• Culture and Entertainment

    March Inklings 2021: Mirror Scene in Friendly Persuasion

    I’m once again joining Heidi’s Inklings linkup. This time it is a mirror scene, Harry Potter of course popped into my head, I used that for the first and also thought of it for the 2nd and will apparently continue to think of it first, but I’ve used my allotted amount. In reading Heidi’s for some reason that prompted me of the scene in Friendly Persuasion (I love this film).

    It’s such a quick scene, but so perfect in detail. This movie is full of such scenes, of normal things with an undercurrent of humor and quaintness, it’s such a comfort film even with the war featuring a bit at the end.

    Mattie is a Quaker girl in love with a handsome Union soldier who is obviously NOT Quaker. Her mother is a very strict Quaker, so Mattie doesn’t have much to do to get ready for church (on the way to which she just might happen to see and be seen), but when her little brother Jess comes to tell her to hurry up, she is pretending to be a fine lady in her “boudoir” finishing her “toilett-y.”

    When Little Jess comes in, she is looking at herself critically in the mirror much to Little Jess’s amusement, and she asks him if he thinks she’s pretty. He considers this very carefully for a moment, and then delivers his assessment in perfect youthful dead seriousness, “Thee isn’t ugly.”

     

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I’ve Been Listening to Lately

    What We Said. I’m all caught up (I skipped a lot of the earlier interviews, don’t care for those), I wish they had 2x a week with a Patreon or something, I’m missing binging. Life advice and girl from a pair of hilarious best friends. Hilarious secret spilling episodes (so much for avoiding gossip), and I just found this via Spotify lists.

    What Next? I found this on my Spotify suggestions. It’s not a super favorite at least not yet, for one thing I prefer more humor and two hosts.

    It’s funny, both Jaci Marie Smith and Michelle Reed are Youtubers, but I found their podcasts first.

    I’m not a huge music person, a song has to catch me from someone, its hard for me to “try” music. And I’m so picky, one song that I love doesn’t mean that I will love the rest unfortunately. And really, I prefer quiet most often. Both of these I heard on Instagram, the first on an ice skating story from Vintage Facade, and the second on I thought a post from Foraging Pages, but I can’t find it.

    Primavera by Ludovico Einaudi. Its still melancholy, which is another reason I shy from music, its always mostly melancholy or unhappy or mean (pop particularly).

    Soldier, Poet, King by The Oh Hellos. This is just, oh perfect. I love folk, true folk, and this feels like the old real stuff with just a sparkle of modern.

     

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched in February 2021

    New to Me Movies

    While You Were Sleeping. Eh.

    Cheaper by the Dozen 1 and 2. Eh . . . except Tom Welling is so handsome (and I can say that, he was in his twenties), maybe I should watch Smallville . . .

    Ramona and Beezus. Super cute, and I teared up. This is one of those movies that really gets kids, sees through their eyes and emotions rather than showing them as one dimensional little brats (although, honestly some of them are). Such a cute family story.

    Rewatch

    Miracle. 3rd watch, SUCH a good movie. The real story is fascinating (Mom and Dad remember this), the acting, the cinematographic, the dialogue, the emotions, the sport details. Oh, and lots of handsome guys. Let’s be real that is a huge reason I joined in the first time, and then got the real treat of the entire movie.

    The Magic of Ordinary Days. Hallmark Hall of Fame (don’t confuse this with the fluff that is on nowadays). SO sweet, so interesting, touches on so many different details of the time period so compassionately. And her outfits, can I have them all?!!!

    TV

    WandaVision. I went into this blind which I highly recommend. I was a bit bewildered at the beginning, then fascinated, I loved the time period changes. Then with Agatha we took a turn into Wicked and then I guess the Blair Witch project. Okay, and I don’t like Wanda being in the wrong, but she wasn’t initially. I just wished that could be handled beter.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    One of My Favorite Couple Tropes: The Bantering Couple as Seen in TV Shows and Movies

    To tie with my earlier book post, here are some of my tv and movie favorites examples of this trope off the top of my head.

    Declan and Anna in Leap Year.

    10 Things I Hate About You may be literally The Taming of the Shrew but it has some Benedict Beatrice vibes between Kat and Patrick.

    Clueless. I find Josh and Cher’s bickering more fun than Knightley and Emma. Cher is much nicer and funnier than Emma. Emma is definitely my least favorite JA heroine, and Knightley likes her, so I can’t love him.

    Dusty and Donovan in The Apple Dumpling Gang. Talk about characters in different worlds set to collide, yet nothing is trope-y about this relationship.

    Shawn and Juliet (unfortunately once they get together, they turn into a mushy couple and Shawn into a whiny baby).

    Jackie and Hyde in The 70’s Show (unfortunately they never move beyond that really).

    Josh and Mindy in Drake and Josh. Enemies, to bantering/competitive couple, to hilarious broken up couple, to super sweet couple.

    Sonny and Chad in Sonny with a Chance. Similar to above.

    It’s funny, how in both of the latter, aimed for kids, squeaky clean shows, the characters show some maturity in the relationships.

    I think Chandler and Monica is a variation. Chandler had banter with most people, but not really in his relationships until Monica, that is the one where both of them could combine passion with friendship. Whereas Ross and Rachel were either ridiculously dramatic or just gross.

    I just don’t go for sappy mush. I will however, go for drama sometimes, ala, unforgiving Captain Wentworth. But not all the time (e.g. Rochester).

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Heidi’s Valentine’s Day Period Drama Party Tag

    I’m joining here: Heidi’s Valentine’s Day Period Drama Party Tag.

    1) Your current three (or up to five!) favorite period dramas?

    Does Cinderella 2012 count? Ever After is an evergreen favorite. I honestly feel that I’ve worn all the other ones (the Jane Austen adaptations) out with over watching, and I’ve not found anything new that I love yet. The Importance of Being Ernest. The Scarlet PimpernelThe Inheritance.

    I need to watch some versions beyond the basic Bronte, Austen, and Dickens.

    2) What would you recommend to someone who’s never seen a period drama as a starter?

    Ever After. It’s fairytale and period drama and rom com in one, I think it ticks a lot of boxes.

    3) A favorite couple that wouldn’t be included in answer #1 (cause I’m figuring those are already top favorites ;)) and/or a favorite secondary character romance?

    Arthur and Amy in Little Dorrit. 

    Secondary character romances always just add that extra depth and sparkle to a story. I love that the nicer stepsister in Ever After gets her own romance.

    4) What do you consider foundational qualities for a healthy romance?

    Honesty, authenticity (i.e. generally the same in all situations, no one is playing any games, playing hot and cold). Trust. Pursuing interest genuinely (i.e. not dating/playing around or “trying to make up my mind” . . . or flirting to hide a previous attachment or marriage!). Communication (not jumping to conclusions, if the loved one is in a compromising situation, the other would go and honestly ask rather than assume the worst). Forgiveness (you know, not staying out at sea sulking because one was rejected several years before).

    5) Worst villain/antagonist?

    The disgusting would be rapist Pierre le Pieu from Ever After. I think he doesn’t always come to mind, because I try not to dwell on him, he’s so, so vile, actually I think I leave during his parts during recent watches.

    6) A favorite proposal scene?

    the 2007 Persuasion which blends BOTH of Jane Austen’s endings, granted it also includes the most awkward kiss and camera angles to be seen in a period drama. But Wentworth’s letter!

    Also, I don’t know if this is a proposal scene exactly, I think it’s more a profession of love, but that scene in the carriage in Belle, with John shouting, “I love her, I love her!” at Belle’s guardian/father when his intentions are questioned. I think that might have gotten or almost gotten tears from me, which has been rather hard to do.

    Now, if some one could get John Brooke’s proposal to Meg right! I think one of the older version’s gave it some justice, but I haven’t seen that one in ages.

    7) Favorite period drama characters based on a real life couple?

    I don’t think I’ve seen any real life period dramas, oh, wait some about Queen Elizabeth’s father. Yeah, I think that is it. Not really anything romantic. Oh, wait I like the romance in Miss Potter.

    8) Any classic b/w period dramas you like?

    Well, I don’t think we’d have the Anthony Andrews Scarlet Pimpernel without the Leslie Howard one. I wouldn’t say I liked it other than that inspiration for the best Scarlet Pimpernel. I’m not sure what other b/w period dramas I’ve seen. Oh, Jane Eyre, that definitely matched the atmosphere of Jane Eyre, again, not really to my liking though.

    9) Most mature romance in a period drama? (mature as in age and/or characters who are consciously and wisely ripened by life experience, etc.)

    Probably the Westons. I can’t really think of any more main couples. There are plenty with the guy older but they don’t feel very mature always when the girl is younger. Oh, wait, I love the Hamiltons in The Inheritance.

    10) Most excruciatingly long, slow burn romance in a period drama?

    I know Captain Wentworth and Anne feature a lot in this questions, but their story is so fraught with complications and details and intensity! Arthur and Amy also fit this.

    11) A story that has multiple film adaptations where you love more than one of them?

    I started out preferring the Kate Beckinsale/Mark Strong version of Emma (I HATE the Gweneth Paltrow version) but eventually the 2008 version won over. Kate Beckinsale is by FAR the most accurate Emma. I’ve yet to see the new abomination Emma.

    I think I enjoy different aspects of different Jane Eyre’s (as much as I could seeing as how I don’t love that story). I’ve yet to see the Timothy Dalton one.

    12) A book you think needs to be made into a film (or a new adaptation)?

    I wish more of the Alcott and Montgomery novels were adapted (but only by people who strive for accuracy on every point!).

  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched: December 2020

    This is very ’90’s early ‘0’s and Star Wars heavy. I of course watched plenty of Hallmark, but it peters out towards Christmas when one has been overdosing since November. I started using my Disney+ more this month than I did in November.

    Friends. I think I was still rewatching bits of Friends during my week long HBO trial.

    I’ll Be Home for Christmas. I think I saw the last bit of this movie years ago. I think I was surrounded by Jonathan Taylor Thomas growing up without having seen any live action movie he was in. Its been so long since I’ve seen The Lion King (need to rewatch that while I still have Disney+), that his voice didn’t trigger memories, he just looked familiar in that 90’s ’00’s way.

    10 Things I Hate About You. Rewatch. Again, ’90’s vibes and nostalgia, I was too young to have watched this anyway when it came out. But all the teens and tween around me growing up would have dressed like this. There is just familiarity in movies of this period even though I only have seen them recently.

    Solo: A Star Wars Story. This is NOT Han Solo. Also, way to make Lando look like an sulky idiot . . . that droid part, what the freaking what?! Han and Lando were both supposed to be that jaunty, bad boy, devil may care types. And sorry those types don’t spring from the non-entity (in the former case) and goof (in the latter case) types. Besides the script, I don’t like the casting for Han, but they could have given Glover a far better chance to shine, he had some good parts, it’s just the whole movie was so, well, blah (and that robot part, what the f people?!).

    The Mandalorian season two, I’d dragged my feet on watching The Clone Wars and Rebels and just went ahead and finished the Mandalorian. Luke’s appearance signified that they are dropping the non-canon absolutely absurd newest films. Glory hallelujah, I enjoyed aspects of them, but sorry, they ain’t Star Wars or rather they are Star Wars lazily and terribly repackaged.

    The Clone Wars. I love these, I love these, I love these! THIS is Star Wars at it’s full potential, this is the real, true stuff. I officially fell into true Star Wars fan with these, and it makes me understand the fury of the original og people at the absurdly lazily written new movies. I turned to these as something to watch while I worked on last minutes presents, and then I was sucked in and watched them on Christmas Eve and Christmas.

    I wish I’d watched the Clone Wars and Rebels before I finished The Mandalorian, it would have made the appearance of Bo Katan (presumably, I haven’t yet watched Rebels) and Asoka Tano SO much more significant, especially the latter, I saw she was in Clones, but that was just a slight thing, I knew nothing of the series, she could have been one of many random characters . . . then I actually watched it, and she’s Anakin’s padawan! I didn’t like her for the first few episodes but then it got better, so much better, I love the older brother/younger sister dynamic.3

    This show, oh, my stars, its SO cool, it so much better than the movies. And guys, Anakin is COOL in this, so cool. Not the whiny pretty boy he is in the movies. And oh, oh, it makes me so much more upset that he becomes Vader, I relate to his attitude so much.

    Also, his back and forth with Obi Wan is great. I remember I wanted to punch Obi Wan for his pompous legalistic rule following attitude and total lack of empathy for Anakin in the live action, I felt that he was partially responsible for driving Anakin away, that he wasn’t being a good mentor at all.

    Also, you want strong female Jedi, look to The Clone Wars. These are talented, TRAINED Jedi, same as the men, not Mary Sue’s like Rey was, sorry, you don’t just hope in, no training required.

    However, it bothers me that the “good” guys are producing clone armies of living humans while the “bad” guys are producing non-living drones. So who is getting more killed really? Lambs to be slaughtered is what it feels like the Republic is doing.

    The ’90’s and early ’00’s nostalgia is strong for me right now. I wasn’t allowed to watch anything I’m watching now or I freaked out (in the case of the Star Wars prequels), but I was surrounded by merchandise and advertisements and little bits of shows and previews and the styles, so a lot of things I don’t “know” have that vibe which I recognize.

    I was 8 when the first and 14 when the last prequel came out, so I was surrounded by prequels stuff. I feel like there is just so much vying for attention now, I don’t think the dominance of the prequels then can be compared to anything now. I think this is part of why I SO love The Clone Wars, it takes me back to what I was surrounded by growing up without the disappointment those movies actually turned out to be watching as an adult.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Happy Things to Start the New Year

    Good news to focus on for a change:

    15 Good News Trends Reductions in polio, TB, and malaria, the top 3 I think most serious situations in diseases in recent decades (cholera is probably up there too though). I believe polio is slated to be the 2nd permanently eradicated disease ever.

    Inspiration and beautiful nature:

    This gorgeously shot Darling Desi video. Where she lives is so stunning (I think it’s Utah, I think that was on one of the videos).

    And of course, some humor:

    Of course we have to have 16 Personalities Reviewing 2020. I’m INTJ, ISTP, ENTP with a touch in INTP here. ENTJ has a point about elbow bumping, too close, also, I’ve always hated hand shakes. How about, and this was pre-2020, hi and don’t touch me and stay out of my personal space which is a 6+ foot radius for strangers?!

    And how about some major throwback to actors before they were famous and/or (not as famous) their breakout roles. There are some hilarious photos in there.

    Trey’s Kennedy’s Newlyweds

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Attitudes Toward War Exemplified in Friendly Persuasion

    Earlier this years, something in the Speaking with Joy Chesterton episode with Boze Herrington triggered me to think about the topics pacifism/just war/protection in Friendly Persuasion (I love this film, it is so sweet and homey and unexpectedly deep) with actors Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, and Anthony Perkins. It centers around a Quaker family in Southern Indiana during the Civil War. It is not mainly a war film, but the war is significant because of the call of volunteers and the ravaging Rebels coming over from Kentucky combined with the Quaker stance of pacifism. In thinking over this issue, I realized you could really see many different views towards war in the film.

    • Militant pacifism in the mother. She is self-righteous and unrelenting in her total pacifism and her judgement towards those who think differently, even in the face of her son trying to fit his conscience to a nation at odds with itself and his conscience. She doesn’t exactly relent, but I think she soften towards others some.

    • Gracious pacifism in the father. He is steadfast in her total pacifism but understands that others do not feel the same, like his farm laborer who is a former slave, and his son, who he understands is wrestling with various commands in the Bible and his conscience and the state of his nation.

    • Conflicted pacifism in Josh (I’m started to sometimes swing closer towards here, not here, but close; however, like with many things I’m a pendulum) (also, I looooove Josh). He knows and respects his parents beliefs and has made some of them his own, he seems to definitely prefer pacifism and peace, and he doesn’t want to kill or have hate in his heart, but he doesn’t think that watching innocent people get killed is right either.

    • Traditional honorable just war view held graciously by Guard (where I traditionally fall) (also, I looooove Guard). To Guard, it is simple the war is just, the Rebels are wrong, he sees it as his duty to fight and lead and does so honorably. He goes away to war, he leads the ragtaggle group of farmers protecting the farms against raiders, he swiftly calls to order the person who gives out the Rebel yell who is spoiling for war and who jeopardizes their position by the noise and scaring the other volunteers with the yell. He doesn’t shame the Quakers for thinking differently from him. I don’t feel he pushes Josh anymore than Josh’s father does, and certainly less than Josh’s mother.

    • Selfish Hypocrite in the Quaker Purdy who claims pacifism when it benefits him and revengeful violence when it benefits him.

    • Warmonger in the Rebs ravaging the country-side as well as the farmer volunteer who gave out Rebel yell.

    All of this is portrayed so well. Any preaching is real preaching in the story, not preaching from the script to the film watchers. The thoughts and discussions and dilemmas feel real and intense. And this isn’t even the only theme of the story. Oh, this is SUCH a good movie.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Laughter: Screen Rant Pitch Meetings

    Y’all, after I schedule this, I will have under 30 drafts! I started out with over 80!

    So, this channel has over 7 million, but I only this year discovered this hilarious series.

    Mulan. The part about “removing all the fun stuff,” yeah, that was basically my view of Mulan. I thought it at least was supposed to based on history, and more culturally accurate, HA, apparently there are also videos critiquing that. Yeah, I decided not to waste my time, I don’t like the animated except for the fun stuff which they disappeared, I saw bit while I was eating and my sisters were watching, but yeah, I’ll pass.

    Hunger Games.

    “Well there is not really any food in the district, so by the way the actors are gonna have to look skinny and malnourished, and well, hungry.”
    “Okay, would you settle for having beautiful, well-fed actors that are in terrific shape?”

    Harry Potter.

    “Voldemort’s going to plan something evil every year, in the spring.”
    “Nice of him to keep the school schedule like that.”

    “I’ll be honest, that plan sounds super inconvenient  . . . seems like there would be an easier way to get that done especially with magic being a thing.”
    “Yeah, well that’s going to kind of be a theme in these movies . . . well, we’re gonna establish some magical things that would solve a lot of problems but then the character aren’t going to use them.” Bahahahaha!

    Beauty and the Beast. The servants getting a worse punishment than the prince . . . Also. This:

    “This all takes place in provincial France, so you’re going to have to find a bunch of you know British actors.”
    “Don’t you need them to French accents, cause I can get French actors?”
    “No, they should be British and speak with British accents. They can also be American, but they have to speak with British accents.”

    This logic brings the Scarlet Pimpernel to mind . . .

  • Culture and Entertainment

    So, Like, Why Do I Like, Use “Like” All the Time?

    When and why did we Americans, particularly American young women start using “like” as filler or whatever we are using it for?

    I mean like I can’t even discuss this point with my family without saying it like a million times, and I’m homeschooled, I was wondering, like, where or why did I, like, pick it up? I picked it up when I was still mostly around other homeschooled people, and none of our parents talk like that.

    I don’t use, “um” except for emphasis, I don’t believe. I know I use “like” instead of “said,” so like “he was like” because I’m not directly quoting and saying “he said something like” or “he said something to the effect of” is so tediously long. There has got to be something in the middle of valley girl and pretentious prick.

    I also use it instead of “for example.” Even when I don’t need to, see above “I mean like . . .”

    The strange thing is, I don’t write like this or at least to the extreme that I talk like this (this is proper usage, but oh, my stars, I’m annoying myself), except, obviously when I’m trying to imitate myself and make a point about this.

    It’s not the word itself, its the sheer number of times I can manage to say it in one thought.

    I literally (oh, goody, another over/misused word of mine) searched this. I found this article with the various usages of “like.”

     Why Do People Say Like So Much?

    Per this article there are about 3-4 ways to use “like” informally, not quite grammatically. And I use them all. I think lots of us do in addition to the proper usage, and that is how we end up with the “like” overload.

    Quotative “like.” This is the one I’d like a good switch for, but the article didn’t give one. I’m not going to simply use “said” when I can’t recall the words. And as the article points out, it covers more than speech, also reaction, now, I can switch that to “I felt like” or “I felt [emotion]” when referencing myself, but I can’t do that when talking about other people.

    Approximate adverb “like.” I think I probably do use “like” in speech perhaps more than “about.” And that is an easy, one word switch.

    “Like” as a discourse marker and “like” as a discourse particle. This is pure filler usage. This would require pausing, thinking, slowing down.

    I don’t think the “for example” usage of “like” falls into any of these usages. In any case, it’s pretty easy to say “for example” if needed or eliminate it if unnecessary.

    The last three just require slowing down and thinking. Quotative usage on the other hand . . . as I mentioned (oh, “as” instead of “like”!) is trickier. Using “like” generally can be very defensive. And if I just said “she said” followed by an inexact quote which then gets challenged . . .! I guess that is why “she said something to the effect of” sounds bad too, its long and very defensive.

    I looked up how to stop using “like” so much, but I didn’t get a satisfactory response to this usage. People, if it was merely switching to “said” it wouldn’t be that complicated, and we wouldn’t be asking.

    Oh, and lots of the articles I looked up featured a photo of Cher from Clueless. The why they talk in that movie is hilarious and feels exaggerated, but I’m not sure it is as much as it feels. I don’t think we are used to hearing in movies how we actually talk.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    I’ll Choose Pithy over Pedantic Every Time

    Look at three different ways

    1. Using fancy (high-falutin’) words to sound smart
    2. Using complex words to appear intelligent
    3. Using pretentious language to appear erudite

    I’ve heard or read lot of chatter about Americans using simpler words or having a smaller vocabulary or something vs. British or Europeans. This brings to mind a ludicrous example, a history book I read in college by a British author where the author was trying so hard sound um, erudite that instead of using commonly understood terminology like widespread or dominant hierarchy to reference the hierarchical class system, he used the term monolithic dys-something, I can’t even find it in the thesaurus to ring a bell. But when I looked it up, it was essentially classical class hierarchy. Really dude. And he used this over and over. Kind of feels like when you are writing a paper and have over used a word so you use the thesaurus to find something fancier.

    Anyway, this sort of point of view irritates me. Don’t misunderstand me, a good vocabulary is important. But if a person’s main concept of intelligence of vocabulary is the number of multi-syllabic words you can stuff if a sentence, perhaps intellectual appearance is more important to said person than accurate communication.

    The word must be appropriate. That is the key. A fancy word used to express a simple thing is not clear communication, it is an attempt to be snobby.

    Complex words/sentences structure SHOULD be used to express complex, nuanced thoughts. Simple, straight-forward language ought to be used to express the simple, straight-forward thoughts. Using long words to obscure meaning is abhorrent.

    • Oversimplified language=loss of shades of meaning, loss of depth
    • Over-complicated language= loss of meaning by obscuring and dishonesty, smoke and mirrors, false complexity, false depth

    BOTH are a loss of expressiveness. Choose pithy (oh, me, I wish I had that skill) over pedantic or simplistic.

    Next up, “like.”