October 19th, 2010

#2360: Fanfic, and all the news that's fit to snark at.

So after I said I probably wouldn't bother with a "Haruhi" fanfic, I spent three hours last night--more--writing 20 pages of it.

And I like it.

I'm using the dialogue, verbatim, from the light novel; otherwise it's all my text. It's the basic story of the light novel but told from another viewpoint, that of a "slider" who has unexpectedly found himself in the Haruhi universe. He doesn't see everything Kyon sees, and he sees some things Kyon doesn't.

Yes, it's almost a purely derivative work, and I don't expect even to web publish it. I'm writing it for my own amusement.

* * *

A thorough excoriation of Apple which will garner lots of hate mail from the Macolytes.

* * *

In the news today is a story about some major lenders suspending foreclosure proceedings because the paper trails are all screwed up. But it gets worse, because some lenders have fraudulently pledged to multiple buyers at the same time.

It's like this: if I have a car I want to sell, I can sell it to one person. I can't actually sell it to two or three people at the same time, unless they're all named as co-owners on the same title. The same thing goes for any commodity of which I have only one unit.

These banks, however, did exactly that: sold mortgages to two or more buyers at the same time, so buyer X thought he owned the mortgage, and buyer Y thought he owned the mortgage; and possibly buyers Z, AA, and AB as well. That is fraud.

I'm beginning to think that this is going to be the thing that tips us into a depression, right there: the revelation of widespread fraud and abuse in the mortgage system is going to make the 2007-2008 housing bust look like a birthday party. (One with clowns and balloons and pony rides, even.) It will be, simply put, bad.

* * *

I am intimately familiar with this nonsense.

* * *

Thinking more about Amber Tamblyn being on House, MD:

...I know her character is going to be Yet Another Typical Hollywood Successful Promiscuous Bitchy Character, like every other female professional in the series is, because that's the only way the writers of that show know how to portray women who are career professionals. None of them has ever been what I'd call a "nice girl" type. I'm steeling myself for it; but subconsciously I expect her character to be like Joan Girardi in Joan of Arcadia, because I think she's well-suited to the "sweet and nice" character type.

Of course, it's impossible for someone to go through four years of college and four years of medical school and four years of residency and remain a nice person, particularly if that person is female. No, a woman can't be nice and good enough to work with House; and even if she is, House is so abrasive he'll reduce her to tears and she'll flee in terror, because of course it's impossible for someone to be smart and nice and tough.

Two-dimensional much?

So I know--intellectually--that Amber Tamblyn's character is going to be basically the same as Cameron/Thirteen/every other female doctor in the series (with the possible exception of Cuddy, and even then...). I know it, and now I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to be able to watch the damn show after her character is introduced.

*sigh*

In Megumi's Diary I specifically included a scene which shows the steel beneath Megumi's sweet and nice exterior; I did it on purpose because I like three dimensional characters.

She goes to a new school, ends up sitting next to a punk girl (Jun Mizuhara), and the punk girl--who doesn't like sitting next to others--immediately begins to bully her. And after a few moments, Megumi--still smiling--apologizes to Jun: "...it's probably my fault. Instead of being kind, I should have been put off by your appearance. You do seem to be trying to look scary, after all. Or are you just trying to hide your own insecurity?"

She completely pounds Jun without getting really nasty about it--and Jun knows she's been pounded, too. It establishes the fact that Megumi is not going to take any shit from anyone, and the way it happens right after she pretends not to understand that she's being bullied demonstrates that she's also not going around looking for a fight. There's no chip on Megumi's shoulder; but if you want trouble, you'll get it, and probably more than you wanted.

That's the problem with House, MD: the women doctors in that series always have those chips on their shoulders.

Amber what's-her-face--the fellowship candidate who ended up being Wilson's girlfriend--was the ultimate expression of the archetype of all the doctors in House, MD except for Wilson: conniving, manipulative, vindictive, angry, lustful. To a certain extent these characteristics are necessary for characters in a drama series like this one; but the constant negativity gets tiring after a while.

It's why House himself had to have things go well for him--get off the vicodin, get the girl, etc--because without that, it'd be season after season of sadness and misery. It was getting old long before they had him go into rehab. And guess what? The series is still entertaining even though House is no longer popping vicodin and is popping Cuddy. House himself is happier, yet he's still abrasive and ascerbic to a fault.

House usually has a reason for doing everything he does, though last night's ep contained a genuine, "WTF, House? Don't be a dick!" moment, something very, very rare for me. (I won't say what it was; only that yeah, it was a serious dick move.)

In some ways it's impossible for the House universe to function if there's a character who isn't totally screwed up one way or another. Even Wilson--the nicest guy in the series--is a serial philanderer with multiple divorces. It gets difficult to watch the show when you realize that you wouldn't want to associate with any of the characters in it.

I would hang with House; even when he's being a dick, his ascerbic humor is worth it and there's nothing I like better than an intelligent jape or jab. He's completely honest about his own asinine behavior; he doesn't try to justify or excuse it. The others, they're just ordinary run-of-the-mill assholes, without the redeeming qualities of quick wit and intellect.

That's why I know Amber Tamblyn's character will be a disappiontment to me. It can't be otherwise.

However, to continue her career as an actress, Tamblyn herself needs a role like that. You can't play "sweet and nice" ad infinitum; you need to show flexibility and range. Hollywood loves to corrupt the virginal young actresses who want to move from child or adolescent roles to adult roles, and there's a very old pattern to how it's done. "Miley Cyrus can't afford panties?" describes one way it's done.

I don't have to like it.

* * *

By the way, this is the first time this has ever worked:



Normally I get 50,000,000 unrelated links (90% pron) all of which have some of the words, but not all of the words, and certainly not in the specified order. Google will normally ignore the quotes entirely and find me every web site which contains the words "atomic", "fungus", "can't", "afford", and "panties", and dutifully list them for me...and won't find the one page in the universe which actually has all the words in the order I requested. So I end up with bunch of bizarre links to weird things about fungi, and of course I get links to thousands--millions--of pages of pictures of panties, and hundreds of sites trying to sell me panties, but I won't get a link to my blog post, on Atomic Fungus, with a freaking headline saying "can't afford panties".

For me to get only one link with such specific search terms--rather than none or fifty billion--means I must've somehow lucked into connecting to the one server in Google's server farm that is actually configured to, y'know, search for what you want it to search for. Instead of taking your search terms, putting them into a blender, and spitting out approximately random crap.

It's kind of amazing. It's like finding buried treasure by accident.