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It's not impossible that the last four issues could push me back over, but I'm now 99% sure that when all is said and done, I'm going to think Season 8 was great.  I think there's a better than even chance that I'll think it's the best season ever.

One of my favorite images, which I use with my students, is from chemistry.  Apparently you can supersaturate a liquid -- pour in so much powder that the substance really, really wants to gel.  But you can keep it in liquid form somehow.  Then if you tap on the container, a crystal will form instantly.

I use that image for my students about how the writing process should go.  (I'm thinking here about academic writing -- when you're trying to make an argument or reach an insight).  You pile in a bunch of thoughts and considerations.  You pour in facts and theories until your head hurts.  You let it all rattle around.  And then you wait for the moment of 'tap' -- when it all crystallizes.

My willingness to stay open to the comics has been because I thought it might be a deliberate effort to supersaturate us with confusion so there'd be this moment of 'tap'.  I love that moment.  The 'tap' is one of my favorite parts of being a human being.  I'm willing to pay a high price in patience to get it. 

I got my 'tap'.  See my piece on the Spuffy reading,[livejournal.com profile] angearia 's meta, and [livejournal.com profile] aycheb's musings on the Brain Overload thread at BF.   See specially Emmie's latest meta on LWH #1.  Everything that didn't add up was supposed to not add up.  The world is skew.  An effort to read the season as a linear story is bound to be frustrating.   But once you tilt your head to the right angle, it pays out.  At least it does for me.  Spectacularly.

Emmie just reminded me of a short post I made about The Wild Bunch which had a totally not veiled subtext about season 8.  This is 10,000 better.

I totally get that it's not everybody's cuppa.  And I'm surely not saying it ought to be your cuppa.  But I'm getting what I want.  A  text that is layered and complex.  A story that tells a story cogent on its own level while commenting on stories and the role they play for us.  This time we're adding in the extra spin that the commentary on story telling is actually part of the plot.  

So I'm a happy girl!  That doesn't happen too often, so I figured I'd pipe up and say so.


(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-09 11:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] local-max.livejournal.com
Yay! It's very nice to see you're happy. And it's so exciting to compare how 36 transformed your take. It seems as if your intial negative reaction seems what allowed the tap to happen, which is pretty cool. And, hello, is what happens to Buffy in Retreat--to gain access to her power she has to be defeated. For the story to make sense you have to lose faith in it.

I love your analogy about the tap. But I don't think the tap has happened for me. I'm not positive it will. It's related to what I suggested above: maybe you have to be convinced that the story can't work, before you see that it does--in order to have the emotional impact of everything clicking into place. I feel generally positive on the story, though I've felt wary in the past. I haven't gone through the figurative underworld that you (and Emmie!) have to travel to the place where everything fits. But Buffy's arc and the storytelling tropes fit together now in a way they didn't before, with the influx of meta that 36 generated. There's a big influx of comments and the whole thing is coming together. It's very exciting! It's hard to believe we're going to have to wait another four months though....

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-10 03:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angearia.livejournal.com
For the story to make sense you have to lose faith in it.

This is very true for me. I had to lose faith in the story in the last arc for this arc to suddenly have it all pull together.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-11 05:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 2maggie2.livejournal.com
I'm not sure if it took a big down to get to the up. I mean, the one did follow the other in this case. (Though the down wasn't so very down... I just got tired of carrying the flag for optimisim for a bit.) I was near to seeing how to see the thing -- and then #36 seemed to be a problem. Emmie and others pointed out to a few key details, and then it all fit together quite nicely. Team effort, I'd say. Can't say it wouldn't have happened even if I'd kept waving my happy flag.

But yay! It's nice to be happy about it. And the rush of meta quickly showed that it's not only the right line, but it's a very rich line.

I'm glad you're still pretty positive about it. We'll see what comes up in the next few issues. It's going to be a wild ride!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-13 05:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] local-max.livejournal.com
I think I may have been overstating the down that I saw you have before the bounce way up (and straining to connect it with the Retreat Buffy-defeat-superpowered flying story). I think you said in your 36 review (the first one!) that you were pretty well emotionally disengaged, if intellectually interested. The down-then-up formulation seemed to happen with Emmie too (maybe Elena also, who was pretty positive on 36 and negative on Twilight?), so it might have been reasonable. It looks like stormwreath and aycheb are as positive as ever, so a dip may not be required to have the love. I think I'm mostly there anyway, and loved 36, and haven't even hated any issues for real.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-13 06:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 2maggie2.livejournal.com
Oh, there was a down. It'd been hard to hold out hope when it all seemed so bizarre, and then #36 set me back because I've been pretty tender of the hope that Buffy didn't know. I'm just not sure that the down caused the 'tap' or if the tap happened and thus ended the down!

I'm glad you're close to loving the comics! Here's hoping the last four live up to the billing!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-10 02:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eilowyn.livejournal.com
As someone entirely on the fence (I feel so wishy-washy, because I'll get a little bit depressed about the negative turn the comics have taken, then I'll talk to Emmie and get all positive again), I gotta say that I may not ever think that Season 8 was the best possible story to do, but that I have little doubt now that Joss will do very well with the toys he's put in place. Realize this is a big concession from me (I still rub elbows with the best of the negativistas, so even my saying it could end up all right is a BFD), and Emmie is entirely to blame. Until I get a chance to wade through your other meta of course, then I'll blame you, too.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-10 04:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angearia.livejournal.com
It's all my fault!!!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-11 05:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 2maggie2.livejournal.com
The big joy from me on the comics is that I think Joss really is playing on the themes that made me love the 'verse so much in the first place. And the fact that everyone but a few rather blind Bangel dogs sees the OTT in Bangel #35 finally made me feel sure that my reading about subversion and all that has been right. Anyway, I hope they end up working for you!

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-10 03:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] angearia.livejournal.com
This makes sense now, why you were able to wait so long. You were waiting for the 'tap' moment. I didn't really understand that until reading this post.

I didn't really have that to hold on to. I think in retrospect, Season 8 as read in one big gulp will probably be brilliant, especially if you have all this meta to read along the way. I really envy [livejournal.com profile] penny_lane_42 who says she will probably be reading it come January and reading meta as she goes.

Truthfully, the reason I love the Buffyverse is because I can reread and rewatch the stories and get more enjoyment from them over time. So I don't really consider this a flaw of the Buffyverse, that it takes the story being complete before you really enjoy it. I'll also add that there's been plenty to enjoy in-the-moment of the story itself. So looking ahead to when we'll have the Big Picture, I think I'll be going back and rereading and just enjoying it even more.

I reread all of LWH today and wow, just, WOW. I think it might be one of Joss' best season openers ever. The way it lays it all out, the dialogue, the relationships, the action and humor, the imagery and dreams--there's so many layers to enjoy.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-11 05:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 2maggie2.livejournal.com
Glad it makes sense now. I was waiting for the 'tap' but also would have been a bit bewildered if it hadn't come. I couldn't see why the choices were being made... and as you know for me if the critique is just Joss is adding up two plus two and getting 27, that's not an argument that the story is bad, it's an argument that the story has not been understood. So I was sure there'd be a tap. (Though it could have been a tap to something that was not very good; in this case, though, yay!)

:)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-10 06:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] norwie2010.livejournal.com
So I'm a happy girl!

I'm happy for You! :)

It is really good to read so much interesting and hopeful meta from You and Emmie, especially. I sure hope that this season will be all that what the great meta writers see in it.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-09-11 05:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 2maggie2.livejournal.com
Yay! And keep that hope going!

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