eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
[personal profile] eruthros
One short and silly thing, the other long and full of a queer reading of the ep.



1. Okay. Throw pillows. My conclusion: John didn't take an interior design class. No. Combine throw pillows with his sparkly curtains and bazillions of candles and what do you get? ... Yep. John Sheppard worked at Pier One. You know, he was (perceived as) vaguely gay and nonthreatening, but not so gay that women didn't come up to him occasionally and say "we need a man's opinion." And he'd be like, "oh, of course, some of these velvet throw pillows with the buttons and the gold edging would go perfectly! Also, I recommend as many twenty dollar candles as you can fit on horizontal surfaces." (Only partly because he got a commission! Also, he just liked candles.) This is what really happened, guys. John Sheppard = PIER ONE IMPORTS. Yes.

2. Okay, so what [personal profile] thingswithwings and I do after we watch an episode is sit around and bullshit about it. And thus, I would like to present our theory of Why John Kissing Larrin Is Incredibly Queer. (I mean, more so than John's usual discomfort at touching women.) Being the people we are, we actually paused the episode in the middle of the the key scene here to talk about queerness and then watched the scene again, because we are huge dorks. ([personal profile] thingswithwings, if I forgot anything, let me know.)

Let's start structurally, within the plot of this episode. I was afraid that John and Larrin were going to kiss in the closet; hoped they'd just get it over with. But then... then, instead, they put their hands over each other's mouth. Ostensibly to keep each other quiet (though the life signs detector was still beeping -- whose brilliant idea was that?). So, okay, that was a scene that was cut, shot, scored like a kiss scene, but instead of a kiss, it was this physical barring of the kiss. No mouths for heterosexual John and Larrin!

And then, later, John sees a Wraith that has just fed on Larrin. And here's how the scene goes:
- he makes a point of showing us, the audience, that his gun is empty, can't fire; from the pov of the producers, this is probably supposed to read as John Sheppard's Bravery, but we all know what guns mean
- he pushes the empty gun into the Wraith's neck and starts to make threats
- the first thing he wants is the stunner (a working gun)
- the second thing is Larrin's life pushed back into her
- and the third is the Wraith's departure
- He and the Wraith have some palaver about the Wraith's chances and John's word, and then the Wraith starts doing the important thing: he puts his hand on Larrin and feeds her own life back into her (her life penetrates her, instead of being sucked out of her; she becomes part alien, as John is)
- Larrin has an orgasm, I swear to god -- watch her face. ("It actually felt kinda good.")
- John gets off on Larrin's orgasm/pleasure/(re)penetration of life -- I swear to god here, too, go watch JFlan's facial acting. He's in the background, and out of focus sometimes, but he's blinking a lot, narrowed eyes, shifting his weight back and forth; and at the end, he's lost the pressure of his empty gun on the Wraith and has to push it back into him.
- Larrin and John discuss Wraith penetration versus Wraith sucking; "it actually felt kinda good" "yeah, I know" -- John recognizes her pleasure as the same as his own.
- He puts his stunner (the working gun) in his pants, and helps Larrin up.
- Larrin and John stand as they did in the closet, earlier; but now they're not barring each other's lips and each other's heterosexual desire -- because it's not heterosexual anymore. (More on that in a minute.) Heterosexuality is what's closeted in this episode!
- Larrin and John kiss; Larrin provides most of the forward momentum, and John moves only a little.
- Larrin pulls the working gun from John's pants, presses it into his side (Think of the slash conventions here -- the hardness against his hip, is-that-a-gun-or-are-you-just-happy-to-see-me)
- And John goes down. Kaboom! Silly John.

So: the kiss. The Wraith.

There is this moment in which there are three people in this corridor. There is John, who is only touching the Wraith; Larrin, who is only touching the Wraith; and the Wraith, this insert between them who makes the contact possible. Larrin's arousal, and John's arousal, happen via the mediator of the messy penetration of the Wraith. John is aroused by the process of Larrin becoming like him, feeling what he did, recognizing the Wraith as penetrators and not just suckers. Becoming, as well, maybe part-alien, not-human, not-normal. Becoming queer, having queer sexual experience, having a queer body. And at that point, for John, this is a recognition-of-self-in-another-body, is a desire-for-sameness -- Larrin doesn't just have a queer body in the sense that she's now had this half-alien pleasure thing, she also fits John's desire for someone who has the same body he does.

Only after he recognizes himself, his own reactions and his own sensual experience, in another body does he send the Wraith out -- while this is a heterosexual pairing, it is barred by hands, simultaneously barred by and made possible by the Wraith. It's only possible when Larrin becomes John. He doesn't move towards her until she is like him, until her admission that her body felt good permits him to make a similar admission. (As far as we know, this is the first time he admits to anyone that the Wraith re-feeding him felt good, the first time he admits to bodied feeling about it. Though Rodney thought it was clear -- he thought John looked younger.) They don't kiss until they are the same.

At which point, of course, Larrin gets the upper hand at last, takes John's (functional) gun from him, leaves him with only his empty gun, stuns him and leaves him on the floor.

Tangent: it's interesting to think about Larrin-Wraith-John in the light of the totally, totally queer-barred-by-heterosexuality of the Teyla-Kate Heightmeyer-evil!alien!John dream. Larrin at the risk of dying, John desperate to save her, and the Wraith in the middle -- only instead of evil!John as this socially-required component that makes Teyla+Kate okay, the Wraith is actually a queer, non-socially-required, thing that makes the kiss possible. Don't really have anything more to say here, but: hmmm.

So, then, moving out from the episode:

There are at least two ways to read this as "Pegasus Unbound," and both of them queer "Prometheus Unbound" in different ways. In the one, John is the hijacker. The ship belongs to Larrin, and John wants to take it away and make it work -- so John is Valaesque and Larrin is Danielish, in that reading. Larrin is Daniel attempting to take back his ship; John is Vala trying to take it away.

In the other reading, this has changed the central metaphor from hijacking a ship to hijacking John -- they need to steal him, his blood, his body; this is all about messy bodiedness in a way that SGA used to be all about clean blue science. It's interesting that John bleeds, in this episode, as Daniel did not in "Prometheus Unbound" -- John bleeds, spits blood, is visibly damaged/bodied, where Daniel's kinda a robot. In this reading, John's the Prometheus and Daniel, and Larrin's Vala, trying to take control of John's body; as a queer reading, this relies on two things: the complication of bodies and technology that makes bodies less "natural" (John as the Prometheus) and the distinctions that the show, in its early seasons, attempted to draw between mind(Ancient-Asgard) and body(Wraith). As much as the fans have been pointing out the creepiness of the ascended since SG1, early seasons of SGA largely kept these ideas uncomplicated as part of a structural metaphor that made SGA a show in which science and technology = good, and minds = good, and clean/uncomplicated = good.

The Ancients are disembodied mind; the Wraith are messy bodies. And their ships, even, are like that -- the sticky tendrils and webs and uncertain bodiedness of the Wraith ships, which are hard to see a beginning and end to; they're not just organic bodies, they're those messy bodies where it's unclear where the body is, and what is part of the body. And take that versus the Aurora, and the clean-white-blue simulation they've all been living in. The Ancients happen not even in brains, they happen in minds, and the Wraith in bodies. The Wraith are bad because: they feed (on humans); their ships are organic technology; they're all about dirtiness, chaos, messiness, bodies, aging, that sort of thing. SGA in its early seasons tried to push as clean-blue-ascended-Ancient-disembodied-good and messy-red-feeding-Wraith-bodied-bad. There's a dirtiness, a devalorization, of bodies (Wraith) and a cleanness, a glorification of minds (Ancient). The Atlantis expedition, they tell us explicitly in the first few seasons, should strive to be more like the Ancients, and less like the Wraith, should be trying to Ascend, to think, to do "science."

But John knows that clean-blue-ascended-Ancient-disembodied-good is a lie, a mask, a convenient structural fiction. He knows it several ways, now, and we've heard him say it out loud -- what's the line in "Tao of Rodney," where John says "we know the Ancients weren't perfect" and Elizabeth says "do we?" He's breaking down the links that make that structural metaphor appealing, finding the messiness inside the structure of SGA (that, it must be said, fans were finding by episode two!). And I think that based on the kiss up there, Larrin's "it actually felt kinda good," that John was also forced into awareness of his messy body in "Common Ground." John is in the middle of the pretty structural metaphor fucking the whole thing up, queering the metaphor, recognizing bodies, and generally making a mess of things.

So let's take that moment and run with it, and talk about the Wraith and the Ancients as metaphor. I already said that, in the early seasons, the show was pretty clearly trying to set up the Ancients as the good guys, the disembodied people; the Wraith as these icky, messy, sticky bodies. But there's actually another concept loaded in there, a sort of science:nature, masculine:feminine. Minds are for thinking, and are male; bodies are for sex, and are female, but are sometimes threatening... as in the vagina dentata concept. Where the Wraith have, for god's sake, literal vagina dentata -- they suck life out of people with the vagina in the palm of a hand! They embody -- and embody is an important word for the Wraith generally -- this sort of threatening, feminine, hole that needs to be filled but will suck too much out of you. It will eat your mind, your essence, the things that make you you and leave you a shell. Messy, icky, sticky, feminine bodies. Rodney's line: "is there anything about the Wraith that doesn't want to eat you?" Well, yeah, and that's what John finds out!

So when John meets his Wraith in "Common Ground," he's (essentially) having yet another one of his coerced sexual experiences with women. John, who in the first few seasons they kept trying to make into this Ancientish guy (sex with Chaya) gets his life sucked out of him. And then the Wraith pushes life back into him; penetrates as well as sucks (all with the vagina hand, not with another hand) -- when the Wraith says "there are things about the Wraith that you do not know," he is saying "bodies are not what the structural metaphor implies. We are suckers and penetrators; we are not just messy feminine bodies; we are active bodies, we are transgendered." They're set up, structurally, as feminine bodies ... until "Common Ground," when they become penetrative feminine bodies, transgendered bodies. When they, like John, start fucking up the structural fiction and pointing out the places where the Ancients' scheme of themselves as disembodied-good falls down. The Ancients are ungendered, unsexed, unqueer because they are not bodies.

And John is, at that point, and kinda suddenly, a sexual body -- here, in "Travelers," when Larrin says "it actually felt kinda good," John says "yeah, I know" -- he is admitting to sensual bodiedness, to sexual feeling, and, not incidentally, to getting off on the Wraith penetration. John's recognizing himself in the Wraith, distancing himself from the Ancients, and becoming a sexual body. A sexual body that's uncomfortable around women (the closet with Larrin) but comfortable around sameness (after the Wraith).

So there you go: John and Larrin's kiss, queer nineteen ways from Sunday.

Aside: I really want to make something of John's line in Epiphany, "Well, you're either gonna eat me or I'm gonna eat you." But it's in totally the wrong context. Still, isn't it awesome?



*deep breath* whoof. I have no idea if that makes sense to someone who wasn't involved in the conversation -- let me know if not, and I'll try to figure out where I've gone wrong.

Date: 2007-10-31 04:34 am (UTC)
ext_841: (Default)
From: [identity profile] cathexys.livejournal.com
OMG..it makes SO MUCH SENSE!!!!!

beautiful!

i'm getting off on both your minds just WATCHING YOU THINK.

Look...no hands! just thinking and gazing :D

[i do want to think a bit more about the gendering of the ancients and the wraith, b/c interestingly the mind/body dichotomy is mostly inverted, isn't it? i mean, there's a female wraith queen here and there, but the named character wraith whom John encounters are all male, right? And the ancients we encounter tend to be female???

b/c i like the queered transgendered wraith versus the asexual ancients...except it's a bit too tracking the vampire, a bit too monstrous queerness and edelman's death drive for me... after all, the pleasure is *not* in the sucking but in the returning of life...and now i'm lost... :)]

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] cathexys.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-10-31 05:30 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] cathexys.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-10-31 01:17 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] graycastle.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-10-31 10:50 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] graycastle.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-10-31 10:54 am (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] graycastle.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-10-31 12:06 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] anatsuno.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-10-31 01:00 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] graycastle.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-10-31 12:11 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] cathexys.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-10-31 01:23 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2007-10-31 06:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] green-grrl.livejournal.com
(following [livejournal.com profile] cathexys's link) Awesome! I look forward to your PhD defense.

What, you mean this isn't your thesis?

*loves like whoa*

Date: 2007-10-31 10:18 am (UTC)
ext_1771: Joe Flanigan looking A-Dorable. (Default)
From: [identity profile] monanotlisa.livejournal.com
Pier One John is a thing of beauty. IN SO MANY WAYS.

So, okay, that was a scene that was cut, shot, scored like a kiss scene, but instead of a kiss, it was this physical barring of the kiss. No mouths for heterosexual John and Larrin!

Yesss! I sat at the screen, grinning like a fool, thinking, OMG SUBVERSION OF CLICHÉS! And I shed a proud tear for these otherwise so clueless writers.

- Larrin pulls the working gun from John's pants, presses it into his side (Think of the slash conventions here -- the hardness against his hip,

I did. *g*

So much love for this analysis.

But John knows that clean-blue-ascended-Ancient-disembodied-good is a lie, a mask, a convenient structural fiction. He knows it several ways, now, and we've heard him say it out loud -- what's the line in "Tao of Rodney," where John says "we know the Ancients weren't perfect"

Oh, well-spotted. I think a lot of John's discomfort with the Ancients is overshadowed by both plot and other characters' more determined reactions -- Elizabeth's, mostly, but there's also Rodney who perhaps doesn't put the Ancients on a pedestal but values and emulates their science.

John was also forced into awareness of his messy body in "Common Ground." John is in the middle of the pretty structural metaphor fucking the whole thing up, queering the metaphor, recognizing bodies, and generally making a mess of things.

I love that a lot -- and I love best that this is straight (eheheh) off canon; the idea of the Wraith, via some Wraith, having given John an awareness and recognition of the, hmm, validity of their life(style) is clearly a message the writers meant to send. (That they are the Enemy is still undisputed, but that each of them is so Alien as to make basic acceptance impossible has been negated.)

Date: 2007-10-31 11:44 am (UTC)
copracat: dreamwidth vera (Default)
From: [personal profile] copracat
It certainly allows a brain to hold the two thoughts "John is queer" and "John and Larrin kissing was hot" without falling over.

Date: 2007-10-31 12:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] galaxy-song.livejournal.com
huh well I would never of thought of this not ever ever but it makes a lot of sense in a brain melting way. Just going to take a while to let all sink in but I really like your way of thinking its like you are not only thinking out side the box, the box no longer exists hhhhmmmm

Date: 2007-10-31 12:54 pm (UTC)
ext_230: a tiny green frog on a very red leaf (Default)
From: [identity profile] anatsuno.livejournal.com
It does make a lot of sense, and even if someone means to disagree with a queer reading of the Larin stuff and the kiss, the exploration of the structural metaphor of mind vs body, ancients vs wraith is to me an unavoidable reading, which you detailed very well. (Also, you will notice, ancientS - a collection of individuals - vs wraith(), a collective, plural, organism-like "body" of (non)people). The central structural metaphor of the show is the part I like the least about it *g* and I'm always happy when it gets fucked with (go, John, go!).


Great post, thank you. :D

Date: 2007-10-31 01:03 pm (UTC)
ext_230: a tiny green frog on a very red leaf (Default)
From: [identity profile] anatsuno.livejournal.com
hee. I obv. should have read the comments before I spoke. Yay thinkiness! :D

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] anatsuno.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-11-01 08:21 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2007-10-31 02:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cupidsbow.livejournal.com
Fascinating! Thank you.

Extension 1 -- the Replicators

Date: 2007-10-31 03:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-drifter.livejournal.com
Here via [livejournal.com profile] cathexys, and this totally made my night, and I'm desperately tempted to sink my teeth in and start shaking this, but because I've got a midterm this afternoon, I really, really can't go all out the way I want to. So, uber-fast comment, to throw two ideas out there and see if anyone else bites:

Taking this analysis, what I think we actually have in SGA's spectrum between maleness/unbodiedness/cleanness/mindness and femaleness/bodiedness/messiness/unmindedness is species marking four positions, and their location looks like this:

Replications-----Ancients-----Humans-----Wraith

The show positions the Replicators as out beyond the Ancients -- while the Ancients are striving to cast off their bodies and become solely mind, the Replicators are actually anti-body. Their "bodies" aren't really more than a shell, and the way the show shoots them and their environment explicitly shows that they're even more sterile (I mean in the cleanliness sense, but now I'm wondering about the sexual sense -- their very name evokes asexual reproduction) than the Ancients. Think about the plotline with Elizabeth, too -- as she is made part Replicator, her body is rendered less relevant, and she is no longer rooted and bounded by it. They're mind/no-body to an extreme, and the show points to that as the source of both their monstrosity and their vulnerability. Their anti-bodiness also makes them empty: a dead wraith is a dead wraith, a dead replicator is literally nothing, and it's unclear if the mind associated with that body dies, continues to exist, or loses the trappings of individuality and is dispersed into the collective.

It's an essentially humanistic way to frame this dialectic -- lay out two extremes, and make them both worse than the middle position our heroes are occupying. (Interestingly, the human position is the only one that fully retains individual identity, but I totally don't have time to think about how that fits until later. *g*)

More in next comment ...

Extension 2 -- Michael

Date: 2007-10-31 03:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-drifter.livejournal.com
Of course, what I now really want someone to do is take this theory and do an analysis of the plot arcs about Michael. Think about it -- he is, essentially, the victim of a human attempt to clean up / defeminize / desexualize / deproblematicize (I am so, so sorry for the abuse perpetrated on the English language by me inventing that word) the Wraith. And he himself rebels against this attempts -- he doesn't want to be sanitized and freed of his bodily urges, because he believes that would erase who he is. The plotline, meanwhile, argues that that can't actually be erased -- the Wraith can't be cleaned up, they have an essential messiness that will bleed through.

However, Michael's body remains tainted (in his eyes, in the eyes of the fellow Wraith) by what's been done to him -- he's been transgendered against his will, and the world of SGA has very little space for that. (Think about Elizabeth, who gets captured and subsequently exiled; think about Teyla, who repeatedly becomes the vulnerable or suspected weak link.) He tries to return to his people, and they won't except the in-between state of his body and mind. He tries to form an alliance with the humans, and they violate his trust with repeated attempts to clean his mind and body up (all the while denying him personhood, and its associated rights, because of the original form of his mind and body). Everyone like him is wiped out ... and what does he do? He decides that his only way of surviving, let alone gaining any power in determining the course of his own life, is to create something that's the ultimate extreme in messiness/all-bodiness/no-mindness -- something that both species will see as more monstrous than he is, and something that is powerful because of its monstrosity.

And that episode is the one they shoot like a horror movie -- because in the world of SGA, it is Michael -- captured, violated, rebodied, transgendered, and exiled -- who is the monster for trying to gain enough agency to guarantee his own safety and determine the course of his own existence.

I have the feeling that I really ought to reread this and see if it made sense, if I left words out, if I've accidentally implied something hugely offensive -- but I really have to go study now. So, uh, please let me know if any of this didn't make sense or if I've crammed my foot down my throat, and I'll try to extricate myself. *g*

Re: Extension 2 -- Michael

From: [identity profile] the-drifter.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-10-31 04:06 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Extension 2 -- Michael

From: [identity profile] graycastle.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-10-31 07:06 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Extension 2 -- Michael

From: [identity profile] the-drifter.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-10-31 07:37 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Extension 2 -- Michael

From: [identity profile] the-drifter.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-10-31 07:57 pm (UTC) - Expand

Re: Extension 2 -- Michael

From: [identity profile] anatsuno.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-11-01 08:27 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Extension 2 -- Michael

From: [identity profile] graycastle.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-11-05 05:08 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: Extension 1 -- the Replicators

Date: 2007-10-31 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] graycastle.livejournal.com
Really, really cool; I wonder - is it possible to change that scale to go Ancients - Replicators - Humans - Wraith? I wonder whether the Replicators, by having no...souls...or whatever...are more embodied than the Ancients? Though I like it your way, too, with the "a dead replicator is literally nothing" line.

I want to think more about the way that reproduction functions in these contexts. 1) Ancients: we don't hear about Ancient babies (though I wouldn't be surprised if they were grown in a vat) but we do know that they refuse to reproduce knowledge, that they hang out on their plane of existence knowing everything and refusing to tell anyone - this is where Lee Edelman would be really useful, in terms of his recent work on Queer Pedagogy, and how the transmission of knowledge is framed like the transmission of genes, or the transmission of heterosexual norms. He also talks about how, in non-queer pedagogy, the only thing that you are taught is the limit of knowledge, which is like the Ancients all over - the only thing they descend from on high to tell us is that they won't tell us anything. Anyway, that's getting a little theoretical, but still: Ancient reproduction/nonreproduction of knowledge.

2) Replicators: as you say, the name says it all. Their reproduction is asexual, but also interesting, because they can manipulate their bodies on the level of code: again, it's the reduction of bodies to information (in the same way that discourses on DNA reduce bodies to information).

3) Humans - I dunno. Do we have any babies on this show? What happened to Jinto?

4) Wraith: remember that little conversation about Wraith Sex Ed that the team had in Vengeance (not coincidentally, a Michael episode)? The general assumption is that Wraith sex would be in some way really really gross - too bodied, too sticky, too like the inside of their ships. Plus, there's the whole thing where Michael is producing all these monstrous and grotesque bodies with, as you say, no mind at all.

I dunno what that all adds up to, but I suspect it's SOMETHING. I want to spend more time with this idea about bodies = information on SGA. I mean, [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza's vid, DNA, is mostly played for laughs, but it's funny cuz it's true: the show spends SO MUCH TIME showing us bodies being manipulated at the level of information.

K, I will stop cluttering [livejournal.com profile] eruthros's journal now!

Re: Extension 1 -- the Replicators

From: [identity profile] teenygozer.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-11-02 04:50 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2007-10-31 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-drifter.livejournal.com
It's not as though I haven't left enough comments on this post already, but I have to point this out.

Where the Wraith have, for god's sake, literal vagina dentata -- they suck life out of people with the vagina in the palm of a hand! They embody -- and embody is an important word for the Wraith generally -- this sort of threatening, feminine, hole that needs to be filled but will suck too much out of you.

Looking at the Wraith from this perspective, I'm now really discomfited by the SGA convention that fights against the Wraith often include Our Heroes stabbing and/or shooting them in their feeding hand.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] the-drifter.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-11-01 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] teenygozer.livejournal.com - Date: 2007-11-02 05:03 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2007-10-31 11:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shusu.livejournal.com
Wow. May I link to this in a big globby discussion like so (http://shusu.livejournal.com/1036566.html)?

Date: 2007-11-01 07:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mecurtin.livejournal.com
The feminist blog Pandagon has just had a couple of discussions on how 'moist' is female (http://pandagon.blogsome.com/2007/10/30/moist-damp-gooey) and thus unshowable and forbidden (http://pandagon.blogsome.com/2007/10/30/moist-damp-gooey-and-banned-on-television/). I had never realized before that some women have an aversion to the word "moist".

Date: 2007-11-01 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lobelia321.livejournal.com
Oh, I love it! I love the wraith, I love your analysis, I love the wallowing and the bodiedness and John/Wraith grrowl. I have a slightly different take on the body thing but I also think your analysis is brilliant and made for a slightly different ficstance from mine but one which I'll equally love reading. (Erk, what a sentence.)

I think the ancients and the wraith are more alike than either of them like to admit. But yes, wraith-cunt-hand, and wraith as manwomanthing.

I'll stop now; I'm starting to slobber. (All very Aliens, this.)

Date: 2007-11-12 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] no-detective.livejournal.com
*applauds*

One thing: the "Epiphany" line is sublime in its reveal of John's eventual crisis, of not being able to repress his body enough to ascend - and insufficient repression has NEVER been a problem for him before, probably! So he finds himself alone on this green planet with his greatest fear apparently come to life (he's been abandoned!) - which is liberating and paralyzing at the same time. He hears a noise, concludes it's an animal (body) and thinks he's either going to devour or be devoured, the rather "clean" math of survival in nature and a nice little metaphor of the possible crisis he could let himself have if finally left to his own devices long enough to think about his own ISSUES (if repression gets unrepressed in the forest, does anybody hear/care/give a damn?).

But the crisis doesn't really happen because the animal is not really an animal; the monster-body he is addressing is the product of the mind, non-physical, just a diversion on his path to EVEN MORE repression and futility of inner struggles in yet another environment that doesn't let him be queer. Jesus, even the physical damage he suffers (in the fights he can't remember!) gets undone by the power of a little girl's mind. No wonder he is going crazy in there: on the one hand, the heterosexual relationship/heteronormative life he gets into is a masterpiece of repression - he sleeps with a woman because that's DESTINY/it has been written, he fights a monster because he's a brave & brawny man, he puts his body into harness while becoming ALMOST hedonistic for a minute there - at the dinner table, as he's fondly remembering his body's less threatening functions (like fear/excitement during thunderstorms, another neat little metaphor - really, he couldn't be more queer if he tried). And he STILL can't ascend. He hasn't overcome his queer body; he's just silenced it. Nobody gets eaten, and that is the true tragedy of "Epiphany" (at least in my book).

Date: 2008-01-09 04:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devin-chain.livejournal.com
I got here via mecurtin's rec. Hope you don't mind my friending you. I'm anxious to read more of your insights.

Date: 2008-08-20 10:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emeraldsword.livejournal.com
no longer sure how I got here (possibly a link from [livejournal.com profile] thingswithwings) but that was fascinating. I don't have anything terribly insightful to add, but I just wanted you to know that I read and enjoyed :-)

Date: 2012-02-12 04:59 am (UTC)
hoktauri: (Sheppard Happy)
From: [personal profile] hoktauri
*mems forever* THIS is totally AWESOME.

Profile

eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
eruthros

January 2014

S M T W T F S
   1234
5678910 11
12131415161718
192021 222324 25
262728293031 

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 26th, 2014 03:05 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios