Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Slightly Serious Thing

As I continue in my life, I have found myself in surprisingly new places and debates. I've never really struggled with certain topics. I'm sure others can relate to this notion of naturally deciding certain things while others struggle with it or automatically make the opposite decision. It's not a matter of being right or wrong, but simply having different priorities, being a different human being, etc. It's terribly strange when you catch yourself suddenly thinking about things you never really considered doing before.

Sort of like when you're small and stupid and in grade school and you didn't like the other gender for no apparent reason so you made up stereotypical reasons to not like them, and then suddenly, they're really attractive. Then, you flinch because you just caught yourself doing the unspeakable horror of liking them. It's a bit like that. Except without the hormones and such and so so much cleaner.

My particular thing is with the idea of "service."
"But Frugal Fan, what do you mean by 'service'? Do you mean service or service?"

If you're thinking what I think you're thinking, then probably no on both counts. While I am not enthused over the idea of working in the food industry, I wouldn't say no to it if offered a job. On the other count, I'm just not that kind of girl.

What I mean is charity, doing good works, buying Heaven Points via blood and sweat, and all that other kumbaya... stuff. Despite my personal beliefs, I've never really had an urge to do it. I just didn't feel like it was literally for me. Seriously here. I'm not using the word "literally" figuratively, which is really weird. If you think about it, how ironic that people seem to do that nowadays. Sometimes I can hear Baby English Language cry at night though it's hard to tell. Baby [Marvel] Continuity and all of them sort of sound the same. But back on topic, I seriously felt that it wasn't my place to do it. I wasn't the right person for that sort of thing so I passed on the youth mission events and the like. Now... Gosh, now I feel like I have to do something. Which is pretty novel considering how lazy I am. I barely post here. Heck, I barely finish my posts. You don't want to look at my drafts folder. It's kind of embarrassing. I'm not going to even get started on my e-mail inboxes.

So yeah. Obligatory plug here now.

I've gotten really interested in religious pluralism and the group IFYC, the InterFaith Youth Core (which I really feel like should be InterFaith Youth Corps, which sounds exactly the same and makes a bit more sense to me, but I guess it was a too militant word to use for a peace/human decency movement). I believe in this because I really do think that this could be THE global movement that promoted BASIC HUMAN DECENCY.

Imagine that. A movement that encourages people to have and use common sense dictated decency. It's sort of unimaginable like the idea of petitioning for a Golden Rule Act to make "Don't do anything you don't want done to you" a law. It's a nice thing, but kind of unimaginable as a serious movement. But this time, it is a serious movement.

Instead of having tolerance of other people's differences from yourself be you ignoring those differences and tunnel-visioning the usually superficial similarities, there would be a dialogue about it. You would work with people that might be different from you to help people that are probably different from you. It encourages you to be informed and knowledgeable about your faith or belief system or whatever so you can actually have an intelligible discussion about it and what exactly you believe.

GASP. Research? Learn? Too much to ask for people, right?

GACK to that. I hope not or else my pessimism about the human race is not dark enough apparently.

Also, go visit Kiva. It's a good thing.

Hopefully I'll elaborate more on how it is a good thing.

Later, peeps.

Frugal Fan

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dollhouse Premiere

Let's just cut to the chase and make one point clear: Joss Whedon's Dollhouse is definitely worth faithfully watching and getting excited over. 

So far, I'm enjoying it more than Heroes, which for some mysterious reason is set out to break my heart, and Dollhouse has had only one episode thus far. Hopefully, it will have at least a complete season, unlike another amazing show. I was excited about this show ever since I heard about it a few weeks ago. Naturally, I went onto to see what they had on the show. 

I was very pleased and hopeful about the premiere. It looked like it was going to be of the same calibur as beloved Firefly, which I hold to be Whedon's best writing thus far. Another aspect of my life that made me have high expectations of Dollhouse was my love for the slightly obscure manga series, DOLL by Misukazu Mihara. (Hey, if it managed to get published in the US in the first place, it's only slightly obscure...)  

So what else is there to say outside of my inital verdict? 

I wasn't amazed. For whatever reason, I didn't feel completely pulled into this world or especially gripped with wide-eyed ecstasy like I had hoped. My biggest compliant was that I wasn't completely blown-away by the premiere. Of course, that doesn't change the fact Dollhouse is most likely one of the best shows on television this year. 

If you have no idea about what Dollhouse is or who Joss Whedon is, here's the short version. Feel free to go to the WhedonWiki

Joss Whedon has been hailed as one of television's greatest writers in our generation. He practically has an entire sub-culture dedicated to him and his works like Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog (which is astoundingly good and on, the resulting Dark Horse comic book series that continue each respective series as well as probably many other things that other Whedon fans would be more than happy to tell you about.  A successful writer/director/producer Joss Whedon is known for great shows with snappy dialogue and addictive stories. Any project that has Whedon's name on it gets some amount of buzz on the 'Net as well as a small following, just to see what will happen.  

Dollhouse is the Whedon's return to television since the cancellation of Firefly. Eliza Dushku plays centeral character Echo, an "Active" in the Dollhouse operations. An Active is an agent of the thus-far mysterious organization that has her (or his!) memory and personality "scrubbed" to be replaced by another persona made by Topher and the other scientists. They're basically rented out to billionaire clients to be whatever the clients desires. Naturally, "perfect lover" does come up in the premiere, but it seems that the Dollhouse services more than just fetishes when Echo is programed to be a calculating kidnap negoiator in order to rescue a client's daughter. Because Actives are human beings rather than android or robots, it brings an interesting moral dilemma to the show. At the beginning of the show, we see the girl who we come to know as Echo talking to Adelle DeWitt, the apparent master-adminstrator of the Dollhouse. Echo's life has gone awry and DeWitt offers the chance for a "clean slate." Echo's reply my favorite line in the premiere. 

"You ever tried to clean an actual slate? You always see what was on it before."

Spoiler: This appears to be the premise of Echo's character - the slate that couldn't be completely cleaned, though the premiere seems to give little evidence of this BUT all the previews seem to point to this idea.  

There are murmurings that the original script for Dollhouse was scrapped/revised with charactes and subplots removed from the original idea in order to put in more action, but Whedon appears to be quite happy with the result and to be frank, so am I. Of course, I would have loved weaving in and out of different stories or a bigger cast, making it an ensemble show, but it looks so great so far that I'm hoping for more of the same as the season goes on. 

Happy watching! 

- Frugal Fan