Impressions

Question and answers, musings and thoughts...

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Zara
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Re: Impressions

Post by Zara »

Regarding the names: Zara Wilder & Spouse, right? Wilder Ones. ;)

And just so you know, Pat, you're giving me a heck of a lot to think about this week too! Thanks for the brain-stretching opportunities!

Pat wrote:So in the Pilot, when Vincent says he has never regretted who he was until now, or when crying over his hands in the final scene of Arabesque, these are not examples of wishing he were different?


I would say they are not examples of Vincent wishing he were different from what he is.

For that is where my interpretive priorities lead me. First, as discussed earlier, I associate Vincent's crying over his hands with the context of describing his memory of past events, things which he "had dreamed away." His tears are the present-day emotional response to a past incident recently revisited and finally resolved. Second, I accept "I've never regretted what I am...until now," as a truth about the character. Thus, Vincent's stated lack of regret in the Pilot includes his past relationship with Lisa. Third, I think in the Pilot Vincent regrets for Catherine's sake that "what he is" has so terrified this woman with whom he is building an extraordinary new relationship. Her terror hurt Catherine and his body inspired that terror. As is definitive of his unselfish character, Vincent's regret is not focused upon himself, but upon Catherine, the injured party at that moment. I don't believe Vincent wishes either of them were different from who and what they are. He gently recognizes the tragedy of the way their differences separate them both.

Pat wrote:Can we not wish we were different, while knowing it is not possible, and accepting who we are?


No. I don't believe we can.

Pat wrote:For example, women often wish they were bustier, less bustier, hippier, less hippier, or men wish they were more athletic rather than not. (not a perfect example, in that women can undergo surgery, but not speaking of it in that way).


This is actually the most pertinent of your examples because it addresses the issue of how we go about reconciling the in-born reality of our bodies with the dominant illusions of our cultures. The question is: WHY do women often wish their bodies possess different attributes? WHY do some men wish their bodies would possess the stereotypical "athletic build?"

Is it not because these women and men believe that the ideals to which they long to conform are right and good? More right and good than the factual reality that many variations in body shape exist and that various bodies function adequately without matching cultural preferences? To quote Jiddu Krishnamurti, "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." If we are wishing to be what we are not in order to conform to illusory ideals which fail to value human diversity, we are not accepting who we are. We are accepting only a nonexistent delusion of what the mainstream world considers a valid identity. We are joining society in its sickness.

Pat wrote:Or a Vet wishing he/she had not gone to Iraq to avoid the PTSD, or a paraplegic wishing he/she could walk. Yet in wishing, is it a form of rejection?


Yes, these examples do indeed demonstrate rejection: a rejection of those conditions which separate these persons from mainstream life and prevent them from fitting in. Possibly even a self-rejection of the individuals involved in these situations, depending upon their personal attitudes. Especially if one wishes to return to the pursuit of conformity, these situations are exponentially traumatic beyond the inherent suffering of the specified ailments, because our culture places PTSD and paraplegia outside the realm of "normality." So people affected by these conditions get thrust out into what their culture has taught them is a wasteland of isolation and deprivation.

Unless they were already participating in a culture that does not denigrate or devalue the experiences of PTSD or paraplegia...

Pat wrote:Do we not feel the pain of rejection because inclusion is such a driving force in our psyche?


Only when we have entrusted the process of inclusion with authority over our selves and our lives.

Pat wrote:To be exiled (the community uses this as punishment, and comments on how hard it is) is very difficult.


Here I wish only to point out that there is a vast difference between using exclusion/exile as a legal consequence for illegal behavior, and using exclusion/exile as a means of rejecting psychological and/or physical deviations from cultural ideals of "normal."

Pat wrote:We put ourselves out 'there' and hope for acceptance as we are, and when not accepted, not included, does it not hurt at least a bit?


Our culture pulls such a sick bait-and-switch in this regard. It requires its participants to hope for acceptance as they are, parsing such hope in terms of maturity or even virtue...yet the same culture withholds acceptance from anyone who deviates beyond "normal" parameters. As it turns out, there are an awful lot of "abnormal" people in the world. But lack of such "acceptance" only hurts if we care what society "out there" thinks about us. Mainstream expectation tells us: "You must care about how you compare to such-and-such ideal." This is a false imperative. When outliers like the Tunnelfolk reject the standard illusions and imperatives of dominant culture, Top-Down rejection on the basis of those illusions becomes, quite simply, meaningless.

Pat wrote:It can mean that, perhaps, if we experience enough rejection that it makes us question ourselves, and if not strong in our identity, then perhaps it leads to self-rejection or self-loathing.


Does a strong identity protect someone from such a deluge of rejection as you describe? What constitutes strength or weakness in identity?

Your statement still speaks to the fear of what overculture's rejections entail and/or produce. During our respective years of adolescence, my husband and I both found tremendous freedom in discarding the conform-to-gain-acceptance-or-else-suffer-as-outcasts ultimatum. We discovered that by not conforming to the dominant cultures in our schools, communities, and in my case family, other people's rejections just didn't matter, and other people had no sway over how we felt about ourselves. Neither of us were particularly strong at that point in our lives. We just anchored our identities in healthier subcultures and decided to make our own decisions about what to value in our separate contexts. Fear left our decision-making processes.

In Vincent's case, no amount of de facto rejection from the world Above could ever cause him to reject himself or loathe himself. It's not about how strong the attack is, or how strong Vincent is. Vincent's acceptance of himself is anchored in the love he shares within the community Below.

~ Zara
Maclurv
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Re: Impressions

Post by Maclurv »

Zara said: This is actually the most pertinent of your examples because it addresses the issue of how we go about reconciling the in-born reality of our bodies with the dominant illusions of our cultures. The question is: WHY do women often wish their bodies possess different attributes? WHY do some men wish their bodies would possess the stereotypical "athletic build?"


I really must stop making your argument for you! I was trying to find an example of a not-so-major-item, and walked right into that very rightly used point! The hazards of an extravert using an introverted media are that I never 'hear' myself think, and more of my raw thoughts never get the refining they would otherwise. Still, a good point to be made was made!

Still digesting a lot here. Some more thoughts provoked by yours:

Pat wrote:
Can we not wish we were different, while knowing it is not possible, and accepting who we are?


No. I don't believe we can.


So where does inspiration fit in? By this I mean when we find others whose examples we wish to emulate, literally wishing we were 'more like them.' Granted, it is their behavior, or values/principles, that we wish ourselves toward, but is it not seeing a lack in ourselves, a wish to be different? While behavior might be more easily changed, coming to accept a change in values or principles is not. So in this sense, we accept ourselves as we are, while wishing we were more like them.

Here I wish only to point out that there is a vast difference between using exclusion/exile as a legal consequence for illegal behavior, and using exclusion/exile as a means of rejecting psychological and/or physical deviations from cultural ideals of "normal."


I acknowledge this, yet 'no man is an island' springs to mind. How does one cultivate a personal sense of 'normal' by which to live, that in reality (for the sake of argument), sets one so apart from the rest of civilization, that one is, in effect, excluded? Are humans not at core a communal animal? The other aspect I am trying to think through about all this is how are we to live in community with one another if we all individually define ourselves by rejecting whatever does not fit with our defined self acceptance? Where does civilization vs anarchy come into it? (Please recognize that I am pressing the point here as it is sometimes helpful for me to discuss the extremes to better understand the main point.)

In Vincent's case, no amount of de facto rejection from the world Above could ever cause him to reject himself or loathe himself. It's not about how strong the attack is, or how strong Vincent is. Vincent's acceptance of himself is anchored in the love he shares within the community Below.


In this regard, I do think self-identity can be stronger or weaker in the sense of how it is formed, and on what it is based. Just as a brick house withstands winds better than a stick house. Vincent does have a strong identity in my view, and it may be that is it from the love he shares within the community Below, as you state.

In our discussion, it does strike me that Catherine underwent surgery to fix her face. And Vincent reacts to this in the Pilot, "Your face." when seeing Catherine, and she responds: (awkwardly) "They fixed it.' Why is it awkward for Catherine to respond? Why have Vincent comment on her face? Is Catherine succumbing to societal pressure to 'look normal' by getting the surgery? Is there a thought by Vincent, however fleeting, that if she hadn't fixed her face, he shared more with her, that she may have more likely wanted separation from society, to be with him where no one would comment on her scars?

Pat
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Re: Impressions

Post by Zara »

Pat wrote:So where does inspiration fit in? By this I mean when we find others whose examples we wish to emulate, literally wishing we were 'more like them.' Granted, it is their behavior, or values/principles, that we wish ourselves toward, but is it not seeing a lack in ourselves, a wish to be different?


<smiles> Now you are changing the formulation of the question from asking about acceptance/rejection of the physical body to asking about acceptance/rejection of psychological qualities. New question, new answer: Because intentional changes in the structure of one's psyche are very possible, I believe that, yes, we can certainly strike a balance between a self-acceptance of present identity while seeking out new directions to grow. This is the point of childhood, after all, and of a thriving adulthood: to emulate models of competency and increase in maturity over time. I wish to maintain the caution, however, of remaining aware of the motivations behind such desires for change. Asking WHY? is essential to understanding whether or not genuine self-acceptance is operant in each person's internal lifestyle.

Pat wrote:While behavior might be more easily changed, coming to accept a change in values or principles is not.


I think "coming to accept a change in values or principles" may be describing shifts in personal paradigm, or worldview. Is this the case? I can agree that changes in behavior, per se, tend to happen more quickly than changes in principles/paradigms, for behavior changes indicate that we are adapting to new conditions in our lives, and life is anything but static. But both behavioral and philosophical changes are fraught with difficulties, and both behavior changes and values/principles changes happen throughout one's lifetime. Paradigms are the questions we do not think to ask, the assumptions we take as given facts. Sometimes answers sneak in through the cracks within our worldviews before we ever ask a question, and initiate changes we may not even be aware of. Just some interesting facets of being, which you've called to my attention. :)

Pat wrote:How does one cultivate a personal sense of 'normal' by which to live, that in reality (for the sake of argument), sets one so apart from the rest of civilization, that one is, in effect, excluded?


First, just to check in, did I communicate the idea that the mainstream uses exclusion/rejection to reject psychological and/or physical deviations from its own norms? I wished to suggest that exclusion/exile as a legal consequence in the Tunnels performs a different function than societal exclusion/rejection in the world Above.

Second, you ask an awesome question, my friend. One cultivates a personal, even an exclusive, sense of human "normal" by evaluating each component of one's life experience and prizing everything therein that is genuinely beautiful. Making your own decisions about what is beautiful, and what is not, will set you apart from the common mode of "normality." I guarantee it.

Pat wrote:...yet 'no man is an island' springs to mind...Are humans not at core a communal animal?


First John Donne, now Aristotle. Sweet. :D My answer: Some humans are communal animals. And some are not. Many more humans are NOT communal than our culture wants to admit. The communal ones keep deciding that all humans OUGHT to be at core a communal animal. So the dominant opinion is that communal civilization (as it has come to exist in the world) is the one right way to live.

Pat wrote:The other aspect I am trying to think through about all this is how are we to live in community with one another if we all individually define ourselves by rejecting whatever does not fit with our defined self acceptance?


Perhaps through respectful empathy. By recognizing that each person is performing the same work of identity-construction that I am, but in his or her own unique, and uniquely valuable, way. By also recognizing that something I have rejected from my own identity may well be an important piece to someone else's identity. AND through the willingness to protect and support the identities of others with the same vigor I protect and support my own self. Living in community requires us to decide as a community which potential identity-bits are unwelcome in the world we share. So we may determine that an impulse to steal, for example, must not be an element of a good and normal identity. That bit then needs to stay outside the community. But plenty of other bits are welcomed and encouraged.

Pat wrote:Where does civilization vs anarchy come into it?


Consider how often civilization and anarchy are presented as opposites on a positive-negative value scale. Yet anarchy is simply a less popular form of civilization. Now, if by anarchy you mean social disorder or chaos, we're back to mainstream fears about what is expected/assumed to happen if we fall out of step with mainstream lifestyles. In history, social chaos results from disasters and catastrophes. A volcano erupts. A war erupts. A government falls. A plague disrupts the health and safety of entire communities. Yet mainstream fear takes these images out of context and tells us: if you, oh individual citizen, shirk your responsibility to this society or fail in your dutiful conformity, you bring about the end of the world. In reality, deviations from norms stretch boundaries, test the validity of communal precepts, and instigate change. It keeps whatever dream a civilization is dreaming flexible and alive. Without the security to be a nonconforming self or subgroup, if one chooses, without the freedom to question business as usual, without allowance for diversity, without that touch of humane chaos, a society stagnates or implodes...or explodes, sharing the misery. You end up with the fall of the Roman Empire, or the American Civil War, or the rise and collapse of the Third Reich, or a community that loses Vincent and Father to a cave-in because no one chose to help Mouse rescue them. And in the meantime, you must endure a culture that persecutes and exploits fellow human beings for their differences.

Pat wrote:Why is it awkward for Catherine to respond? Why have Vincent comment on her face?


The possiblities you identify could well be in play in that scene. For myself, I think that Catherine's awkwardness in answering may stem from her sudden realization that Vincent has never seen her uninjured face, and that having such wounds cosmetically "fixed" is outside Vincent's realm of experience. Catherine's wealth repaired her face. Recall that Carol Stabler, also injured, did not have access to such resources, and the nerve damage to her face was never fixed. A person from Vincent's world would be in the same boat. It's another indicator of the differences between the worlds. I think Vincent comments out of pure wonder. It's not in him to regret Catherine's healing. In Barbara Hambly's novelization, the author has Catherine consider the very question you have raised, and also quickly reject the notion as being inapplicable to Vincent's motivations.

Pat wrote:Is Catherine succumbing to societal pressure to 'look normal' by getting the surgery?


Shortest answer, yes. BUT I think it's important to keep in mind that in Catherine's context, the plastic surgery is considered a medically essential step in the healing process. In the paradigm of her world, she's undergoing emergency surgery to repair an organ (her skin) just as vital to her life as her bones or her heart.

It's very interesting to me to witness Catherine's cultural development during Season One. By "Temptation," at mid-season, she has reoriented her values so that she is able to tell her surgeon she'd rather keep her remaining facial scar rather than order further surgery to remove it. She also has to argue with him a little, to resist the state of Normal she used to share with him, because she has entered into a different society now, a society which incorporates much different pressures and freedoms. She is deciding for herself what is beautiful and what is not.

~ Zara
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Re: Impressions

Post by Maclurv »

Whew! (mops brow, breathes deeply)

Got to get my brain back in shape! Reminds me of a sound effect I had, one of the Three Stooges (Moe?) where he says "I'm tryin' to think, and nothin's happening' !

Now you are changing the formulation of the question from asking about acceptance/rejection of the physical body to asking about acceptance/rejection of psychological qualities.


My pardon, but I guess I consider the whole package as part of the issue. Good catch, though! (those young and nimble brains!)

I think "coming to accept a change in values or principles" may be describing shifts in personal paradigm, or worldview. Is this the case? I


Yes, I think this is a good way to state it. And I appreciate how you've addressed it.

Pat wrote:
How does one cultivate a personal sense of 'normal' by which to live, that in reality (for the sake of argument), sets one so apart from the rest of civilization, that one is, in effect, excluded?


First, just to check in, did I communicate the idea that the mainstream uses exclusion/rejection to reject psychological and/or physical deviations from its own norms?


No. And I understood your distinction on the Tunnels use as a legal consequence. I think what I was trying to say there is that individuals can think of themselves as so different, so separate, by all sorts of measures or ways, until they stand apart from everyone else and have little in common for interaction. It isn't that mainstream, per se, rejects them for their psychological/physical deviations, as much as a it is a self-removal and a gulf across which communication becomes difficult. And then it does become easy for mainstream to forget about them, as if 'they don't want to be bothered.'

One cultivates a personal, even an exclusive, sense of human "normal" by evaluating each component of one's life experience and prizing everything therein that is genuinely beautiful. Making your own decisions about what is beautiful, and what is not, will set you apart from the common mode of "normality."


While I like this thought, I am concerned at some level. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I think that is what concerns me. What is beautiful to one person could be considered amoral to another. How is one to incorporate societal/communal expectations along with their own sense of what is normal? In a small sense of this, Mouse's argument about stealing vs taking applies. He does not see anything abnormal about himself doing these things; he does not see it as any deviation from any sort of 'normal.' (and yes, I am mixing behavior back into it :) ). Physical image certainly fits your thought very nicely. And I can concur in that respect, even if I don't practice it very well.

The communal ones keep deciding that all humans OUGHT to be at core a communal animal.


Only we extraverts who want everybody to be as happy together as we are! :lol:

But seriously, in terms of how mankind is presently organized, I think communal living is the norm of necessity. The Below world found that out for themselves, as together, they were stronger and more self-reliant than they each were individually on the street. They could also marshall resources Above better as they were organized Below to know what was needed, and how to make the contacts necessary to help get what was needed that they couldn't themselves provide. Do we always need to live with each other so closely? No, and Narcissa and Elizabeth are examples that spring to mind as being more separate, yet they, too, contribute to the communal whole and benefit from it. And I would point out that Father seems to judge Narcissa a bit negatively not on her looks, but on her beliefs, whereas Vincent does not and accepts possibilities from all venues.

AND through the willingness to protect and support the identities of others with the same vigor I protect and support my own self. Living in community requires us to decide as a community which potential identity-bits are unwelcome in the world we share.


So there is a sense of consensual understanding, an evaluating to a standard held by the community.

Yet anarchy is simply a less popular form of civilization. Now, if by anarchy you mean social disorder or chaos, we're back to mainstream fears about what is expected/assumed to happen if we fall out of step with mainstream lifestyles....Without the security to be a nonconforming self or subgroup, if one chooses, without the freedom to question business as usual, without allowance for diversity, without that touch of humane chaos, a society stagnates or implodes...or explodes, sharing the misery.


Ah, the balance is the key. Elusive key, perhaps, but the key. The episode of The Outsiders springs to my mind here. Father tried for balance in his approach, using generosity and welcome to the strangers. However, the strangers thrived on the chaos they created, it seemed. Then it became a matter of survival. It is the balance that I fear is never possible except in the ideal. My optimism of the human race often fails me in this sense, because I see too many in positions of power with too many faults, such as greed, avarice, duplicity, egomanical, etc etc

Recall that Carol Stabler, also injured, did not have access to such resources, and the nerve damage to her face was never fixed.


I'm not sure I saw this. Or I missed it (very possible). What I did note was an actress who looked as if she had either a glass eye or another issue with one eye not tracking like the other. I, however, in no way attributed that to what she experienced in her attack. But that could just be me! I have two of Hambly's books on my stack, just haven't had time yet!

the plastic surgery is considered a medically essential step in the healing process.


I also don't see it as an issue if a person is returning to a previous state. (not the same thing either to liposuction, where you might argue a person is returning to a previous state) But in the strict definition of what we have been discussing, then yes, it is.

Eating more blueberries to stoke the brain!

Pat
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Re: Impressions

Post by Zara »

Pat wrote:I think what I was trying to say there is that individuals can think of themselves as so different, so separate, by all sorts of measures or ways, until they stand apart from everyone else and have little in common for interaction. It isn't that mainstream, per se, rejects them for their psychological/physical deviations, as much as a it is a self-removal and a gulf across which communication becomes difficult. And then it does become easy for mainstream to forget about them, as if 'they don't want to be bothered.'


You have just described with perfect clarity what the world Above believes about every single person who lives Below.

This is how our real world absolves itself of responsibility for its actions and attitudes toward the people it designates as Freaks.

I don't have more to say about this. I am myself on the Freak-side of this equation. I think too much of my reality is getting lost in translation at this point.

Pat wrote: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I think that is what concerns me. What is beautiful to one person could be considered amoral to another.


Here perhaps the English language failed us. My understanding of genuine beauty is not about aesthetics, popular expectations, or subjective morals. Beauty is anything that inspires us to move toward love. If "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," Vincent's beauty is dependent upon the perspective of the person witnessing his presence. I do not accept the idea that Vincent is not beautiful, not pursuing love with all his heart and soul, always. I do not accept the idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If someone considers a genuine beauty amoral/immoral, I believe that person's morality is flawed.

Pat wrote:How is one to incorporate societal/communal expectations along with their own sense of what is normal?


By either accepting or rejecting societal/communal expectations for one's personal habits and patterns of living.

Pat wrote:But seriously, in terms of how mankind is presently organized, I think communal living is the norm of necessity. The Below world found that out for themselves, as together, they were stronger and more self-reliant than they each were individually on the street...

So there is a sense of consensual understanding, an evaluating to a standard held by the community...

Ah, the balance is the key. Elusive key, perhaps, but the key.


Maybe we've hit the communication gulf. I was attempting to explain how self-defining and self-accepting individuals can live in community, free from the kind of coercive fear that the mainstream world imposes upon people. Which means I am criticizing standard American models of community, and you are now defending those models. Perhaps it's best to go back to more direct discussions of B&B.

Pat wrote:I'm not sure I saw this. Or I missed it (very possible). What I did note was an actress who looked as if she had either a glass eye or another issue with one eye not tracking like the other. I, however, in no way attributed that to what she experienced in her attack. But that could just be me!


Re: Carol Stabler. The left half of her face exhibits muscular weakness. I don't know if that is a real-life feature of the actress, or a theatrical effect, but nerve damage from this character's assault wounds is in the script. Hambly just described it well in her book. :)

Thinking blueberries sounds wonderful,

Zara
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Re: Impressions

Post by Maclurv »

Maybe we've hit the communication gulf. I


Ack! Us?? Nah!

I appreciate your forbearance in this discussion. Bear in mind I have had a few more years of acculturation in mainstreamlish than you so in exercising new ideas, I must push and pull to see how the fabric blends or weaves into the reality constructed by my years of living.

I must also admit I am not much of a loner, and want harmony among humans, having worked for it together. (A dreamer? Yes.) Yet I acknowledge that rejection of others abounds based on the weakest of reasons. So as I review our discussion, I think I heard in your argument a position from the individual perspective. It created in my mind a scenario whereby an individual decides that 'you all' are mistaken in your idea of community, and the individual leaves, essentially eschewing the idea of community as rife with the likelihood of falling into the traps of rejecting those who are different and desiring them to re-align to the community standards. This set up for me a basic argument as to who might be 'erring' in their assumptions: the individual or the community. So I begin the pushing and pulling of ideas in my exploration. I also admit this may not have been at all what you were suggesting in your comments, yet it is where my mind went. Community is made of individuals, whose ideas get blended into communal standards in some way (how this gets set into a prejudicial perspective is another discussion!).

I also think that I have been trying to explore the difference between someone who is more of a malcontent, if you will, from someone who truly feels unaccepted, or marginalized by the community for not 'fitting in.' Why? I am not sure, and in thinking about it, I am not liking where my mind is going. I plead too much acculturation.

This is how our real world absolves itself of responsibility for its actions and attitudes toward the people it designates as freaks.


Nothing like tripping over a nugget without realizing it! But of course it is.

Beauty is anything that inspires us to move toward love.


A very interesting definition of beauty. I agree that language may have failed us here. I am in agreement with your thoughts in this sense.

As to Carol, I admit I have not read as many of the scripts yet. And I apparently have an astounding ability to be oblivious to what might be easily construed as part of the story. Perhaps I was thinking she would not have had plastic surgery so quickly so was expecting to see scaring, and didn't, so did not attribute the physicality of the person to the story.

Thank you for exposing my darker areas with sunlight. The process begins and I hope to create larger cracks for more sunlight to stream in to help clean out years of adulterated thinking.

On to more Beauty and the Beast!

Pat
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Re: Impressions

Post by Zara »

Pat wrote:I appreciate your forbearance in this discussion. Bear in mind I have had a few more years of acculturation in mainstreamlish than you so in exercising new ideas, I must push and pull to see how the fabric blends or weaves into the reality constructed by my years of living.


And I greatly appreciate your forbearance as well, and your questions, and your push for truth and better understanding. We are who and what and where we are, my friend. I am grateful to learn from these conversations, and humbled by your grace under fire. Thank you.

Pat wrote:As to Carol, I admit I have not read as many of the scripts yet. And I apparently have an astounding ability to be oblivious to what might be easily construed as part of the story. Perhaps I was thinking she would not have had plastic surgery so quickly so was expecting to see scaring, and didn't, so did not attribute the physicality of the person to the story.


I'm not sure whether a lot of stuff in this show is actually obvious. The storytellers do good work creating a richly layered envivonment for their characters, so they often throw a ton of details at the viewer that require careful sifting after hitting "Pause."

One such detail is Carol's computerized photo in her victim report. It is onscreen for all of three seconds. The picture shows that she was not slashed like Catherine. Belmont's goons simply beat her to a pulp. Probably because after abducting, disfiguring, beating, and dumping Catherine, they were furious and desperate when they discovered they'd "intimidated" the wrong woman. So Carol got the quick and dirty treatment during round two.

Screen caps, for reference.

CarolStablerPhoto.jpg


CarolStablerApartment.jpg


CarolStablerWitness.jpg


Hugs,

Zara
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Re: Impressions

Post by 222333 »

*
Thank you, once more, for these conversations. I have spent years of my fandom life longing for the lost discussions, of the kind I read in the archives of past mailing boards such OLAH. Never say never.

I also have been trying to say something myself, but every time I drafted something, you were already past my draft with new thoughts and twists. At this point, I give up and I’m just grateful for what I’ve read. I’ll add one little thing. Of course B&B is about Mainstream vs Outcast, and all the relevant facets: Catherine is the epitome of mainstream, Vincent is the epitome of outcast. Apart from the obvious Threshold, the borderland where such categories meet and learn to know each other which is the focus of the whole show, I think that throughout the show we also see the suggestion that such categories are ultimately made of individuals. From the very concept of Helpers, among whom we find Peter Alcott, Sam Denton and everything in-between, through the never judgmental exploration of personalities and stories like Elliot Burch or Jason Walker or Brian’s father or Lisa Campbell, it’s an hymn to the Shades Of Grey of those categories, and to the only way to approach the persons that compose them, the way that Zara *SO* beautifully described: “Through respectful empathy. By recognizing that each person is performing the same work of identity-construction that I am, but in his or her own unique, and uniquely valuable, way. By also recognizing that something I have rejected from my own identity may well be an important piece to someone else's identity. AND through the willingness to protect and support the identities of others with the same vigor I protect and support my own self." Just beautiful.

And another little thing that's a pet peeve of mine. If Compassion is one of the main themes of the show – or at least, it is for me – so that through compassion we can see the single faces that compose the overall concept of “mainstream” or “outcast”, I think that there is instead a very dangerous attitude, difficult to fight because it seems a convenient tool in relationships. It is to look at people through stereotypes, or labels, as I prefer to call it. It’s something that frightens me a lot, because on one hand, it limits the freedom of being and of changing, on the other hand, it prevents from accepting responsibility. EG: as someone with a temper, William or Winslow or xy are difficult to deal with. Well, I think that William or Winslow or xy can endeavour to learn to keep calm. As spoiled socialites, Margaret and Catherine can’t fight for their men. Not true, it depends. As someone who’s been hurt, Father despises the world Above and he’s wary of people like Catherine. But he can change, and he does. It’s not only a matter of prejudice, as it does not work only with negative characteristics (as the resident hero, Vincent is noble and dignified: but the poor guy is allowed to have a bad day every now and then?). It’s a matter of handy labels that put people into nice boxes, helping crystallization and preventing growth and change. A tool to interpret the others - and ourselves! - that may become suffocating and miopic. And yes, I know.

S
Maclurv
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:35 pm

Re: Impressions

Post by Maclurv »

I also have been trying to say something myself, but every time I drafted something, you were already past my draft with new thoughts and twists. At this point, I give up


Do not give up. It matters not WHEN you chime in, it matters THAT you chime in. I wish many voices to chime in, until we get a chorus of voices discussing ideas. That is when we will be singing!

a pet peeve of mine....It is to look at people through stereotypes, or labels, as I prefer to call it.


I'm not a can of peas,
so don't label me please.

This is a little poem I wrote years ago, and thought it appropriate for your point. :D

I would propose that one can sort into boxes as a quicker way to understanding, if one is also willing to recognize, upon interaction, that the box was not right, so to continue looking beyond to discover other information that helps to understand. But as lazy people often do, that step is left out and the box becomes where the person is 'stored' whether it fits or not.

Our characters are guilty of this as they are also people. Catherine gets slotted into: TopSider, rich, spoiled, fickle to name a few. Yes, she lives Above, but is she a TopSider in the sense the community means? Yes she is wealthy, that is more factual. Spoiled and fickle are boxes that have not been explored yet in regards to Catherine. Later, it is realized that she doesn't fit those boxes.

Pat
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Zara
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Re: Impressions

Post by Zara »

Final point of interest on Carol Stabler...since I decided to satisfy my own curiosity.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0493663/

The character's appearance is separate from the actor's (Ava Lazar).

Semi-random two cents,

Zara
Maclurv
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:35 pm

Re: Impressions

Post by Maclurv »

My admiration goes to the makeup artist on her! I truly thought she had a drooping eyelid! Like I said, I can really be oblivious sometimes!

Thanks for the reference!

Pat
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