youcallitwinter (youcallitwinter) wrote,

i know the moment when the abandonment looked a lot like flight.

I have written eight fics in a week. eight.

I am never getting over anything, anything, ever.

Also, I didn't initially realize this but it's:

[spoiler.]You're out of my life, forever.

bookended with:

Come back to me. Always.

excuse me while i go jump off something. [but I have seen nearly every city from a rooftop without jumping. we were never tragedies, we were emergencies.]

Also, I've been very :s about some of the movie reviews that I feel completely miss the entire point of the movie; [especially ones like this, which I wrote a long reply to that I'm posting here] and have this inexplicable idea that Veronica coming back is a step down and not 'feminist enough' and Veronica is giving up her entire life for a boy which, what even.

I think this article, somewhere, misses the point of the movie? Veronica initially came back for Logan, sure (and honestly, the fact that he was blamed for another girlfriend's murder was because this time he came to rescue someone from a 'moment of weakness', as almost their sponsor, and as the people involved knew he would- no good deed goes unpunished- so it seems inordinately simplistic to say 'yet another girlfriend of Logan's') but she stayed for Neptune. The movie is in no way about Veronica giving up her cushy life for Logan, it's Veronica realizing, yet again, that she's the kind that fights the good fight. Veronica could have moved on, she had the opportunity, but, as Veronica says early in S1, 'the hero is the one who stays'. The central conceit isn't Logan/Veronica or the addiction metaphor, it's who VERONICA is, and she isn't the kind of person to 'move on' while her town's sunk to the depths of slime and corruption that it has. Could she have taken the easy way out and stayed with the Piz and spent her life earning tons of money by making frivolous lawsuits against multinationals disappear (and essentially turned into an 09er), yes. But then would she be Veronica Mars? No. Veronica, by leaving, by her own definition, became the villain of her own story.

I'm just a little bit surprised at the article, because if Veronica had done exactly what the article suggests would have made her a feminist, it would also have been what would have made her accept social structures (and patriarchal, wealth/power-driven social structures) exactly as they are. Not only accept those structures, but reinforce them, as part of the system-- a system that she spent her entire run on the series fighting against. I don't understand in what world Veronica Mars's "stated life goals" include a nice boyfriend and a high paying job for big corporations. I also disagree on a lot of analysis of female characters, and reducing them to one word stereotypes- all of them, from Lilly Kane to Kendall to yeah, Gia Goodman are interesting in their own right in several different ways. Not only that, but I don't think that any of these women needed to be a 'certain type of woman' to be acceptable for the sake of feminism; they have their issues, they have their wits and skills and damage and that's fascinating. Like the fact that Lilly is depicted as headstrong and foolhardy and selfish, yes, but NEVER ONCE blamed for her rape or death by anyone- especially Veronica and Logan. It would've been easy to say that Lilly knew what she was doing with Aaron and she got herself killed, but the depiction of Lilly- and it is a RARE depiction with a character like Lilly, who is so exactly the kind of woman that patriarchy despises; sexual and bold and transgression- has always been sympathetic. Nothing that came to light about Lilly changed the opinions of the people who loved her, because they knew, regardless of everything, Lilly was a sixteen year old girl who DID NOT 'deserve' to die or be raped or be punished for being 'the kind' of person she was. Logan's assessment is his "old man defiling the love of his life", because the show has no qualms about using a cultural laden purity-term to define a girl who falls outside the traditional scope of that term. That is Veronica Mars's feminism- it's complex because it doesn't only check off boxes like strong female character! (the trope is problematic in itself) or yay female friendships!

I would also like to add that I'm slightly wary of using feminism as a one-trick pony; the idea that a feminist narrative has to Be A Certain Way to be a feminist narrative, which I think is rather limiting, and antithetical to the idea of feminism. Even without going into the complications of the requirements of the noir genre, If the roles were reversed, and it were a male character who had left his high profile job offer for a big corporation to fight for the little guys, given up a potentially successfully legal career because he'd seen how any sort of legal system was a complete sham in a world where only the people to afford the price of it were entitled to what was labelled 'justice', given up the dream life to return to his corrupt, brutal home-town to try and wash away the slime a little, if such a character had metaphorically returned to the ring (how common is the One Last Case trope in so many big male-dominated narratives) to fight the good fight, would that narrative EVER be considered disempowering? Hasn't the fight against power structures, regardless of whether you win or not, always been considered and been the basis for some of the most inspiring, empowering narratives? But somehow it's disempowering for Veronica to do the same? Because feminism requires that women be successful in a particular socially-defined way, regardless of whether they want to or not? And worse, that if you CHOOSE to give that up- all the socially acceptable things, like a nice boyfriend and a good job- for something that you actually want to do, something you feel is your calling, then feminism- which has always, first and foremost, been about the freedom of choice- tells you that you are not feminist enough and not an inspiration anymore? I find it very, very hard to get my head around that.

Feminism can be in a multitude of unexpected things- Lianne Mars, for instance. Even something like dismantling the romanticization of motherhood, in my opinion, can be considered feminism. Lianne Mars is an unapologetically awful mother, and she literally never returns, even in the movie- and yet she has her own backstory, her own tragedies; whether that's alcoholism or her doomed love story. Or Veronica's emotional unavailability, which I think is so beautiful precisely because it's SO RARE. How often are female characters allowed to be emotionally unavailable? Also, I feel like there's a bias against Logan here, like his mere presence makes Veronica less 'feminist' which again I disagree with, because their relationship is a pretty great deconstruction of gendered dynamics; Logan is so often the homme fatale, the damsel in distress, the Bacall to Veronica's Bogart. He's overly expressive,  and laden with hand gestures and expressions, while she's constrained, distant so many times- a reversal for sure. And honestly, Logan's abuse, throughout the series, has literally only been mentioned THRICE, and twice just as an afterthought (once as a joke by Logan himself). I'm not speaking of fandom, which wants to excuse Logan all his sins, but the show itself has never excused Logan (just like it doesn't excuse Veronica when she goes that extra mile in need for personal vengeance and in the last episode of the series, has managed to destroy so much), it's never been said in the show that Logan gets a free pass to do whatever he wants because his daddy used to beat him up; he always has to face the consequences, sometimes even for things he's accused of but didn't actually do- loses his house, nearly gets beaten to death, even loses Veronica by the end of it, is on the hit-list of the Russian mafia, is also a kid without any kind of emotional support base at all (unlike even Veronica, who has her wonderful father and Mac and Wallace). Logan suffers through plenty of consequences, and Veronica only comes back to him in the movie when he's no longer a bottomless well of anger and lashing out and has sorted his life some. The show's feminist credentials are nowhere near perfect by far, and I completely agree with the depiction of Lilith House feminists and personally, even Madison Sinclair being painted as the villain and Veronica's misplaced anger towards her (while she gave Veronica the roofied drink by accident, it was meant for her, which is pretty awful when you think of it), while Dick gets what feels like a free pass is not cool at all, but I still find it very hard to agree with the argument that the article makes.

That is not to say that if Veronica had chosen the other route-- stayed in New York with all the associations thereof-- the narrative would have been 'less feminist' then or is 'more feminist' now for Veronica having come back. Neither the feminism of the show, nor the movie, is contingent on that. One of the mistakes (and it's not here alone, it's reviews in a lot of other places) is the conflation of Veronica's POV with the show/movie. The idea that Veronica, as a character, needs to be a feminist for the narrative to be feminist. Which, I'd say, is completely not true. One of the greatest strengths of this show has always been how it has deeply empathized with its damaged lead and yet not let her POV eclipse the narrative, not let the viewer lose sight of the fact that Veronica's POV has been defined by the things that have happened to her, which are NOT universally applicable and nor the universal truth. Further, that leads to disregarding the fact that Veronica is, and has always been, an unreliable narrator, BECAUSE this show has the supreme ability to detach itself from her when need be, it gives Veronica the space to be wrong, the space to be selfish, the space to be constrained/limited by her environment, the space to be judgmental, the space to make mistakes and face consequences, and I think that is- or definitely should be- one of the hallmarks of a feminist narrative- sass and kickass, as glorious as it is, alone does not make feminism; it's a fully realized, beautifully developed, imperfect character that does. There have so often been times when Veronica (and this was in S3, which I too agree is the least developed of the lot, but also external, network-related circumstances added to that), saddled with trust issues because of all that has personally happened to her, has rolled her eyes at some poor girl who thinks her boyfriend is in some trouble when he doesn't meet her when he was supposed to, while clearly- to Veronica- he's deliberately avoiding the girl and then, it turns out, that the guy actually WAS in trouble, because the most cynical view and the one most geared towards avoiding disappointment is not necessarily correct? Which is why, just because VERONICA uses an addiction metaphor to explain her return does not necessarily make it true? Veronica is not addicted to Logan or the rush of adrenalin- as in, yeah, she might be, but that's the surface- Veronica has always been addicted to justice, even when it's better to let things alone, even when the price is too high, even when she's actually wrong in her assessment of what is 'just'. She didn't stay only for Logan, she stayed because there's something rotten in the state of Neptune and she can't see that and do nothing. That's what makes her Veronica Mars.

Oh, and in this regard, I then came across a v. interesting interview with Rob, which I think is enlightening (and honestly, I LOVE how clear-eyed the show is about Veronica.) and adds to the point about Veronica's POV Veronica Mars' POV

The end of the movie raises another question: Veronica sees herself as a reformer, but is she really so different from the cops she looks down on? Her training as a private investigator has made her awfully comfortable breaking into houses, spying on the people she suspects, and threatening to expose people who have done the wrong thing.

“I don’t know if Veronica will ever have a self-reflective moment about the lengths she goes to in her quest for justice or vengeance. It’s the part of her I like writing,” Thomas says. “It’s a slippery slope, I know. I’m certainly on the political left, but I do think of Veronica sometimes when I think of the Obama administration. I voted for the guy. I like him. I catch myself having faith that warrantless wiretapping or drone strikes are all done with our best interests at heart. I have to force myself to remember it won’t always be someone I trust sitting in that office.”

“Veronica Mars” ends on a triumphant note, with Veronica determined to clean up the home town she ultimately can’t leave behind. But there’s a real note of uncertainty there, too.

“Dad always said this town could wreck a person,” Veronica reflects sadly, musing on Weevil’s fate. “It’s what happens when you’re playing a rigged game.” But however much Veronica sees herself as capable of resisting the town’s traps and the corrupting effect of taking power, Thomas acknowledges that his beloved heroine is walking a fine line. “I show cops casually tasing people in order to show that these cops are not worthy of our respect; Veronica is, of course, pretty cavalier about tasing people,” he acknowledges. “I recognize the hypocrisy in that.” And the risks, as well.
Tags: discussion: veronica mars, fandom: veronica mars, meta: veronica mars, post: meta, post: this is about women, rec: videos, ship: logan/veronica, this headache is not metaphorical

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