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2020-10-27 17:10:20 (UTC)

in which I rant a lot about Voltron: Legendary Defender

"Souls" by Car Seat Headrest [these are some of the best lyrics I've ever read—so unapologetically adolescent—it was hard to choose a favorite portion, so I chose a few]

I see you reaching out to t-t-t-touch
My skin shrinks, I think I’ll be shocked
By that static
It’s too dynamic
(The legless panther is crawling out of the ditch, trying to avoid detection)
Bounce and stretch
I stretch into a smile
Not just my face, my body, my soul

Because I view life as something that I
Don’t think I’ll get away with
And you think that we’ve already gotten away

Yeah we all have dreams, I know
I should have
Forgotten them in the morning
(A dead dog painted on the sea)

October 27, 2020 Tuesday 5:15 PM

Due to going up on the lamotrigine, I am experiencing a loss of appetite. I didn't know why for a bit, but it makes more sense now. I don't remember when I stopped eating breakfast. I know it's bad for me but I'm un-hungry when I wake up, and then when I finally get hungry in the afternoon, I am only annoyed because nothing sounds good, and I keep only being able to eat about half of what I cook, which is kind of nice because then I can eat it the next day when I realize I should probably nourish myself. So I've been dealing with it relatively well, except for today, in which I felt sort of... not dizzy, but fatigued and receding. Eyes unfocused, somewhere deep in my head remembering something. Melvin was sitting in my passenger seat and we were arguing, and then I remembered that Maria's tarot cards—last weekend—sort of loosely gestured that I should probably stop thinking fantasizing about people like Melvin. I can't really help it, though, they live in my head forever. The people that don't want me, platonically or otherwise. I like to remind myself of the humiliation that comes from existing near them. Retroactive humiliation? Or is that how I felt while it was happening too? Whatever.

I feel old. I got out of the car at the beach, which I do about once a week now, and I went to the shoreline and sunk into a squat (in my heeled boots, my patterned dress pants and a turtleneck, I felt like I had a job or something lol). And that reminded me of the animes I've seen, the way the characters sink into these kinds of squats, and I wonder why americans don't really squat so much in this way. It's sort of comfortable. I remember I did that when my apartment was burning because I had been standing outside for awhile and it was pretty cold out and I was only in my pajamas since I hadn't thought to salvage a jacket, lol. I sank down and a guy asked if I was okay and I almost cried even though I did, in fact, feel okay. Anyway, I remember he gave me his jacket, and I should probably remember his kindness more than the way he said, "It might not zip up but it should keep you warm," because he was quite thin and it reminded me that I was not thin. Which, of course, being a negative bodily thought, has imprinted itself into my perma-memory.

My head hurts less now that I've eaten a bit. I had some leftover macaroni from yesterday (homemade! it was really good) and I bought a little kombucha and also some raspberries to coax myself into engaging with Edible Substances. I've eaten about half the raspberries. I'm still sort of hungry, so I might move onto Saltine crackers, or I could make a soylent shake which is probably healthier. I can eat crackers at like 1 AM, when I'm working on homework (my new routine has me doing homework from about 9 PM to 2 AM, which I don't mind. It is easier for me to focus at night).

I've been feeling pretty nauseated. I feel like, everything kind of makes me want to throw up. Which, I mean, that was a redundant thing to say. Anything vaguely emotional, I mean. Suddenly I just want to vomit, lol. Probably lack of food. Which is probably also why I've had a headache for like a week.

Despite my generally poor physical condition (experiencing pain at any given moment, probably in the head), I have been feeling really good, creative. Also been watching a lot of Voltron: Legendary Defender. I'm almost done, but it's been kind of hard to get through the last stretch because it's kind of... boring. A huge lack of time dedicated to character relationships, too much time spent on battle sequences, which is kind of frustrating. But I'll think about that more later. Also, as is fitting for someone who lowkey ships Sokka/Zuko despite it being against canon (not that I mind the canon, Mai is really cool and I also like Suki's character a lot), I of course also ship Keith and Lance. But it's frustrating because, even though the show has a canonically gay character, it still feels too subtle. I can forgive Avatar for lacking representation because it was 1) made in 2005 and 2) on a kid's network. But Voltron had a lot more freedom under Netflix and it was made between 2016-2018!!! There's so little LGBTQ representation!! Even the canonically gay character is never explicitly... like... confirmed gay. It's pretty HEAVILY implied, but I am pretty positive they could've worked in a more obvious phrasing. I understand the showrunners didn't want it to define the character, but by making it Korra/Asami-type vague (yeah I'm annoyed with that too) I think they are effacing the character, and really giving up an opportunity to flesh out the character in a different way. I just think if they could afford so many other flashbacks that expressed things in a very on-the-nose sorta way, they could've done the same for the gay character. You know? They could've made it more overt!

My other complaint is fully biased, but I don't really like Lance's romance in the later seasons... don't want to give spoilers but, although it is pretty well-developed on his side, it is sort of lacking on his partner's side, and it wouldn't be a problem if we could understand better how they interact but we also never truly understand their dynamic together. When they are on-screen together in a relationship context (a rare occurrence), there is a distinct lack of Lance-typical characteristics, which is also irritating. So, uh, YES, I would've rather had him with Keith. It would've been a good opportunity to subvert heteronormativity in, like, hero arcs or whatever! And in general, because of their love/hate dynamic, it would've been very very popular with viewers lol. Other reasons too, maybe. I don't know but it's frustrating.

As for racial representation in Voltron, I have some issues with it, but they've done better than many (and I mean MANY) animated shows I've watched before. Also, the aliens are super gendered in Voltron (some youtuber pointed this out to me, I am blind). I don't know. I just think it's disappointing, given the really cool aspects of the show (the retro-future visual and aural aesthetic, pretty animation, sometimes-interesting fight scenes, fun filler episodes, very well-developed main and side characters). It could've been a ~masterpiece~ like Avatar, but I think the show just went on too long and too aimlessly. It reminds me of Legend of Korra in that way—where it seems like the writers got stuck in this loop of making each season Bigger, Better, More Emotional. But it doesn't work like that. There is a limit to suspension of disbelief, which is why successful stories like Avatar and Gravity Falls and Over the Garden Wall are dedicated to a singular arc. Otherwise, you write yourself into a hole, and end up looping back on yourself a million times, adding intricate and superfluous lore, convoluted explanations, deeply referential show-speak (like, when an episode relies deeply on prior knowledge of other seasons and lore, which CAN be okay, in some cases, but in the case of something like... Doctor Who or something... it can get fucking ANNOYING to keep track of).

I remember my only problem with Buffy, the Vampire Slayer was that, every season, in order to garner the same impact with a completely new plot, they needed to make the antagonists stronger, the stakes higher, the protagonist more powerful, to the point where Buffy dies, like, three times and still comes back to life every time lol. Towards season 7, it was just... not even predictable, but a bit laughable? I can forgive it, because Buffy was pioneering shows of that style (continuous plots), but it feels like it's time for development.

So, yeah. I'm obviously not done with Voltron yet, but I only have a few episodes to go. If Keith dies, I will riot, because he is my favorite character and I am also convinced that, secretly, he is the True Protagonist of the show (he is a classical-type hero—Harry Potter-esque, coming from nothing—but he's also just... cool in other ways, I'll explain another time). But also, if he dies and he dies in a way that is healthy for the overall arc of the show, I will be happy. I will cry, but I will be happy. SPOILER FOR BUFFY: Like when Anya in Buffy died. Like, that shit sucked. She was SUCH a cool character. And she died in the space of about a second, but not only did it re-affirm the stakes of the plot—by showing viewers that main character can, in fact, die permanently—but it also did not give us time to really process Anya's death. There was no room for, like, a long scene where Xander cries over her body, and I am really *glad* for that. There's something really satisfying, about ending a character on a jagged note. Anya and Xander never got to return to each other, Xander never got to say goodbye, and no one ever found her body. She was there and then she was gone. Lots of people were upset about it, but I truly think it was more impactful that way.

Anyway, that's that on that. I'm feeling better. Gonna chug some water and sit cross-legged in my chair while watching Voltron.

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