Forgive the scattered nature of this post–the unassembled furniture, unhung pictures, and post-apocalyptic closets have finally gotten to me. I can’t manage anything outside of work; I’m doing Hamline packets this week, and I’m supposed to be finishing rewrites on my book–or, to be more precise, I am supposed to have finished rewrites on my book. I haven’t been able to figure out how to fix what I need to fix at the end, but I’ve found that simply not working on it is an effective way of dealing with the problem. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me about this totally awesome denial thing?

In other words, my brain is as put together as an Ikea box that someone’s unpacked and left to rot in the middle of a living room. I am jealous of Ron and would like to spend several days in the dark movie theater with my fellows, engaged in this communal act of watching. Roger Sutton has some interesting musings on the difference between reading and watching on his blog. And I think he’s right–sometimes you just want to let the story wash over you.

I was recently forced to watch Avatar and my brain is such that instead of maintaining my posture of writing-matters-dammit! outrage, I could only marvel at the pretty blue guys. They can stick their tails into things and become all, like, connected. It’s like an ethernet network, except in your soul. Still, it was good movie to watch with an unassembled-brain–with no critical judgement to speak of I could see that, as utterly stupid, cliched, and noxious as the screenplay is, James Cameron does know how to create an experience. His moviemaking is all about that desire to sit in the dark and give yourself up to something else. He gets it. Even if his sense of nuance is rather lacking.

In other movie news, they’re trying to cast The Hunger Games movie. Kristen Stewart is on the shortlist–her performance mooning over that vampire with the hair inTwilight is apparently adequate screen test for Katniss. It’s not just the mooning–the female hero of both of these books seem to distinguish themselves by being undistinguished. These girls are blank slates, defined more by the boys in whose eyes they long to see themselves. And the disaffected, affectless Stewart is the perfect actress for this kind of role. These characters have combined to gross 8 bajillion dollars over the last few years, and I’m wondering what it is about this kind of female protagonist that’s so appealing. Is it that a preteen reader can project herself onto the main character? Or that there’s comfort in an essentially passive protagonist just trying to make her way in this crazy world? And what does it mean for our efforts to try to encourage strong, active protagonists–people who happen to the story instead of letting it happen to them?

Maybe I just need to go sit in the dark somewhere.