June 27, 2007
This is one of the most beautiful myths I have heard in a long time. It is a Persian myth and is lifted straight out of Persian Mythology by John Hinnells. The image is one of the most sublime I have ever received.
The rains were formed by the god Tishtrya. They were blown together by the wind to form the cosmic ocean, Vourukasha, or boundless ocean, which lies at the peak of Mount Alburz. This ocean is so wide that it contains a thousand lakes, the springs of the goddess Anahita. Within the ocean stand two trees, the tree of many seeds, from which all other trees derive, and the Gaokerena tree, or White Hom, from which all men will receive the elixir of immortality at the renovation of the universe. Evil naturally tried to destroy this life-giving tree and formed a lizard to attack it, but it is protected by ten KAR, fish which swim ceaselessly round in such a way that one of them is always watching the lizard.
It just sort of bought home to me the primoridal power of the fish . . . something that we've all but forgotten in the age of dying oceans and industrially farmed fish. I'm going to remember the power of the fish more often from now on, and pledge to respect it more than I currently do. Go, fish!
My favourite myth's still the Selkie, though.
June 15, 2007
Is my capacity for forgiveness without reserve?
And so it is that I find myself writing about Paris Hilton. I have either joined a particular club or been kicked out of one I didn't know I belonged to. But if Christopher Hitchens can justify writing about her, then I guess anyone can air their feelings on celebutards right now and call it relevant. Particularly if, like Hitchens, you have a pretty good hype-filter and can refer to her as a "tearful child" without sounding pious.
My own hype-filter, I'm afraid, has been sadly boggled by an aversion to girls who play dumb, badly, and in Paris' case, play slutty too. Because, girlfriend, when you play slutty, it aint play no more! You diss women everywhere but particularly the ones who fight to be taken seriously---and there are still many of us who do. Her brand of false naivete is one of the most dead-eyed, uninventive takes on a role that, if done well, can be a fun, energetic form of play that women in particular have excelled at. But Hilton seems to lack the energy, the life force necessary to pull that off, let alone the inevitable smarts to really play dumb and delight.
And so, I admit, a little bird in me grew wings when Paris entered jail a week ago and was forced to pull out the extensions and the coloured contacts and see just how unflattering those prison jumpsuits can be. I thought that some sort of karmic justice was being doled out; that after years of flipping the bird at the common man (remember those hilarious t-shirts she and Britney wore saying "I'm Paris Hilton; I can do whatever I want"?) the shallow-and-proud one would learn that there is still a world where money and fame can't protect you, and in her case, have probably hurt more than helped her in the hope for a fair deal.
But you can't make anyone learn anything just because you think it's true. And don't think I haven't asked myself why I am so invested in the goings on of a hopelessly lost girl who I will never meet, in a crazed town called Hollywood. Because I have. I have cross-examined myself and asked just why I feel so strongly about someone who, in my heart of hearts, I know is just trying to feel important and obviously wants to be loved by as many people as possible. Even if her tactics are hopelessly misplaced and her execution far from perfect, Paris Hilton is still one of us, and what we ultimately all want is acceptance, right? Sounds pretty understanding, doesn't it? I guess it does, but I don't think I could have got there until I'd heard the latest on the situation, namely the phone call between Paris Hilton and Barbra Walters that took place in the last couple of days.
After releasing a ridiculous statement about how she was "shocked to see all of the attention devoted to the amount of time I spend in jail", Paris Hilton has finally come clean and admitted that her dumb act is just not cute anymore. "I used to act dumb. It was an act ... and that act is no longer cute."
Now, maybe I'm just an old softie, but I think those words would be incredibly hard for anyone to say, famous or not. And it is those few words that have led me to the decision to lay off poor Paris for a while, at least until she does something obnoxious again. Or maybe I should just not read gossip blogs or care about them anymore. Either way, I feel that Paris, with those few words, has actually made amends for being such an asshole in public for the last few years. To admit that one's act is not cute is a huge step for anyone, and I have respect for Paris for saying it. Hopefully now, the madness, at least for me, can die down a bit.
June 7, 2007
You've given me everything I need
I'm usually a voracious reader of reviews, but I didn't even bother to see what people are writing about the last ever epiosde of Gilmore Girls---except of course, for Salon, whose reviewer I pretty much agree whole heartedly with. But I'm not reading any other reviews or forums on the series as whole or the final episode in particular because the best reviewer, the one who, next only to the Palladinos, knows the show best of all is me. I know its root causes like I know my own: a love of pie, of books, pop culture, pizza, shiny hair and lots of fabulous winter coats. Although this inventory tends to coincide with a lot of stuff that girls, in particular, like, the show should never be considered a girls only kind of show, although I can't imagine it would ever be as much fun for a guy to watch. The show casts one of the widest possible nets in terms of audience appeal; it is practically saturated with pop culture references and the two lead actresses, while natural comediennes I'm sure, have been specially coached in the rapid fire banter that is the key component in its considerable charm. Well, that and two other things---the well rendered quirky Conneticut hamlet of Stars Hollow (in the America where Al Gore won the election) and the most perfect, aspirational relationship depicted between mother and daughter, ever.
Even though she faced unexpected competition from Tammy Taylor of Friday Night Lights, Lorelai is still Greatest TV Mom ever, because Tammy is very much a mom-within-a-couple mom while Lorelai has always been a single mother unit. And in this category Lorelai is untouchable: strong, sassy, supportive, unshakeable in addiction to junk food and coffee and completely, perfectly in tune with the dreams and hearts of little girls everywhere. And teenage girls. And mothers. Girls, generally. What do girls want? Ask Lorelai. Or better yet, give 'em Lorelai. Lorelai's life. No one can rock a wrap dress like Lorelai, run her own business, fan the attentions of so many slack jawed men and leave her detractors in the dust like Lorelai can. Because she's got her girl, see, Rory and when she found out she was pregnant at sixteen, everything changed and there were no more second chances to get it right. Every decision she made since then has been the right one, excluding the ones related to men because, otherwise, I guess, no show.
I used to watch Gilmore Girls with an entire pizza and much hot chocolate when it was on TV. In yellow pajamas. Then it got cancelled or something and I was only able to catch slivers of it on Foxtel, or the time slot kept changing and I couldn't keep up. The first time I called my now-boyfriend was after an episode, and the first TV show I have owned completely on DVD is that show. Such mythic admiration, however, does not preclude me from saying that the seventh and final season sucked hard, but it does whine somewhere in the background that its creator and lead writer, the Palladinos, had left by the seventh season, and that the show really suffered from the loss.
Let me explain it this way: the seventh season never got the rhythym, never got the girls, never got it. It didn't have that great balance of smarts and warmth, the characters weren't allowed to breathe between episodes and you could plot the arc of the season in your head---which was something you could never do in the early seasons. The finale was saved by just two things: the town itself and a very well chosen closing scene that recreated the very first scene in the show. But that was all. However, there is talk of Gilmore Girls movie, helmed by the Palladinos, which should give the show the proper send off it deserves. I read that Amy Sherman Palladino has said she has always known how the show will end, right down to the last four words. I am dying to know what those words are, and to see if Rory will get back together with Jess. But mainly I just need to know that my girls are going to be alright before I let them out in the world, away from my imagination and my perfect, patchworked world where girls can eat nothing but diner food and still not get fat. Seriously, Gilmore Girls should come with a health warning; I gained eight kilos watching those seven seasons. And it almost made me want to eat meat. I wonder (though I doubt) if it's possible to make a good vegetarian cheeseburger?
The good news is that the new show by the Palladinos, The Return of Jezebel James should air very shortly in the states. It revolves around, (surprise, surprise!) a sassy, fast-talkin' pair of sisters played by Parker Posey and cutie Lauren Ambrose. I don't know too much about it, but I know those girls have energy to burn and I'm fairly sure I'm going to love it. So I guess things are OK. In the meantime, I still have my DVDs of the early seasons where Mrs Kim was truly scary and Rory really did look like a little girl of sixteen. And there was Dean. Man, was he tall . . . and boy could he change that water bottle. Although I'm a Jess girl through and through, dude was one tall glass of water. Clink.