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"Helpless"


Pivot has been re-airing Buffy for a while now, and I half-watch (since I know most of the eps almost by heart) when I can. Right now, S3Ep12, "Helpless," is on - an episode where the Watchers Council takes away her physical strength for a test to see if she'll still prevail over a foe without it.

Buffy is a show that never really gets old, because you keep discovering new things every time you watch. Pretty much everyone knows that Joss Whedon is a feminist, and wanted to turn high school and horror tropes about girls on their ears, while still dealing with real issues and rights of passage.

So for the first few viewings of Helpless, you know you're supposed watching an allegory for the ways that adults/parents let kids down, and for the ways kids become adults. But that's not all. Watching today, I found myself thinking about the Watcher's Council, and how they set up this test for slayers that reach the age of 18. And what I found myself thinking was, who cares if Buffy passes or not? What can the Council do if she doesn't? It's not like they control who becomes the slayer, it's not like they can pick another one (yes, other ones rise later, but not by the Council's choice). So the whole exercise is a desperate attempt to be relevant by an archaic group that really has no power at all. And, well, we've all dealt with groups like that in real life, right? And of course, most likely Joss intended that allegory just as much as the others, because he's pretty smart like that. It's too bad that Buffy doesn't realize until later in the series that the Council has literally no power over her.

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Yes, I'm still here. Sort of. I read my friends feed on occasion (a far cry from my check-LJ-10-times-per-day days). I think, "Gosh, I should get back to writing on LJ every day or two." And then, like many of us, I spend most of my online time elsewhere: Twitter, tumblr, Facebook. Places where I can dash off a quick line or share something posted by someone else. Places where it's very easy to share a fast pic or thought. Places where it's easier to connect with others, or at least seem to.

The last 5 years have seen a lot of change in my life, and much of my life has been in a sort of limbo (and still is). It's hard to write, to share yourself, when you're in limbo. There's always something more productive, designed to get you out of limbo, that you should be doing. And so often, I'm out there doing the more productive thing, which means personal writing goes by the wayside. Even my paper journal has only seen me sporadically in recent years.

So anyway, that's where I am. And I really DO hope to get back to posting more on LJ someday soon. To do more writing that expresses more than one quick thought. To get back to ranting a little more. To reclaim this place of my own.

The Teacher's Prayer


Originally posted by cereta at The Teacher's Prayer


May any meetings you have to get ready for the upcoming semester be interesting, productive, and short.

May printing services staple your packets on the right side.

May your students read the syllabus, buy/obtain the textbook, and stay awake for at least the first few classes.

May the textbooks be more up-to-date than your coffee maker.

That said, may your coffee maker make excellent coffee.

May everyone, from teachers to students to staff, have adequate food, clothing, shelter, and sleep time.

May federal and state money come in something resembling a reasonable time.

May your classroom be at least as well-equipped as the athletic facilities.

May the parents of your students be involved to whatever degree is appropriate to the students' age.

May administration have your back, but also have the backs of the students when appropriate.

May everyone be excellent to each other.

Happy fall!

This entry was originally posted at http://cereta.dreamwidth.org/1049099.html. If you can, please speak there.

have spoken there.


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Today's lyric


Friendship battered down by
Useless history
Unexamined failure

What am I still to you
Some thief who stole from you?
Or some fool drama queen
Whose chances were few?


-Morning Thief, Jeff Buckley

Merry Xmas Everybody!


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Happy Christmas Eve...


...from Santa and Bela Lugosi!

Santa and Bela Lugosi

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Gifts done!


Gifts done - 12-23-2013

As in past years, I made gifts this year. I'll post in a few days (after the gifts are given) to share what I made and how.

Happy holidays!

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Oh, Twin Peaks...


...how I miss thee.

On Black Friday, consumerism, and privilege


I've never been one of those people who shops on Black Friday. No sale has ever seemed worth it for me to deal with the huge crowds, lines, rude behavior, etc. And I've never wanted to support a system that makes retail workers get up before dawn on the day after a holiday and work a ridiculously long and hard day. And this year, many retailers are kind of throwing Black Friday out the window, starting their sales on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, or earlier. Which means, of course, that retail workers no longer get that relaxing day off before having to deal with the throngs of shoppers, and no longer get to celebrate Thanksgiving or just a day off with their loved ones. That sucks.

I understand the condemnation of the rampaging crowds of consumers. I understand the distaste that many have that a holiday that is supposed to be about being thankful for what we've got has turned into a holiday about getting more, more, more. After all, it's the people who go out and shop on Black Friday/Thursday that make it worthwhile for the stores to be open. If everyone just refused to shop, retailers would quickly realize that it's not worth it to be open.

But I also have to recognize that I am privileged enough not to have to go to these sales to get the things I need/want. There are families that simply can't afford things like computers and cell phones (which are pretty much necessities of modern living and working) any other time of year. Families that just want to get their kids that one awesome toy they want this year, and can only afford the Black Friday/Thursday sale prices. Who the hell am I to condemn them for that?

There's a lot to think about when it comes to Black Friday/Thursday. The fact that workers are taken advantage of in the pursuit of more profits for the stores. The fact that for many Americans, getting a deal on some gadget is more important than a holiday that's supposed to be about gratefulness. But let's not lose sight of the fact that for some, this is the only time they can get some of the things that the rest of us take for granted. Maybe that's part of the real problem, and we should look at solutions that might help people to not have to scramble for deals on a holiday. And in the meantime, maybe everyone who's out shopping on Black Friday/Thursday can make an effort to be kind to those working, and everyone else.

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