My Anxiety & My Magic – Part II

Magic has been banished to the past. It has been overshadowed by science and its meaning twisted to fiction rather than fact. Humanity has voiced magic for millennia. I like to believe magic is within us all, only we’ve forgotten how to invoke it. When I call out my mental illnesses, voicing to the world their impact on my body, my pain is allayed. That is the magic through words and declarations. We need to be open to magic, and let it flow.

Throughout my life, I appeared to be a happy and contented human. However, I was not always a happy child, nor teenager or young adult. This passage I present to you is not to lay blame, there is no magic in blame. There is magic in self-reflection, and I am lucky to have been a writer for most of my life. I can look into the past to see myself, who says magic is impossible? My writing wasn’t for others, most of the writing appeared in a diary form, for comfort and understanding. Now I am more or less comfortable in my own skin, and maybe that only happens after a certain age. I can’t help feeling my rediscovery of magic helped.

Below are excerpts from a diary between 2007-2008 when I was 17. I was in my first year of college, and unlike most, I was miserable. I’ve decided to post it for me at 27 before I turned 28 next week, so I could see a girl who was hurting. Writing these entries was the only way she could soothe her sores. I want you to know that I don’t hurt nearly as much or as often anymore. The emotions that caused these fragments are no longer my master. Their control has weakened, and although I am still not fully formed, I know who I am. I look into the past to see, someone who is no longer me, because now I have compassion for her. When I was her, I could not forgive her and her demons. It’s calming to see how I formed, not just through my happy moments, but through adversity. In between class notes, and assignments, I wrote the following words.

2007

“Observe and learn. I’m wearing my ring the right way around, and I’m running, not walking down one way.” – 16.10.07

“I’m running away, but I don’t get that far, the blue calls me back, and the voice is my scar.” – 18.10.07

“I just need to get some stuff out of my system. I haven’t eaten… I’ve bruises on my wrist, I know how I got them.” 19.11.07

“Soon everything will work out right? It has too, I’m trying to be strong (failing miserably), but it seems I’m failing in every aspect of my life.” 19.11.17

There is this Othello quote, I need to include it because I was with someone I wasn’t in love with. I was so young I didn’t understand that consciously, but my unconscious self-connected with these words for a reason:

“My love doth so approve him, That even in his stubbornness, his cheek, his frowns… have grace and favour in them.” Desdemona. Act 4. Scene 3. Line 20.

“Can’t wait for my days to be over.” – 22.11.07

“I feel like someone beat me up and left me to die.” – 27.11.07

“The pain! I’ve pains everywhere lately. Chest, stomach, head. Stress is a killer.” – 27.11.07

“I’m in the study room again. I really like it in here, it’s quiet, warm, and you don’t look like a freak for being alone.” – 4.12.07

“I wish I was home with the 3 idiots I live with. Idiots only in the sense that I love them to bits and they’re really special. I miss them too. I miss home.” – 4.12.07

I guess I understood cause and effect when I was 17 but often choose to ignore it:

“I haven’t eaten in a while so that’s why I assumed it had something to do with how crappy I felt. That or the fact that maybe I’d too much to drink last night.” – 17.12.07

2008

“We have to live and grow. Some things have to happen as a natural part of the process. See the concept is crystal but the execution is elusive, and mostly the result is resounding. Either in a very good heart-warming way or, just killing every good thought you have that day. Or week.” 11.02.08

“I hope we don’t fail. I think that should be the motto. Or maybe something a little more uplifting? I believe that failure is not a factor.” – 11.02.08

“I can’t stop writing complete waffle. There has to be something good and worthwhile in all this crap.” – 11.02.08

“I’m confused, really I wish this was all over.” – 13.02.08

“I see the desert red, in my mind it helps, you stand.” 13.02.08

“The blanks and the blanks are just part of that process.” 14.02.08

“As a story begins, so does the whole new world. Growing so fast.” 21.02.08

“Can’t control it. I’m not the only one whose ever felt this way, but you’d have to feel this way to understand.” – 3.04.08

“You know I probably wouldn’t have gotten through this year, if it hadn’t been for this journal. It gave me solace, and a place to voice my thoughts. I’m so glad Mam and Dad gave it to me.” – 23.04.08

“I actually don’t know if all of this is good or bad for my state of mind. I’ll just have to hope it has a strengthening effect on it. It was always fairly week before, I always wished it could be stronger.” 23.04.08

Listen to this poor scared girl:

“It’s 20 to 1 in the morning. I’m sitting on my bed, near tears but none will come. I’m sick, of the mind. I wish my mind would shut up, stop haunting me. I hate human feelings, they are human right? Not the issue, I can’t let go, I’m afraid, so afraid of people leaving, of not seeing and loving what I have, please, please take me away, give me some purpose, you don’t owe it to me but I owe it to you. I can do good, I can learn how to do good, I’m not evil, I’m normal. Sad and normal. It’s extraordinary people that achieve. It’s all relative, I just want to achieve good. Is darkness affiliated with evil because people can’t see what’s really happening? If so the world must be shrouded in darkness and it continues to fall until the world is pitch darkness.” 02.05.08

“These are not my words.” – 02.04.08

Here she is, in all her pain and glory:

My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic
My Anxiety & My Magic

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Same Time, Same Place

Episode Name: “Same Time, Same Place.”

Season: 7

Episode: 3

Writer(s): Jane Espenson

Director: James A Contner

Quote of the Episode: Anya: “Spike’s insane in the basement.”

Screenshot of the Episode:

Capture19.PNG

Willow & Anya

Summary:

Willow returns to Sunnydale after a summer spent with Giles in England, as rehabilitation for her good girl gone bad incident of the previous season. She arrives with no one to greet her, because her friends can’t see her. Then a dead body turns up, and it’s been skinned. Willow scrambles to prove it wasn’t her by defeating the demon, but her invisibility leaves her at his peril.

Analysis:

This episode was more frightening to me than the perennial favourite Hush Capture5ever was. Yes, Hush was nominated for an Emmy, and yes its gang of demons were particularly disconcerting. For me though, Gnarl has a special place as a creature that grab you in the dark, when you’re all alone. He is the scariest villain produced by the entire series, and this episode is always uncomfortable for me to watch.

Gnarl: “All alone. Are you frightened to be all alone?”

Although I’ve seen this episode many times, I noticed something this time around. When Buffy, Dawn, and Xander arrive home without Willow, they are discussing her disappearance. They’ve spoken to Giles about it and he feels bad for letting her return before she was ready. Then Dawn says this, “So Giles is blaming Giles, and we’re blaming us, *sighs* is anyone going to blame Willow?” Buffy gives Dawn a look of distain but Dawn has a point. There are different rules for the Scoobies. Take for example what Mark Field has to say about this episode:

“…compare Willow to Faith. Faith is still in jail, having turned herself in. Putting aside the practical question of whether Willow could be punished by others, Willow got to spend 3 months in England having Giles go all Dumbledore on her.”[i]

Capture8.PNG

It is up to the group to electively decide who needs to be punished and how. However, Dawn has not been part of the group dynamics for as long as the rest. Although when she was inserted into Buffy’s life she was given an entire history, she was created, not born. She was too young for research, she was her mother’s ‘normal’ child and was often shown in completely ordinary teenage situations. It’s not the first time we see Dawn Capture1.PNGspeak out against the group think and although her comments often feel abrasive, she is an important portal to the outside world. For me this picture says it all (left). Dawn looks angry, because of the trust they put in someone who tried to kill her, “She didn’t finish!? She didn’t finish not being evil!?” This is because Willow is their friend, not because they believe fully in her rehabilitation.

Now I have a problem, as I often do, with what is deemed appropriate for television and popular culture in general. For example, although this show did push the boundaries of sex, especially LGBT sex, it was still relatively tame.

“Oops I didn’t know I couldn’t talk about sex.”[ii]

However, the television executives were fine with this (Right). So creepy demon, please feel free to peel the flesh from Willow’s bare stomach, and chow down. However if we Capture16Capture17want to show a sex scene between Willow and Tara it must be done under the guise of a magical demon. (Once More With Feeling). This double standard has been addressed in Theodor Adorno’s article, “How To Look At Television.”[iii]

The curse of modern mass culture seems to be its adherence to the almost unchanged ideology of early middle-class society, whereas the lives of its consumers are completely out of phase with this ideology… For example the concept of the ‘purity’ of women is one of the invariables of popular culture.”[iv]

Unfortunately Buffy herself falls prey to this trope in Season 2. Although the losing of ones virginity was presented in a novel way, it fails to show the young woman (and men) who are watching, that you are not more or less valuable because of your virginity. Your own sexuality is relevant and being ‘pure’ for your future love is not something you’re responsible for. The only person you have a responsibility to, is yourself… but I digress.

Willow has murdered someone, we cannot forget that. She tied Warren up and skinned him. Willow is forgiven because that is what is expected. This is provided for us in the rules of popular culture according to Adorno.

“The stereotype of the nice girl is so strong that not even the proof of her delinquency can destroy it; and, by hook or by crook, she must be what she appears to be.”[v]

Now let’s talk aesthetics. I’m sure this was intentional but I love to mention these things anyway:

 

So you can see on the left we have Xander / Buffy and on the right we have Anya / Willow. Of course this is good versus evil. Anya can see Willow. This may be because Willow only included Buffy, Dawn, and Xander in her unintentional spell. It’s more likely though that Anya is immune, as Spike is also able to see Willow. This is what makes the scene in the basement so magical. Spike is insane after getting his soul back, so talking to him is a rollercoaster in itself. Add invisible Willow into the mix and you get a beautifully shot scene.

Capture11.PNGSpike: “Everyone’s talking to me, but no one is talking to each other.”

Willow has turned to Spike, because she can’t find Buffy or Xander. She asks him about the skinned victim:

Willow: “It was skinned, what could do that?”

Spike: “You did it once. I heard about it.”

Willow’s starting to feel like maybe it was her that skinned the victim after all.

So I would like to end by firstly saying props to Camden Toy (right) for being the creepiest Buffy villain to ever grace our TV screens. He also played one of The Gentlemen Camden-Toy-headshot-featured-imagein the episode Hush,  and has played an Ubervamp a couple of times. Look though, he’s such a sweet looking man, how could we have ever been afraid of him?

Secondly this is the First Evil (below). It’s not Buffy. This happens in previous seasons as they use a shot of the Buffy Bot. I don’t know why but this has always frustrated me. Like it’s a cool shot, and I know it’s still technically Buffy, but it’s the First Evil using her image. Grr, Arrgh is Capture4.PNGall I have to say about that. (If Whedon has addressed this at any stage, please let me know. It has annoyed me to no end for years!)

Finally, Willow is now in Buffy’s old room, and Buffy is in her mother’s room. This will prove significant for the rest of the season. Buffy has not only accepted her role as the Slayer, but she is now the leader of the household.

 

Notable music that year: Alicia Keyes “Songs In The Key Of A Minor,” Kings Of Leon “Because Of The Times,” Red Hot Chilli Peppers “By The Way,” Christina Aguilera “Stripped,” Avril Lavigne “Let Go,” Justin Timberlake “Justified,” Boards Of Canada “Geoghaddi,” Coldplay “A Rush Of Blood To The Head,” Foo Fighters “One By One,” Phil Collins “Testify,” Queens Of The Stone Age “Songs For The Deaf.”

Source Material: “Same Time, Same Place.” Buffy the Vampire Slayer , season 7, episode 3, The WB, October 8, 2002.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

 [i] Field, Mark. 2013. “Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Myth, Metaphor, and Morality.” Amazon Digital Services LLC.

[ii] Madonna. Bedtime Stories. Track 6: Human Nature. 1994. Maverick Records.

[iii] Adorno, Theodor. 2010. Adorno, Theodore. 2010. “The Culture Industry: Selected Essays On Mass Culture.” Edited by: J.M. Berstein. Routledge Classics. London & New York.

[iv] Adorno, Theodor. 2010. “The Culture Industry: Selected Essays On Mass Culture.” Chapter 6, “How To Look At Television.” Page. 163

[v] Adorno, Theodor. 2010. “The Culture Industry: Selected Essays On Mass Culture.” Chapter 6, “How To Look At Television.” Page. 174

Do you love Buffy? Check out my last post on the show:

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/13/same-time-same-place/

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https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/buffy-category-explained/

In Defense of Pewdiepie

This week I had a blog post all planned. It was written just waiting in its folder to be edited for upload. All was well until yesterday evening, when I got offended by something. Now let me tell you, I’m a white girl and according to the internet, we have a propensity to get offended by things. So I’m about to launch into a rant because I was offended so it will be a tall order to get people to listen.

What has thus offended me so? Yesterday I came across an article written by a news source I had previously considered to be a relatively reputable, The Guardian. Their offering discussed YouTuber ‘Pewdiepie’ (whose real name is Felix Kjellberg). It was, in my opinion, a pathetic, click-bait-esque, joke. It disgusted me.

Thankfully I was not alone, and Philip DeFranco (also of YouTube) discussed it in his latest video.[i] I won’t link the article, I won’t give them the satisfaction, but the tagline they went with was, “ To call him an alt-right agitator would perhaps be unfair as he has never publicly identified with the proto-fascist movement. But he shares much of their culture and amplifies it across the world. People should pay Pewdiepie more attention.”

In other words, here is a trained journalist writing about a world they don’t understand. They are seemingly praising Kjellberg in a backhanded, superiorly arrogant way. The article is a mess, as the Journalist themselves doesn’t seem sure whether or not they should be chastising him or in awe of him. Let me answer that puzzle for you, it’s simple, be in awe. This one guy has 61,944,085 subscribers and an average of 3 million views on each video.

You are using his name so people will click on your pathetic media source. YouTube has allowed the rise of entertainers such as Kjellberg because people can choose who to watch. Views are the votes, and Kjellberg’s views speak for themselves.

We know the big media corporations fear people like Kjellberg because they represent the shifting tide. People want to watch entertainers who not only understand them and their dank meme posting, game streaming, internet humour lives, but they want them to be just like them. Kjellberg is not a trained actor, reading lines someone else wrote. Or a news anchor who is forced to read the same disclaimer about fake news. People watch him because he is a real person.

This is not a new phenomenon, but it stands that if you are going to report on something nascent like YouTube (10 years old) from a form of media like newspapers (100s of years old) then do some actual investigative reporting and understand why it’s popular.

By the way, Pewdiepie is not anti-semantic, and neither is Mark Meechan of Scotland. Who will now serve jail time, for a humorous video that the stuffy generation (not by age but by choice) didn’t understand.[ii] It wasn’t a joke that didn’t land well, it was a joke that conservative assholes failed to realise was a new type of satire.

Fuck mass media. Learn how the internet works before you make an ass out of yourself commentating on a YouTuber who is loved by millions of people. Do not call him a proto-fascist because you are afraid of him, that’s how people in America were killed during the cold war. They were simply called a communist and then they were ‘disappeared’.

Go watch 50 hours of Pewdiepie videos and you might have a clue what he’s about. Or, go back to writing about truly troubling public figures and stop wasting your time on things you don’t seem to understand.

I will probably write more about this, I image Felix will respond to the article. Until then you can see Philip Defranco’s views on the situation, and subscribe to him and Felix. Trust me. You won’t be disappointed.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClFSU9_bUb4Rc6OYfTt5SPw

https://www.youtube.com/user/PewDiePie

[i] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odwfHu6MDuU&t=0s

[ii] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9sH-3AoF88&t=938s

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