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Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 08:44 am

So the fanon already seems to have emerged that Angharad, burdened with a super beautiful face in a world where that meant one thing for her, probably was the one who decided to scar it up in the hope of getting herself out of that situation. Which is one of many possibilities, of course, she lives in a rough world, I just want to raise the point that as per [personal profile] thatyourefuse's excellent thoughts on the emergence of new religions at the Citadel, the Cult of the Splendid would probably go in for ritual scarification, like, an x over each cheekbone. Given enough time - enough time for the rest of the Five to die of old age and not be around to throw a fit about it - it would probably start to become part of a certain beauty standard, like facial tattoos in some cultures, which Angharad would have found at the very least deeply annoying.

Apparently the next movie is already completely filmed (?) which is reassuring, and I imagine that we might get a better look at how to make the Citadel defensible. I mean, it's in a good position, defense-wise: it's a bit of a natural castle, with a lot of interior space, all the farming is inside or up on top, the water sources are inside. That's the dream, castle-wise; it's just a question of whether or not the political forces that be are willing to bring the dirt peasants in in siege conditions. (I imagine Joe let them get run over if there were conflicts that got that close, though his fiefdom seems to have extended a ways out.) However. They also live in a world with ballistics, which were historically not great for castles. (That said, given that there are three separate towers, if someone got into the middle you could just sit up high and throw things at them until they all died.)

IDK, I'm just curious about the military situation that Furiosa has inherited - I talk about it in the last post, but word is going to fucking get around that there's a giant natural aquifer paired with a political instability right next to some oil wells and saltpeter mines. That is the perfect making of a nation; everyone's going to want that. It was previously protected by an extremely efficient war machine and a bunch of crazy motherfuckers no one wanted to cross. And that's the other thing: I think you probably stay safe in that situation by putting around a reputation as a crazy motherfucker no one wants to cross? We were also talking in someone's journal - still [personal profile] thatyourefuse? I spent a lot of time yesterday bothering thatyourefuse and [personal profile] kore - about the economics of maintaining a giant-ass subwoofer truck, and, you know, that's an investment in mythos. It keeps your internal politics organized because everyone wants to be part of the most terrifying team ever, and it keeps your external politics organized because the thought of that thing rolling at your tiny desert outpost makes you literally want to shit yourself with fear. I've thought about this a lot in the context of some of the more terrifying kinds of capital punishment in the Middle Ages - on the one hand, haugh, but on the other hand, when you're kind of depending on word of mouth to get various jobs done, if you punish someone, you better make it bizarre and memorable so that people are like "holy SHIT did you hear what they did to those people who sold bad meat in X town? NEVER FUCKING SELL BAD MEAT THERE OH MY JESUS LORD." And by extension, when defending or invading, you want to be scary enough that word gets out ahead of you and does your job for you.

I'm rambling, but I guess my question is basically what kind of terrifying Furiosa and the surviving members of the Five can be. I mean, I think religion is definitely part of that organizational principle - Joe knew exactly what he was doing when he developed a death cult - and it's not that Furiosa is not a natural badass, it's that you need more than that to keep a culture going. There was some conversation going around about The Dag developing into a kind of terrifying witch-priestess who will shiv you if you bug her during her Greenhouse Time, and I think that that might be kind of a natural direction - hardcoreness, via the Vuvalini and Furiosa, mixed with a healthy dose of spookiness via some of the Five. (And I think we should not underestimate the spookiness of a nature/fertility cult to a bunch of people who have never seen a tree before.)

I guess when I get down to it I'm contemplating the political uses of macho. There's a lot of stuff out there about the Five succeeding in the movie in ways that aren't just "woman gets big gun! employs traditionally masculine success strategy!" even as Furiosa does exactly that, establishing that woman can also get big gun. But like. What other ways are there to survive as a city-state flanked by unrest? Fun to contemplate. Tricky to deal with, probably.

I'm going to post this unlocked in case anyone new wants to come talk Mad Max with me. Hello!
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Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 02:28 pm (UTC)
See, I tend to be of the opinion that if Angharad had decided to scar herself up, she would have gone full-out hideous with it. A woman who'll lean out of a moving truck with people shooting all over the place while about seven months pregnant is not to be underestimated in the willpower department. (Although I agree that what she's got looks rather deliberately placed -- maybe she comes from somewhere there's already a scarification tradition*?) But I like the idea of it becoming a part of her cult, either way.

And I was definitely talking about the guitar truck, yeah. And tearing my hair out over precisely the question of "ARGH FUCK HOW IS THIS EVEN GOING TO WORK." (I think the fascinating/problematic/terrible thing is that they're getting pitched straight into the deep end before they've had the time to work out a viable system of governmental ethics. There's going to be at least one TERRIBLE sitiation with no good answer, really early on -- man, I'm remembering how much I loved this shit back when I was watching BSG.)



* I could see that, you know; if you have a perfectly whole and healthy kid they have to be ritually scarred so the local gods won't notice them and take them away too soon? People do much worse things on shakier logic; the other wives don't seem to have any visible damage going on, but who knows how many distinct subcommunities Joe's been raiding?
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 04:19 pm (UTC)

Exactly! Like I fell hardcore in love with this movie, actually, when it turned out the Green Place wasn't there anymore -- like you can't actually have a utopian oasis in the middle of this world right now, and it was clearly a pretty heavily armed utopian oasis when it existed.

(Oh god someone with a WAY higher tolerance for that kind of thing really needs to read this movie against all those endless feminist utopia/dystopia novels from the 80s. Like I'd do it myself but to be honest Sherri S. Tepper make me want to, like, watch hardcore porn while eating a live cow and firebombing a greenhouse from my SUV. But you could get some useful mileage.)

And this is my feeling -- they are all, right away, going to have to make a lot of decisions they and the audience are probably going to find abhorrent in all directions (although probably in different ways). And it's going to be bad for years, and, like, legitimately it's possible that a Pax Furiosa might be the least worst option for a while, depending, and everyone's going to lose faith a bunch. And it's GREAT.

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 05:08 pm (UTC)

The thing about anarchoprimitivism is kind of that it's a reasonably good idea as long as everyone else agrees to ALSO be anarchoprimitivists, and also can come to an agreement about what they're going to do when the free rider problem crops up, and also there isn't an immediate resource crisis? Which I am not saying is completely impossible in all of human nature ever, but that's kiiiiiind of not what they're dealing with here.

I think I like your brother's thinking.

And HAH, I was thinking the same thing about rap! And am glad someone else was, because I immediately got very nervous about "oh shit is this cultural appropriation??? but it makes sense???" But it does! Like, it's a genre with vast popular penetration and low start-up costs in terms of equipment, designed to be insanely catchy, and you could get a really good oral tradition out of that. And I wish I could write any form of lyric or poetry at all, because, holy shit, warboy memorial rap, that is the greatest thing of all time, and an amazing parallel to Furiosa's reciting her descent and initiation. (Because if the entire culture revolves around glorious witness, then of COURSE you're going to have a memorial tradition, and it has to be something everyone can learn by heart, because there's a big obvious problem with just having one or two guys as the keepers of memory. And I just really love the idea that if this culture survives, a couple hundred years down the road some local equivalent of Francis James Child is going to be collecting a dozen versions of something that scans vaguely to the tune of "Jesus Walks.")

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 05:53 pm (UTC)

/takes notes. (I'm developing such a terrible list of research topics right now oh god. I AM A HALF-ASSED AUTODIDACT EDWARDIANIST GET ME OUT OF HERE. Well, no, don't.)

And I mean, just, like -- anything that requires significant equipment is going to either not make it through the apocalypse, or end up a state-sponsored elite art form. Even when you have the whole "knowing how to play your instrument is actually a disadvantage" aesthetic of like early punk, you still have to HAVE an instrument, and that's just so far out of reach. (Like, maybe traditional folk is instrument-optional as well? But that's SUCH a niche genre these days, I don't think it has the critical cultural mass. Which makes me sad, because while it's not my division musically I feel like there should be an Angharad hymn that scans to "The Queen of Argyle," but I'm not even going to TRY to figure out what hoops I'd have to jump through to justify it.)

/makes inarticulate flappy warboy-emotions hands. They all know like hundreds of hour-long songs with dozens of verses, don't they.

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 06:40 pm (UTC)

Xactly.

... I think that might've been me. Drat. I was so hoping someone else had independently arrived at the same conclusion; I have violent insecurity issues around floating my own ideas in semi-public.

(And hah, this is something I've been kicking around as a vidsong possible, although I'm not married to it.)

And heeeee, yes, exactly! They've got downtime, or at least time when they're doing boring repetitive work with their hands that doesn't require any brain involvement, and people do music under those circumstances.

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 07:18 pm (UTC)

Oh, please, ask me how many times I've done that to people. I'm just making small pleased noises that you think it's plausible!

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 09:32 pm (UTC)
I couldn't find it either (and I know I remembered it!) but there were some choice gifs

don't be a bard http://roachpatrol.tumblr.com/post/119801988722

LOOK AT THE SLICING FINGERS http://vorobey008.tumblr.com/post/119043824163

ngl I want at least one of these poster sized http://roachpatrol.tumblr.com/post/119568769677/xenadd-mad-max-posters-improved-with-daily-mail
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 02:55 pm (UTC)
Interestingly enough the actress said in an interview that while the scars on her character's arms were SI, she didn't mention the facial scarring. I wondered if it had something to do with radiation? http://io9.com/vagina-monologues-writer-eve-ensler-consulted-on-mad-ma-1701967087
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 05:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, I didn't even SEE that on the screen; I really do have to go again. (Weekly. Until they pull it from theatres.)

Oh, Splendid.