Yep. It got me.
I'm obsessed with Homestuck.
YOU GUYS, IT IS SO GOOD. I don't just mean the story is intriguing or the characters are lovable (though it is, and they are). What I'm itching to talk about here, though, is the downright incredible way it is constructed.
Sometimes, you can read a book, or see a movie, or enjoy some other form of entertainment, and it will be enjoyable and engaging, but you will come away with the sense that the same story could have been told in another medium, either without having lost anything or, in fact, improving from the change. At least, I sometimes have that experience, and I've been told it's a common one. There's certainly nothing WRONG with writing a book that would convert well to a film, or a video game that can become an anime, especially when it is done well.
HOMESTUCK IS NOT ONE OF THOSE STORIES. Homestuck is part of a much smaller set of works I've found that simply could not be told in any other format, at least not without losing its depth and richness. These sorts of works are RARE, usually breathtaking, and can come in pretty much any storytelling format imaginable. A good example of one in theater is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Yes, it's a great read and I'd recommend it to pretty much anyone and everyone. Yes, the movie had some truly stellar performances. Neither of these comes remotely close, however, to seeing it performed live. Most of the emotional impact of the play is lost when a screen or a page is placed between the audience and the action.
This is getting off-track, but I promise, I have a point.
For a literary example of this principle, I'd offer up House of Leaves. It fully uses and engages every aspect of what it means to be a book, playing with and twisting the relationship between narrator, character, and reader. By challenging the boundaries of what you expect in a book, it entrenches itself so deeply in the medium that the story and the medium of the telling are completely inextricable from one another. The Metal Gear Solid franchise, especially Metal Gear Solid 2, does the same for video games.
HOMESTUCK HAS DONE IT FOR WEBCOMICS.
This is not a comic that could ever be compiled and turned into a trade paperback. This is not a comic that just happens to be on the web. This is a web comic. Andrew Hussie fully explores the multimedia potential inherent in doing something on the internet. He can (and does) link out from the comic to other webpages. He scatters hypertextual links to individual pages of a parallel narrative at key points in the main storyline, and he integrates animations and music into the comic regularly. You don't just read this comic, you watch it and listen to it and sometimes you even play it. It is ridiculous. It is long, and complicated, and intimidating, and bizarre, and sometimes extremely silly. It is also FUCKING BRILLIANT.
Stolen from Maddi and THROUGH TIME from 2008 because I wanted to do a meme!
The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed. Well let's see.
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them ;-)
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible (I assume this means the Christian bible, because that's what this question generally means. So no. I have, however, read the Torah and parts of the Talmud.)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy (Read some of it for school senior year; am not including it because it was LITERALLY the only book I was ever assigned for school that i simply COULD NOT GET THROUGH. It was THAT DULL.)
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (Kind of unfair that they group them all together, but I'm working on it!)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (hate it. don't even get me started.)
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (A teacher lent it to me a few months before school ended. I had to give it back at the end of the year and was only about a quarter of the way through it. SOMEDAY. SOMEDAY I WILL FINISH IT.)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (Love applies to all but The Last Battle, which is almost offensively bad.)
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (this is part of the Chronicles of Narnia, does this really count?)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (And several of the sequels)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy (I used to want to read this. Then I tried reading Hardy in the form of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. You can see how that turned out.)
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (It's been a long time, but I recall liking The Secret Garden but loving A Little Princess.)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (As with Shakespeare, I'm still working my way through them. Love them so far, though.)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
This is ENTIRELY my friend Harrison's fault. He got me interested in the plot and characters of Persona 4 (which I've been watching playthroughs of, because I actually fail at video games a lot) and then he sent a bit of song parody he'd come up with on the spot that crossed it over with the Buffy musical. So while I was bored on my drive to class today, my crazy brain came up with the entire song. It's to the tune of I've Got a Theory, natch.
RISE: I've got a theory/
That it's a demon/
A foggy demon/
No, something isn't right there...
YUKIKO: I've got a theory/
Some god is dreamin'/
And we're all stuck inside their wacky TV nightmare
YOSUKE: I've got a theory we should work this out,
GROUP: It's getting chilling, what's this spooky killing all about?
CHIE: It could be Kanji, maybe it's Kanji
CHIE: ...which is ridiculous cause Kanji is adorkable and wants to help and likes to sew and I'll be over here.
YOSUKE: I've got a theory it could be Teddie!
TEDDIE'S NOT JUST CUTE LIKE EVERYBODY SUPPOSES!
HE'S GOT THEM SQUEAKY LEGS AND I DON'T KNOW WHERE HIS NOSE IS!
AND WHAT'S WITH ALL THE BEAR PUNS?
WHAT DOES HE HAVE TO BE LAUGHING AT ANYWAY?
TEDDIE, TEDDIE, IT MUST BE TEDDIE!
...or maybe Nana?
YUKIKO: I've got a theory we should work this fast,
GROUP: Because it clearly could get serious before it's passed.
SOUJI: I've got a theory, it doesn't matter.
What can't we face if we're together?
What's in that place that we can't weather?
A shadow world? We've all been there.
We've faced ourselves, why should we care?
GROUP: What can't we do if we get in it?
We'll work it through within a minute.
We have to try,
At Junes we'll meet,
It's do or die --
SOUJI: We won't be beat!
GROUP: What can't we face if we're together?
What's in that place that we can't weather?
There's nothing we can't face...
YOSUKE: Except for Teddie...
I am an optimist. Not sure why I felt the need to express this today, nothing particularly of note has happened, it's just been another perfectly ordinary day. I just thought I'd say, you know, being alive? It's pretty cool.
I do not hold with the idea that idealism is something to be looked down on. Having ideals, and striving towards them? That's what gets things done. Sitting around being mopey and cynical about human nature and the state of the world accomplishes nothing at all, except maybe to make you feel better about yourself in what is ultimately a fairly petty and shallow way. And anyway, cynicism is BORING. You can keep your "realism," your belief that dreams don't or can't or won't come true, your preoccupation with the things we do wrong. I'd much prefer to spend my time exploring the multitude of shimmering, albeit slightly cliched, possibilities that stretch before me each day.
I do a lot of driving, and I do not have an Ipod. Hence, I listen to a lot of radio, and I end up having assorted Thoughts about the various pop songs with which I become familiar. And, because this is my very own, super-self-indulgent Livejournal, I am going to share those Thoughts here (because you totally care)!
( Come On Get Higher - Matt Nathanson )
( Standing Still - Jewel )
( This Afternoon - Nickelback )
FOR MY FIRST POST let's see if I can organize my thoughts on Tennant's Hamlet into some sort of coherent order.
FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF AKFLDKLDSDSJKLA;FSKLA OH MY GOD IT IS SO GOOD AND AMAZING AND UTTERLY HEARTBREAKING <333333333333
Okay, maybe not.
Instead, I shall put my assorted Thoughts and such below, bullet-point-style, along with the more entertaining of the IM comments passed between myself and oldstarnewshine .
- Maddi: lol question it horatio! you're learned! you talk to the dead guy!
- "A little more than kin and less than kind" -- our first sense of Hamlet, of how any given actor is going to be playing the part we're going to watch for the next three hours, and Tennant NAILS it!
- I love how Polonius is mouthing Laertes' speech to the king along with him, like he's rehearsed him in it a thousand times, and maybe even told him what to say.
- Also love how it's sort of echoed later, when Ophelia and Laertes mouth/say Polonius' lines along with him, because they are clearly lectures he's given them a hundred times before.
- Hamlet's reaction when he first sees Horatio: SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE omg they are so cute <3
- Jamie: pffffffft he wore his beaver up. SO SRS
Maddi: ITS A BIG DEAL
- LAERTES IS SO AWKWARD TALKING TO OPHELIA IN THE FIRST SCENE. LIKE "FFF I DON'T WANT TO BE TALKING ABOUT MY LITTLE SISTER'S "CHASTE TREASURE.""
- Ophelia: Something touching the lord Hamlet.
Maddi: More like something about touching the lord Hamlet.
- The decision to cast Patrick Stewart as BOTH the ghost and Claudius? AWESOME. His performance as both? BRILLIANT.
- "Smiling damned villain" -- I don't think I've ever seen this bit done better, I really don't.
- REYNALDO <3 <3 Such a tiny part, but done with such excellence! He made it very memorable and hilarious!
- "To be or not to be" -- done with GORGEOUS subtlety. He resisted what is probably a strong urge that so many Hamlet's give in to, to Make a Speech. Nothing pulls me out of the moment faster than the feeling that the actor is thinking "I am now going to say the most famous soliloquy in all of English drama." But the way he did it, it just felt so organic and natural, like he was thinking it and saying it right there, like it was all brand new.
- Ophelia's got great development. When we first see her, she seems healthy and normal and happy, but not overly free or strong-willed. Then here, with the 'get thee to a nunnery' scene, you can see the strain. She has this feeling of being brittle, like one more shock could shatter her. It's a believable buildup to her mad scenes.
- Maddi: oh god i've just told them all this crap about how depressed i am and they're going to tell my MOTHER
- Hamlet's whistling. So excellent.
- Maddi: how fares our cousin hamlet, who can whistle like a mofo
- Re: Claudius' scene after the play-within-a-play:
Maddi: he's so disgusted with himself. it's a thing of beauty.
Jamie: and still going on with it
Jamie: he is as disgusted with what he's done as it is possible to be without giving himself up
Maddi: it's like a spiral, he hates himself because he killed his brother, and he hates himself for hating himself for killling his brother
Jamie: and he hates hamlet for making him think about killing his brother
Maddi: how dare he make me think abuot the fact that i'm a murderer
Jamie: I AM TRYING TO HAVE A PLEASANT EVENING AT THE THEATER
- When the ghost comes to Hamlet when he is talking to his mother, and he cries that it goes "out at the portal" -- the "portal" is not the door to the room, but the shattered mirror/closet door. I love it.
- Jamie: PLEASE STOP HAVING SEX, MOTHER
Jamie: IT'S ICKY
- Jamie: that's the other thing, he's not obsessed with his mother having sex because he's oedipal! HE'S OBSESSED BECAUSE SHE'S HIS MOTHER, SLEEPING WITH HIS UNCLE, AND IT'S ICKY
- Love the moment when Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are sent to find Hamlet and discover where he's hidden Polonius' body and they look UTTERLY TERRIFIED. Because, yes, if a former friend had already tried to strangle you with a recorder, then shot and killed an old man, and was running around unhinged and probably armed, YOU'D BE SCARED OUT OF YOUR WITS AS WELL.
- Jamie: ...did they tape him to an office chair?
Maddi: bondage!hamlet. surely this is merely an artistic decision.
- Jamie: FOR ENGLAND
Jamie: AND OFFSTAGE PIRATES
- Jamie: *I WILL MUSH THIS OFFICE CHAIR UNTIL I GET TO ENGLAND*
- Maddi: hey look! another conveniently metaphorical smashed mirror
- Jamie: sir patrick can say huggermugger with a straight face. that's more than i can do.
- Totally shallow musings on fashion:
- Gertrude's blue dress in the first scene - GORGEOUS. Completely innappropriate, yes. But gorgeous.
- Had a lot of fun watching the deterioration of Hamlet's ShinyHair from the first scene.
- Ophelia's dress in the play-within-a-play scene is lovely and I want it
- Much love for Hamlet's SKEWED CROWN OF AWESOME!
- Laertes in a black turtleneck and a black leather jacket with a gun, storming in all full of passion? Yum.
- Hamlet being shipped off to England sports an unfortunate STUBBLY BEARD OF WOE that would be a lot more convincing if they didn't zoom in on a SUPER CLOSEUP of his face. He also wears a rather silly hobo!hat. I have dubbed him, for this scene, hobo!hamlet.
- Horatio's COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAT (in the gravedigger scene)! IT IS A THING OF BEAUTY.
- Upon Laertes' instant agreement to Claudius' evil Plot O' Doom:
Jamie: I WILL DO IT
Jamie: I DON'T EVEN NEED TO THINK ABOUT IT
Jamie: I AM A FOIL, I AM ALL ACTION WITHOUT THOUGHT, HAVE I MADE THIS CLEAR ENOUGH?
- Laertes' face when Gertrude tells him Ophelia's drowned: heartbreaking.
- Maddi: gertrude: concerned about ophelia's chaste treasure even after her death
- Maddi notes that the fencing weapons are accurate. I know nothing of fencing, but she assures me that this is usually overlooked and very annoying when gotten wrong, so, HOORAY!
- HE SHRUGS. CLAUDIUS SHRUGS WHEN FORCED TO TAKE POISON. FFFFFFFFFFFF
- The ending: I can't even address the ending. It hurts my heart too badly to discuss it. And that, I think, should give you some idea of how amazing it is.
IN CONCLUSION: AWESOME.