frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (Orphan Black: Sarah determined)
Reaction spoilers for the finale )

Years ago I read an Ursula K. Le Guin essay -- I forget which, now, but I believe it was in the anthology The Language of the Night -- that argued that a good way to know if a story has well-written characters is if you can remember their names a year later.  Now, it's only been two days, not a year, but despite this show having a fairly large main/supporting cast -- and four main characters who look an awful lot alike -- I recall their names better than on many shows, where I will continue to refer to people as "the blonde one", etc for months on end.

So, while the plot is definitely engaging, and I'm apparently still naive enough about drama/thriller/SFF tropes that I'm not catching the abundance of them on this show, or at least am not bothered about them, the draw is absolutely the characters.  I'm pretty sure every single character significant enough to appear in more than, say, two episodes has garnered a fairly strong emotional reaction from me.  I carry on about that at some length, and also reference significant plot spoilers for all of S1. )

I feel like I could go on and on, but this is getting pretty long, I need to go to work, and I haven't read anyone else's posts yet!  Besides, this is more than I usually manage to write about a show.  So I'll leave off here.

Thoughts, anyone?

frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (BtVS: Big Damn Hero)
Weather and Climate

My department chair gave a great presentation at this week's weather discussion on what happened with "Nemo".  The storm, not the fish.  The situation started about a week before, with two low pressure systems in the Eastern half of the US, one in the midwest, one roughly over North Carolina (if I remember correctly!  He drew maps on the white board). 

Weather: just another reason why physics is fun! )

At the same time, the storms were blowing from west to east, as these things do, and so the storm intensification happened over the Northeastern US, and that counterclockwise rotation meant that a bunch of cold ass air was blown into the NE from arctic Canada, and there was plenty of moisture in the system from the parts of it that had come from the South.  The result was a huge blizzard, with record-breaking snow in many places, especially Connecticut.

In other weather (and climate) news, last month was the hottest on record in Australia.  From the University of Reading World Weather News:
Australia recorded its hottest month on record in January 2013, with both the average mean temperature of 29.68C [85.42 F] and the average mean maximum temperature of 36.92C (98.46), surpassing previous records set in January 1932. The national average maximum temperature on 7 January was the highest on record. Numerous stations set records for the most days in succession above 40C, including Alice Springs (17 days) and Birdsville (31 days). A large number of stations set all-time record high temperatures during the January heatwave, including Sydney (45.8C [114F] on 18 January) and Hobart (41.8C [107.24 F] on 4 January). The highest temperature recorded during the heatwave was at Moomba in South Australia (49.6C, 121F, on 12 January).
The average temperature -- day, night, all month, across an entire continent -- was 85 F.  The average daily high -- again, across the entire country -- was almost 100 F.   That is just miserable. 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I know this has been making its way around LJ/DW already, but this article about why Buffy is so much more than a metaphor for growing up resonated strongly with me, what I find so moving about the show.  Why it is My Show.
My point is that not once in the course of watching or re-watching Buffy did it ever feel to me like the supernatural elements of the story could be explained away as mere stand-ins for everyday experiences, shrunk down to the dimensions of ordinary life. On the contrary, the magic in Buffy gives the story its epic character and that epic-ness has drawn bigger, more deeply lodged emotions from me than any naturalistic drama ever has.
As we watch Buffy take on an authoritarian principal, an ominously wholesome mayor, a covert government initiative that experiments on monsters, a patriarchal Watchers Council that seeks to control her power—each a representative of the established social order and its accompanying storylines—we hear Whedon whispering to us: You don’t have to accept this either. There’s another world, another way. See that crack in the wall?
Of course, there are plenty of epic tales that hint at "another world, another way".  The reason Buffy affects me so much more than most isn't only its epic, fantastical nature, but that nature in combination with a bunch of other things, mostly related to superb characterization and its number and variety of female characters with a complex web of relationships.

Is Angel more mature than Buffy? )

Also, I'm kind of sad that there seems to be this awesome, thriving community of Buffy fans on LJ and not DW.  I started this journal primarily for vidding, but sometimes I miss discussing My Show.  I could always put more effort into LJ, but I also dislike being split between two journals, and I just really prefer the look, stability, and lack of ads on DW. Plus so many of my vidding friends are here.


frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (Default)

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