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The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Extremely random thoughts
I have no single thought in my head that could be made into an entire post. Or too many, none of which would be interesting. So, short-term ramblings.

  • In the, "No, really????" column: Yesterday, I looked over the shoulder of someone reading one of our (even more than usual) liberal local papers, and the man-on-the-street interview question was "Do you think General Clarke's testimony is politically motivated?" I couldn't read what the people on the street answered, but sheesh... it's election year, and the guy comes forward now with three year old information that appears to cast doubt on an incumbant's most important issue.

    Gosh, I wonder. Could it be politically motivated? You could have knocked me over with a feather when the thought occurred to me. Oh, whoosh, there I go.[/sarcasm]

  • In fact, I don't trust either side of the press about any issue touching on the political system for about fourteen months preceeding any given presidential election. In general, I'll go for the ones who wear their bias on their sleeves, since that makes it easier to spot and filter out.

  • I also think that decent people don't want to run for the job because of what the press and their opponents would do to their families in the course of the campaign. I don't know exactly what to do about it, but it's a sad state of affairs.

  • Off politics, why is Hollywood so short-sighted? I can't for the life of me figure out why the WB is cancelling Angel. Yes, it's having a bit of a ratings struggle, but it has a huge cult following, only likely to get bigger with the Buffy influx (and would have this year if they hadn't had so many weeks of pushing double episodes of Smallville). What are they going to replace it with, some new reality show? Maybe a beauty contest for women who used to be men and are now opposing beauty contests on principle by participating in one? Whatever it is, I have a feeling it's something they'll only end up having to replace fairly quickly. Why not just stick with Angel and let it find its footing? Wouldn't that be a better long-term investment, since people will, you know, still be watching Angel in twenty years?

  • And that's always true with speculative fiction. Who the hell knows what was so popular that NBC just had to dump Star Trek for it? And which survived in the long run?

  • Of course, no one thinks in the long run. Ever. Quick fix, instant gratification, that's what it's about now. Worldwide reversion to infancy. I'm not asking for a thousand-year plan a la Hari Seldon. I'm just thinking, "Hmm. If Option A generally leads to Outcome B, then if we're looking for Outcome B, Option A might well be a good choice." Or, conversely, if B isn't what we're after, we might want to avoid A. Or, more to the point, if Option A leads to Outcome B, but Outcome B leads to Outcome D instead of Outcome C...

    Well, for example, let's take television shows. The object is simple: To make money.

    Option A: Cancel a show that is culty, but not performing up to general ratings hopes.

    Option A(2): Leave the show on. Leads to option C.

    Outcome B: Replace it with something currently trendy with the non-culty viewing world. Leads to option D.

    Outcome C: Continue to make money for years, as the smaller but devoted following continues to tune in.

    Outcome D: Replace the replacement with another trendy show when the trend changes, put out another expensive promotional campaign, and hope for the best.

    If the object is to make money, it would seem that Option A wouldn't be the best long term strategy. And yet, bam, it's the one that's ALWAYS chosen, because hey--look at what everyone's watching! We gotta get us some of that!


  • Memorable dialogue is unnatural. Both Buffy and Star Wars are highly quotable, as is anything by Shakespeare. No human being has ever spoken the way they speak in Sunnydale or the GFFA, and to the best of my knowledge, English folk of the Elizabethan era didn't actually speak in iambic pentameter. It's the very unnaturalness of it that makes it easy to remember and therefore quotable.

  • I'll cop to being fat, and I'm not gorgeous, but I've seen people no more attractive than I am with dates, husbands, babies, etc. I think I must be putting out some huge vibe saying, "Don't come any closer." I would like to turn that vibe off. As long as it doesn't mean actually, you know, changing. (A weird side effect of being raised by a single mom. The mom in question once shook her head and said, "You know, I wouldn't even know what to do with a husband at this point. We'd just trip over each other.") It occurs to me writing this that this could in fact be the problem. Oh, well. I'm a jigsaw puzzle piece with a really weird cut. Somewhere out there is the next piece. Just a question of checking edges, I suppose. But there is a muffled tick-tock-tick-tock out there that I don't like. Probably just Captain Hook's crocodile.

Guess that's it. Fic of some sort later.
5 comments or Leave a comment
myf From: myf Date: April 13th, 2004 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm beginning to think I have that 'go away! far away!' vibe too. If you figure out how to turn it off, let me know? Ta ever so. It's a pain in the arse.

Television stations... Currently in Australia there's a reality game show with the biggest prize pool in Aus TV history, and it's dying a slow and agonising death (well, apparently. No-one watched it to find out). So what do the other channels do? Develop more expensive reality game shows of the same ilk. I mean, why? It can't be too hard to figure out that if the public doesn't like X, they're not likely to give an X clone the time of day. Pfft.
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: April 13th, 2004 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have to concur with many of your observations ;).

A big reason why many of these speculative fiction shows vanish is that they are often among the most expensive shows to produce. Cost is one of the top reasons why shows get cancelled, even when the ratings aren't all that bad.
ashtur From: ashtur Date: April 13th, 2004 05:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really relate to the quote your mom used.. about "we'd just trip over one another". After awhile, for better or worse you get used to life in a certain pattern, and it becomes that much more difficult to break that pattern.

I'm not sure if you are an Eddings fan, but in Polgara the Sorceress she observes at one point that "bacherlorhood is habit forming"... and I think that's true, for better or worse (worse mostly)... though it's both males and females most like.

I give the same vibes as well it seems.
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: April 13th, 2004 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, wasn't Angel doing better in the ratings this season? Not as high as some other shows, sure, but higher than it usually did? But I stopped questioning the logic of cancelling decent shows when the SciFi Channel axed Farscape (after promising it another season, no less) and replacing it with Scare Tactics (a 'reality' show where people set up horrible pranks on their friends/family to scare the crap out of them) and Tremors: The Series. *eyeroll* Never minding that without Farscape, all SciFi had/has is a plethora of B-movies and fifth-rate TV series. With Farscape the reasoning was apparently budget - though the bullshit reason given to fans was 'did not seem to be growing past a small core following' - and I'm sure that's the case with Angel.

I think I must be putting out some huge vibe saying, "Don't come any closer." I would like to turn that vibe off. As long as it doesn't mean actually, you know, changing.

Story of my life, man. But really, I'm not sure what I would do with a man either, and I'm sure that is in fact the problem - I enjoy my independence too much. Having to take the time to call and talk to them several times a day? What on earth would we talk about? Perish the thought. ;)
mafdet From: mafdet Date: April 13th, 2004 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just to address a couple of points:

I also think that decent people don't want to run for the job because of what the press and their opponents would do to their families in the course of the campaign. I don't know exactly what to do about it, but it's a sad state of affairs.

Yes indeedily. In a way, we get the politicians we deserve, and if we (the press, the public) scare off decent people from running for office, where decent people are badly needed, and all that are left are the bottom-feeders and opportunists - what have we done to create this? It really is a pity.

And by the way, I'm a single woman of a certain age too. Until recently I haven't really wanted to get married and sometimes I now think I want to get married for the wrong reason. But I'm confident that there's someone out there for everyone - the "man shortage" is only if one is picky - i.e. taller, older, richer, strict parameters on ethnicity, etc. Though I admit to being picky on the cats issue - if a man doesn't like cats he's out. ;)

My best friend despaired of ever finding Mr. Right and she is now married. She married a man she met online - he's British so I tease her about her "mail order husband."

Wouldn't it be nice if Remus Lupin could be brought to life and cloned?
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