Another Friday Dies

So, another week gone by, and I don’t feel like I’ve achieved as much as I should. Which is, in its own way, kind of odd, because I actually got a fair bit done this week. I’m back to doing stuff over at my other blog The Centre Cannot Hold again, getting back into the swing of things there, which is a nice feeling, because it means that I’m putting at least one new thing, however small, into the world each day. Plus there’s the assorted reviews I’ve been putting up here.

I’ve spent a lot of this week listening to various new podcasts. Some I liked, and I may wind up talking about them here at some point, others I didn’t, and I’ll never mention them again. I like to like things, after all, so when I dislike a thing, I try to put it down the memory hole (which may not be entirely healthy, but what the hell). This blog isn’t a place for criticising things, but a place for celebrating them.

For some reason, despite all my best efforts, my body keeps resetting to being almost completely nocturnal (I have literally seen about an hour of sunlight each day for most of this week), which is deeply annoying, because the world that has jobs in it doesn’t work that way, and I like having money. (To say nothing of my creditors, who also like having money, and would like very much for me to give it back to them. Sorry guys, I know it’s taking forever, but it is happening.) Still, there are worse things than being nocturnal, although this being winter, it does mean that my waking hours are in the colder half of the day.

Fortunately, now as always, darkness makes me smile.

Uncritical Criticism

I’m both awesome and sucky at being a critic.

Awesome, because I’m good at seeing the flaws and the merits of a given work, and explicating them simply.

Sucky, because I’m a little too good at forgiving the flaws. If I enjoy something enough, I can forgive a lot. I can forgive the egregious plot hole in “Seveneves”, despite the fact that it annoyed the hell out of me for the first 500 or so pages of the book, for example.

I tend to try to view things in the context in which they were created – I don’t judge an Eighties sitcom on its gender role assumptions the way I’d judge one made today; I try to ignore the racism in 19th century (and earlier) novels (with mixed success); and so on. There are a few things I draw the line on, but in general, I have higher expectations of works created closer to the present time or day.

I also try to judge things not by an objective standard of artistic quality, but instead by the range of their particular form (i.e. I don’t compare a sitcom episode to “Apocalypse Now” or “Macbeth”). I’m quite comfortable with something being a solid but unexceptional example of its kind (yes, “Watchmen” is a better comic than say, “Marvel 1602”, but they both have their charms), which is a useful ability if you watch American sitcoms.

Experience has made me expect more of some creators than others, and so I hold them to higher standards – I expect more of Dan Harmon than Chuck Lorre, or of Kieron Gillen than Dan Slott, or of Jo Walton than Mike Resnick – but than doesn’t stop me from enjoying at least some of the works of all these people. (NB. “The Big Bang Theory” still sucks, but I enjoy “Mom”.)

I like to like things, in short.

(Thank you, Miles Stokes, for that wonderful phrase.)

And that’s going to be with this blog is about from now on. I’ll be writing about things I like and why I like them. Probably with occasional outbreaks of more personal stuff, but mostly just fansquee. Be seeing you.

My toe in your water

It’s hard to know quite what to write in this space. Given the opportunity to say anything at all, I find that rather than having everything to say, I have nothing to say. Nothing I am sure of. Who might read this? How might they react? This is public, after all, and I have even less control over who sees it than I do on Facebook (although I do have room for a lot more nuance here, which I like).

But instead I am careful, and cautious, and all those other words that sound like one is mature and adult but actually mean “afraid”.

Well. Perhaps admitting that fear is a necessary step to over-coming it. I’d like that.