flummery: (hat 2)
And here I am, off on a long overdue rant about Smallville, which many of you, who I know are enjoying this season of Smallville, should absolutely not read.

Hence this protective cut tag. )
flummery: (hat 2)
Mass Electric continues its unbroken history of just pulling the plug on our power supply for maintenance whenever the hell it feels like it, without prior warning. Despite the fact that we're a business. Despite the fact that we're a an ISP. Despite the fact that they've got ten thousand screaming messages from us to NEVER DO THIS.

There's just nothing like showing up for work and finding fully half the servers dead. One of which, of course, is Trickster. I've got it back to the point where mail is working again, and user directories are not history, but it looks like the secondary drive may have actually fried, and I cannot get websites back up and running at this point.

Fuck Me, too.
flummery: (hat 2)
I have to say, Thing 1 and I sort of suck at this whole posting to livejournal thing, don't we? Plus, it seems like I can only remember this journal is here when I've got something to rant about these days. I need to find a more positive outlook. Post about the good things, occasionally. But not, <*cough*> today.

Today, I've been stirred out of my coma by last night's episode of Smallville.

Thing 2 Rants about Precipice )
flummery: (hat 2)
So, have I mentioned recently that the Dead Zone Recapper SUCKS? And should be sent back for remedial recapping training? Oh, I have? Well, it just can't damn well be said enough. This morning, Thing 1 sent me an email that basically said "Well, this week's DZ recap is up, and it basically sucks, but there's a good line toward the end of it." So, I went and read the recap. Or, I tried. But, there's only so many times you can read "And then Johnny did this. And then Johnny said that," before your brain glazes over. If there's a good line in there, I couldn't find it. My bitterness over this crappy treatment of a very good show just grows and grows.

In other news, I hate Showtime. This last year, in their efforts to replace what had been their keystone show for a very long time (Stargate SG1) Showtime came out with Odyssey 5. Odyssey 5 is all the things you can't do in a show destined for syndication -- cursing, violence, nudity, and sex all over. And it's a surprisingly great show, that approximately, 2.3 people besides myself and Thing 1 were watching. So they cancelled it, of course.

But. They've still got six, count them, six unaired episodes. Complete, in the can, ready to be shown. And in fact, they have been shown, in Europe. Just not here. I knew there were some remaining episodes out there, but it only recently came to my attention that even though there are no plans to show them here, ever, they are in fact being shown elsewhere. And then I made the mistake, the terrible mistake, of reading some of the synopsis for said missing episodes on epguides.com. And now I'm ripping my hair out. For six months now, I've been harassing Thing 1 that we need to do an O5 vid. "Let's vid it!" I shout. "We can find those 2.3 other fans to watch it! Who cares if the rest of the world didn't notice it existed?" And. There are six episodes out there, and I need them. Surely there must be some altruistic European fan with perfect SP copies in NTSC who would like to send us their tapes, so we aren't left forever dangling over the cliff that was that fourteenth episode, wondering what the hell happened next, and wondering if the absolute perfect footage was in those final few eps...

Not to mention if I go ahead with this vid, some of the only people who would care about watching it will probably be those European fans who saw the entire season, and wonder what the hell I was thinking in my interpretation of the show, since they got to see how the damn season ended, and I have no idea what happens next....

Bitter. Very, very bitter.
flummery: (hat 1)
I'm doing something appalling here; I'm posting something political with the clear intention of not getting into a conversation about it with anyone. I'm getting over a cold and my brain isn't working right, and I just can't muster up the energy to get into political discussion. So if you can deal with that and still want to see, by all means, read on. (That isn't to say you can't comment, obviously. It's just that I very much doubt I'll answer, whether I agree or disagree. Politics takes energy I just don't have right now.)

political crap )
flummery: (hat 1)
While I think some story notes are absurd -- like the ones where the author feels it necessary to explain what she had for breakfast that Tuesday when she was 8 and her teacher gave her a gold star for spelling and that influenced her to write and that's what brought her to this, her very firstest ever "fic", of all the "fics" she's planning to write, with the help of her 11 betas, all listed carefully by cutesily spelled name along with a sentence explaining why this is her bestest friend in the world *smooch huggilies!!!* -- sometimes they are a true blessing.

Take, for instance, this simple little note (names changed because this isn't about the fandom, it's about the concept):

Pairing and Notes: Joe/John or Mike...you pick. Feedback is a blessing.

I just boggled. "John" and "Mike" are two vastly different characters -- they differ physically and emotionally, they differ in speech pattern and mannerism, they differ in their approaches to and relationships with "Joe".

But somehow, this author has managed to write a story where either one of them could be the person she's writing about.

Yeah. Right.

Thank you for your note, O author, I do appreciate it. You've saved me minutes of my life I might have lost forever to your masterpiece.
flummery: (hat 1)
Just saw the ep, finally. Then I went to see what [livejournal.com profile] elynross had to say about it, because I knew she'd posted something, and found that I had some things to say in response to the comments.

Spoilers )
flummery: (hat 1)
So, I've been trying. Ever since the pilot, I've been trying. Really, really hard. 'Cause it's Joss, right? And I love Joss, and my friends love Joss, and most of my friends love Firefly.

And I don't get it.

This show is asinine.

Okay, they get points for finally, after several weeks, fixing the intro so it no longer says humanity "discovered a new solar system with hundreds of planets" -- all of which miraculously massed almost identically (so gravity was within an Earth-normal range), and had the precise mix of distance from and ozone protection from the local star to provide solar radiation within Earth norms. At least now they're tromping around a galaxy, not a single solar system.

But really, the number of points they lost in the first place for putting this show inside a single solar system was so huge that fixing it several weeks into the series can't make that much of a dent.

On top of that, so far I haven't noticed any consistency to the universe. Take Friday's ep (I think it's called "Ariel"). We get the intro: the Earth was used up (what does that *mean*?), so everyone had to go out and find other planets to live on. So what do they do, on all those other planets?

Why, they throw away perfectly good vehicles, in their entirety, in such good condition and surrounded by so many spare parts in good, yet thrown-out, condition, that it can be rebuilt into working flawlessly by two people working alone, in the space of a day. And a good part of that day was spent painting the exterior, by the look of it.

Right. Because people always throw away things in such good nick.

(They/we also, according to the opening, somehow managed to save all the horses -- and bonnets -- when we 'used up the Earth'. You'd think that people trying to survive on terraformed planets with no apparent water source would be bigger on things like chickens and cows and pigs and, oh, maybe plants than horses, no matter how pretty they look as they thunder around in their wild herdiness. Drinking up all the incredibly scarce water so they can keep looking pretty.)

The weapons also make me crazy. I'm supposed to believe that basic weapons tech hasn't advanced beyond present-day -- or rather, that it's regressed to the late 19th century, because god knows the weapons these future people are using are antiquated by today's standards. Even assuming that somehow it makes sense that people would carry projectile weapons onto ships where a hull breach can mean death -- why did everyone forget the laser scopes? You can get those today for under a hundred bucks, for rifles, shotguns, pistols, and crossbows. How is it that in five hundred years, our weapons-sighting capability has regressed from this point?

Yeah, fine, it's a frontier, I get it. But you know, part of what makes a frontier a frontier is isolation. How isolated are we supposed to believe these people really are? They're clearly tied into the communication nets of the central alliance; that's been clear since the pilot, when the local sherriff got a fast, triple-checked rundown on Inara's legitimacy. On the actual western frontier that this is supposed to be, there wasn't a whole lotta calling back East to find out if the greenhorn who just rode in on the stage was who he said he was. Really.

So, we've got sophisticated ships, and trains, and communications. But no electricity for lights (even inside the maglev train. You'd think it could spare a few volts, to keep the live flame out of the cars.). No laser sights on the weapons. No bolted-down furniture in the mess/kitchen on a spaceship -- that's gonna be fun when the gravity generators blow.

Beyond the universe, we've got the characters. I do not like a single one of the main characters. I probably could like Zoe and Wash; they seem the least offensive of the lot, and I like that they're a married couple who feel honest affection for and attraction toward each other. But while that makes their relationship way better than most on television, it doesn't tell me much about them. And without knowing a damn thing about them, I have no reason to like them.

On the other end of the scale, there's Jayne. I realize I am a lone voice, crying in the wilderness, but I cannot stand Jayne. He's intensely unattractive to me -- oh, I'm sure he has nice muscles or something somewhere in there, but how in god's name does anyone look past the fact that he's stupid, and a thug, and a *mean* thug, at that? There's nothing remotely redeeming about him. There's no clever wit, there's no snark, there's no good heart. There's no brain. He's incapable of thinking beyond, "Want money. Get money. What need do get money? Do! Get money! Money money!" Smart is sexy. Thick-headed thuggishness is revolting. I don't like River, either, but she moved way up in my estimation when she knifed Jayne in Friday's ep.

Jayne is not Han Solo, shooting Greedo first. Not by a long shot. He's who Han would be if Han turned Luke and Ben over to the Imperials. He's who Han would be if he'd tossed Chewie out an airlock on the Kessel spice run. Why does no one remember that Jayne is a self-confessed murderer of his partner? Fine, the guy lived a bit longer than Jayne originally thought, but Jayne tossed him out of their spaceship so Jayne could keep all the money, and firmly believed that the guy had died as a result.

But I have to admit, even stupider than Jayne is Mal, who knows that Jayne is ready, willing, and able to kill his shipmates at the first hint that there might be a quarter-credit in it, and who let him stay on board instead of tossing him out the airlock. And why? Because instead of thinking, "Hey, this guy readily admits that he's perfectly, unremorsefully happy to kill shipmates for profit, maybe he's a liability. I can always teach Kaylee to shoot," Mal goes all Messianic and rather pompously tells Jayne that he sinned against Mal by turning in River and Simon, and waits for Jayne to admit that yes, he did, Lord, and now he wants to be forgiven. What the fuck was that all about, anyway? Ego, much?

He deserves to be murdered in his sleep for that. Do the gene pool a favor. Instead, he'll be the direct cause of someone else dying, because stupid!Jayne will see profit and do whatever it takes to get it, no matter who gets in his way.

Hell, they're all presented as stupid, at one point or another. There is no way that these people fly and fix spaceships without at least a teeny tiny bit of education. Or, y'know, the ability to read a fucking manual. And yet, half the time, they're presented as practically illiterate. In Friday's episode -- one week after Zoe and Mal proved their battle-trained field-medic skills by keeping Book alive until they could get him to a hospital -- Zoe, Mal, and Jayne were all completely incompetent at learning a few simple lines of incredibly basic medical jargon. I mean, Mal -- the captain of the ship, whom I would hope would have a braincell or two, stumbled repeatedly over the word "dilated." This is not a hard word. It's not an unusual word. It's a basic, English word that just isn't all that hard to say. And yet.

Argh. Asinine, all the way down the line. I'm not even going to go near the space hooker who is inherently -- by virtue of her profession -- more respectable to general society than a clergyman -- by virtue of his profession.

I simply don't understand why people are watching, and liking, this show.
flummery: (hat 2)
So. Angel last night. Wow. (Spoilers ahead for Apocalypse, Nowish)

My god that sucked. I mean, what a total suckfest. I don't know whether to bail completely from this horrorfest, or hold on to the hope that some of their shining good moments leave me with. But last night -- I don't even recognize those people.

Where to begin? I've hated this whole... I don't even know what to call it... thing... with Fred and Gunn since it began. They've both checked their brains at a restaurant and forgotten to pick them up again. They treat Wes like crap all summer, they run to him as though he owes them when they need help, and then they demand to know what the hell his problem is. Now on top of that, we've got Fred going 1) all smitten with him again. Or something and 2) stupidly holding her Professor's death against Gunn when that was what she wanted.. Geez, he kills for you, and you dump on him for it? You know, she didn't seem to have that much of a problem with calling Wesley bloodthirsty, and therefore a kindred spirit (yeah, right, whatever).

Gunn is the crappiest friend ever. Hey Gunn! Remember Wes? Your old best friend? The one you treat like dirt now, while you sulk about how no one respects you?

Wes -- even my love for this newer darker Wes doesn't help cover up the shudder that he's still so besotted with Fred... and willing to engage in a fantasy where Lilah looks like Fred. Ewww.

Cordy. There are no words. Maybe they partially lobotomized her up there, wherever she was. I mean, a couple months ago you were taking care of Connor as a baby, Cordy, remember that? And now you're having sex with him as, what, a consolation prize? "Too bad you got here just in time for the world to end, here's something to take with you!" This is the woman who hours before told Angel that she couldn't be with him because of the terrible things he had done (and I'm sorry, but if she could see what it felt like to be him, doing those terrible things, could she not also experience the misery that he put himself through for the next hundred years, the guilt that he wallowed in, over something that he did while not technically himself?), and now she's all about leaping into bed with a kid who felt no remorse over sinking his dad to the bottom of the ocean for eternity?

Only Angel came across as vaguely Angel-like during this episode, and that may be because he didn't actually get that much screen time.

----

Hey Thing 1! You're totally falling down on this whole posting thing!
flummery: (hat 2)
So, I've given CSI: Miami a lotta chances here, and it's just not getting any better. (I'll probably give it a lot more. What can I say, at some level there's a deep forensics addiction going on that I blame on my early, impressionable, Quincy-watching years). I do wonder if I'm getting more and more intolerant of television in general, since it seems I'm a lot pickier these days than a lot of the people I know, but really, I have yet to find these people in any way attractive or interesting to watch. Occasionally, they are repellent. I'm not saying you have to like a character in order to want to watch them -- the CSI Vegas folks are full of flaws, and this actually makes them all the more wonderful. Over on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, they've got a lead character I actually believe may be a serial killer deep in his heart, and he's huge fun to watch. The CSI: Miami crew are cut from a much more intolerant, superior, smug, and just downright loathsome sort of cloth.

The most recent episode was called Slaughterhouse, and was the typical "Steal From the Headlines with a TWIST!" sort of episode that you'll find on Law & Order. In this case, the headlines stolen were those of Andrea Yates, the mother who killed her children and claimed post-partum psychosis. The episode starts with a small toddler wandering alone down a street, covered in blood. When they track down the house she belongs to, they find her mother and three brothers dead, the father seriously injured. So the CSI team troop in, and immediately begin belittling the mom's housecleaning skills. I mean, the woman's body is still on the sofa, mouth blown off, and it's all about how she didn't do the dishes. Well, pardon her for not tidying up for the possibility of her *death*. It's like the clean underwear thing, apparently. You'll be publicly mocked if you're not wearing them when you get struck by that bus. If only you'd have worn clean underwear, they'd have said nice things about you in your eulogy!

The leaping to the conclusion thing regarding the mother isn't just swift, it's warp speed. The family is suspect because the children were home on a school day. There's medication! she's a druggie and mentally unstable! Because no one could take medication and be other than a total freaking basket case in need of a padded room. Later, she's suspect because she wasn't taking her medication. This turns out to be because she was breastfeeding, and didn't want to risk her baby's health, but let's not pay any attention to the fact that she put her child's welfare first. Her fridge is *empty*, the family has been eating *fast food*. You know, my fridge is empty too, and I've been eating out way too often lately, but I'm pretty sure my landlords aren't overly worried this is going to cause me to go on a killing spree. And, oh my god, her children were helping out around the house! This isn't a sign they were good kids, and she'd been doing something right in raising them... it's a sign that she was such a poor mother that they had to pick up her slack, and take over her rightful Motherly Duties.

It's not just that they leap to these conclusions... it's that they're cold, callous snots, and with the exception of one of them, I'm wondering if they've ever even met any children, as they walk around in their perfectly pressed, and occasionally inappropriate-for-a-crime scene pants suits, dress shoes, and high heels. They have no idea what troubles this family may have been having or not, but they feel no guilt over judging their lifestyle, and complaining about the dirty laundry, as though it were a personal affront.

Not content to judge the mom, they continue to leapfrog through the suspects, on little or no evidence -- the sister of the mother is guilty, and obviously sleeping around with the husband, based on the fact that they found her hairs in the husband and wife's bed. A sister's hairs. In her sisters bed. Unheard of. There's no other conclusion this could lead on to, clearly. Sisters never just stop by to help out, or sit around and talk, or even *take a nap*. The sixteen year old son is way too stressed out from having to do his mom's job -- must have snapped! You can tell by the way he was grinding his teeth!

In the end, it's none of these people, it was the father, upset with his wife constantly badgering him for more help with the kids. I'm sort of at a loss as to how they think the situation was actually this critical -- the mother in question had the support of her sister. Her sixteen year old son was clearly taking on a lot of responsibility, and helping out with meals. The nine year old was mature enough that he was preparing the baby's bottle, even when he was ill. Yes, she had two very young children, and some issues with depression and sleep deprivation that would come with any new born, but dirty dishes and a messy living room do not equal homicidal parents, or there'd be no children left alive out there to grow up and snark at CSI episodes. Not the point, I know, and I could have overlooked a lot of this -- if the characters investigating the case hadn't themselves left me cold. They're unpleasant to watch, they appear to have no human empathy at all (despite the fact that they repeatedly vow vengeance on behalf of the victims), and the concept of actually studying the evidence before deciding what must have occurred seems to elude them.

In the original CSI, Grissom stated it very clearly at the very beginning: "We don't work theories." They work the evidence, and let it lead them to the answer. CSI Miami, on the other hand, seems to be all about speculating on the worst possible motives, for the apparent purpose of titillating the audience with the shocking possibilities and tawdry lifestyles (you know. The lifestyle where you don't do your dishes every day, and occasionally? need to be extra special careful when crossing the street by the bus stop). If the evidence doesn't support their exciting horror story, they move on to the next theory, but not before showing a basic disrespect for the cases and people they're investigating. CSI Miami is more stylish than the original CSI, more full of attractive model-type characters, and has far, far less heart than the show from which it derives its name.

September 2015

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