Limpet pits, Lochboisdale, South Uist 1953. (Werner Kissling)
Sooo, I found this photo on the Vintage Postcards Western Isles fb page and it reminded me of a story my father told me about his best friend.
A group of scientists of some sort (my father just called them ‘scientists’) were wanting to go over to Mingulay and therefore requested the man to take them over in his fishing boat. He took them over and when they arrived they found these little dips in the rock around the coastline. Puzzled, they spent the entirety of their time coming up with different hypotheses and theories as to what they were and how they were made. They were along the lines of something to do with a sea god, or an offering to the ocean for good weather or good fishing.
After spending the whole day there on the shoreline, not making it any further onto the island my father’s friend piped up ‘None of those ideas are what these are for. Do you want me to tell you?’ The scientists were rather snooty and disbelieving that a local fisherman would know anything, but condescendingly agreed. He picked up some winkles (limpets are feckin’ hard to get off a rock quickly) and put them in one of the dips, got a rock, smashed them up, then threw the mush out into the water. He turned round and said ‘It’s for when your fishing to try and attract the fish.’
Moral of the story: rather than thinking you know best because of your education and where you come from, ask about for local knowledge and you can spend your time actually doing something worthwhile rather than standing around discussing the religious symbolism of a limpet pit.
Reblogging because of the highlighted truth.
Person calls up on the phone.
“Does anyone there know about mirrors?”
*interesting witchy radar goes off*
“I know some things about mirrors. How can I help?”
-insert fairly normal story of moving into an old house with inheirited items and lots of “energies” bouncing around- Getting to the interesting part about while cleansing the place they felt like something was under this one table and instinctually decided to put a mirror with a candle ontop under the table. They go to remove said mirror and feel like they can’t.
“Like there is something in the mirror.”
“Well, sounds to me like you trapped something in that mirror. Mirrors can be portals and gateways as well as traps.”
-insert long but interesting conversation on some of the things they can do for the house and the mirror situation. Followed by good long conversation with in store customer on how you don’t HAVE to banish all enities from the house to have a peaceful house.-
All and all a great moment in my day. Plus now I want to do some real research on Mirror magic.
Reporter: So, why do you write these strong female characters?
Joss Whedon: Because you’re still asking me that question.
The question should be “Why do you write seemingly strong women and then punish them for that strength?” I see a lot of characters in this set who got shit on by Joss not to mention at least one actress he fired for the crime of getting pregnant.
A friend of mine likes to challenge “Joss Whedon, Feminist” acolytes to name a female character on Buffy who doesn’t die or go crazy.
I feel like this game could be expanded to find lead female characters who don’t die, go crazy, or lose a loved one in a gruesome way as part of their suffering. Bonus points if they get to the end without anyone threatening to rape them or trying to rape them. There has to be at least one right?
If we include those, we may as well be playing bingo. Joss Whedon’s female characters’ punishments: collect them all!
Who gets mind wiped? Who gets beaten? Who watches everything she ever loved burn? It’s a game for all ages! Bonus points for the ones who die without ever having gotten to live!
I might have feelings about Kendra. A lot of them.
Goddamit, and now I feel compelled to do an actual tally of his original female characters, albeit offhand and from memory. So:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy - two deaths, one rape threat, one attempted rape, two sexual assaults, one dead parent.
Willow - one rape threat, two breaks with sanity, one dead girlfriend.
Cordelia - damselled about a billion times, one attempted forced marriage.
Anya - one rape threat, dead.
Tara - dead.
Kendra - dead.
Faith - multiple breaks with sanity.
Ms Calender - dead.
Joyce - dead.
Dawn - one attempted forced marriage, one dead parent.
Darla - dead.
Drusilla - multiple breaks with sanity.[I don’t know enough about angel, I cut this part]
Kaylee - one rape threat.
River - multiple breaks with sanity.
Zoe - one dead husband.
Inara - one threat of sexual assault.[I don’t know enough about doll house, I cut this part]
I should probably leave this hornet’s nest alone. But I’m pissed off right now, because today I learned people think Joss Whedon is sexist for putting his female characters through the wringer.
As if a fundamental part of the hero’s journey isn’t suffering, having loved ones die, or dying themselves. As if he doesn’t do that to EVERYONE he writes. Here are some of his male characters’ trials, in the same form as above (and this is just the stuff I remember off the top of my head):
Giles - one dead lover/dear friend, brutally tortured at least once
Xander - one threat of sexual assault, implied childhood abuse, at least one break with reality (that made him leave Anya at the altar), one dead lover, loses an eye
Spike - sexually assaulted by his mother, attempted forced marriage (the same spell that got Buffy), brutally tortured, at least one break with sanity, one death
Riley - turned into a meat puppet by
Angel - tortured in hell, at least one death, lots of other stuff I don’t remember because Angel bores me
Wash - brutally tortured, dead
Mal - brutally tortured
Book - dead
And what do I see when I look at the female characters listed above?
Buffy - survives the series with a hopeful heart, comes up with a plan to break an explicitly patriarchal tradition, saves the world a lot, allowed to be flawed and messy and still strong
Willow - survives the series, finds love again after the death of her soulmate, grows from an awkward high school girl to a junkie to the most powerful witch in history
Dawn - survives the series, grows from an annoying little sister to a competent young woman
Faith - survives the series, seemingly a “bad girl” stereotype who actually has depth and a compelling misled-by-evil-(and-love) —> redemption arc
Cordelia - seemingly a “shallow girl” stereotype who actually has depth and comes through when her friends need her despite being out of her element
Anya - a former monster who switches sides, finds and loses love but consciously steps away from deadly coping mechanisms, can run a store better than Giles, illuminates humanity in compelling ways
Tara - shy and unassuming, wise and compassionate and forgiving. She can’t beat up monsters, but that’s okay, she’s still part of the team.
For fuck’s sake. It’s supernatural genre television, not tiptoeing through fields of daisies. People will die. People will be threatened. Sometimes it will happen as a plot device. If you write a lot of female characters (I saw something earlier like the percentage of women in primetime shows is like 17%, which Whedon obviously blows out of the water), a lot of them are going to have horrible things happen to them.
But what Whedon does that’s so different from most is he writes female characters as people. He doesn’t portray stereotypical femininity and strength as mutually exclusive. He shows that physical strength isn’t the only “real” strength they can have. He gives them diverse personalities and shows how they’re all powerful and weak in their own way. He lets them grow and evolve organically. He lets them be compelling villains. He lets them be sympathetic victims. He lets them be fearless warriors for good. Sometimes all three. He lets them make horrible mistakes and successfully atone for them. He shows them suffering for plot-related reasons, doesn’t shy away from the after-effects (versus, say, Deanna Troi in TNG - so much of the stuff that happened to her was gratuitous) and shows them getting back up.
Also, don’t you dare pretend Joyce’s death can be reduced to part of some anti-feminist pattern (for three separate characters, no less. And the fact that Buffy even had a parent in the first place is unusual for the hero archetype). That kind of thing actually happens in the real world, it was handled with incredible sensitivity and realism, and watching Buffy and Dawn go through the grieving process is something many people relate to intensely. It’s fantastic writing. It’s good conflict. It’s good television.
If anyone is writing off Joss’ female characters, it’s you. It’s the people who act like these characters are little more than a list of tragic and biased casualties, and fuck everything else they accomplish.
^*slow claps it out*
Oh my God.
Thank you. I have been told a million times that Joss is anti-feminist and every time I’ve tried to argue against that but I haven’t been able to do it this magnificently.
Thank you. I have heard the argument that he is anti-feminist because his female characters go through hell….
They do know this is a Joss Whedon project we’re talking about, right? 90% of the time, EVERYONE is going through absolute emotional hell, no matter what their gender.
And that includes the audience.
A great way to show that your characters are strong is by testing that strength through trials. In stories that are surrounded by death and suffering, why would the main characters be immune?
THIS POST MAKES ME HAPPY IN EVERY SINGLE WAY
I have to say I saw the orginal post that posited Joss being anti-feminist in his treatment of his female characters. My response was a disgusted snort and “He tortures all his characters.” followed by some intense feels about how the ups and downs of these women were what made them great. It is what made them human and not just “female”.
Needless to say other people have put my feels far more eloquently and thus i can only stand back and nod approvingly.
- Valar Morghulis.
- Yes, all men must die, but we are not men.
I call to Catubodua, mother of battle,
mother of victory, as fierce and fond as any
whose children ever wept. Catubodua!
The raven’s cry is yours, O goddess, razor-sharp,
and the unceasing gaze of that black-winged soul;
yours are the farmlands, the fields of grain long rooted
in the blood-fed soil, yours are the peaks that cleave the land,
yours the voices of the faithful, echoing
through mount and vale. Your lands are lovely, goddess,
as radiant and rare as any in all the world,
a beauty torn from sorrow, built upon joy.
Catubodua, I offer my words of praise.
Untitled, John William Godward
I use an antique hand mirror as part of my Goddess devotional shrine.
I am currently in search of a good hand mirror and brush set.
Just seems like a damn useful witchy tool.
Also I adore this painting.
Hippo Bowl by Erin Nightwalker
(Yes you can drink from it. It was made as an interactive devotional item. Semi-inspired by Kemeticism.)
This is the most amazing fucking thing I’ve ever seen! I’m not really a hippo person but omgs this would be so amazing in a horse motif.
Loving all the ceramics you’re posting lately :)
If you still have room I’m game. What do I need to do career wise?
A past crossroads lead you to the present, which is a sort of limbo state. You’ve got all sorts of potential built up but you lack a push to get it going in the right direction (or any direction, really. Like trying to go 100 mph in the middle of gridlock traffic.) Once you get that push, you’ll be in…. yet another crossroads. Take advantage of the mix of peoples and energies this provides. It may never have the same mix again, so grab it with both hands.
You’ve got several things going in your favor. Good luck in material concerns, success from “children” (whether actual children or brainchilds, so to speak,) and some sort of protection from outside dangers. Also, you have a very very stable foundation to build off of; the Underground likes you and supports you. If you got anymore grounded you would cause rolling blackouts wherever you went.
Pay close attention to news in your local area, particularly from close friends and family. Networking will be your friend. (Also a possibility of some sort of windfall or opening from non-family, friend or not.) There is a strong indication of an ending in the employment area, but an ending that may not be all bad. Grab the dragon by the tail and see where it swings you- the change may do you good.
The only really bad point (since you managed to get good fortune from death, for which I say mad props to you), and it is a strongly bad point, would be a nice big helping of sorrow, suffering, and pain in the fears section. Which I take to mean you are going to doubt yourself and your choices quite a bit. Which is understandable; there is no solid ground readily apparent in this reading. Nothing is screaming “TURN HERE FOR HAPPY ENDING” at me. And while limbo doesn’t go anywhere, it also doesn’t end badly. But I think if you can dance through the crossroads with the help of those you hold dear (and maybe a few surprise visitors), you will like where you end up.
Hope that helps. Feedback is appreciated, whether I got it right or wrong (actually, especially if I got it wrong.)
Well this is all around an interesting reading. Sorry no points to tell you that you are totally off. Really just confirmed my own instincts, which is good for my sanity as I was really going round and round as to whether the “limbo” was real or just me not fully extending myself.
The paying attention to the news in my area is a bit of advice that I wouldn’t have thought about and am grateful for.
The bit about the Underworld…I’ll just file that away and make sure to keep the offerings coming.
Thank you. Seriously it’s good to get outside check in’s from people that aren’t intricately in the know about things. I’ll keep on keeping on. One challenge at a time.
Much Ado About Nothing Trailer (2013)
So let me get this straight. The guy who brought us Serenity is bringing us a Shakespeare movie replete with Shakespeare lingo but with modern everything? Did someone’s high school teacher pay him to do this?
Are any of you excited about this? And after the Romeo & Juliet thing, is this the year of the Shakespeare remake?!
This looks awesome.
LOOKIT ALL THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!!!! IT’S A FUCKING WHEDON-REUNION ALL UP IN HERE!!