Magical Mondays: Using Magic to Make Drama

Pretty much all shows have some drama, because drama means conflict, and conflict means an interesting story, but drama for the sake of drama aggravates me. For example, if you kill a character and give them a big emotional send off that makes sense with the plot, then great. However, if you then somehow magically bring that character back so that the other characters have to go through the drama of killing them again, that is just drama for the sake of drama and it’s pretty stupid.

Continue reading

Magical Mondays: Take a Look; It’s in a Book

(via the svtfoe wiki)

I very recently started watching Star vs The Forces of Evil (no spoilers, please!) and was amused by an episode where Star needs to undo a spell she’s cast on Marco. She pulls out the wand’s manual, an ancient, crumbling tome filled with the wisdom of ages of wand users to consult, only to realize that all of their notes are so cryptic and poorly organized that it will take her ages to make any sense of them. This got me thinking about magical journals in general. A common staple of fantasy fiction is a magical guide to the world in question, typically in the form of some kind of handwritten diary or log. Sometimes a book is just a book; I can’t imagine, for example, that Newt’s finished version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be anything but a basic bestiary. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. However, these books are often most compelling when they serve a greater purpose than simply as a how-to or a reference of some kind. By including these books in a layered way, we can add additional complexity to the stories we tell.

Continue reading

Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: The Problem with Exorcisms

exorcism-of-emily-rose

(via mubi)

Catholicism has a long history of belief in exorcisms, and while many people today may not believe in exorcism, for other Catholics, it is still a very real thing. Exorcisms are also a favorite trope of Hollywood horror films and TV shows, especially during the month of October. However, exorcisms have some issues in regards to ableism and sexism, and the movies rarely seem to want to explore those issues.

Trigger warning for discussions of ableism and disability below.

Continue reading

Fanfiction Fridays: The Chuck Writes Story by lettered

I’m not really into Supernatural any more, and I don’t think I will be again, despite the fact that the series seems like it will go on forever. But when I stumbled upon today’s fanfic rec, I thought the idea seemed just ridiculous enough to give it a chance. I’m glad I did, because The Chuck Writes Story ended up being the type of meta fanfic that is both funny and thought-provoking. (Truly showing that Supernatural’s glory days are behind it, as this fic was written when Season 7 had just come out.)

Chuck SupernaturalRemember Chuck Shurley way back in Season 4, when all we knew about him was that he was a so-called author who was writing and publishing the (entirely true) story of the Winchester brothers? In this series, after his book series is canceled, Chuck keeps writing because he’s compelled to as a prophet. However, he doesn’t just let the new stories languish—in a desperate bid for attention, he decides to publish them on the internet as “fanfiction” of his own series. As more people start reading and/or complaining about his new “additions” to canon, Chuck attempts to make friends in fandom, but his lack of understanding of fandom culture only succeeds in alienating the few people who do talk to him.

Trawling through [livejournal.com profile] spnkink_meme forced Chuck to acknowledge that by entering fandom, he was taking the characters and—maybe not writing gay incest porn—but certainly he was taking the characters and subverting someone’s intent. Certainly he was subverting the intent of these people on, what was it, [livejournal.com profile] samdean_otp, some of whom seemed to believe Sam and Dean were meant for each other. In the sexual sense.

He certainly hadn’t meant them for each other sexually, and he had created them. Was his intent, then, more important than theirs? What about their Supernatural—and there was that question again: was their Supernatural different than his Supernatural?

What was SPN?

Continue reading

Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: Trickster Gods and Pop Culture

MCU Loki

Trickster gods may seem like a strange thing to some people. After all, why would you believe in a deity who would mess with you for laughs? Pagan trickster gods may occasionally seem malevolent, but they actually serve an important role. In pop culture, trickster gods are often used to critique the powers that be and question the status quo.

Continue reading

Fanfiction Fridays: Broadway Musical by Griftings

Slash-ship-Dean-Castiel-DestielI dunno about you guys, but a lot of times when I can’t fall asleep, I end up wandering through AO3, hoping to find a fun fic that can make my thoughts stop chasing themselves around my head and settle down. It’s like storytime when you were a kid, except with more porn. Generally this technique works out for me, because I’ll give anything a try at least once, and sometimes this technique doesn’t work out for me, because… I’ll give anything a try at least once. However, even my laissez-faire approach to fanfic consumption took pause when, at three a.m., digging through the bookmarks of someone I’d never heard of before, I found a Supernatural fanfic advertising itself as a Dean/Cas romcom with a good portion of it in all caps. Now, I gave up on SPN a good while ago, but I did ship these two pretty hard back in the day, and well, I missed them. And it was three a.m. So I decided to give it a try. And as it turns out? I’m really glad I did.

Continue reading

Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: Religious But Not Spiritual

A while ago Stinekey wrote a post about people who call themselves spiritual, but not religious. What people generally mean by this is that they do believe in a “something more”, but they’re not attached to a specific religious belief system. While pondering a topic for my own post I considered that the opposite, things that are religious but not spiritual, are also a common feature in media.

What do I mean by that? Well, I mean that different forms of media often use religious figures in their stories without showing any spiritual aspect of said religion. And while I think this happens across faiths, a lot of pagan pantheons get this short shrift more often, probably because the general public doesn’t usually think of Greek or Egyptian or Norse deities as being worshiped in the modern day.

hammer of the gods spn Continue reading