Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The bats have left the bell tower. Thanks for coming along with me on my spooky countdown. In honor of All Hallows Eve, I've resurrected something from the depths of television past. No, it isn't Charlie Brown, and it isn't "Buffy," but you're close. It is from the black and sinister trenches of YouTube, and it screams Satan's name as it dances naked around the Bacchanalian hellfires.

Send it in! Send it in!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Transylvanian concubine. I have recovered from my stint as the Scrooge of Halloween and will now talk about a subject very dear to my ghoulish heart: Vampires. I admit, ever since I saw "Interview with the Vampire" in middle school, I have been wary of sleeping with my neck exposed else some nocturnal hematophage happens upon me. There's something about Vampires that really gets to people, isn't there? Vampires are distinctly human in form except without that pesky superego getting in the way of all the fun. Plus, they add a demonic note to that age-old "Where do we go after we die?" question. With Vampires, the answer is that you come back to feast on the flesh of the living. That's exciting if you're a Goth but terrifying if you're a Hungarian peasant.

I've noticed a transition between the historic soulless-Vampire-as-pure-evil and the current Hollywood Vampiric incarnation. Whereas once the eternal Vampire instilled fear, now it is a source of erotic excitement. You see it in the homoerotic undertones between Lestat and Louie in "Interview," the skin-tight cat suits and lingering sex scenes of "Underworld," and the romance-beyond-death theme of "Bram Stoker's Dracula." Even the Vampire's "kiss" is portrayed in slow-motion, close-up, open-mouthed, wet with dripping saliva. Then the camera pans to the victim's face. Her emotions are ambiguous, with her wide eyes and parted lips. Is she in pain or intense pleasure? Is there even a difference?

But enough of this. I don't want to talk about victims. I want to talk about heroes!

As many of you know--and I should probably be embarrassed about this--I am a huge "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fan. I even wrote my college entrance essay about Buffy-as-feminist-icon (Hey, don't judge. It worked). I realize that "Buffy" started out as a pathetic little movie about a stereotypical blond cheerleader who inconveniently must battle the forces of darkness and make out with Luke Perry, but if you know anything about Joss Whedon, you know it was not meant to be like this.

Oh no. No no. We were not supposed to have cheerleader-and-phallic-symbol fetishism. Nonsense! We were supposed to see the traditional blond victim walk into the Vampire's lair and not only survive, but triumph. The TV version of "Buffy" is kind of like revenge porn--it's not every day that you get to see a petite blond kicking ass and taking names. We weren't even supposed to care about the Vampires. Think about how terrible the show was when Dracula showed up. Here's the most legendary and feared character in the Vampire canon, and he comes off as a fey David Copperfield wanna-be desperately in need of bronzer. Even the initially-feared Spike turned into a love-sick, if grumpy, puppy.

It's interesting to go from the woman-as-Vampire-victim Hollywood aesthetic to woman-as-Vampire-slayer theme. Women were either dinner or devil in the Vampire legends of yore. Now they are the avengers, fighting for some moral principle or saving the earth from destruction at the hands of some latent but lingering evil.

Yes, the cleavage is still there, and we still have the overly-moussed love interest. But the Vampire motif seems to be evolving beyond the traditional blood-lust and gore. Suddenly, women are the heroes, the Chosen, the leaders destined to deliver us from evil. The current trend in Vampire lore seems to reject snuff films in favor of heroism. Men become the sidekicks, and we're supposed to lust after the strong, gun- or crossbow-wielding heroine. She's the one's who's going to get the job done.

A small, blond chick walks into a Vampire's lair with nothing more than a pointy piece of wood. A battle ensues. Who do you think is going to win?

Friday, October 27, 2006

So sexy it hurts. I ask you, what's more frightening than Republicans procreating? I would also like to point out that most of the men they interviewed were smarmy, manipulative assholes. Go Blue!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dig up her bones. Continuing with my spooky theme...

Le Tombeau
Originally uploaded by thelizisawesome.

Wasn't there a house at Harvard or Radcliffe named Greenough? I think you guys just raided cemetaries looking for names. It's called originality. Look it up!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

We can hold hands like paper dolls. YES! I believe this warrants an old school fist pump.

*pumps fist in air*

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Come on now, sugar. I don't know how many of you out there watch "Veronica Mars," but tonight's episode made me incredibly angry. The current mystery revolves around who is drugging and raping his/their way through Veronica's liberal arts college; the rapist's signature is a shaved head bestowed as a parting gift for each victim. The rapes, as far as we know, have been going on for over a year, and the college's administration has failed to take action.

My problem is the way in which the series labels everyone who dares protest these rather horrific rapes. The only voice of outcry is led by a gaggle of angry, militant feminists who are ethically dubious (one is a Fox News journalist in the making, if you catch my drift) or freakish (strange body piercings, implied lesbianism).

Think about it. At any college, if a razor-happy serial rapist was running amok among the female population, you'd better believe that the outcry would not be lead by a marginalized group of radicals. There would be hell to pay--parents would yank their children, alums would yank funding, and there would be a media circus. However, anyone who dares lift an eyebrow at the events is painted as an irrational ball-buster. The only reason our heroine Veronica seems to be taking an interest in the case is because of a sense of wounded pride, not genuine concern for the victims or fear for her own safety or the safety of her friends.

This setup is in stark contrast to season one, when Veronica set about uncovering the events surrounding her own rape. Every single person who saw Veronica the night she was drugged and raped--and there were a good 20 characters highlighted--is labeled culpable. Even "Saint Blond" Meg is guilty of standing by and leaving Veronica in harm's way. The rapes the writers are currently depicting are horrific. Victims have no way of remaining anonymous or going about their normal routines. The rapist strips away their identity, both as whole human beings and as feminine. They are forced to hide behind wigs or walk the campus as poster children for victimhood. Yet anyone who dares demand answers is portrayed in a remarkably unflattering, almost comical, manner.

Why am I getting so worked up about a dumb television show? Because television is a mass medium that reaches millions each day, and every time it is portrayed as unacceptable for women to stand up for themselves or speak out against sexual violence, we lose. Even Keith's derogatory crack about asking Veronica if she'd become a women's studies major because she donned a pants suit and unflattering shoes underscores the idea that women who do not conform to socially-dictated notions of proper femininity are not worthy or valuable.

I really have no idea why a show that started out lauding the exploits of a petite blond who refused to let the shit get kicked out of her by the reigning kings and queens of her high school has devolved in such a manner. I'd like to blame the CW, "network of the Lord", but I fear there's more to it than that. Either way, I am righteously pissed off.

This old engine makes it on time. Riding the subway is not totally safe? Is it because of terrorism? Have they uncovered some information about a nerve gas attack? Have they discovered poorly maintained infrastructure?

Haha, you're funny. The subway stations and subway cars are too noisy and will permanently damage our hearing.


With dead poets and drum machines. Countdown to Halloween continues here on the T.L., and the excitement is palpable! Oooh baby.

Did you ever notice how most greeting cards are either cloyingly sweet or snarky? There is never a greeting card that simply states "I love you" without including some saccarine poem about flowers and the ages or some ball-busting qualifier such as "but not as much as I love your money." I wonder why Americans are so reluctant to lay it out there. Maybe we're all just afraid to be vulnerable.

Well, fine then, if love is schmaltzy, then I am a malt ball. Or something. Whatever. Enjoy some candy.

Monday, October 23, 2006

And death climbs up the steps one by one. It's almost Halloween, and with it comes my nostalgia for a simpler time when my desire for jack-o-lanterns and trick-or-treats wasn't met with such derision. Anyway, the next two weeks will be heavily steeped in all things ghoulish and disturbing. Let's kick it off with some creepy pop culture.

Don't forget...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Some of them want to use you. The wait is almost over...

Stock up on your garlic and crosses before it's too late.