Metapost: Deconstruction Voting Results

If you're a regular reader of this site (and I sincerely hope you are, because it's a very nice site, even if I do say so myself), you have probably noticed that I like pictures, particularly little thumbnail pictures to go with posts. Now, they aren't always particularly relevant pictures, but in the cases where the relevancy isn't immediately apparent, I do at least try to make sure they are funny pictures.

In posting the deconstruction vote results, I wanted to find a picture that would neatly encapsulate the concept of "protest" or "riot" or "anarchy" to really bring home the point that while I'm terribly worried that at least some of you will hate me for either (a) not choosing the series you voted for or (b) choosing a series that you would have liked to vote against or (c) both, it is at least your right to hate me for those things and I don't want you to feel guilty for having feelings that make me feel guilty. (I come from a family that serves every decision with a nice, thick dollop of guilt, you see. It's like whipped cream, but with more sad.)

Unfortunately, all the pictures I found for "protest" and "riot" and "anarchy" were really quite glum and not light-hearted at all, which in retrospect is not terribly surprising. I briefly considered giving up, but no, my readers deserve a good picture for their metapost. And then I hit paydirt with "dissent" - an adorable kitty cat reared up and captioned very appropriately with a statement encompassing respect, disagreement, and the respectful voicing of disagreement. Perfect!

Then I read further. Oh no, Ana, I said to myself. You can't use that picture on your site! It has a Swear! I was crushed. I considered editing the picture in MS Paint, but it just didn't feel right - someone went to a lot of trouble to insert that Swear on their poster and here I was coming along Photoshopping it off, without even the dignity of actually using Photoshop. No, I decided, I had to either post the picture in its entirety or not at all. And looking into those cute cat eyes (like liquid amber!), I knew what I had to do.

So if you've lost your innocence today at the hands of my metapost picture, I do truly apologize, but I hope the adorableness of a kitty cat standing up for his (her?) deeply-held beliefs makes up for your loss somewhat.

Alright, results time, people!

I was absolutely astounded at how Chronicles of Narnia galloped onto the field and swept all its opponents 'neath its mighty feet, or at least I was until Husband pointed out that it's the only thing on the poll that anyone has ever heard of. That hurt a little - it's always quite shocking for me to realize that not everyone watches anime every week like we do - but I suppose I could just soothe my feelings by calling myself avant garde and hope that no-one disagrees with me.

At any rate, I was pretty thrilled that Chronicles of Narnia was doing so well and I was already planning posts in my head until something like half my regular commenters weighed in to explain what an utterly bad idea that would be, and even Husband was all, "Hasn't that been done before?" Despondency set in and I had to go snuggle Primary Cat for at least five minutes while he relentlessly squeaked to be let go. (Don't feel too bad for Primary Cat - when you do let him go, he squeaks to be picked back up.)

The ultimate answer, really, is that yes the Chronicles of Narnia have been done before. As far as I can tell, they've been done in pieces here and there all over the interwebs, but they have been done. They've been done so much that there is also apparently a Neil Gaiman slash-fic of it, even. (I haven't read it yet; I need to.)

So why do it again? Well, the obvious answer is that in my narcissism, I think I can do it better, or - and this is probably closer to the truth - I think I can add some new insights to the pile. I also think I can do it from a slightly different perspective - a lot of the existing critique of the Chronicles of Narnia is either an attack from people who don't appreciate the viewpoint of the source material (Gaiman, Pullman, etc.), or apologetics from people who very much identify with the material in this series and don't want to hear anything "bad" about.

I feel like I can bring a third point of view: although I don't agree with all the tenets expressed in the books, I used to, and I think that I can respectfully discuss the material presented without arguing from a position of ignorance or anger.

("But, Ana," you are thinking, "did you not clearly state in the poll thread that you were going to be an angry liberal pagan feminist strawman about all the CoN theology?" Well, yes, I did. Because I suspect that at least some of what I write will seem that way to some readers, just as it will seem that way to some readers when someone tallies up a mathematical fact about how many times girls speak in Dr. Seuss books. But whether the subject is Narnia or Twilight, it's not my goal to tear down the literature so much as to take it apart and examine it closely.)

So, based on all this, I've decided to honor the poll as planned and run a Chronicles of Narnia deconstruction series. But! I am also very much aware that at least some of you are not interested in reading about that particular series in the slightest. So we're also going to do a runner-up, but this is one that I'm going to pick myself, and that is: Claymore. (The vote-based runner-up would have been The Path and I still plan to do that one at some point, but Husband pointed out that I need to get some better video capture software for the game sequences, so that's on the back-burner at the moment. Plus, I really want to do Claymore and I'm Chaotic-aligned, so there's that.)

So here's how this will play out:

Twilight posts will continue on a weekly basis as we go through line-by-line. I'm on a cloud right now because we just finished chapter 1 of Twilight and to be honest I wasn't sure if that was going to ever happen, ha. I think the weekly posts have worked out very nicely and though I've had to scramble a bit to make the posts happen on time every week, for the most part it's worked out very well. We'll see how long I can go without missing a week, knock-on-wood, cross-your-fingers, etc. *grins*

Chronicles of Narnia posts will go up on a whenever-I-feel-like-it basis. This will hopefully work out to two posts a month, but I'm not making any promises on that one. But before you get too disappointed, remember that at two chapters a month we're almost guaranteed to finish the entire series before I get to the end of the Twilight saga. How's that for perspective? I will be doing the CoN series in Published Order, not Chronological Order, and you can read more about the difference here. (I'll have a longer post about this later.)

Claymore posts will follow a similar when-I-get-to-it posting schedule but again the plan is two posts a month. Each Claymore post will follow a single episode of the anime series, and if I can find that episode on YouTube, I'll link to the video in the post, but I can't guarantee the link will stay active for any length of time. If you're interested in following along with the deconstruction, I highly recommend either buying the Blu-ray on Amazon that I have (or the DVD, which I think is the same, but haven't verified it) or renting the series from Netflix or Blockbuster.

Probably neither of these new series will start for at least a couple of weeks because I want to re-read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe again before I start gabbing off about it. And also I'm kind of busy with another Super Secret Mystery Project that I hope to inflict on you before the year ends.

In closing, I love all of you readers so very much and if you were here right now I'd totally let you pet Auxiliary Backup Cat. (You can't pet Primary Cat because he bites strangers. Sorry.) I hope that nobody gets fed up and leaves over the new deconstructions and I do hope that everyone can find something to enjoy about the new posts. I'm absolutely thrilled to have 119 people vote in this poll (and I encourage all of you who aren't currently subscribed with Google Reader to do so in order that I might continue to gurgle happily over my subscription numbers), and I hope that you all continue to stick around for the good times ahead.

And - again - I do apologize sincerely for the Swears.


Ana Mardoll said...

@sandeagozu:disqus There's no shame in being perpetually twelve. :D

I hadn't heard of The Magicians. How interesting - I'll have to add that to my Check To See If The Library Has It list. Thank you!

BrinBellway said...

renting the series from Netflix or Blockbuster.

I thought Blockbuster was shutting down due to being made completely obsolete by Netflix. My family are apparently about the only people in the county who haven't switched over, and when Dad returned some movies a few days ago he said they'd stopping renting more out in preparation for going out of business. Maybe only some Blockbusters are doing that?

(and I encourage all of you who aren't currently subscribed with Google Reader to do so in order that I might continue to gurgle happily over my subscription numbers)

I really should get some sort of blog-feed service, as my bloglist is getting rather long and unwieldy. Maybe after dessert I'll look into it. (Time for mint chocolate chip ice cream.)


hapax said...

 -- I admit to no mixed feelings about The Magicians.  I got about a third of the way through before I decided that the unending subtext of "Look how CLEVER and EDGY I am!" made my teeth hurt.

In a way, I prefer to read someone like S Meyer.  As clumsy and awkward and jejune as her writing may be, I never got the feeling that the author was sitting on my shoulder, constantly awaiting admiring applause.

Ana Mardoll said...

BrinBellway We get Blockbuster in the mail via subscription service. Husband wanted to stream Netflix but back when we tested it out, it seemed we couldn't get captions with the movies and those are mandatory. I don't know if that's changed, though - seems like they'd have to...

@fa009241bbd15ee840d21056d1306fb2 This is why I cannot watch most Quentin Tarantino movies. I feel like he's on the couch, looking at me every few seconds, saying "This is GENIUS! Why aren't you impressed?!?" XD

Cupcakedoll said...

Or you could deconstruct the game entirely in video, as a "Let's Play" on Youtube.  If you've never watched one of these, they're great-- someone with a screen-video-thingy and a microphone plays through a game and talks about it.  Some are better than others.
 Here's one of my favorites.  And if that link doesn't work, could someone point me at how to do links on disqus? I swear I did look... -_-

Are those the real names of your cats?  'Cause they're great! 

I'm of two minds about CoN deconstruction.  they are precious childhood memories so I'm not enthusiastic, but they are the choice most likely to produce wise and illuminating thoughts.  I voted Deathlands, knowing they're LEAST likely to produce pearls of wisdom.  Part of the fun is trying to figure out what the author was thinking to write the story that way.  getting into Meyer's head is fascinating.  Getting into the Deathlands authors' heads... I don't think they thought anything beyond "Sex, check! Violence, check! Token mutant, check! etc..."  Not terribly deep.

aravind said...

I haven't read the other comments yet, so I'm sorry if I'm just echoing someone else's point. 

I really agree with "I think I can do it better, or - and this is probably closer to the truth - I think I can add some new insights to the pile" because you've produced the only deconstruction of Twilight (and believe me, those are everywhere) that I've really followed at all (the pseudo-exceptions being Cleolinda's when I gave up on actually reading the blasted books for myself and a really brief one that focused on Mormon elements in them - both of which were more recaps with minimal commentary). 

And - it's time to feed your ego - I think you've really hit the nail on the head by saying that you don't want to do shame carrots towards the Chronicles or apologist for them. You will get negative, you've said so yourself, but from an incredibly constructive perspective. This is what has made your series so far on Twilight uniquely wonderful - you're not afraid to look at how Bella victimizes others and how others victimize Bella. 

So, I want to say, admittedly as one of the people who voted for the Chronicles, is that I'm really looking forward to this and think you're going to do a great job. We'll work on Twilight until the heat death of the universe, and then finish up with smores and the Chronicles and all sorts of new series that you'll be introducing us to (Claymore! Path! Wither?). Huzzah!

aravind said...

PS: Oh yeah, swears. I think you also do a good job on that. As Amaryllis said, if you hadn't mentioned it, I don't think I'd have noticed (since I also had to enlarge it to find out. MUST KNOW OF THE SWEARS). 

Kit Whitfield said...

Yep, I think you'll probably do it better. Your deconstructions are marvellous. :-)

Ana Mardoll said...

@309c56667ee9b28daec59e51eb5bc586:disqus I LOVE Laura Bow, I'll have to watch that! :D

@3dc9010c14ba63b9ac79a372ed6b39f3:disqus Thank you so much - your post was such a lovely thing to wake to this morning!

@cd0530057279e9a2c64d1ba16e7443a8:disqus Haha, thank you for catching that - I've corrected that. (Maybe the tenets take up space in your head and BECOME tenants? Hmmm. :P )

@Kit_Whitfield:disqus And thank you, too!

Kish said...

I'm glad you decided to do the Chronicles of Narnia after all. Looking forward to it.

BrinBellway said...

 Randy Owens: Unless you're referring to [...] certain Doctor Who actors

That would still be wrong. Tennant has a double-n.

Randy Owens said...

 I am well aware of that.  My point was that that ("Tennant") would still be not-"tenet", rather than being almost exactly what the usual misspelling is.  Plus, I find that people might not take my pedanticism so poorly if I find a way to introduce a bit of levity, which I was hoping that might do.

Hyperio said...

Thank you for going with Claymore - I am looking forward for the deconstruction!

I am also interested in what elements of Chronicles of Narnia you like best.

Pamela Merritt said...

I didn't vote because I'm new here, but I look forward to this deconstruction as something I do remember from childhood. But it is not necessarily a cherished memory, because I was attending a Christian Academy, and it was mostly a weird experience.

Excellent backdrop, actually.

Mnemosani said...

Aw. I was really hoping for a place to talk about The Path. No one else I know has ever played it. And it so incredibly strange, it really needs to be thoroughly discussed. Good luck with Narnia.

Charlotte Griffin said...

I, at least, didn't vote for Narnia because I'd heard of it before, I voted for Narnia because I've STRUGGLED with it before. I love Lewis, and I loved the books--but when I read "The Last Battle" as an adult, I want to go kick him. There's a lot there.

Charleen Merced said...

I'm so glad you are doing Claymore. Would be great to set a date and time and watch it together and talk about it. Jeez...I think I have been using IRC too much lately. Scratch what I said after "Would be.."

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