August 29, 2015

I'm on Odyssey!!!

Hi, all!

Just here to give you all an update about what's been going on. My sophomore year has started up here at WU, and I can already tell it's gonna keep me really, really busy. I don't know how much time I'll have to blog, and any long-term projects I have will have to be put on hold until Christmas break.

Luckily, I am now a writer for the online magazine The Odyssey, a web-based news and opinions site run by and for college students and millennials in general. It's Greek-life founded, but obviously you don't have to be in a frat or sorority to write for it or read it (obviously, I'm not in a fraternity, because y'know, I don't want to be associated with the word "douchebag" anymore than I already am).

My school's division of The Odyssey is brand new, so I'm pretty stoked to be a part of something at its inception. The staff is really awesome and so far they've been quite supportive and helpful. Anyway, if you want to check it out, there's some excellent material on the site. If you decide to read any of the material, please share it on your various social medias. I know that sounds like a plug, and I guess it is, but shares on Facebook is mainly how the site draws in viewers and keeps itself afloat (plus, depending on how many shares your article gets, it can be picked as one of the Top Articles, and I kinda want to get there!). I myself have written one article and have a few more lined up in the queue. Most of the current material I have is stuff that's been majorly or slightly reworked from previous posts here, but I'm hoping to branch out and do full-on original content once the school-year settles.

Anyway, I wanted to give you all a heads up about what's up, adn alert you to this exciting new opportunity for me.

August 6, 2015

Shadowcon Overviews- Buffy and the Strong Female Character, Part X


“I've seen the best and the worst of you, and I understand, with perfect clarity, exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You’re the one, Buffy.”

-Spike to Buffy in “Touched”

Still one of the most badass moments in the series!
I will be perfectly honest, after having finishedup Season One of Buffy for the first time, I was not optimistic about continuing the show. While I had of course read that it got better with most considering Season Two to be Buffy at its best (though I would hold up Season Five for that category) Season One really had very little in it that made me enjoy it. This had a lot to prove to me going forward, and fortunately, it succeeded… a lot! Going back and re-watching the show in its entirety after giving myself a break from both it and Firefly for a bit also helped me to appreciate it on a more objective level, and while not perfect, Buffy is a testament to the science fiction/fantasy genre that people are willing to see a show of this caliber and are willing to attempt to glean some meaning from the messages that the show conveys.

Buffy’s messages of woman empowerment, the breaking of gender norms, and especially female agency all mesh together almost seamlessly throughout the work, and the humanizing of the characters makes the show that much more compelling and helps those other elements not feel overt. It strikes that almost impossible-to-hit mark of how to tell a compelling woman empowerment story without relying solely on the “strong female character” stereotype or by relying on mere visuals to get its audience to understand its message. Buffy as a character holds up as one of the best examples of how to write a woman character not only as a role model for women in the sci-fi/fantasy/action genre, but also of how to write a woman character as a human being in that genre as well. Taking not only her physical aspects but also her emotional ones, her strength of character, her humor, her wit, her mind, her articulation of thought, and recognizing these qualities as a part of who we are as a people, helps make Buffy who she is and in-so-doing helps us connect with her on a far deeper level than we would if we were to just see her fight week after week.

Sarah Michelle Gellar actually seems to agree with my point that Hollywood has strayed from what made Buffy great, only focussing on the superficial aspects of the work and never capturing what made it tick. She stated in an interview with that she is actually quite dismayed about the specific effects that Buffy is having on the industry:

"There is only one curse and it’s not what people expect. The one curse is, as an actor, you get very spoiled because you think all female characters are going to be that exciting, that interesting, that flawed- and that’s really not the case in Hollywood. The show proved it was OK to have a strong female character, a heroine, on television. Wonder Woman was a Glamazon. She was beautiful and had jewelry. [But] Buffy was a human. As humans, we fight the horrors of our life to get through the day. It was an elevated drama, an elevated comedy, and a metaphor for the different parts of life."

And that's the difference. Buffy had novelty to it, absolutely, but it crafted itself out to be something better than that.