?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Thinking out loud - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Thinking out loud
It's really nice to come home to unexpected presents (not that presents are ever "expected"; that didn't come out quite right, but I can't think how else to put it, as it's a week and a half until my birthday). I don't normally like graphic novels, but sjepstein sent me a lovely Spiderman one dealing with 9/11--one of the few that I've really been wanting to read, actually, as I'd heard of it--and it's just great. So, many thanks. And huge recs of the story, "Revelations," by B5's J. Michael Straczynski.


A kid came in today with a request, and said that he was willing to get all his friends to write letters as well, to show that there was a a base of support. He was incredibly polite and well-spoken. I could have hugged him. I love seeing people realize that they actually can make requests and have an effect on policy. For that reason, I'm going to make an effort to get some video games in our collection. It may not be an earth-shaking issue, but it's one I can actually act on. Having the classics is great and lovely (and on a totally different budget), but giving a solid example of being able to petition a government agency and make a difference in the way it's run... priceless, as the MasterCard ads say.

And why shouldn't we have video games? They have to engage more parts of the brain than, say, a Lurlene McDaniel angst-fest. Video games aren't a disconnect from intellectual pursuits. They really do make the brain work. (And no, I'm not just saying that in support of democracy. I can think of many worse things to stock than video games.)

Eek. I've just broken the book-lovers' code and admitted that there are some books I'd gladly trade in for video games. And, frankly, chat rooms. But that's because I dislike bad books in a rather extreme way.



I'm currently reading T.H. White's The Once and Future King, another classic that I somehow missed growing up. I don't like it as well as I'd hoped I would--maybe too-high expectations--but it's a good read, and I like some of the philosophical observations White makes about war.

I'm currently in the third section, "The Ill-Made Knight," which I find sort of dissatisfying, simply because I vastly prefer Arthur to Lancelot as both a character and a person (though White's Lancelot is more interesting than some others I've seen), and this section is almost exclusively Lance's. I'd also like to know Jenny a bit better, but White seems disinclined to really get into her mind. I like his scenario; I just don't feel like I know her well enough. I prefer Elaine.

I love Arthur best, though. Always have, always will. Isn't it roughly time for him to make an appearance again? Why don't we have any Great Men or Great Women around when we need them? Everybody seems so small now, even people who used to be big. Can't legends just be left a-damned-lone?

Feh.



In reading this particular storyline, I keep getting stuck with my personality type, which wants to take Guinever and Lancelot and shake them. I'm an INTJ, with the description, "Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense. :-)" (profile), and this whole business of passion versus a perfectly good marriage in which two people are perfectly fond of one another goes over my emotional head. I'd give anything for an Arthur. Why would she risk him over Lancelot? Hell, why bother looking, once that mess is settled? As for Lance--dude, she's married. Hands and mind off, kthnxbye.



There's a cover story in Newsweek this week about how women are supposed to be more likely to be unfaithful now than we used to be. I expect it's more that we're likely to be open about it, but either way, it's not a good development for women, particularly those of us in the fat-and-plain category. Pretty women--have a heart. Please pick one, and when you've got him, leave some for the rest of us.

Then again, I'd prefer not to be anyone's second choice.

Oh, who am I kidding? I have no intention of changing for anyone, or making myself up for anyone. If, by the age of 34, no one has found the way I am particularly irresistable, chances are, no one will. I'm still not going to change myself. If there's no one out there for me, then there's no one out there for me. My children won't get themselves born (and my house probably won't get itself either built or bought), but that's life.

Eek, that was a bit personal, but I'm tipsy enough to leave it be.

Still, come on pretty married women... play fair! And guys, come on. Give it up--when they're off the field of play, they're damned well off it.

:grumbles, hates Guenivere violently for a few minutes, gets over it:



I get to formally teach a class for the first time starting Monday. I'm very, very nervous about this, even though I'll be going over writing issues that I've gone over a hundred times on line--Monday=characterization, Tuesday=setting, Wednesday=plot, Thursday=putting it together. I think I'll like it, but I'm pretty keyed up. Lesson plans... yikes!

I feel a bit...: restless fairly dissociative

35 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: ireact Date: July 15th, 2004 10:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll go out with you!

We can get married, that's fun! :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 15th, 2004 10:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Minor geographical thing, but thanks. ;)
arclevel From: arclevel Date: July 15th, 2004 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I so agree with you on the whole Arthur/Lancelot/Guinevere trio. I don't know the Arthurian legends very well, but I think a big reason I don't get into them is because I know that Lancelot's this big romantic hero, and WHY??? They're cheating on Arthur! How is this a GOOD thing?? *ahem* anywho...

Do you have a similar problem with lots of other stories? It seems like in more than half the romances I read or especially watch, I'm frustrated because it becomes obvious that the "right" match is the very passionate, ignore all reason and be driven by your hormones couple. I'm also an NT (INTP)-- can you tell? :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 15th, 2004 10:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ach, yes, absolutely. I'm driven crazy by the "break-up-because-it's-not-all-passionate" thing. Passion's good, I'm sure, but if you've got a nice thing going with a good person, why toss it? This is the main reason I kept wanting to smack Buffy--they'd come up with all kinds of reasonably decent relationships, and then trash them for no good reason. Even if I ended up liking the 'ship after it, I never quite forgave the erring parties. (In other words, Willow/Tara was okay, and I had a liking for Willow/Xander, but Willow/Oz... come on... Monkey Pants! Why would anyone throw out monkey pants? Of course, Oz also wasn't blameless in this, as he also cheated, but at least--as after Willow's first indiscretion--he still loved her and came back after trying to fix himself because he knew he was badly flawed.)
shellebelle93 From: shellebelle93 Date: July 16th, 2004 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Can't stomach Guinevere or Lancelot. I think he's a wimpy git (c'mon, Lance, grow some balls, willya?) and she's a big tease. I haven't seen "King Arthur" because I think Kiera Knightley's 'feminist perspective' Guinevere would piss me off even more than Canon!Guenevere. :-)

I believe Merlin didn't like her at all. Arthur shoulda listened to him.

Poor Arthur. *pats*
ladyelaine From: ladyelaine Date: July 16th, 2004 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
All this Arthur and Guinevere talk, and I'm reading The Mists of Avalon. Heh. Think it's the only Arthurian version that has Arthur actually telling Guinevere to go sleep with Lancelot.

But yes, that thing about "passion." Romance makes you all squiggly, makes your stomach do somersaults and your head go blank. Thank God romance eventually fades, because then some common sense can come into a relationship, instead of mutual airheadedness! Frankly, I think that's a major part of the divorce rate these days--most marriages that end, do so in the first two to five years... right when the butterflies finally fade. Ohhhh, s/he doesn't make me swoon anymore, I must not love him/her. Gimme a break. The swoonies do not equal True Love(tm), nor does the stability that comes after the swoonies equal loss of love. True Love(tm) means staying the course, for better or for worse.

Um. Anyway. Hey, care to share some of those lesson points with us starving writers?
atropos87 From: atropos87 Date: July 16th, 2004 06:19 am (UTC) (Link)
The swoonies do not equal True Love(tm), nor does the stability that comes after the swoonies equal loss of love. True Love(tm) means staying the course, for better or for worse.


Absolutely. If only more of my friends would understand this they would spend much less time being broken hearted and much more time having happy and fulfilling lives.

I sense we are having a little INTJ convention here - maybe we should make a lapel badge ;)
rj_anderson From: rj_anderson Date: July 16th, 2004 04:27 am (UTC) (Link)
This is very amusing, because I was just thinking last night about posting a blog entry on the trials of being an INTJ.

Not surprisingly, I feel exactly as you do about the Arthurian "love triangle". Arthur is teh r0xx0rs, Gwen, what do you want with that useless pretty-boy? I don't care how he makes you feel: Arthur is perfectly decent to you, and if you and Lancelot both "love" him as you claim, you wouldn't be sneaking around with each other behind his back. Sheesh.

For that reason, one of the only retellings of the Arthurian legend I've been able to get into is Mary Stewart's, because she downplays the triangle and even keeps you guessing to an extent whether it's true or just rumour. Mind you, it may also help that the books are chiefly about Merlin, and that I like her Bedwyr/Lancelot better than I do her Arthur...
sannalim From: sannalim Date: July 16th, 2004 11:39 am (UTC) (Link)
For that reason, one of the only retellings of the Arthurian legend I've been able to get into is Mary Stewart's, because she downplays the triangle and even keeps you guessing to an extent whether it's true or just rumour. Mind you, it may also help that the books are chiefly about Merlin, and that I like her Bedwyr/Lancelot better than I do her Arthur...

Ditto that. The Mary Stewart version is hands-down my favourite version of the Arthur story, for exactly these reasons. It's the only version that I can stand after the coronation and Arthur's marriage to Guinevere, because it doesn't go downhill when Lancelot shows up. I suppose one could argue that this is what makes the story such a great tragedy, but it's a tragedy without redemption (and that's a sort of story I would rather not read too often, thank-you-very-much).

And about buying or building a house--go for it! If I'm still single by the time I get to be 30-35, I plan to look into buying my own residence.
alkari From: alkari Date: July 16th, 2004 06:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I compfort myself by thinking that the whole story is probably just that - a giant accretion of legends and medieval embellishments.

I refuse to go and see the movie - as if a woman was running round half naked like that as a "warrior" in a British summer. She'd have frozen her assets to death ...

Besides, since when did supposed Arthurian cavalry ride with stirrups? That important invention did not hit western Europe for at least another 400 years, if one is to assume that the Battle of Badon Hill was around 530-540AD. Sorry - feeling "historical" this evening, and very picky about the various anachronisms in movies!!

And cheer up Fernwithy - I am older than you and haven't found a man yet, so long ago decided to just get on with life and do what *I* want to do. At least, as one of my married friends tells me, I do not have to come home and somehow produce a meal for hubby and/or kids every night - I can just collapse on the couch with a large scotch if I want to!
mincot From: mincot Date: July 16th, 2004 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah, the troubles of we INTJs ... I feel the same way about both of them, having never yet been in the least tempted to let romantic passion get in the way of common sense. After all, in every marriage I've seen, the passion eventually becomes muted or disappears. What's left, in the best marriages, the ones I secretly envy, is a deep respect for and knowledge of the other person--a deep and abiding friendship.


either way, it's not a good development for women, particularly those of us in the fat-and-plain category. Pretty women--have a heart. Please pick one, and when you've got him, leave some for the rest of us. Then again, I'd prefer not to be anyone's second choice. HEAR, HEAR. And let's turn that one around while we're at it: Guys, you may be hard-wired to look for "pretty," but pretty has been defined in many different cultural ways. Look beyond the pretty faces and think about the person you want to talk to for the rest of your life.
If there's no one out there for me, then there's no one out there for me. My children won't get themselves born (and my house probably won't get itself either built or bought), but that's life. I;m forty and I feel the same way. But I do dipute the house bit. You can indeed get your own house, and you can indeed build your own house. I occasionally volunteer with Habitat for Humanity for a selfish reason: learning skills. And I do, by the grace of however you name your higher power, have my own house. I had to make some trade-offs (and, in fact, I plan to move next year, if I can): I can't live in the nice area I want to live in, where you can walk to everything and there are all sorts of funky little restaurants, interesting people, etc. I could if I were married and we had two incomes. Instead I am stuck way out in suburban subdivision land, where my neighbors are ALL married and you have to drive miles just to pick up a quart of milk (one reason I want to move in far enough that I can at least find a bus line or less daily driving!). But I am building equity. The house is solidly built, and I can have my cats and a dog. (I also have to mow the lawn, but ...;) ) The point is that you can get yourself a house, without being married. It may not be the perfect house, but the security can be worth it. (My current location is SO far away from my friends here that the isolation is NOT worth it--but I'm also not going to buy in town where houses in bad repair start at $250,000. I'll trade off another suburban area--hopefully around the state university area, though!--for a little driving--but even that will cut my one-hour just so visit friends one-way drive in half ... Anyway, look at the market in your area. See what you want, and where you CAN buy. There are no-money-down programs (What I did), and it may well be possible for you to get your own house. Don't give up!

I get to formally teach a class for the first time starting Monday. I'm very, very nervous about this, even though I'll be going over writing issues that I've gone over a hundred times on line--Monday=characterization, Tuesday=setting, Wednesday=plot, Thursday=putting it together. I think I'll like it, but I'm pretty keyed up. Lesson plans... yikes! Good luck! Just remember that sometimes lesson plans fly out the window when faced with what a class needs right that minute. Also remember that you have more experience than they do. And I've been told by colleagues who have observed me teach that all the places where I thought my fumbling and pauses were obvious were not even noticeable .... have fun--you will do well.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 16th, 2004 12:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can't live in the nice area I want to live in
Alas, I have no choice! If I'm to keep my job, I have to live in city limits, and all housing is priced way out of the single-income market, unless the single income happens to be a CEO of a major tech company.
matril From: matril Date: July 16th, 2004 08:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I am so glad to see such a large number of people expressing dislike from the much touted Arthur/Gwen/Lance love triangle. I have never been able to really get into the Arthurian legend because so much of it revolves around this irritating adultery issue. I can't have much sympathy for people who act on sheer passion. Blech. Adultery doesn't happen by accident, or because two people have no choice but to do it. It's a conscious, stupid choice, and they were idiots to screw up the entire kingdom for their own petty selfishness.

And don't get me started on Romeo and Juliet. Argh....Sorry, I must be a serious ranting mood. ;)
persephone_kore From: persephone_kore Date: July 16th, 2004 09:00 am (UTC) (Link)
See, I don't care for that part, but I think my introductions were more Merlin and Arthur and Gawain-and-the-Green-Knight, so I don't really have as much of the impression that the love triangle Is All. (On the other hand, I can't say I'm exactly thrilled with Uther and Merlin's behavior either, and I do like the Mary Stewart telling.)
izhilzha From: izhilzha Date: July 16th, 2004 09:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Because everyone else has covered the rest of your post....

I love Arthur best, though. Always have, always will. Isn't it roughly time for him to make an appearance again? Why don't we have any Great Men or Great Women around when we need them? Everybody seems so small now, even people who used to be big. Can't legends just be left a-damned-lone?

Feh.


I completely agree with this. The worst side-effect of our current tendency to deconstruct everything is a loss of the belief that anything can be changed--that heroes may in fact exist.

This is why I was such a fan of Babylon 5. J.M.S. had no problem with presenting real, flawed characters that were nevertheless true basis for legend.

Maybe this is why fantasy books and films are making such a big comeback recently.
mafdet From: mafdet Date: July 16th, 2004 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
First of all: Good luck with the teaching on Monday. I'm sure you'll do fine. Just have a plan and notes ready, do some deep-breathing beforehand, and emulate Remus Lupin. It's natural to be nerve-racked before teaching (or anything) for the first time:

On Arthur: I'm going to see the movie tomorrow. My favorite retellings of the legend are Mary Stewart's, Persis Woolley's, and Rosalind Miles'. This is going to be horrible sacriliege, but I really didn't like MZB's version. First of all, her Guinevere was a horrible, horrible simpy wimp from the whiniest stygian pit, second of all her reconstruction of paganism is questionable (The Celts had solar goddesses! Brigid was a SUN goddess! Get that Margaret Murray/Gerald Gardiner stuff away from me!) and third, MZB so transparently has it in for Christianity that it's scary. Paganism is wonderful! Christianity is Wrong and Bad and Misogynist!

"Girl Power" Guinevere actually is historically plausible; there were warrior women in the British Isles. However, I'm pretty sure they didn't wear leather bikinis. Maybe LeatherBikini!Guinevere could have a romance with LeatherTrousers!Draco?

Newsweek: "Slate" magazine (I think) questioned the veracity of that article. I agree. It's more about a juicy headline than what's really going on in marriages today. And who says that all the women who are cheating are pretty? I don't think they are taking away from the men who really want to be married anyway; men who are looking for marriage sure as shootin' aren't going to be fooling around with married women.

As far as not being married: Sez the NF crashing the NT party, there are worse fates. You could be miserably married and that's a far worse fate than being single. Also, being "plain and fat" isn't a barrier. Lots and lots of plain, fat women are married and lots of beautiful women are single or unhappily married (and being beautiful doesn't stop one's husband from cheating, either - just look at Halle Berry).

I'm older than you :> and single. And I believe that if I put my mind to it, if being married is what I want, then I can do it. As I noted in my reply to mincot below, women have more choices now, so the pool of eligibles is wider. We are freer to be in interracial relationships, relationships where the man is younger, makes less money, et cetera.

I believe it's perfectly normal to be frustrated, but one should never, ever give up. Really, one's future is what one makes of it. (um...now who's sounding like the conservative? heh heh.)
scionofgrace From: scionofgrace Date: July 16th, 2004 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I heard it said somewhere that the Arthurian love triangle dates back to when the French got ahold of the myth-cycle and started writing in their own stories.

When in doubt, blame it on the French! :-)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: July 16th, 2004 07:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Which the English promptly did--the French threw in a courtly love affair... then the English blamed it for the fall of civilization. :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 16th, 2004 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

I've been lurking for a while...

Hi, this is Blithe (formerly Melissa Renee) from SQ.

As noted above I've been lurking here for a while, but I had to share my glee at seeing all the people who dislike the Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot triangle. My first real introduction to Arthurian legend came from reading (and watching the movie) Camelot in eighth grade English, before then I'd always had the idea that Lancelot was Gwen's boyfriend before she married Arthur, but I'd never really pursued the subject. Anyways, I hated Lancelot from the moment he entered the story, singing about his own perfections and applauded Jenny's line that "humility must not be the fashion in France."

I have spent the years since then trying to make people understand why I don't find the affair particularly romantic and why I think that having an affair with your husband's best friend or your best friend's wife is just wrong, and that they should have exercised some self control, or if they really thought they couldn't be in the same castle without having one, keep sending Lancelot out on quests so he's not around enough for it.

gryffin23 From: gryffin23 Date: July 17th, 2004 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

My two cents

It does my heart so much good to hear that many other people dislike the love affair of Guinevere and Lancelot and that other people believe that deep friendship is the key to a successful relationship. I've always believed that the more comfortable you feel around someone the better your relationship with them is.
35 comments or Leave a comment