Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mid-Week Read: Strong Female Character

Read this lovely, long article on the Strong Female Character.
The Strong Female Character has something to prove. She’s on the defensive before she even starts. She’s George from The Famous Five all grown up and still bleating with the same desperate lack of conviction that she’s “Every Bit As Good as a Boy”.

Nowadays the princesses all know kung fu, and yet they’re still the same princesses. They're still love interests, still the one girl in a team of five boys, and they’re all kind of the same. They march on screen, punch someone to show how they don’t take no shit, throw around a couple of one-liners or forcibly kiss someone because getting consent is for wimps, and then with ladylike discretion they back out of the narrative’s way.
This is partly why I rarely watch movies any more. I haven't gone out to a cinema since November last year. I'm tired of watching Men Doing Things.

Anyway, go read the whole article, and tell me what you think.

And while you're at it, read this profile of a famous and powerful woman: Marissa Mayer. I found it fascinating: it's long but I couldn't look away. The article does a wonderful job of showing her personality, as someone who's difficult but brilliant.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Conversations Tire Me

Conversations tire me.

There are the interesting, intense work conversations: where I talk to a business-owner about their marketing and exchange ideas. The ones where I explain to someone about what we’re doing with Markitty (and maybe they offer ideas.) Nice, exhilarating even, when they happen, but once I've disconnected the phone or walked away from the meeting I want to take a nap because I’m drained.

There are the fun conversations I have with a friend, opening up our thoughts, our worries, our histories. The kind that forge a deeper connection. So life-affirming. But still tiring.

There are the necessary conversations I have with people who care for me and want to hear from me, even when I suspect we have little in common otherwise. People who have been there for me consistently, who love me even if they don't understand me. Like my mom, a cousin, a sister-in-law. Difficult conversations, sometimes when I'm busy but not in the mood... But these are people I don't want to hurt, because they try to be there for me. So though I call far less often than I should, I call. And try to call more often when they might need it. It's not their fault that I’m such an introvert that every conversation drains me.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mid Week Reads: Children and Reading

Happy Independence Day (tomorrow)! Here are a few quick links.

I liked both this posts: this mother who doesn't want her daughter to be "nice", and this response to it on Jezebel.

These fan illustrations of what happened after the Harry Potter books ended (i.e., who married whom and how many children they had) are beautiful. Poor Hermione, though, stuck with Ron. (Actually, now I think about it, Ron reminds me of Ross: whiny and self-entitled.)

And this isn't on topic (and I've probably linked to it before), but as someone who loves reading advice columns, I love The Bad Advisor. All the drama, and none of the politeness. Enjoy!

By the way, what RSS reader do you use now that Google Reader has passed away? I'm using Feedly and The Old Reader, but I'm not really happy with either. Feedly's okay, but it doesn't let you search (!) and it's a little difficult to skip posts (unless I'm doing something wrong). The Old Reader is sadly slow and buggy (or maybe just slow -- I seem to have to wait for minutes to be able to scroll down). Anything that's better?

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Thoughts on "Friends," and Disliking Ross

I have probably watched every episode of Friends at least four times, and I really, really like this post about how Ross Geller is the worst. Unfortunately, when I first started watching -- and in my defense, I was a teenager then -- he was my favorite character, but he didn't stay that way long. Monica then became my favorite character, and I've continued to like her (and often identify with her neurotic behavior). My favorite character now is probably Phoebe, though for a while I liked Chandler best (and still like him very much, in the later seasons when he's a nice partner to Monica and less of a selfish jerk). Joey was too much of a selfish womanizer for me to really like him... until the last season or two, where he seems to be really sweet.

Of the supporting characters though, I really, really like Susan. The way she deliberately, carefully rubs Ross up the wrong way every time they meet is hilarious.

I envy the friendships: all three women have such great relationships with each other, Joey and Chandler are so loyal to each other (though more Joey than Chandler, who can closely imitate Ross in being whiny and self-entitled). It also seems to me that no one really likes Ross very much (except perhaps Rachel) but they tolerate him because of their shared history. One of the more egregious examples of Ross's self-absorbedness is when Monica tells him she hated him when they were kids because he was so mean to her, and he's all, "Really? I thought we were having fun!" (Typical bully, isn't he?)

So who's your favorite character, and your least favorite? Or have you never watched the series -- or liked it enough to watch more than a little bit?