Sunday, July 17, 2022

Through a lens blurrily.

So for starters, I wanted to let y'all know that I'm going to be taking a blogging break for the next couple of weeks. I'm having cataract surgery on my right eye on Wednesday and on my left eye next week, and I don't know whether I'll be able to see well enough to write a post either next Sunday or the Sunday after that. 

This picture approximates what I'm seeing out of my right eye (the blurriness, not the crosshatching or other imperfections) right now.

As you can imagine, I'm pretty anxious to get this done.

I anticipate I'll get back to blogging Sunday, August 7th. If things don't go as planned for some reason, I'll put up a short post on the 7th to let you know.


So to while away the time until I can see properly again, I've been watching A Discovery of Witches. The book was recommended to me many years ago, and the show has been recommended to me since then, so I figured I ought to give it a try.

I have so many problems with this show.

For starters, hereditary witches aren't a real thing in our world; witches are simply humans who practice magic. The magic they've been doing in the show so far (I'm about halfway through season two) is pretty well divorced from reality, too. I can maybe see using five candles (for the points of a pentagram?) instead of four (for the cardinal directions) when you cast a circle. But why is Aunt Em not inside the circle herself? Casting a circle puts up a magical barrier, creating a safe space in which to work. It makes no sense to cast a circle that leaves the magic wielder outside it, and therefore vulnerable to interference. Besides, magic almost never results in the sort of special effects that you see in these sorts of shows. Rarely do you get whizbang pyrotechnics. At best, a spell will nudge something or someone toward the outcome the magician desires. 

To be honest, these kinds of depictions of magic set up unrealistic expectations, both for would-be magicians and for regular folks. When the "powers" on display in TV shows are so outlandish, it makes it difficult for newbies to tell whether their spell worked -- and easy for doubters to dismiss magic entirely.

Second, how can there be only three categories of "creatures" in the world? Vampires, but no werewolves? Demons, but no ghosts? No chupacabra? No La Llorona? There are so many different types of magical beings in folklore, but this series has, for some reason, narrowed them to just three.

Leaving aside all that: The main character is Diana Bishop, a normal young woman who eventually twigs to the fact that she's a powerful witch whose natural magical ability has somehow been suppressed. Regardless of her powers (or lack of same), though, she's still just a babe who needs to be protected; her favorite vampire, Matthew, is constantly trying to "keep her safe," no matter how many times she tells him to knock it off and no matter how many times she proves that she can take care of herself. It's such a tired trope that I've been about to hurl something through my TV screen multiple times.

And yet, as you so rightly observe, I continue to watch the show. 

I guess I'm invested at this point. I want to see how it all turns out. So I guess on that level at least, A Discovery of Witches works. Just don't expect to learn anything about magic from watching it.


These moments of blurry blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Get vaxxed and boosted! See you back here in two weeks!


Anonymous said...

My ophthalmologist predicts I will need cataract surgery eventually and he predicts the improvement in clarity will be startling. Hope you have a great outcome.

Lynne Cantwell said...

Thanks, both Jo and Anon! I've heard lots of good things about the surgery, both the success rate and the result. Still, it's a bit daunting to contemplate letting somebody mess with your eyesight. I'm also not sure how long it'll be before my brain will adapt to my new and improved eyes. It's supposedly only a short-term inconvenience, but I want a definition of short term in days, damn it. :D

On the other hand, I figure my right eye can't get much blurrier than it is now...