Hi, I'm Jane, regularly publishing on Tuesday mornings. Expect to find commentary on Doctor Who, LOST, and a variety of other stuff. My focus is primarily on esoterica in science-fiction, a strange blend given the competing value systems of those different aesthetics. Such is the nature of alchemy. :)
Before we begin, I’d like you to reach out and touch the screen you’re reading this from. Is it hot or cold to the touch? Glossy or matte? I bet it’s hard. You wouldn’t want to put your hand through this “glass” even if you could get it fixed for free. Notice how your hand obscures the light.
Close your eyes, and let out a faint breath, little more than a hisssss. Remember this feeling.
Remember. You know who you are.
The Statue of Liberty is formally known as La Liberté éclairant le monde – Liberty Enlightening the World. That’s a great name. In the previous essay, we talked about the symbolism of eyes and the metaphor of sight in The_OA. This is a show that is not just concerned with the visible plot or what is “literally” happening, but also (and moreso, I think) with the invisible meaning we can derive from the text (including the text of our lives). The_OA provides a window to such inner workings through the repeated use of certain thematic elements, so when Chapter 2 opens up with an ...
You know, before you start reading this, I have a favor to ask. Go get a glass of water before you settle in. If you haven’t already? It can be cold or warm, with ice or bubbles or neat. Place it anywhere within arm’s reach -- next to your keyboard, or on the coffee table, even in your lap if you want. But it has to be water – not coffee, not beer, not a soda. Just water.
I mean it. I’m serious. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Thank you. You know who you are.
Let’s start with something that might seem very subtle at first, and yet upon reflection is blatantly obvious – the Bridge. The very first scene of The_OA begins on a bridge, where we see OA jump off the side. She's not to trying to kill herself, she later says; rather, she’s trying to go back and find Homer, someone she left behind. This is apparently to be accomplished by falling into the Mississippi River.
This jump off a bridge is bookended by the great scene at the end of ...
So, it's been a while since I've put something up on Eruditorum Press. My bad. Got caught up in work-related travel, and then there was the return of the intestinal bug, and, well... I apologize, because I've been sitting on this awesome Giant Woman podcast for two weeks now, where Shana and I talk more about Steven Universe.
In this installment of Giant Woman we cover Bubble Buddies and Serious Steven the 7th and 8th episodes of Season One. And as both of these episodes are quite good, so too is the conversation around them, although to be fair I blew it in my analysis of the Beatles' song "Strawberry Fields Forever" as an influence on Serious Steven, as I completely neglected to mention that the song is a fusion of two different takes. Seriously, where was my brain at?
As always, you can get your Giant Woman fix at the Oi! Spaceman library of podcasts right here.
So, yes, we’ve got another Giant Woman podcast on tap for you. Woo hoo! But I’m struggling to find good pictures of giant women from pop culture. Too many are simply objectifying; others fall into a warrior aesthetic that really doesn’t capture our take on Steven Universe. If any of our faithful readers have some clever ideas, drop them in the comments, or contact me and Shana on twitter (@JanieCampbell23 and @inkyosa, respectively), and we'll adjudicate appropriately.
In the meantime, of my own accord, I present you with a plushie -- a side order of fries in some kind of fusion with Hello Kitty. Because the episodes that we cover in this podcast are Frybo and Cat Fingers. Also, I'm hoping this image captures some of the charms of late capitalism, not that we'd ever cover such territory in a Steven Universe podcast. Nope. Not happening. Even if we did manage to invoke Jack Graham a half-dozen times in the first half alone. Just a coincidence, promise.
Finally, a note on content: there's some stuff in here on body discomfort and alcoholism. Just so you know.
You can ...
Okay, the podcast isn't literally fifty feet. Because we don't use spools of magnetic tape for recording anymore. We use computers. And so trying to measure a podcast as such would be ludicrous.
What's not ludicrous is the podcast itself, Giant Woman, the second in what's shaping up to be an ongoing series with Shana and Jane talking about Steven Universe. You can get the podcast here.
By the way, we are planning to go to Virgina Beach next year (yes, I really like to plan things out in advance) for the Beach City Con, a Steven Universe convention in Beach City. The kickstarter for it is already funded, but of course the more that's pledge the more awesome the con will be! Check it out here.
Finally, for those listening to the podcast, I forgot to mention that the theme song itself indicates that a "spiritual" approach wouldn't be inappropriate for intepreting the show. After all, "That's why the people of this world... believe in..."
...believe in giant women! Because giant women are awesome. Literally!
times like this
soon to be crone
new rhythm, new daring
time to make another
can’t find the word, something like life
should be happy
all put away
food in the fridge
dogs are at bay
but this, this, other thing lurking
a freshly calved iceberg about to
can’t find the word, might be like sluice
just keep running?
find it so hard to
can’t find the word, like being together
this is my way
follow your bliss, follow my this
always calls out
just turn away
keeps me at bay
stumbling slow like
running through sand
the palm of that hand
too late to go back
no, must find a sanctum
desktop, café, cave, bedroom
holds treasure so dear
like a word
just beyond this grasp
catch the wind
sail away to my garden
feed, water, dress it so fine
in plain sight
introduce to new friends
in hope of communion
for i have no roots
No, I'm not going down the rabbit hole writing an essay on spaghetti, myths, and donuts. It's just a clever title to cover up the fact that I haven't had time to write in a while as I've been whipping The Last War in Albion: Book One into shape, and it's finally given up and submitted to my ministrations. It looks like it's clocking in at 237,000 words and 210 pretty pictures, covering 760+ pages. Whew. So that should be coming out pretty damn soon.
In the meantime, though, I was able to squeeze in some rather lovely conversations with some rather lovely people. A few weeks ago I sat down with James and Kevin of Pex Lives to discuss some Westerns and some Doctor Who. We've got three Sergio Leone flicks on tap -- A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. This "Man With No Name" trilogy (which, by the way, totally applies to LOST) is juxtaposed with the fan-favorite Tom Baker classic, Underworld, which I chose especial for this chat. "What on earth ...
(Content note: This post references childhood sexual abuse, the objectifying male gaze, and the repression and processing of traumatic events in general.)
Given that, let’s start with something really abstract. A symbol, and a pretty basic one as far as symbols go. A circle, circumscribed by a square. Simple geometry. And the Circle in the Square is by no means a hugely important or influential symbol in Western esoterica – it’s minor enough to take some digging to uncover, and what’s uncovered isn’t exactly consistent. Which, you know, is kind of part and parcel for abstract symbols.
The first thing that might come to mind is a problem of geometry – “squaring the circle” refers to creating a square of the same area as a given circle, using a finite number of steps with only a compass and a straightedge. It was eventually mathematically demonstrated to be an impossible problem, which is actually kind of delightful given the subsequent esoteric usages -- for if such fusion is technically impossible, its success is necessarily transcendent, pointing to Ascension. Anyways, in basic symbolism, the Circle represents the infinite, the cyclical, the eternal, totality and perfection. ...