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18 June 2007 @ 10:15 pm
Olympics and Surfing (but not at the same time)  
A reminder that if you're interested in the Angst vs. Schmoop SPN Olympics at spn_heraea, please to be reading and voting on stories in the comments!

Sadly, after the initial stories, there's been less voting-- lots of wonderful comments, but few votes (and authors writing for these Olympics can't vote, for obvious reasons).

I'm feeling grumbly because someone wandered through and hit my schmoop entry with a vote of 5.0 out of 10, which pisses me off. I haven't read any stories that I'd consider as low as a 5, although there was one that I just didn't get and didn't work for me, so I didn't leave a comment.

Now, the schmoop stories that were really more angst than schmoop? Oh yes— she loved those (don't we all!). But... if angst is your bias, you kind of have to temper that into your vote. Now I'm kind of wishing that the single lowest and highest votes would be tossed (like they used to do for Olympic figure-skating— heavens, the politics!). I.e., I can personally blow the vote off as a bizarre anomaly, but... it does drag the Team Schmoop average down, and that bugs me. Grrrr...

Onto a happier topic: we saw Surf's Up on Father's Day, and really enjoyed it.

Oh, mockumentaries, how I love you. :D Especially when you're unexpected.

The "archive footage" used in the exposition of the movie was fantastic— newsreal-like clips, pseudo-Japanese art, etc. The first 20 minutes or so was pretty much hilarious throughout, with some great moments from the more minor characters. The middle slowed considerably, but picked up near the end. Much better than we expected!

The animation quality was gorgeous. The ocean and waves were so realistic that it seemed as ifreal film footage was being used as a backdrop and then animated over. Just stunning. The feather texture on the penguins— the shift in light as the penguins went from dry to wet or wind-- was so authentic. Some of the "windy" scenes on the Island in general were like animated realism. I really don't need my animation to look that good, but it was incredible.

The "baby" penguins were my favorites— they were interviewed many times, and their little fuzzy bodies were just adorable.

My husband thinks someone should sell copies of the babies. Oddly enough, "Build-a-Bear" has several of the adult penguins, but none of the babies. Just like they have "Shrek" but no "Donkey." :0 Fools!

And in other news, we finished Season 5 of The Shield on DVD already. That's partly because it was 11 episodes and not 13! What happened there? Incredible season, nonetheless. Oh, Forrest Whitaker, what a talented guy you are...



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The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on June 19th, 2007 06:02 am (UTC)
I remember there was a discussion ages ago about the Snarry_olympics in the Harry Potter fandom. I remember they had a poll at the end of each story with

- "How do you rate the story's quality 1-10"
- "How angsty/schmoopy was the story (depending on category) 1-10"
- "How much did you enjoy the story 1-10"

And people were also asking how you vote responsibly on something like that, especially when you know that you might have a bias (for example somebody from team schmoop said that there might have been a story she would have voted 10 for quality because it was well written, 10 for angsty-ness because it was 100% dark and gloomy and everybody ends up dead, hating each other or whatever, but for enjoyment she would probably rate it a 1 because it was unpleasantly dark for her. So it might have fulfilled the prompt of creating an angsty story, but as a schmoop person she just didn't enjoy it at all).
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Sam/Dean kisshalfshellvenus on June 19th, 2007 06:24 am (UTC)
So it might have fulfilled the prompt of creating an angsty story, but as a schmoop person she just didn't enjoy it at all).
In that case, I think you're just duty-bound not to vote.

The story meets its requirements-- well and truly-- and the fact that it's not your genre is not the fault of the story.

One of the best stories to come out of this little competition is something that is schmoopy angst all the way, and I'm torn there because I deliberately set out not to write that kind of story myself (heaven knows I could and recently have) because if it's Angst vs. Schmoop, I think it's best not to muddy the waters for this particular case. But on the other hand, what you write so often is more what story your muse needs to tell, regardless of how well it fits into a particular box. It's very hard to guide an incredible story away from what it wants to be just because it's straddling the two genres.

My story was more snarky than I'd intended for this comm, and I feel lucky that it turned out well AND schmoopy by the end, because the prompt I had was the lesser of the three remaining evils when it was time to choose. I did the most with it I could, which is to say that it wasn't a great prompt for me. Many of them weren't-- "motel" and "Atlantic Ocean" and "Route 66" work better for me than "Train" (mine) or "Tornado siren" (WTF?) or "Tequila." It's all so individual!

On the penguin topic... how were you able to stand "Happy Feet?" We rented it over Lauren's protest because the animated penguins were cute, but my god that story hurt me. I wound up bailing out after the first half-hour, and I don't think Christopher even finished watching it. Oy.
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on June 19th, 2007 06:32 am (UTC)
I think that was one advantage of having three questions to answer. Saying that the story was a good schmoop/angst story even if the person in question personally didn't enjoy it. If you have only one vote/one question to answer, that kind of thing gets muddled.

So a story that would mix angst and schmoop might get high votes in enjoyment because it hits the golden middle but might get bad grades on, well, being schmoop.

I think back then there was even the sort of underlying curiosity whether schmoop or angst is more popular with people in general and whether writing schmoop is associated with people giving it poorer grades for quality [because people associate angst with being edgy or whatever].

On the penguin topic... how were you able to stand "Happy Feet?" We rented it over Lauren's protest because the animated penguins were cute, but my god that story hurt me.

Man, the Hugh Jackman character hurt me. I felt bad for the actor ;p
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on June 19th, 2007 06:52 am (UTC)
Man, the Hugh Jackman character hurt me. I felt bad for the actor ;p
Hahaha! At first, I thought, "Wait, Hugh Jackman? Is she confusing this movie with "Flushed Away" instead?"

But then I looked it up on imdb.com, and it turns out that I hated the movies so much that I didn't stick around long enough to register any of the voices.

Not only did the premise hurt, but the choice of music was the final straw. Just couldn't sit through it (god but I hated the "Disco" years).

"Surf's Up" was much weirder, and that's always a good thing with me. I saw parts of "Flushed Away" this weekend, which looked okay. Pycho tadpoles with teeth and baby-bonnets are funny all by themselves. :0
The Good, The Bad and The Lanathelana on June 19th, 2007 06:57 am (UTC)
To me most of the enjoyment came from the cracky Mexican accent penguins (did you stick around long enough for them?). :D

They did a lot of stuff where they introduced characters that might have been potentially fun and then just never came around again (the bird who was "abducted by aliens") or just didn't do anything of substance (the I think Robin Williams penguin cult priest).

Guess the music didn't bother me because I never lived through that music in real time ;p
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Venushalfshellvenus on June 19th, 2007 03:36 pm (UTC)
:D Those parts sound funny, but no-- I was long gone by then. The music drove me right out of the room. And I do love Robin Williams in these animated comedy movies.

Yes, I was there for the music originally and hated it. And now it's back in vogue and I hate it all over again!

Much of pop music (not rock and roll) is annoying to me, and I'll change the station or turn off the radio if it gets to be too much. But Disco was the ultimate evil. ;) :0