Archive | October, 2013

Thoughts on the RWB’s The Handmaid’s Tale

21 Oct

Based on a Novel by Margaret Atwood

That’s what it says on my ticket

When I got there, my brain immediately went, “Maybe a ballet based on a science-fiction speculative fiction novel with a theme of oppression – specifically women’s reproductive rights wasn’t the best birthday present for mom.” But she loved it. She wasn’t familiar with the source material, but she got the idea. (And before anyone yells at me about being selfish– I’d forgotten they were doing this – I walked into buy the tickets in last month looking for tickets to the next show for her birthday, and the other show was contemporary dance).

Yeah. I haven’t read the novel in a few years but I’ve studied it enough that I didn’t need a refresher. I was just lucky I got off work in time to make the drive so I didn’t have to give up my spot to someone else. (I bought tickets for the Sunday Matinee, but it was mom’s birthday and she wanted Saturday night, so it was tight but whatever).

I’d say I know next to nothing about dance, but I then thought about all the things I know very little (such as string theory) so I’ll throw out that I’m not one to talk about choreography or whatever – but I thought the dancing was beautiful – the music was spot on and I loved the costumes/staging. The story was for the most part very faithful – it got the main ideas across, however, I think it went for more universal themes than specifics; at no time did I get the idea that religion was being used as propaganda, nor did I get the idea that someone was being called ‘unwoman’ at any time in the play – in fact, even though the themes were updated, there was still a classic look of the Nazis (both as the commander and his men, the wives had that 40’s look, as well as the Jezebels had remarkably flapperesque dresses), references to 1984 were made in the synopsis guide, and in a way, I think that’s necessary. Way back whenever I took my stylistics course, one of my fellow students did her final project on adaptation from novel to musical and while I think that there is something to be said for in that novels can, by their nature, be more subjective to interpretation than other forms of medium, at the time I just thought it was about people putting their spin on a story, now I think it’s more about embracing the interpretive medium’s strengths. Not always, of course, but even though I’d say that the ballet adaptation of the story did a very good job and, it would probably be less polarizing to say the least.

So normally I’d tell you to go and see it, but the last show was yesterday and I’m not sure if it’ll be done again. The theatre was packed on Saturday, but I have no idea how often they rotate through shows or if it’ll be done again by any other theatre company.

I didn’t take any pictures, but you can looksie here


Dragon! / Moar Goodreads thoughts

7 Oct

Sorry for the promise of discussions and dropping off the face of the earth – between this cold, my ACLS course and family goings on, I’ve been a busy little goomba. Also, been planning for C4 Comic Con so that’s been taking up a huge chunk of my time – here’s the finished picture of the dragon I commissioned Ingrid Glaw to do for the con (B & W), scaled down to fit most browsers:


And here’s the picture colored by the very talented Jazmyn:


So I played around with it, here’s some of the rejected designs for the temp tattoo:


And here’s the one that we’re going to have at C4:


I actually was wanting to do “Climb the Tower” in that grey-to-black font, but the guys hated it, so I decided to go with something that just says the title and is easy to see. Well – we’ll see if it’s easy to see – the tattoo s only about 2”x2”, so let’s just say yay for learning. At the very least, people will have a nice dragon tattoo with some blurry writing on it.

So yeah – I know there was mass exodus on Goodreads towards Book likes and people have been instead writing reviews in protest of the new rules, which is… interesting. I think a lot’s been said that doesn’t need to be repeating, so I think I’ll just finish it off with a few thoughts:

If, by the method of “I’m going to rate this book because I don’t like the content/author” would the inverse apply? Such as, “The writing was trash, but it supports my cause.” Or “This author was really cool and went over my manuscript with me – their book is awesome-sauce. Have I read it? NOPE.”

As far as I can tell – it’s never good for an artist to really get involved with the mechanics of why people say this or that. And while I’d prefer it if people judged the book based on the mechanics and/or how well it’s done, I think one cannot overlook the content – I mean, it’s part of the overall package. I might be the best darn waffle-decorating chef, but I still need a waffle to decorate. (I am not a waffle decorator, btw). That being said, I still think every individual is entitled to their opinion, even if that opinion is objectively incorrect. It is solely their opinion – and I know there have been things I don’t like that I’ll defend because the person critiquing them is critiquing them stupidly. I think the only danger here lies in when fandom starts attacking other members of that fandom – and while I think that it’s not reasonable to assume everyone will get along all the time, I still think that if Goodreads wants to remain neutral territory where anyone can comment or critique anything, that at the very least this discussion about censorship is a step in the right direction. I still think producers of art and receivers of art can be in the same space, and I think a big part of that is that the artist has to accept that people will interpret their art on an individual level every time.