to think of it as more of a symptom than an excuse. There's not being able to write because you have no ideas, and then there's times when you have plenty of ideas, but you just can't write them. That's what I think of as the true, real writers' block. I've found that there are two forms of it. The first is when you can't write because you're too afraid to. Fear of not being able to do it right keeps you away from the page. The second is when you just can't bring yourself to write. It's not that you don't want to write, it's that you can't muster up the will to do so. Psychologically speaking, the first could be linked to anxiety, the second to depression. Now, I know from experience that the first instance can actually be overcome by writing itself. You get going and then--hey, this isn't so bad after all. And, anyway, there's always revisions. I'm working on the hypothesis that writing itself remedies the other as well.

Well, that's a bit more personal (More personal than all that stuff about your weird Scotsman obsession, you ask.) and grim than usual, so here's a few blog and web recommendations for you.

  • First, a few updates. Kat's Divine Comedy and Hip Deep in Pie* are old blogs with new names.
  • Music, Movies, Shenanigans appears to be defunct, but some of the guys from that blog have moved on to Cinewise, a blog for film (and sometimes TV) reviews.
  • On the book front, The Haunted Bookshop now has a blog, and a friend from college runs the (un)classified library.
  • Frankasaurus is another friend from college who always has something insightful to say. Good stuff on writing, and I fully agree with her views on drunken skanks.
  • Now on to links. I suspect I may be behind the times on this one, but I discovered Eclectic Method* while helping out** with the post-production of Copyright Criminals. Not exactly legal, but some pretty amazing video mash-ups.
  • Ok, now I know I'm behind the times on this one. Lolcats* Ai r uhdikted 2 cheezburgers.
  • Like Labyrinth? The Phantom of the Opera? Pirates of the Caribbean? Les Miserables? Good Omens? Sweeny Todd? Lord of the Rings? Discworld? And many more works of fiction? Then check out Girls Next Door* (not to be confused with that Playboy thing), the ultimate in crossover fan comics. Now, normally, I don't even like to admit that I read fanfiction--um, I mean, what's a Mary Sue?--but this tongue-firmly-in-cheek comic is worth a read if you're at all familiar with the above (especially the first four). It's funny, one of the few non-cringeworthy crossovers, and meta like whoa. Note: the most recent pages are up front so go all the way to the end of the gallery for the beginning.
  • Finally, got an hour or twelve to spare? Then get yourself over to Television Tropes & Idioms*, a pop-culture wiki that does exactly what it says on the tin. Be careful. You could get lost on that site for days.
I'm sure I've left some friends' blogs and really important other stuff out, but I'm tired of having to fight the cat for control of the keyboard. ("mki dfs hyrt," she says.) Until next time, when it's back to your regularly scheduled sarcastic fan squee.

*Link to be updated on the side when I get around to it.
**OK, technically I just wrote down some time codes on the DVD, but, whatever, it looks cool on my resume.