Carry On, Simon

I first read Carry On before I even had a blog. Had I had one at the time, I would have written about it as once, but it was not to be. However, this book is so brilliant and fluffy and reassuring that I felt a strong urge to re-read it 0ver Christmas break (if you’re not reading about British wizards and/or detectives and speculating where they fall on the Kinsey scale, is it even really Christmas???) So I’ve re-read it, and here is my review. Contains Spoilers

Five stars. Brilliant book. Amazing. Such lovable characters. Give me more of the magnificent world of Mages, please. Carry On tells the story of Simon Snow’s final year at his wizarding school Watford. It addresses the difficulty of being the “Chosen One” and criticizes the Harry Potter universe in a way that is so respectful yet so accurate.

I’m going to oversimplify a little for the sake of making my point, but you’re going to have to deal with it. Continue reading

A Reminder, A Rant & A Recap

This post consists of three parts: a reminder, a rant and a recap. Or, if you want to look at it that way, a reminder and two rants. Let’s get down to business.

Warning for some bad language in the rants. Also, some spoilers for all of Sherlock so far.

1. Reminder: the Mental Health Reading Challenge starts tomorrow. I’m very excited. More info + signups here.

2. Rant: This rant is about queer baiting.

“What is queer baiting?” you ask, a quizzical expression on your face.

The term refers to what happens “when people in the media (usually television/movies) add homoerotic tension between two characters to attract more liberal and queer viewers with the indication of them not ever getting together for real in the show/book/movie”. says Wikipedia.

You shrug. “So what?”

It can even add up to the point where it hurts the queer audience. Queer baiting often plays potentially queer hints and references as mere jokes, but “if the representations in question utilize humour, are queer people in on the joke or are they the joke?”[4]  (a

Is representation a joke? I think not. If you do, that’s your opinion but I’m going to take a wild guess and say you probably don’t feel very marginalized in your daily life. I see way too few characters with disabilities on television. I see way too few women and when I see them they are often portrayed as erratic or superficial. That fucking hurts me.

Storylines where a character can’t be fulfilled until they have overcome a disability fucking hurt me. Representation like that makes me feel as though I’m not enough. I was very angry when John Watson’s limp on Sherlock turned out to be psychosomatic, because it looked as though he only became a competent and interesting character when the disability was cured. That fucking hurts me.

Now, I’m personally not gay. I am, however, a student of cultural analysis and a vocal advocate for equality. I believe in the importance of equal representation in media such as television, and that’s why I’m really kind of angry at the creators of Sherlock: Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat.

Here comes part 3: a recap of the relationship between John & Sherlock so far. Alternative title: a second rant: John & Sherlock LOVE each other.

When they first met in A Study In Pink, John and Sherlock had the following conversation in a candlelit Italian restaurant:

 

Dr John Watson: You don’t have a girlfriend, then?

Sherlock Holmes: Girlfriend? No, not really my area.

Dr John Watson: Oh, right. Do you have a boyfriend?… Which is fine, by the way.

Sherlock Holmes: I know it’s fine.

Dr John Watson: So you’ve got a boyfriend, then?

Sherlock Holmes: No.

Dr John Watson: Right. Okay. You’re unattached, just like me. Right. Good.

Sherlock Holmes: [pause] John, um… I think you should know that I consider myself married to my work and while I’m flattered, by your interest…

 (Source: IMDB)

 

Please keep in mind that the gentlemen knew each other for less than a day at that point. Keep in mind that Sherlock has some serious issues about opening up emotionally, and that Sherlock, the most observant man in the whole wide world, had somehow gotten the idea that John was romantically attracted to him. A few scenes later, they looked at each other like this.

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Explaining Slash Fiction

When I mention to people that I am a writer, and yes, that I write fanfiction, and yes, that I often write this fanfiction about men who fall in love with men, I am sometimes accused of fetishizing homosexuality.

A girl recently told me the following story: She was visiting a pub with her girlfriend when a group of men approached them and asked whether they’d make out so that the men could watch and enjoy the show. She felt violated by the experience, and a debate unfolded over the fetishization of lesbians, both in porn and mainstream media. The idea that women have sex because women enjoy it is somehow incomprehensible to many people. Instead, such people assume that women’s sexuality is there for straight men to enjoy. This fetishization is a disgusting, dehumanizing practice.

However, as a straight girl and an avid writer and reader of homoerotic (slash) fanfiction, I do not feel guilty of fetishizing gay men. Of course, I cannot speak for all of the fangirls all over the internet, as there are multitudes of people and viewpoints out there. I can only say that I consider fanfiction to be an innocent hobby, and in this article I will attempt to tell you why. Continue reading

Pokemon Go Book Tag

Thanks go out to Happy Indulgence Books for bringing this tag to my attention, and to ReadAtMidnight for coming up with it in the first place.

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This is hard to remember. I think my development as a reader has a lot to do with Harry Potter, but The Letter For The King by Tonke Dragt, the greatest achievement in Dutch children’s literature, probably started off my life-long obsession. Before that book, I mostly had my parents read to me. The Letter For The King was likely the first time a book was so gripping I couldn’t wait to finish it and did all of the reading myself.

pokemon-tag02pikachu Continue reading

The Character Assasination Of Dean Forester

I’ve written about  character assassination before. That particular article was about Toby Ziegler, unsung hero of the Bartlet administration. However, since character assassination is something I feel strongly about, I have more to say on the subject today. The object of my scrutiny and affection in this case is Dean Forester, Rory’s first and  arguably awesomest boyfriend on Gilmore Girls.

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Now, Supernatural-lovers, don’t get confused. On this show, Sam goes by the name of Dean.

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Amy Gardner: Giving Feminism A Bad Name Since 2001

The first time I watched The West Wing I was maybe fourteen years old. From the moment she first appeared in season three, I hated the character of Amy Gardner. Now I’m twenty, and I still hate her. Let me tell you why.

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE WEST WING.

Amy Gardner gives feminism a bad name. She is the reason ignorant people hate feminists. She is the reason the despicable term “feminazi” is still in use. She symbolizes a worldwide phenomenon of feminists being depicted as crazy, and it’s incredibly harmful to the women’s rights movement.

Now, I would be the first to admit that The West Wing is fraught with misogyny. It took me a re-watch as an adult to realize this, but it’s true, and I think it’s largely Aaron Sorkin’s fault. C.J. Cregg wasn’t promoted to Chief Of Staff until Sorkin had vacated the writer’s room. Kate Harper was only conceived of after he was gone. And in the absence of Sorkin, Donna blossomed into the strong independent woman we knew she was all along. Even Amy became more likable after Sorkin vacated the premises. That doesn’t change the fact that at first, she was a nightmare.

We are first introduced to Amy when Josh invents a problem in order to go see her and ask her out. She’s hardly likable. She’s sarcastic to the point of being mean. I admit freely that at first I did not like her because I regarded her as an obstacle dividing my OTP. As long as Amy was in play, Josh would not realize that he had always, always, always been in love with Donna from the very start.

I mean can this guy get his eyefucking under control, maybe? Or replace it with some actual fucking? Donna wouldn’t mind, Josh, she loves you just as much as you love her. Continue reading

The Perfect Match: Jane Austen Edition

 In my everlasting effort to capture the the magic of Jane Austen’s work, to understand and contain it and eventually to imitate and emulate it, I have drawn up profiles of some of her heroes and heroines that would fit nicely within any modern dating site.

I’ve done this because I often find Austen’s matches to be imperfect, even though they are described as heavenly. Obviously, logic does not apply to matters of the heart (Ron and Hermione, I’m looking at you!)  but still, it seems to me that the woman’s happiness in these matches is often inferior to the man’s. In vain I have struggled to come to terms with this. It will not do. So here, for all of the judgmental gentlemen of Austen’s world, I shall judge them just as harshly. The verdict is as follows.

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