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Odds, ends, and rainbows

* Revolution Science Fiction has finally completed its Top 75 Heroines of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror countdown, a list that has been, literally, years in the making. (The first installment was posted in 2004.) But hey, heroines are a serious business, and I'm glad they took their time and gave the ladies the love they deserve. I contributed the sections on two of the heroines who made the list, namely #18 (Éowyn from The Lord of the Rings) and #14 (Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series).


* Revolution Science Fiction previously gave the heroes their props in my shameless Sci-Fi and Fantasy Hunks Countdown. Now that I think about it, I believe a few entries on this list might be slightly different if I were to write this again today. The top honors, however, would remain the same.


* While I'm mentioning Revolution Science Fiction, huge congratulations to sneezythesquid for being newly named RevSF Staff Writer! Read his latest review (on Mission: Impossible III) here.


* I finally carved out a moment to take a break, and I wasted it utterly on An American Haunting, thinking that with such a stellar cast and interesting subject (the historical event is both a local phenomenon here in Tennessee and the most documented "haunting" in U.S. history), it would be good. I was badly, badly wrong. If you want to know more about the Bell Witch story, go to www.bellwitch.org, www.prairieghosts.com/b-cave.html, or www.bellwitchcave. (Thanks to marthawells for these links.) Don't make my mistake and lose two hours of your life you can never regain to this movie. No matter how good Donald Sutherland looks in long, white hair, it's not worth enduring the film.


* Tagged by nakeisha, here I go:
Explain your LiveJournal name and its meaning.

I chose "eldritchhobbit" as a tribute to two of my favorite authors, whose works I read and reread, write about, and teach. "Eldritch," which essentially means "weird, strange, or unearthly," is probably a good description of eccentric old me (ha!), but it also happens to be one of H.P. Lovecraft's favorite terms, a word that, due to his frequent use of it, has come to be associated with his works of cosmic terror. (For example, an excellent documentary on Lovecraft is entitled The Eldritch Influence: The Life, Vision, and Phenomenon of H.P. Lovecraft.)

"Hobbit" comes, of course, from the Halflings described in J.R.R. Tolkien's writings of Middle-Earth. It probably describes me well also, as I am quite short, fond of mushrooms, and predisposed towards being a homebody. I also share Thorin Oakenshield's assessment of Bilbo Baggins in particular and Hobbits in general, as he explains in The Hobbit: "There is more of good in you than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and good blended in measure. If more of us valued your ways - food and cheer, above hoarded gold - it would be a merrier world." So, I figure that there are far worse things to wish to become than a weird Halfling! I named my LiveJournal "Redecorating Middle-Earth in Early Lovecraft" to complement my LJ name.

I won't tag anyone, but I'd love to hear others' explanations of their names!


* And, last but not least, after the rain comes the rainbow. (This picture was taken from our back porch on Thursday afternoon. Click for a bigger image.)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us


Quote for the day:

Science explains the world, but only Art can reconcile us to it.
-Stanislaw Lem, "King Globares and the Sages"

Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
nakeisha
May. 14th, 2006 02:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation of your name.

It all makes perfect sense now.
eldritchhobbit
May. 14th, 2006 03:20 pm (UTC)
You bet! Thanks for tagging me. :) I really think it's an interesting meme, a great "get to know you better" sort of exercise.
marm
May. 14th, 2006 02:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the Bell Witch links. I had never heard of this legend.

BTW, Ebert and Roper panned the new movie, too.

What explanation of the phenomenon is given in the film?
eldritchhobbit
May. 14th, 2006 03:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the Bell Witch links. I had never heard of this legend.

You're most welcome! The story seems quite "alive and well" here in Tennessee. There often are talks and events organized about it. Fascinating stuff.

BTW, Ebert and Roper panned the new movie, too.

Argh, I should have listened! *slaps forehead*

What explanation of the phenomenon is given in the film?

It was quite odd, because for most of the film the audience was left to wonder. It seemed as if a genuine curse had been placed upon the family by a disgruntled neighbor. (The editing was quite bad, so the flow of the story was not entirely comprehensible, but still, the implication was there.) Then, in an ending that seemed very "tacked on" and disjointed, the film suggested that the father was actually guilty of raping his daughter, and the haunting was, in fact, a poltergeist phenomenon created by her pain and stress at his horrible acts against her. (After the father died, the "haunting" ended.)

What made this worse, besides the fact it didn't seem to connect to the characters or events we had seen in the first 2/3 of the film, is that the story was bracketed by a present-day situation, and in the end it is suggested that the girl who, in 2006, discovered the diary with the Bell Witch story, was in fact herself a victim of molestation and rape by her father. So... the movie as a whole was like watching 2/3 of a horror film followed by 1/3 of a half-hearted after-school special, put together in such a way that it diffused any horror that the audience might have felt at the ghost story, while trivializing the serious issue of incest by making it a trite afterthought.

Perhaps the strangest thing was the closing afterward that flashed up on the screen. It implied that "hauntings" are completely unscientific ideas based on superstition, while "poltergeist activity" is "plausible" and completely unproblematic as an explanation for these events. Oooookay.

I kept thinking that it reminded me of a class project, in which different people take different parts of the task, and then throw it all together at the end without ever comparing notes or making sure the final project holds together as a consistent work - sort of a "film by committee," if that makes any sense.
marm
May. 15th, 2006 01:22 am (UTC)
Thanks for the "spoiler". I'm very glad I didn't buy a ticket for this dog.

kept thinking that it reminded me of a class project, in which different people take different parts of the task, and then throw it all together at the end without ever comparing notes or making sure the final project holds together as a consistent work - sort of a "film by committee," if that makes any sense.

Actually, it does. A lot of movies these days are made that way, with so many hands in, and focus groups, etc., that there's no sense of an author's vision.

eldritchhobbit
May. 15th, 2006 01:19 pm (UTC)
Actually, it does. A lot of movies these days are made that way, with so many hands in, and focus groups, etc., that there's no sense of an author's vision.

Excellent point. And very frustrating.
hapendfro
May. 14th, 2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
A rose by any other name...
Regarding your LJ name. For the longest time I had no idea what the heck Eldritch was. I knew the hobbit part of course, but Eldrith hung me up, until I was reading my very 1st Lovecraft and lo and behold there was the word eldritch. I was so shocked and pleased. Of course I had to go the the OED to find a definition, of it but at least I knew what and where it came from.

My name is mixture of the following Hap- Harry Potter, one of the most entertaining and truly enjoyables books ever. End-Ender Wiggins, of Enders Game fame. And, last but certainly not least Fro-duh, that one I think is a freebie. The journal name is from a song by Badly Drawn Boy and since I hope to gain wisdome from my LJ friends it is approprialy entitle Logic of a Friend.

Hope your weekend is good, and exams are over and done, and some relaxing is in your near future before summer travel takes over.
eldritchhobbit
May. 15th, 2006 01:12 pm (UTC)
Re: A rose by any other name...
LOL! I love your "eldritch" story. :) Your name is wonderful; it's terrific how you combined all of those references. (Incidentally, two of my students this semester did research projects on Ender's Game. It's a favorite!) Your journal's name is really clever, too.
estellye
May. 14th, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC)
Your hunks countdown made me snarf my coffee about four times. You rock!

However in defense of my elf, lol, I'd like to see you ask the orcs if he's androgenous. Oh, wait, you can't, he killed most of them. hmmm, I may have to turn in my girl card for equating masculinity with kick-assedness. heh, nobody's perfect.
eldritchhobbit
May. 15th, 2006 01:13 pm (UTC)
Your hunks countdown made me snarf my coffee about four times. You rock!

Well, you've made my day now. :) Thanks so much! Sorry about the coffee snarfing. ;)

Oh, wait, you can't, he killed most of them.

ROFLOL! Touche. I won't question the kick-ass capability of your elf!
fenice_fu
May. 18th, 2006 08:09 pm (UTC)
I happen to be playing a character in a video game at the moment who is great at sneaking and shooting (bow). Very good. And there is a great deal to be said for never even letting them know you're coming and not getting too close to em when you have to take them out, lol...it's very gratifying when I can get through an area without taking any damage, while having caused a lot. :)
sneezythesquid
May. 14th, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)
While I'm mentioning Revolution Science Fiction, huge congratulations to sneezythesquid for being newly named RevSF Staff Writer! Read his latest review (on Mission: Impossible III) here.

Whoo-hoo! Thanks for the shout-out! Both of your articles are well worth reading as well. So who would you swap out on the hunk list?

I'll take that "explain the name" challenge, and I love the pic.

"Why are there so many songs about rainbows?"
fungus_files
May. 14th, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC)
"Why are there so many songs about rainbows?"

This song makes me cry every time I hear it. Every. Time. There's something about Kermit that I find so poignant. *tries not to think about it too much*
sneezythesquid
May. 15th, 2006 05:32 am (UTC)
There really is. While Henson may have liked doing Rolf more...he's always Kermit first and formost to me.

*holds up a candle*
eldritchhobbit
May. 15th, 2006 12:07 pm (UTC)
*holds up another candle*

"Someday we'll find it,
The rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers,
And me."
eldritchhobbit
May. 17th, 2006 01:08 am (UTC)
So who would you swap out on the hunk list?

I'm not sure I could swap anyone out. *pouts* I'd have to expand it to at least 20. I was very proud of including people representing a wide time spectrum -- the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, and now -- but my additions would be fairly recent: Kiefer Sutherland from 24 (now), Jim Byrnes from The Highlander ('90s and now), someone from Firefly/Serenity (figuring out which one would be a terrible burden - I have no idea where to start!!! that's one hot cast), possibly Naveen Andrews from Lost (now). In my current list, I could kick Paul Darrow down a few notches, and possibly John L. Adams, as well. Lance Henriksen probably needs a boost up the list, for that matter. I think my top eight or so would remain the same.

It's a tough call. So many hunks, such little time. *sigh*
gilda_elise
May. 14th, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC)
Never could figure out the first part of your name; it's been a long time since I've read Lovecraft. I should be so imaginative, though. My LJ name is simply my name.
eldritchhobbit
May. 15th, 2006 12:06 pm (UTC)
Re: A rose by any other name...
Well, if I had such a beautiful name, I'd use it, too! ;) Glad I could solve the "eldritch mystery," as it were. LOL!
primroseburrows
May. 14th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
I'm 106 years old and I still bake my own bread...
I'm so pleased to see Mother Abigail being mentioned. She deserves it--one of my favourite characters, period. Yay also for Ellie Arroway, and for Carl Sagan writing a novel in the first place.

And Delenn, oh, yes. Goes without saying. I've been in love with Delenn forever--who wouldn't be?

And Hermione and unexpected but wonderful choce of The Powerpuff Girls--this is a great list! And of course, Dana Scully at #3 is perfect indeed.

But where is Lyra Belacqua? And Jane Drew from The Dark is Rising? *shrugs* I guess you can't have everything. :)

an excellent documentary on Lovecraft is entitledThe Eldritch Influence: The Life, Vision, and Phenomenon of H.P. Lovecraft.)

I need to see this. It's been on my list for ages.

eldritchhobbit
May. 15th, 2006 12:03 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm 106 years old and I still bake my own bread...
I think the missing name that most disappointed me is Captain Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan, from Lois McMaster Bujold's award-winning Vorkosigan series. She is the SF literary heroine for me. I also have a soft spot for Heinlein's Podkayne of Mars, but I understand why she didn't make the Top 75.

Delenn is perfection - she could've been even higher on the list, I think. Like you, I was glad to see Scully up at the top. Great point about Lyra Belacqua!

I need to see this. It's been on my list for ages.

It's so much fun - just Neil Gaiman's comments on Lovecraft alone are worth the price.


primroseburrows
May. 15th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm 106 years old and I still bake my own bread...
It's so much fun - just Neil Gaiman's comments on Lovecraft alone are worth the price.

If Neil ever quits his day job (please, gods, no), he should do standup. He'd make the phone book funny. *loves*
fungus_files
May. 15th, 2006 12:02 am (UTC)
Great that the heroines list is now finished - will have to make some time to read it through. Saw that Lady Jessica was included in the Top 10 - hurrah!

You'll love this:

On the wall of an aesthetically uninspired, crowded, delicious Malaysian cafe in Melbourne, the owners had put up all manner of quotes about the joys of eating. One of them - attributed to Tolkien - was this: "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." I remember it was this exactly because I'd put it into my mobile phone. You gotta love an author who can be paraphrased so effectively in the interests of hospitality industry. :D
eldritchhobbit
May. 15th, 2006 01:15 pm (UTC)
Your cafe story is the best. Frodo lives, man, even in Malaysian cafes in Melbourne! :)
jalara
May. 15th, 2006 12:55 am (UTC)
Thanks for posting the link to RSF's "Top 75 Heroines." I love the strong female in a show and this list has many that I know and love plus a few I knew nothing about. It will be good to refer to if I need a kick ass chick fix. In fact, Terminator 2 and Babylon 5 have moved to the top of my list to watch next.

I am surprised that one of my favorite heroines isn't on the list. Lt. Col. Samantha Carter of Stargate SG-1 is my ideal of the female heroine. Beautiful, smart, and a super soldier, she saves the world on a weekly basis and has done so for 9 seasons (the 10th is being filmed as I write this.)

Also, while Xena is mentioned as #7, I'm surprised Gabrielle didn't make the list. I know she was considered the sidekick, but she became quite the warrior also.

Ah well, I'm sure you could have a room full of people and we'd all come up with different favorites. Still a fun list and I enjoyed reading it.

I did the name meme a while ago. If you're interested in my name and missed it, it's here: http://jalara.livejournal.com/68500.html
eldritchhobbit
May. 15th, 2006 01:18 pm (UTC)
I love the name behind your LJ! Very clever. (And I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who was horrified by "Endgame," too.) So how did you feel about the eventual R/T marriage in Nemesis - were you "over it" by that point, or did you think it was a fitting resolution for them?

Great comments re: the heroine list, too.
jalara
May. 16th, 2006 01:50 am (UTC)
R/T? Well, I thought it was too little, too late. It seemed a bit contrived and added on. I felt like it was supposed to appease me after they had so thouroughly messed up J/C. And I hated the pink dress! Deanna is Betazoid for crying out loud! But all that said, it was nice to finally see some regulars have a normal relationship. I mean all those single people on starships gets a little old. But Trek never did do affairs of the heart all that well. It just wasn't their forte. Unfortunately, neither was Nemesis. Still, I miss Trek, but I don't really want it back...yet.
eldritchhobbit
May. 19th, 2006 02:49 pm (UTC)
Well, I thought it was too little, too late. It seemed a bit contrived and added on..

Exactly! I agree completely.

But Trek never did do affairs of the heart all that well.

Very true - and J/C is just another classic example.

I was particularly frustrated with Nemesis, because I thought the idea of the "rape," with the antagonist using Riker's body to violate Troi, was a rather interesting concept that could have yielded some great, angsty drama, but they really dropped the ball with it. That movie was poorly put together from many angles.

Still, I miss Trek, but I don't really want it back...yet.

I know what you mean!
wellinghall
May. 18th, 2006 08:37 pm (UTC)
wellinghall, Tolkien, where Treebeard / Fangorn the Ent lived.

Particularly appropriate for me (well sort of), I lived in the West Midlands at the time, which Shippey points out is where the Mark (where the Riders of Rohan lived) is calqued on, and Wellinghall was on the borders of the Mark.

Also a mild pun on my RL surname.
eldritchhobbit
May. 19th, 2006 02:45 pm (UTC)
and Wellinghall was on the borders of the Mark

Fantastic! This is so clever, especially since it has many shades of meanings. Thank you for explaining!
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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