Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lunchtime Limbo

While I have a few minutes here at lunch, how about some updatitude:

Pandorum was a great little lower-budget SF movie about one of my favorite tropes, which isn't done enough in movies (likely for budgeting issues). Also, unlike most French films and pretty much all apocalypse novels/movies, the desperate folks were far more interested in eating the ass-kicking female character than raping her, which I appreciated. Because, you know, when you're starving and desperate you're far more likely to eat somebody than rape them (dunno what you all feel like doing when starving, but sex - forced or consentual - generally isn't the first thing that comes to mind). Also, space zombies.

The longer I work at an ad agency, the more I love Mad Men. Am on season 2 and still in love. I had somebody say they thought all of these characters are intensely unlikeable, so they couldn't watch it. I actually find all of these characters intensely interesting because of their crazy faults. I love watching how other people justify their poor behavior. I love watching people put home/work into neat little boxes and pretending those worlds will never meet. I love watching the lies and half-truths and understandings people come to that allow them to do business every day. And I love watching that struggle. In part, what I love so much about this show is that nobody is perfect. Even more, I love watching people navigate a social climate slightly different from my own. They say that folks who read a lot of books tend to be more empathetic, in part because they're exposed to so many different points of view. I don't have to agree with what you're doing to understand why you did it. Mad Men is a wonderful romp through rich-white-people-are-crazy-land.

I finished reading Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood, which was a great little SF jaunt. Atwood's poo-pooing at SF the last few years had really turned me off to her, and I'd forgotten what a good writer she is (if you haven't read The Handmaid's Tale, how is it you're a reader of this blog??). It's a solid little book about gene splicing and the end of the world. Strong female protagonists, rich setting, fun thought experiment, and did I mention end of the world? However, unlike Pandorom, she did fall into the "all bad men want to do is rape women especially during the apocalypse when they are starving" thing, which was a tougher suspension of disbelief than aforementioned gene-splicing apocalypse. Have I mentioned that there are certain sexist tropes that just annoy the tar out of me? She does also seem to have a love of exploring the social intricacies of whorehouses, as many of the scenes at a whorehouse in this book reminded me of some of similiar tone/feel from The Handmaid's Tale. I'll be picking up Oryx and Crake and giving Atwood another go.

My preference for PCs has evolved into blind hatred for Macs now that I'm spending my 9 hour days in front of one at the new day job. Control click THIS, Mac!!! Yeah, not a fan.

Also, actually pulled out and submitted an old trunk story a couple weeks ago. I haven't had anything in circulation in a few months, and it was nice to get something out there. Need to get back on that writing schedule that I'd redone and then had to can when all the free time I was expecting wonderfully dried up. No complaints! Just paperwork.

Annnnnnnnd.... I'm off.

5 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

David J. Williams said...

yeah I loved Pandorum -- I reviewed it a few weeks back.

I love the way the movie got hammered for the same shit that everybody gives Whedon a blind pass on (i.e., the Reevers/space zombies)

Kameron Hurley said...

VanderMeer's post inspired me to see it, too! I put it on the Netflix list immediately after, and wasn't disappointed.

I'd never even heard of it before that. I can see where it'd have issues: is it SF? Is it horror? But Alien mixed SF and horror as well. It's just another movie that never found an audience. Reminds me a lot of Sunshine, another dark SF with slasher-horror moments at the end.

hwbowen said...

I actually find all of these characters intensely interesting because of their crazy faults.

Yes! You are watching the Mad Men that I'm watching (well, not right now, but in general). People talk about how much they hate Pete, in particular, and I just go, "What?" Because yeah, I understand why they hate Pete, but it's for the same reasons that I love Pete.

While simultaneously thinking he's a horrible weasel. But you know what I mean.

Kameron Hurley said...

Oh, man, I *despise* Peter! Thinking about it, I don't know that I actively *like* many characters, except maybe Peggy, and even she is so guarded about what her motivations and thoughts are that I'm left running around in circles trying to figure her out. It's about learning to sympathize with these characters, not so much like them.

There's this part of you that's just so wrapped up in figuring out how these folks are able to go to bed at night, how they negotiate their personal relationships, how they justify their actions... I find it utterly fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Kameron, if you love Handmaid's Tale, you *must* read the short story "Sisters of Bilhah". It asks -- what is happening abroad in a world where Gilead exists? It's amazing.