This is the something I had on that had me blowing off invites and duty and even the annual Fifties Fair. This was it. Mr Whedon. At the Opea House.
I don't know why I was so excited, but I was. Maybe because Joss Whedon, and his works, have been so important to me, have gotten under my skin and become of part of me. I simply had to see the great man and pay homage.
So, on a brilliantly sunny spring day we set off to see Mr Whedon at the opera House. I wore the very pretty blouse I'd bought to wear to other talks, but never did (FU, MB, and yes, still drowning in sour grapes over that debacle), and a very pretty blousey blouse it was, too, if I do say so myself (frills and purple flowers and very spring-y).
We were going to have fish and chips for lunch but I reckoned I could do better than newspaper on a park bench so we ended up at the Oyster Bar - yikes - with snotty service but the food was okay and the view excelellent and we haven't dined fancy since Fenruary and we're so busy this week it'll probably be tinned soup every night anyway. She says, justifying the palpitation inducing bill that still makes me breathless at the memory of it. But it was our grand day out, dammit, no expense spared.
So, off to the Opera House, a glass of champagne, a view and then our seats, which weren't so bad (I couldn't afford the really wow seats + cocktail party deal at the time, hence the over compensating with lunch, probably, but it couldn't be helped, though I'm gnashing my teeth over it now because like, once in a lifetime, but there was to be no ringing another drop from the bank balance when the tickets went on sale - I hate being poor). Much music, but I didn't spot anyone I knew except, horrors, someone from work.
Then Wil Anderson bounded out. This was a surprise, to Wil himself, who already bought tickets. We glanced to the no show beside us. Surely not? There were a couple of duff moments, Wil's fanboy glee getting the better of him, but he was a great host, especially during the Q&A, because, like all fan Q&As, there were the beyond cringing moments but Wil cut them off with a ruthless professionalism that he'd since learnt with his years at the ABC (which is why I could forgive his earlier stumbles, as the lad was clearly starstruck at the start).
Seriously, we need our own proper comic con, and we need Wil there, as an MC. But never mind that, for we were all there for Joss, to hear the great one speak.
And speak he did. About why he was there, why he had to write. Why he writes about darkness, helplessness, and girls with superpowers. Why he'll never get over losing Firefy (and all the unwritten stories still in his head). Somewhat self consciously, as he'd just come from a grilling in Melbourne, he defended his reputation as a death merchant, and couldn't understand why the guy who played the principal on Glee was worried when he heard Joss was doing an episode, never mind that Joss has a bit of a track record with school principals - grin.
It was funny, snarky, and we covered everything from Speed to The Avengers. Joss admitted he had written eight really duff episodes. I dunno, does he count series two of Dollhouse, though the zombie cop one of Angel was pretty damn dire, and I did smirk when he admitted they had no idea what they were doing with Angel. Really? I never got that at all - snark. In answer to Kevin Smith's comment about how he could handle a host of stars on The Avengers, he gave us an analogy from Hoosiers (ie basically it's still a Scooby Gang, so now you know what to expect). He talked about Dr Horrible (which I adore and we rewatched the musical commentary when we got home, which is like the best commentary ever). He talked about his love of language, especially Elizabethan language (yes, I had picked that up in Firefly). He talked about Firefly being about fighting the Civil War - on the Millennium Falcon. He talked about the need for stories to have heart, and that he writes characters so they can save him, because he's still that scared little boy inside. He writes about death and loss because they happen. He writes musicals because he grew up with them.
But hey, I'm sure there are transcripts out there. I was, for once, too busy hanging on his every word to take notes.
It was all over too soon and we piled out and into a cafe where we watched the sunset and waited, and waited and waited for our order to arrive. Eventaully the waitress asked if we were ordering anything more than drinks and I guess I was a bit snitty (because this was the second time this month they'd forgotten my order) and, oh, the apologies, they even discounted the bill and fetched a box of chocolates (I wasn't that snitty, surely).
Anyhoo, by then it was late so we rolled into a taxi and home to a cup of tea and the Commentary: The Musical - which was doubly hysterical given some of the stuff Joss had said that afternoon, and it was all good.
Joss Whedon, I love you.
He makes me happy. He makes me care. Sometimes, he makes me cry.
More than that, as I sat watching the last sender cinamon rays of the sun slink away as we glided across the rivery bridge, Joss gave me permission to be melodramatic.
Cause I know what's wrong with White Collar (and The Guide this morning pointed ut a similiar fault with Covert affairs): it lacks heart. There's no puppy in peril. There's no real human interest or character development (just macguffins, and even Kate, who absolutely nobody cares about, is just another macguffin).
Which is why I'm not at all happy with my first attempt at fic, but in the later parts, where I fall back on old habits and Neal gets increasing fucked up, it's much more fun to write. And that's okay because I've had a fucked up life and I only know fucked up and maybe Peter will save me (and Neal). Though I doubt it. There's no way it can end happily for Peter and Neal, there's just too much of a difference between what they will and will not do (if Peter follows Neal he is no longer Peter, if you know what I mean).
Anyway, there was stuff to think about, and Joss's career advice? Write better. Would that I could, but at least I'll wallow in the darkness, because trying not to, that struck a false note with me. I think I like stories that are dark, stories that have more at stake than music boxes, you know?
I'm not sure anyone else will want to read it, but wallowing in gothic misery works for me. I've tried the whole sunshine and lollipops thing and I just suck at it, big time. The third, fic, where Neal ticks all the mad, bad and dangerous to know boxes? That's the one I'm having the most fun with at the moment. I recant my former position. Neal should be dark and dangerous. It puts the charming face he wears in sharper contrast, it puts more at stake (like Peter, mainly). Oh yes, there are Faustian deals to be struck here. Yum.
So I learnt something this weekend. And I saw Joss Whedon. He's real. He exists. Fancy that.
And I'm wondering why I'm being treated to all these great men touring of late. It's like the 19thC when men like Dickens, Twain and London gave talks in Sydney, but there's been no one of interest to me to ever tour the colonies since then, until now. Then I realise it's because they're all establishment now, dear, and I feel old.
But not as old as I did when I flicked open a copy of Hello and saw 'Alex James: Our home in the Cotswolds'. When the popstars of my youth start doing middle aged, middle class photo spreads in Hello that are all rural domesticity and have nothing to do with sex, drugs and rock and roll, well, then, it's all over. Sigh.
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