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04 September 2013 @ 12:00 am
 
For those of you who were wondering what happened with the last LJ Idol round, the poll was discarded due to a surge in sockpuppet accounts in the voting (more details at the comm). I'm hugely relieved, regardless of the reason, because I was really, really unhappy about that last "twist" in the game and it was casting a pall over everything.

Now we're essentially redoing the last round, with a new topic: It's Super Seekrit! Question for readers/voters: do you think I could get away with a dark entry for that prompt? That's what seems to want to be written.

We saw The Butler last weekend, and really enjoyed it. I was most impressed by Oprah Winfrey, who has proved she can act (and probably should have done more of it all these years). She had an interesting character to work with, one whose reality kind of leaked out the corners of various scenes. She took a fairly raw approach to it—not over-the-top and loud, but just laying the character's faults out in the open, nakedly and unreservedly. The main character is more repressed (necessarily so, due to the situation), but I do love Forrest Whittaker and it's nice to see him work his subtlety into a quieter performance. The historical moments that cropped up in the movie felt as vital as in their own time (the Woolworth lunch counter sit-in was one of my favorite parts, because it showed how hard and how brave it was for the protesters to subject themselves to that anger and violence while remaining firm and unresistent).

I do recommend staying away from the message boards at imdb.com. They are full of racist deniers, who seem to think the depiction of actual history is propaganda. We need to do a better job of covering this period in schools—it is an ugly and shameful part of our past, but if there are people who are convinced it has been overblown or exaggerated then we REALLY need to get the truth out there. Relentlessly.

Speaking of truths and countering racism, a coworker has this awesome warrior-Obama picture as the Windows background on his PC, and THAT is the kind of thing I want to see more of in general!

We had Persian ice cream yesterday, which is flavored with saffron and pistachios. It was interesting and also good, though I prefer my ice cream sweet rather than savory. The saffron seems to linger around inside you for awhile, which was kind of unsettling (and I like saffron!) OTOH, it would be hard to overeat this stuff, unlike virtually any other kind of ice cream, so there's that.

All right, off to bed soon. I woke up with a cold on Monday morning, but it might yet die off if I'm lucky. And the scratchy throat doesn't keep me awake all night. :(

 
 
 
alien_writings: Glowing Brainalien_writings on September 4th, 2013 07:44 am (UTC)
By dark do you mean horror-dark or more like angsty-super-depressing-drama dark? Speaking to personal tastes, horror is very much not my thing and super-emotional-depressing-downer-ending isn't necessarily what I would prefer (though I prefer that to most horror). For what it's worth, in Exhibit A, I think theun4givables got eliminated with a horror piece even though I thought it was quite well-done (and I don't even like horror!).

Exhibit A, at least, didn't seem to like the super gory and super horror-dark the way Season 8 did. I'm not sure about Exhibit B, but I think it would be a risk. I'm but one voter, but a "dark" piece wouldn't attract me. Take my opinion with a grain of salt, of course, since I'm one voter who isn't that involved with Idol right now!
theun4givablestheun4givables on September 4th, 2013 11:12 am (UTC)
I think Exhibit B is even less fond of the blood and gore than Exhibit A, but I could be wrong. Still, emotional/angsty stuff got me booted, too, so who knows.

I personally would want to see the dark. I like dark. A lot. lol
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 4th, 2013 06:06 pm (UTC)
I like dark, too. I'd just hate to be eliminated at this point over, "Nah, wasn't in the mood for that" as opposed to "This was a really well-told story, and it gripped me."

It's all a tossup, isn't it?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 4th, 2013 06:03 pm (UTC)
I was thinking "dramatic dark," but with a hopeful ending.

So, more like a secret that is dark rather than schemes!Villains!etc!
theun4givablestheun4givables on September 4th, 2013 06:41 pm (UTC)
I think that would work just fine -- especially with a hopeful ending. :)
Kizzyxo_kizzy_xo on September 4th, 2013 11:28 am (UTC)
I was watching an episode of Bizarre Foods not too long ago where Andrew visited an ice-cream place where the majority of the ice cream was either savory or just barely sweet (IIRC the sweetest flavor, to him, was the corn). The savory aspect initially took him aback with the lingering, but the more he ate it, the more started preferring it over sweet because he could eat more of it!

I want to say the country was tropical...I just don't remember anything else :p
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 4th, 2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
the more he ate it, the more started preferring it over sweet because he could eat more of it!

Geez, so typical for a guy. For women, it's, "Must limit calories." For guys, it's, "Bleh. I feel sick now."

Hey, I WISH too much sugar made me feel sick. But alas, it does not. And I can eat ice cream practically forever, which is why we don't have it in the house. It never STAYS in the house. :(
Desireex_disturbed_x on September 4th, 2013 11:48 am (UTC)
I'd love to read something dark. The last week I participated in I wrote something dark and I noticed it didn't do as well as some other pieces. Still, It would be something I would be interested in though.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 4th, 2013 06:08 pm (UTC)
It's always so unpredictable, isn't it? I felt like I nearly got booted over a well-written comedy a few weeks back, possibly because people don't always understand how much work comedy is. But really, I never actually know what voters are thinking.

A couple of people who came back via Second Chance Idol and did well later on... I never "got" why they'd been voted out of the main round early on in the first place.
Didn't want to be: Anguishanyonesghost on September 4th, 2013 12:28 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've ever had a problem with 'dark' in Exhibit B ... but then, I haven't gone too explicitly gory. I think as long as you're writing the story that wants to be told, and you demonstrate that you're stretching yourself as a writer, it'll be well-received in the polls.

(Still your competitor, natch, so take that with a grain of salt; and still a n00b, for all intents and purposes, so add another grain of salt! But that's really what I believe.)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 4th, 2013 06:11 pm (UTC)
I think this would be more emotionally dark than gory, partly because I'm not a fan of gore myself! I can only go so far.

(Still your competitor, natch, so take that with a grain of salt; and still a n00b, for all intents and purposes, so add another grain of salt! But that's really what I believe.)
I still feel like a n00b, even after playing starting in S8, because there are long histories of twists/etc. that I don't know anything about. And voter preferences are SO unpredictable.

Do you remember the writer who had to write an intersection with herself earlier this round, and it was both about the topic and meta on the topic, and meta on how this reflected her whole why-aren't-you-married-yet history with her mother, and was also funny</i? I could not for the life of me figure out how she got voted out over that. It was awesome in every possible respect!
adoptedwriteradoptedwriter on September 4th, 2013 12:50 pm (UTC)
I want to see The Butler. I love history stories.

Write what your guy tells you to write. It'll be awesome as always. AW
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 4th, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)
My guy, or my gut? My guy almost never has any ideas. Except suggesting bad puns for titles. ;)

My gut found a voice for this other approach already, and it would be a distinctive one and different from my entries this round, so that's tempting.

Really, a strong voice that has a story to tell is often what makes the thing "go" for me, as opposed to a vague idea that might or might not germinate.
alien_writings: Glowing Brainalien_writings on September 4th, 2013 06:24 pm (UTC)
Do you mean your gut found a voice for the dark approach, or for a different approach?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 4th, 2013 06:26 pm (UTC)
For the dark one. We're in overload mode at work, so I haven't done a darn thing on it since midnight last night!
nrrrdy_grrrl on September 4th, 2013 04:00 pm (UTC)
I'll check out the Butler at your rec. Coincidentally, last night I watched the BBC's History of Racism documentary and despite how much they obviously enjoyed freaking out that America is so racist, I was still grateful I watched. It made me remember how very little we learned in school about history and reminded me there's still more I don't yet know.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 4th, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
I'm almost 50, so during my time we didn't learn much about the Civil Rights movement (too recent, and therefore too "touchy"), and if you're any age older than about 25 or so, you probably didn't learn about Japanese Internment camps because that whole things was "hidden" as a part of history. I.e., books never talked about it and the grownups who knew about it never mentioned it!

I was so shocked to find out that we, as a country, had done that. We have so much race-based wrong in our history, but glossing over it is NOT the answer.
nrrrdy_grrrl on September 4th, 2013 08:00 pm (UTC)
Have I mentioned lately that I am fond of you and your compassionate smarts?
favoritebeanfavoritebean on September 4th, 2013 10:37 pm (UTC)
I love how Obama is wielding a light saber.

Re: ice cream- Persian ice cream is similar to kulfi to me, texture wise. Still, saffron flavor sounds divine.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 4th, 2013 11:54 pm (UTC)
The light saber in one hand and crossbow in the other says he means business! Not to mention the lion. ;)

I hadn't heard of kulfi before, but I can see why they might be similar. The saffron was really interesting, though I still wouldn't trade it for anything except maybe basic vanilla (which I find pretty dull). :)
Pika the Brazen Ninjaporn_this_way on September 5th, 2013 01:24 am (UTC)
I think dark is totally fine, especially if it's one of those entries that's just sort of sitting in your brain, all like "YOU WILL WRITE ME, OR ELSE." When a post is determined to be written, sometimes there's just no fighting it. Stories of just about every genre imaginable have whipped some arse in the polls, ya know? IME\IMHO anyways, it's more about the quality than the genre itself, so if the story's a goodie, then let fly.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 5th, 2013 06:42 pm (UTC)
It's up! Let's hope it survives the voting.
cindytsuki_no_bara on September 5th, 2013 04:40 am (UTC)
i say go with dark if that's what's pushing to be written. do it and make it fabulous. :D

persian ice cream sounds gooood.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 5th, 2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
It's done, and I hope it's fabulous. This just wasn't the time for what I might ordinarily do with that topic. I think my brain is too fogged with a cold to pull off wacky humor.

The persian ice cream WAS good, though if I'm going to invest the calories then I'd rather keep the saffron in pasta sauce and the ice cream as a chocolate-related dessert. Still, it was nice to try something new!

The online recipes for it mention rosewater, but I didn't taste that at all. That was in the other frozen dessert, faloodeh, which was very different (mostly because of the rice noodles). The combination of rose-water, sugar, and lemon was good, though. I would probably have liked lime even better, but it wasn't available.
whipchickwhipchick on September 5th, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC)
I had olive oil gelato last year and loved it - so subtle, still sweetish, very nice!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 6th, 2013 05:28 am (UTC)
Interesting! I don't actually like olive oil, but was it flavored with anything else? Basil, or a hint of some other seasoning? Or just the olive oil itself?