Wednesday, September 21, 2011
What Do I Like?
I was listening to a book, and wondering why I was not thrilled with it. It's one of those with a were pack and fae and vamps. The kind of stuff I don't mind, but find that I'm just not attracted to. There is something about the dynamic of the pack, I thought. Reminds me of...
Friends, 90210, The Office, my neighborhood coffee place. Intratribe drama. Only I hadn't come to that word yet, drama. I still had to figure out what else there was, what I did like.
I am also listening to In the Shadow of the Glacier: A constable Molly Smith novel by Vicki Delany. It has the potential to be just as lethargic a novel with its small town cast, but it isn't. I want to know more about the main characters and what happens to them. Yes, it's a mystery, but that's not it either.
My introduction to urban fantasy was Charles de Lint's Someplace to be Flying. another small town, packs of sorts, ravens, but I didn't put it down. It could have been the nature of the creatures he brought into the world, the mythology he plundered. His fae are still the standard for me. But, reading his other works, I didn't fall headlong into the world. So, it's not the genre, not the people.
Looking at stories, movies where there are "packs" and battles I thought of X-men. I would not have thought much of the movie without Hugh Jackman's Wolverine. But, I loved the cartoon where they were teenagers. There was meaning there. There was humanity there. Purpose and something personal. Not for me, necessarily, but for the characters. Things mattered.
Avatar, The Last Airbender, the movie, no. But the series it was based on? Definitely yes. It got me fired from a job I fell into it so deeply from the first episode. It's so rich I have to pace myself. So, what does Avatar have in common with Glacier?
Irreverence. It's the opposite of the drama of the wolf pack novel. The opposite behavior to taking oneself and the events of ones life so seriously that we cannot make fun of it. Not that we have to laugh at everything. That's not what I mean. I see the irreverence of the stories I like best as presenting us at our most human, at our most courageous and vulnerable. Yes, there is a time for deadly seriousness, for being scared so witless that there is nothing to say or do about it but stay pinioned to the moment and survive. It's the next thing. The thing you do after that, that matters.
For me, that thing is to look it in the eye and ask for my prezzie. I earned it.
Posted by Melanie at 9:48 AM