Tag Archives: video

books, latin, yum, vids

Hey y’all! Here are some random thoughts that are not necessarily a cohesive post:

– I just finished reading Paper Towns by John Green, which comes heartily recommended, but was a very difficult read for me because it’s set in my hometown. Clearly, O-town and I have issues.
– All my books just came to me from home! I want to reread everything. Especially Blankets (Craig Thompson), because it’s right next to me! Clearly, Olga has no focus.
– Regina Spektor is awesome.
– I have been reading and writing Latin again recently. Hello ambiguous feelings!
– I have also been yearning for Holmes and Watson to acknowledge their pure & deliciously gay love. Oh yeah. Are you in denial? Need a vid? Fever by talitha78 will help you out. (Link goes to the old version – editing is better than the remastered version!)
– Speaking of vids, if you like True Blood and/or Amanda Palmer, you will probably love Runs in the Family by mresundance. (Warning: LOTS of gore, and sex! But if you watch True Blood, these things should be self-evident.) On a more serious note, Afraid of Americans (vidder to be revealed) perfectly pairs David Bowie’s classic song with footage from Watchmen. “God is an American” has never seemed more unsettling or portentous, or been so deeply felt.

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yeah, I’m on vacation

All I really want to do is recommend you some vids, because, yo, I’m obviously not doing anything constructive on vacation, but perhaps this post should have some content. Or maybe not. At least, it’ll have some links.

– I love Dinosaur Comics. So, naturally, I also love fanstrips that address the Serious Issues of cultural appropriation and racism in dance moves. I think this may be a call to action, action in this case being a slumber party with Save the Last Dance, lots of alcohol, and critical analysis. Or maybe just some Bring It On.

– Apparently there are no good fanvids for Golden Girls. Well, I don’t believe that. None that I can find easily. This is frustrating.

– I actually recommended a fic to someone the other day with the endorsement, “It references Stanley Fish!”

– My church’s book club is reading Small Gods for January and Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bible! for February. Previously on Olga’s Church’s Book Club: Cat’s Cradle and The Poisonwood Bible. I am pleased. (I have not yet read Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bible!, and I keep getting it confused with Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains!, which I am fairly sure is not the same.)


Okay, done with content now! Vid recs, absurdist edition!

– As I said to my friend Mer, who is the target audience for this fic, “Christian Bale + Zefron = NO = yay!” “Bet on It” meets Newsies for a ludicrous Disneygasm.

– There is no way that the execution of “Harry Potter meets Snakes on a Plane” could ever have topped the concept, but my, does Dualbunny’s vid give it a run for its money. I have at best a tepid tolerance for the first four Harry Potter films, and neutral feelings about HP vidding, but this vid won me over.

– I have feelings about the first Twilight movie, feelings which mostly boil down to, “I am so glad that my friend Dallas bought this for me, because I would never have paid money for it, but it is the best excuse for drinking games ever.” (Sidenote: despite what the content of this post, and possibly the content of this blog, may suggest, I have never played a drinking game.) However, this vid has made me see that, deep inside this… this… I’m trying to find a synonym for “black hole” that doesn’t have disturbingly yoni-like connotations — this abominable snowman of a movie, there is actually a pretty hilarious film. From Cappy, “All Apologies”. Ah, Nirvana and Edward… a match made in heaven. I cried happy emo tears.


Next time on the blog: actual content, as opposed to a mashup of links I keep emailing my poor innocent best friend in France & my Twitter feed.

come with us now, if you will, gentle readers

So, I mention occasionally in this blog (and a lot more, in meatspace) that I spend a lot of time in Buffy fandom. Sometimes, this is greeted with “how totally cool, please link me up to your hot Spike/Buffy fanfic,” but more often, with bemused tolerance, and occasionally, rolled eyes. I actually suspect that more eyerolling goes on behind my back, but, you know, that’s ok. The point of this post is not the true love of Spike and Buffy (or Kirk and Spock, or Harry and Draco…). Rather, it’s transformative works. Although fanfiction is more what I do (since 1999, yo), this post largely focuses on vidding because it has a very interesting history and I think it’s more accessible to the outlander, if you will.

What is a transformative work? Well, I will give you the definition that the Organization for Transformative Works has in its FAQ, which I think is an excellent one:

A transformative work takes something extant and turns it into something with a new purpose, sensibility, or mode of expression.
Transformative works include but are not limited to fanfiction, real person fiction, fan vids, and fan art. The OTW is interested in all kinds of transformative works, but our priority will be to support and defend the types of works hosted in our archive, and the fans who create them. […]
The term transformative was specifically chosen to highlight in the nonprofit organization’s name one of the key legal defenses for fanworks of all kinds (including real person fiction): that they are transformative of original source materials.
A transformative use is one that, in the words of the U.S. Supreme Court, “adds something new, with a further purpose or different character, altering the source with new expression, meaning, or message.” A story from Voldemort’s perspective is transformative, so is a story about a pop star that illustrates something about current attitudes toward celebrity or sexuality.

andrew in buffy 7x16 storyteller

So, my gentle readers, you may be going, “why do I care about this” and/or “is this remotely related to feminism” and/or “is this remotely related to life,” but trust me, I am going somewhere with this.

Did you know that the 90% of fic writers publishing in Star Trek zines in 1973 were female? Star Trek is considered the foundation of contemporary fandom, and also the origin of vidding culture. In the early 1980s, female vidding collectives sprung up to meet the needs of early vid makers. Collaborative effort was necessary due to the time-intensive and cost-prohibitive nature of vidding in the early days of the VCR.

Check out “Women, Star Trek, and the early development of fannish vidding” by Francesca Coppa.

It’s not just Star Trek. Fan culture at large is not disproportionately female. But the culture surrounding fanworks, and the creators of fan works, has historically been female-driven and women-populated. (I am aware that this is not always the case these days – anime vidding fandoms? Might be dude heavy? But my point stands.) There’s even a TV Tropes page, because we all know that TV Tropes is the true arbiter of truths on the internet: Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls.

Why do women create fan works? Back to all that “transformative works” stuff. Women are challenging, editing, and changing popular culture because we’re not satisfied with it. Fanfiction and vidding are both fertile grounds for textual de- and re-construction, and for expressions of female desire. They’re also both powerful mediums for feminist critique. As someone who literally grew up in fandom (I started reading and writing Daria fanfiction when I was 12 – yes, I’m a little embarrassed), the strong, nurturing, and largely female community I found in fandom has been a huge part of my life. I met my best friend through fandom in 2001 – through her, I discovered and decided to attend [that place where I went to undergrad]. Every time I go to a new city, there’s someone I know and want to meet up with there. Nimbus 2003 was the summer before my junior year of high school. (And here I am Nimbus. Yeah… no explanations for that one.)

So, transformative works? Important.

If you are curious about vidding as feminist critique, here are a few vids you might check out:
She Walks by jmtorres (Dollhouse). Meta on rape culture; I just linked to it in my previous post.
Bachelorette by obsessive24 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Patriarchy in the Buffyverse. This video also showcases the epic racefail that is Joss Whedon, so forewarned is forearmed.
Origin Stories by giandujakiss (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). “It’s Nikki Wood’s fucking coat.” Criticism of the series’ handling of Spike and related epic racefail.

…the title links the vid to Donna Haraway’s feminist, antiracist critique of Western civilization’s origin stories in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women, much of which is based on a close reading of Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy; because superheroes have origin stories,and Slayers are superheroes, and so is Robin Wood; because the plural in the title makes you think, “Whose origin? Whose story?”; because there isn’t just one story, ever. Because I wanted to say, “Pay attention to whose stories don’t get told.”

ETA: Piece of Me by obsessive24 (Britney Spears) is a great example of a vid about celebrity culture working with non-narrative footage. obsessive24 is one of my favorite vidders, and her work is generally excellent – this is no exception. 🙂

the teaches of peaches

PEACHES, HOLY CRAP. Best show of my life, hands down. And I have been to many shows. Just not ones so… freakin’ badass. She crowdsurfed! I touched her knee! Also, seeing Peaches in a pink leather one-piece with giant sleeves of the future, standing on top of the crowd, singing? Three feet away from my FACE? Amazing.

I have many thoughts about the teaches of peaches, many of which are not for this blog. But something I do want to blog about – women performers in nude jumpsuits. Throughout the show, Peaches took off layers of one-pieces/leotards (and added crazy capes/jackets/armwarmers depending on the song). Finally, she got down to a nude, sleeveless bodysuit (also a tiny belt which had a flashing LED over her clit – but hey, it’s Peaches). Nude without being nude.

This might not be a post on its own, but I have also been listening to the new Dragonette album a lot this week. The title song, “Fixin to Thrill,” happens to have an exceedingly awesome (fourth-wall-breaking!) video in which the frontwoman, Martina Sorbara, wears a tight nude shirt and tights, and draws her silhouette/features on her body.

I’m really intrigued by this revealing-without-revealing, especially when considering Peaches, who has historically been known for flashing a lot of skin. The video I’m embedding below is one of her tamer ones (she and Iggy Pop kill zombies!), and yet I still hesitated about linking to it because I don’t think any of her videos are safe for work (no criticism here!). Yet Peaches is wearing more than, say, Britney Spears or Lady Gaga in this video – she has on a jacket, bra, and hot pants, and keeps the jacket on for the first half of the video. Her body is not perfectly toned, although it would be harder to be more perfectly toned than Iggy Pop in any case. Her lyrics are often sexual; in this as in many other videos, she grabs her crotch to assert that point.

Why are we afraid of a sexuality that’s not for us, one that’s not about eliciting our desire but about asserting hers? If a man were performing this role, would we find it objectionable? Why do I feel better about embedding “Kick It” than the video for “Set It Off,” in which Peaches simulates masturbation and has visible (and progressively more ridiculous) pubic hair?

Why are we equally surprised by a body that is both offered to us and denied to us, like Martina Sorbara’s in the video for “Fixin to Thrill” or Peaches’ costumes last night? A body which refuses our gaze and/or mocks it?

Thinky thoughts, for sure.

One last note: The first zombie that Iggy Pop pushes off is a skinny, blonde girl in a revealing bikini with a perfect, tanned body. I can’t help but think that was a deliberate choice.

of colds, romantic aspirations, sci-fi heroines, and DARK WILLOW

(Remember how I was like, I’m totally not going to talk about Buffy in this blog? That was a lie. But there is way less Buffy here than in my other blog, so there!)

My brain was totally on vacation last night, so I’m going to try to read the articles for today again before class. Colds are so annoying. Also, soy milk with Hershey’s Special Dark syrup? Cannot compare to the same with whole milk, but I am off the dairy sauce until I stop being so mucousy. For someone who loves dairy, this is akin to torture. MIIIIIILK. I could be in one of those ads.

Due to recent singleness, I have recently been pondering whether or not I should look for the qualities I think I want in a partner or embrace them for myself. I could be a butch, leather-wearing, motorcycle-riding Ph.D. candidate! Unfortunately, when I shared this with friends, they giggled and said, “Sorry, Olga. You are way too lipstick.”

That wasn’t even my problem with this plan. How I am going to ride a motorcycle if I don’t even drive a car?

I guess that’s going on the backburner.

Admittedly, as I expressed to my friend Rebecca, I’m pretty sure that my checklist is an improbable conflation of patriarchy blamin’, cradle Anglican, and Spike. Still, I’ll keep looking. There must be one out there. Maybe even one with a sexy accent. Who knows all the words to the secret handshake Easter hymn that I don’t even know all the words to.

I wrote an essay a while back, for a book collecting contest, about women in science fiction. I should probably track that down and post it, because it’s, uh, a HIGHLY AWESOME list.

In conclusion: I spent way too much time looking at Dark Willow fanvids last night in an effort to explain to my ex-boyfriend why Dark Willow is so much more badass than regular Willow, even if she is all veiny. (Although, problematic trope at in play here (see: Evil Magical Lesbian), which, while I think worked on the show – the show is in the context of real life, Joss! And real prejudice! Jeez.) Anyway, seriously, why are all of these fanvids SO BAD? Sigh. I guess I know what I’ll be doing once I get the hang of Adobe Premiere Pro (my project for the December intersession). Remember how I keep talking about conferences? VividCon is right here in Chicago in August and I am totally going to go. I am SO SAD that I missed the Bechdel test show this year!

a quick post

I’m about to leave for a pre-inaugral vacation to Ohio. In lieu of actual thought, I’ll share a nifty link and some exciting books + clothes I’ve acquired – more about them next update.
cool things of the now
cool things of the now by isthisironic

The shoes are a gift from my boyfriend (as is the vacation) – I must give him credit for knowing what a girl wants, what a girl needs, etc.

Cool video:
Jennifer 8. Lee: Who was General Tso? and other
mysteries of American Chinese food.