Difference of Perspective

 

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Mea culpa – my last post wasn’t my finest hour. It was very truthful and honest, but could have been done better. I got mad/fed up and was in a hurry. I am actually away from home for six weeks visiting my father and we were heading out to an overnight with his sister whom I haven’t seen in several years. No excuse for putting something out to the public that wasn’t more balanced. Word of warning – it will probably happen again. I do have a temper & not always great at keeping it in check.

In thinking over what I had written and having a Twitter discussion with a couple of people (thanks @bonchette and @SigrunAislinn for the chat!), I thought perhaps I should put my money where my mouth is. See if I can’t prove the point I was trying to make with my last and a couple of other blogs.

Contrary to what many may believe – I don’t have total harmony with the show. There are actually things I would have liked to have seen done differently – I just decided there was nothing I could do about it so why fuss. But perhaps being someone who can ‘discuss’ a difference of opinion but working to keep it positive will help. I don’t know – but here are a couple of things ‘different’ from the book’ I wanted to point out.

One is actually a positive change. When I read the book I always took it that Colum and Dougal were of the same mind when it came to Jamie and the possibility of him being an option to succeed Colum. It never occurred to me that the laird might have seen Jamie as the best option for the clan. It threw a whole new perspective on that aspect of the story and I’m going to be really interested to go back and re-read with this idea in my head.

 

Now for the thing I’m not happy about. As a disclaimer, it has been a couple of years since I read the books (was busy writing my own and was focused on other types of reading during that). I may be off in how I remember something – in which case I’m quite sure there will be someone to correct me.  *grin*

 

I didn’t like the make-up sex scene after Claire’s being disciplined by Jamie (please let’s not jump into that discussion again – it’s been done and then some).

 

First….pulling a dagger/knife whatever on Jamie while making love/having sex just seems – completely out of character for Claire. Not that she threatened him with it – but the timing. Any man would agree to anything at that point just to be allowed to finish so it really makes the vow pretty lame. I thought it weakened the character and her position. Made it seem petulant and a bit cheap.

They simmered much longer in the series before they sorted this problem out. These are both willful, strong, intelligent people – I don’t think either of them would let things stew that long making it worse.

If I remember correctly, the men/clan – made it very clear by their actions that she was being shunned because of the danger she had put them all in. She was in trouble with them (rightly so). By choosing to focus on Jamie and Claire completely for this, we lost out on a valuable piece of who Claire becomes in this new place. I felt this interaction was important – the men all teasing her the next morning, quietly at first and more as the day went on. Patting her ass which likely hurt a bit, but also acknowledging that she had taken her punishment and done it well. She had their respect and forgiveness. They all had excuses to get off their horses many times during the day to give her breaks. She was one of them and they would take care of her.

As they walk, Jamie tells her about his own upbringing (didn’t have so much issue with them cutting this – I liked it but very time consuming). It was as they were walking that she pulls the knife on him and he takes that same knife/dagger to make his vow to her. To take the iron he had been threatened with and make his oath by/on that made a strong statement – not so much when it was turned and the iron he had vowed on not to lay hands on her in anger ever again was turned on him as a threat.

To me, the ‘make-up sex’ wasn’t nearly as important as the vow and how it comes about. Sam & Cait do an amazing job with the intimate scenes and I do enjoy them very much – but I don’t NEED them at the expense of other things.

Having said this, I can see some possible reasons why Ron did things the way he did. This put some intense focus squarely on the relationship between Claire & Jamie and combined the scenes of the vow with the make-up sex. As I’ve said many times it’s a matter of balance between a really long book that can’t be put verbatim on the screen and a series that will play well to the TV audience for the station it’s on. While this is, for me personally, one of my least favorite sequences, it was still extremely well done and there are many others that really liked it. For the viewers that haven’t read the books – they don’t know the difference so either liked it or not on its own merits having nothing to do with what is written in the book.

 

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So that is my humble opinion about something I’m not happy with in the show. It’s a small thing, but it was important to me. I chose to acknowledge it and not let it ruin the rest of the show for me.

 

 

 

Grow the %*&# up!

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This is not at all what I had planned to put out next – but it is quick and dirty and I’m leaving for another leg of family visiting for a couple of days and am not taking the laptop (ACK).

 

THIS POST HAS BEEN EDITED ON 6/12/15 –
MY BAD FOR NOT INCLUDING SOMETHING INITIALLY – I WAS IN A HURRY

 

For all the positive *kissing ass* and *shitting rainbows* that has been going on the last few days, which I will proudly take some of the credit for, there are still a few brats that are ticking me off. I’m going to address this one last time and I’m not going to be so nice. Be warned.

OH! Really cool side note! There is a new face book page out there for us Arse-kissers. Look it up!

Now then – I am getting extremely irritated with the bratty children of the fandom and their tantrums. Not only are you ruining the series for yourself (argue that all you want it is exactly what you are doing by being so focused on it not following your perfect vision) you make life miserable for other fans and are a potentially huge turn OFF to people who don’t know the books and might really enjoy the series until they read comments like ‘Ron and the writers are totally RUINING the story! It’s awful/horrible/etc. They LIED to us and never intended to make a faithful adaptation – Jamie is an immature shadow of himself – not even worth watching’………………..

To be fair, what I wrote above is paraphrased and all run together, but in the last few weeks I have SEEN those very comments. I didn’t copy them down at the time – but they totally ticked me off. If I were someone just checking out the show on a web-story – I’d never turn it on reading things like that.

And right now a contingency is starting to whine and say ‘There she goes – not allowed to express ourselves, give OUR opinion, talk against DG/Ron/the show/other fans………………………..’ Shut the F*CK up! Of course you can do all that – but for a change use your grown-up words instead of acting like a spoiled 3 year old.

Below is a comment I saw on another blog. I copied it exactly. I’m not going to say what blog it came from or who wrote it. It is the tone I want to point out. Below that comment was the response I came up with. However, I cut it down considerably when I posted it as that was someone else’s space and I didn’t feel it was fair to get into a pissing match there

She earns a lot of money with this series too… Why she would speak ill about it? I respect her on some issues, but she’s forgetting that the series and all the success only exists because of book readers. These readers, that she said to “leave the book aside” … a lack of respect for readers, a lack of respect for her work as well. She should have more respect for her fans. What was that conversation with Terry on twitter? A lack of respect for those who bought their books for years. I’ll understand if you don’t post my comment, after all, everyone who speaks against Diana today, don’t deserve respect, right?

“It isn’t your disagreeing or speaking against Diana that tends to tick people off – it’s HOW you go about it. That whiney comment you closed with made me and probably 90% of anyone reading it throw out what you had said previous to it as a childish tantrum.

You say Diana is disrespecting the readers of the books. If you want to take it that way it is your prerogative. I (and many, many others) took it that Diana was asking people to see the series as a separate entity based on her books. Can she come across arrogant? Yep. Does she care that her personality can rub people the wrong way? Doesn’t seem to. Does this bother ME? Not a bit….. why? Because I don’t take her suggestion I put the book aside to enjoy the show on its own merits as a personal attack and because she doesn’t owe me anything. She wrote a book – I chose to buy and read it. Contract over.

Is she doing well because of Outlander and all the associated stuff that goes with it? HELL YES – Bloody hell I hope my writing can bring in a fraction of what she does. Given that, could she easily afford to speak up if she is NOT happy with something? Yes again. She doesn’t NEED this show to make her money.

I truly feel sorry for you and others that feel you have to lash out at Diana, other fans, the series, and the people involved with it because it isn’t exactly ‘your’ way. It’s really very sad. That you don’t like it or disagree is fine – say that! State your case, say why you are disappointed – but be a grown up about it! Honest to god – it isn’t you being frustrated or disappointed with the show I’ve ever had an issue with, it’s the coming across like a spoiled princess that got an emerald tiara instead of the sapphire and is throwing a tantrum about it. You want people to pay attention and take your feelings and frustrations seriously? Present them that way and maybe you’ll get the respect you keep demanding instead of earning.”

You want to be heard; voice your frustrations and disappointments with the show. Cool – do that – but can you please act like an adult so it can generate good debate rather than just pissing people off? I’m being really harsh here – I freely admit I have a temper and it’s a bit loose at the moment. This whole thing just steams me.

I encourage debate and discussion. I will often play devil’s advocate just to stimulate that. But you have to ‘discuss’ things not have bitch fest. There are closed groups on FB and probably other places (DM on Twitter) where if you want to just bitch and moan I say go for it – in a private forum where it won’t affect possible future fans and make the show and fandom look bad. The whiny, snotty comments only serve to hurt that which these people swear they are trying to protect. The books. Many many people are coming to the books through the show and the vast majority of those people LIKE the show. If you turn them off by how you phrase things they will miss out on that.

If you are that unhappy with it……STOP WATCHING! It really is that simple. Stick to the books that you love and can picture your perfect way where no one can mess with it in your head.

EDIT: A note to the other side. Everyone has a right to their thoughts and opinions. My rant here is for those who can’t seem to express themselves in a grown up, positive way. That goes for BOTH sides. I have seen some defenders of the show be just as rude to some people expressing themselves and their disappointment and doing it very well that get lambasted. Not cool. We can all agree to disagree and discuss our differences of opinion without resorting to being nasty or being so overly dramatic that it actually negates the point.

BE KIND! Be EXCELLENT to each other! At the end of the day we are all in the same fandom and want the Outlander Books & series to do well. My only push for nasty venting in more private areas rather than public (like Twitter & in the comments sections of articles) is to not totally turn people off to the show before they have a chance to decide for themselves. I ran into a gal in a thrift book section looking for Outlander because she found the series and just fell hard for it – thought Ep16 was really well done and that the love between Jamie & Claire was palpable and looked forward to his continued healing in the future. It really is (for the most part) working for non-book readers.

I encourage all comments here – however – just spitefulness and hatefulness will be deleted. If you want to make an intelligent argument/comment – I welcome that!

I had a stupendous response to my last blog and I’m very humbled by that and appreciate it very much – I hope people will continue to come here and enjoy my random thoughts. I promise the next post will be way more positive! Also – I am going to try to stick this advice –

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Positive Fan Support

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You all can blame this particular post on our consummate costumer Terry Dresbach. She asked a question on Twitter, which prompted a discussion, which gave me that frustration of 140 characters. So here we go. (Just a note – I am generalizing what I have seen and experienced as I don’t want to point fingers directly at anyone. If the shoe fits………………)

Tweet:

Terry Dresbach @draiochta14: question. I was reading DG’s FB page this morning. Do most of you expect that reporters read any book they are doing an interview about or a show based on a book?

This prompted a good little discussion (though poor Terry seems to be fighting with Twitter again) about expectations and how to counter interviewers or reviewers that really have no clue. Many of the fans have worked to ‘correct’ misconceptions or flat out bad information in the comments sections of various articles or interviews. This is great – as long as it’s done right. That thought made me think of all the various articles, interviews, blogs and tweets I’ve seen and a huge frustration and honestly, big concern for me.

As Diana said in the conversation that ensued above, ANY publicity is an opportunity for us as fans/supporters to put a positive spin on things and get GOOD information out there for others to see. The better we come across and the more interesting we make the show, the more people will give it a try.

I have written other blogs about being nice to each other in the fandom and staying positive. That goes for the interviewers and critics/reviewers as well. The very best way we can keep the show strong and on the air is to have huge numbers of fans/viewers. The books, Diana’s awesome gift to us, will always be there. We won’t lose those no matter what happens which is very cool. We CAN lose the show by being stupid.

I am a huge proponent of people being able to voice their opinions of the show. I get that there are some disappointments and frustrations with how Ron and the team have chosen to portray certain things, what to put in and what to leave out. Voice that! But for the love of all that is holy DO IT RIGHT!

Diana and Terry both voiced disappointment with not being able to see the hot springs scene, but they did it with class and put a very positive spin on it. I’m paraphrasing here (hoping these two great ladies will forgive me). ‘I was disappointed that a favorite scene from the book couldn’t be included in the series. I understand it just wasn’t logistically possible and the story was still carried beautifully. It’s still there for me to enjoy in the books’. Or something like ‘someone can always find that particular scene in the books if they want to see it’. Disappointment but a positive spin/plug for the show. We NEED to do this.

I want true fans to ‘gently correct’ a misconception or bad information in an article, but if you get pissy with the writer, they may quit writing and the show needs the exposure. Any comments section is a way for us, as fans, to support the show and make sure we are putting out a good image that will attract people and new viewers – perhaps down the road new readers.

However, I have seen many comments over the last couple of months especially that just make me cringe. Many times I have seen comments that, if I were just trying to find out information on the show, I wouldn’t watch it. Comments about how Ron is doing it WRONG, too much violence, not enough of the romance, changing it too much….blah, blah blah, blah blah………………..Why would anyone want to try tuning in this show with those kind of comments out there!

If we as fans of the books or just fans of the show want to keep the series running, we have to be positive and supportive. That is not to say you can’t express an honest opinion – but do it in a positive way! This is absolutely vital for interviews/articles where comments can be made.

RULE:

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If all you can think of to say comes out as whiny, negative, nasty or bitchy, please do the fans and the series a favor and step away from the keyboard. Save it for private conversations or closed FB groups or something where it can’t get out and be negative for the series.

Twitter: see above. Twitter is so public and things spread so incredibly fast – and keep going for days sometimes! I understand wanting to express frustration and disappointment, but when done negatively that gets picked and turns off potential new viewers/fans. What you are disappointed with, someone else may love and you are robbing them of the opportunity by potentially turning them off before they can see for themselves.

I’ve also seen comments on articles like this: “I was thinking about watching this, but after seeing the comments here, I’ll pass”. How very sad that a book fan’s frustration at something not being done on the show exactly as they envisioned it from the book has turned someone off to watching the series; which means they will likely never read the books and miss this wonderful story completely.

I’m not big into FB so not sure how well things spread there, but I know there are ‘private’ groups where a person could whine and bitch and moan all they want without causing issues for the show or potential viewers. If other people can comment on Instagram or Vine or Reddit or whatever, please do as I don’t participate in ANY of these particular platforms so don’t know.

Even blog posts – I do this! I get that a blog is a person’s personal views and thoughts and opinions. I’m so glad we have this option and voice! I would never want to discourage people from voicing their opinions. Absolutely the same for comments made on such blogs. All I ask is, when you write – do think about what you are saying, the message you are putting out and the consequences of what you are writing. If you want to discourage people from even watching the show – I guess it doesn’t matter. If however you want to see the show succeed and continue, please word your criticisms and disappointments in such a way that it can still be a positive possibility.

Example……………………….let’s see……………………ok a complaint I’ve seen a LOT in the last week or so having to do with how much time was spent on Jamie’s rape vs his healing with Claire. (I personally was fine with how this went but it’s been a big issue so I’ll use it for my example.)

“It was hard to see so much abuse dished out by BJR on Jamie and not have more healing for him. While knowing how that scene could have been done differently on screen, I can also see how important it would be for people who haven’t read the book to really understand and see and experience just how broken Jamie is at the end of that torture and how badly BJR messed with is head. I’m sure the writers will address Jamie’s healing in the early episodes of S2. There is so much more to that bit that the series just didn’t have time for! I hope people will pick up the books and experience it in full.”

Basically – if we want to see the show keep going through all the books, we need to be positive and supportive of it, even if we (as book readers) might be a bit frustrated or disappointed with things. We simply must remember, while Ron is being very faithful to the spirit of the book and characters for the ‘book fans’ he is also making a television show with a very different sort of audience and has to create something that appeals to that kind of fan base if the series is to remain viable for Sony/STARZ.

One final little note. I am getting irritated with comments from people telling me (and others like me) that I am ‘kissing ass’ (Ron’s, Diana’s etc.) or shitting rainbows and butterflies or other similar snotty remarks because I support and am positive about the show. Deal with this people….I LIKE IT! I like what Ron and Terry and the writers are doing. It’s new, it’s fresh, and it is excellent television while staying true to the spirit of the book. Its drama that will draw people in and get them hooked – if they are smart and/or readers they will pick up the books (many have). Much as you don’t want to see this, if the show focused solely on J & C and their ‘great epic love’ – it wouldn’t do so well. Ron’s vision is a great balance and I trust him to continue that through the life of the series.

To Ransom a Fan’s Soul

No….not a misspelling. I’m not even going to attempt to recap or overview the Outlander series finale. There many really good articles already out for this and no doubt there will be more. This blog/rant/observation is about me as a fan and what I see in and experience from, other fans.

First, I see a lot of bashing out there. Every fan has something that is vitally important to THEM and when that thing is not included in the series it bothers them. They have every right to express that. While I personally think eye color, hair being THIS shade of red over THAT shade of red or which hand gets smashed by the hammer are very minor things to get in a snit about, they matter to others. I have a request for both sides of this issue no matter what the specific in question is. For the person that couldn’t care less – be kind. Every single fan has the right to voice their frustrations. For those of you voicing frustrations – STOP WHINING! Please tell us how you think and feel and why it’s important, but please don’t subject the rest of the fandom to what comes across as a toddlers temper tantrum or a teens moaning about how unfair life is.

Next, I continue to be utterly amazed by this show and the unprecedented access we have to it as fans. We’ve been invited in since the very beginning – the players interact with us, STARZ listens to us, and we make a difference as fans. This is a very new experience for me and I’m excited by it – and also very frustrated. Something I accepted going into this is that it wouldn’t be like the books. The story can’t be like the books because they are two very different mediums. How you get things across is very different, how the arcs have to go, how much you can do with only 16 or 13 hours to do it in.

I just don’t get people that think chewing on Ron or anyone else on the team about something you saw in the last few weeks will DO anything. Too much of this, not enough of that. The stuff you saw the last two weeks were filmed seven months ago. People are just digging into DiA and discussing it – problem is, the episodes are already mapped out for Season 2. If you really want to make suggestions, you should already be discussing Voyager. At the end of the day, WE aren’t writing this show. We as fans don’t see the vision that Ron and the writers have. We can’t see where they are going.

Some comments I saw looking through various articles/stories today that really show this.

“Too many side stories – not enough Jamie & Claire – THEY are what is important not all this other stuff!”

“Way too much focus on BJR and the rape / torture. Far more important to show J & C and healing.”

“Jamie is being emasculated just to make Claire look stronger. He’s a shadow of the character we know and love, a child rather than the mature man he is.”

“Too much sex/violence/nudity – I know what happens I don’t need it in my face. Focus on the important part – J & C’s relationship”

ALL these comments – are from book readers. As herself said in a post recently “PUT THE BOOK DOWN.” Seriously………………there are a lot of viewers out there who have never read the books. This show isn’t just for the longtime fans of the books – though Ron and the team are doing their best to make it as good as possible for those longtime, dedicated fans and still be a visual medium. STARZ Outlander is also for brand new fans that are being introduced to this story by the series. It HAS to stand on its own. The relationship is there, people who haven’t read the books comment often on how intense it is; how much ‘more’ it is than most television out there. All that is going on around them and the people close to them are part of their relationship and need to be shown too – unfortunately Ron and team doesn’t have an hour per chapter to do all that we’d like to see.

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Was 116 hard for me to watch – HELL yes. Was it too much – in my personal opinion, no. Ron did it right. This is such a pivotal point in the entire story. This one event haunts Jamie through all the books to come and shapes him in ways that make him the great man/character we are all so crazy about. In order for that to work down the line, the audience (the ones that don’t have all that background and thousands of words in the book) needed to really be there with Jamie, feel what he felt, break like he did. It was necessary and very, very well done. What I was thinking as I watched was – ‘wow – the torture is there, but you don’t SEE it as such. The initial forced rape – the branding, the rest is all creepy tenderness. It’s still a violation as it’s against Jamie’s will – but it’s what it does to the viewer’s mind – much like Jamie’s. How could we as an audience possibly understand and appreciate what Jamie becomes if we don’t taste it ourselves? Jamie was naked – but did you ever actually SEE anything? BJR walks naked from the bed, totally in character and what would have happened. How much of the uncomfortableness is what was shown to you – and how much was where your own head took you.

Same argument as above for the sex/nudity/violence etc. I have never felt (and most of the comments I’ve seen agree) that the show has been gratuitous. The book people know these parts of the story and don’t ‘need’ them – but the series only people do. There is no possible way to take one of Diana’s books and condense it down under 16 hours and keep everything. If the show focused on ONLY J & C – we’d have lost the series only fans a long time ago. The series is a facet on a larger gem – the idea is to get people wound up with that facet so they want to experience the whole gem.

As far as Jamie being emasculated………….I just can’t get this. Yes, I have read the series, a few times. In reading Outlander I saw Jamie as fairly mature but far from perfect. He makes mistakes, he has a temper he doesn’t control at times; he acts rashly and doesn’t always think things through. He is still doing that (though not as often to be sure) in MOBY. Emasculated? It takes a very strong man to deal with Claire. He doesn’t cow before her, he is her equal, her match. He doesn’t just bow to her will, he thinks through who she is (even before he really knew) and makes decisions that are good and right, not just in line with what he’s always known and tradition. That takes huge strength of character. He has Claire’s devotion, love and respect – a weak man wouldn’t have those things. I didn’t start seeing the Jamie everyone raves about until he had spent some time around his cousin Jared in Paris and had to start dealing with Charles. After he lived through the fire of BJR and Wentworth. AFTER he wanted to give up on life and take the easy way out. AFTER he was battered, bruised and broken beyond redemption in his own mind.

Gods I always go long on these. Eh……won’t say ‘sorry’ – but I hope I at least keep it interesting.

Finally – I want, as a fan, to redeem myself of any bad behavior, unkind words or abject stupidity that I have fallen to since the beginning of this adventure. I want to do this by trying, however inadequately, to give some praise and thanks.

Nope. Can’t do it. Too long and either will detract from the other. I want the “THANK YOU” section to be done right…not hurried or thrown out. So that will come a bit later.