Recs, the short version
Admit One by Gigi Sinclair. I ran across this on someone else's rec page and it's FIC I MISSED! *shocked* From A LONG TIME AGO! *grins* Anyway. Fun bit of Lex pov to read and enjoy. The movies just went so very, very wrong.
Four Things That Could Possibly Happen by dystocia. I love the Five Things challenge more every day. Four AUs, all of them so DAMN cool. Special atttention to one and three. Wow. Seriously, wow.
Found by spyhop. Sequel to Seeking, and so cute. *happy sigh* Makes me happy.
The lovely carlanesses sent me the prettiest cover for Fetish. Seriously, this is so cool. SV attracts the best manippers I have ever seen anywhere.
*happy sigh* I just like looking at it for long periods of time. Guh.
*more happy sighs* I love the world.
In Which I Do My "Koi Is a Goddess on Earth" thing, or, Why I Think the Kents Were on Crack the Day of the Meteor Shower
Having ignored my friendslist for twenty four hours to focus on getting myself caught up, I went to look today, briefly, I swear, and lo, Koi had posted. As this is a blue moon sort of thing, I sat down to read and of course, it's on Mercy. Because this is a good week, God is kind, and apparently, I'm getting wishes granted ALL over the place.
For reference, Mercy. Revised, overhauled, and beyond excellent.
You know, the fic I consider the best SV's ever produced and part of my personal trifecta of fics that need to be read to reground myself in everything Smallville fanfic (or fanfic in general) can be when the author is superlative.
Right, you've heard me talk about this before? Consider this redux.
But first, without a doubt, read Mercy Redux, Part I and Mercy Redux, Part II, where koimistress goes over what she revised, why, and what she was thinking when she wrote this. Incredibly interesting, insightful, and fascinating stuff.
I'm still a fan of the original version, but that's my pet kink there--not that I don't love the revision because it's just as good and just as sweeping and explains things far better, but I have a personal thing for being forced to think outside what I'd normally accept, and Mercy, for me, made me rewrite Smallville from the ground up in my head. I also tend to prefer first impressions to later.
Getting beyond that.
Koi covers the philosophy and mythology she drew on to create Mercy, going beyond what most of us use, which is simple canon, and utilizing the more universal themes of the sci-fi genre. If you read that statement, wow, you might think I actually know what I'm talking about, but really, I don't.
See, though, I'm of the school of thought that believes the Kents were completely insane for adopting a kid from outer space without even getting him vetted. Seriously so. Even inside the concept of DC canon, come on. Most of us won't eat food we don't recognize and some people have given up beef because of the faint possiblity of mad cow disease (for Americans, that is), but we accept the Kents picked an alien up on the side of the road and adopted him without even the most cursory background check, because, hey, that's what DC canon says and we go with it.
Kents. Crack. Meet.
Which is why most of us can write Lex accepting the entire "Clark is alien" thing pretty calmly, because frankly, these people live in a universe that is based on that very concept. *grins* Not that I'm against this. In the universe as set up by Smallville canon, Lex having another reaction actually wouldn't make as much sense sometimes. We were all gripey with Pete for being all rejectiony, but he didn't reject Clark for being alien, but for lying to him for years.
So flip that.
Koi decides to move the entire thing to more realistic terms. Clark is an alien. We all have the Very Bizarre Kent family and a show mostly from Clark's POV to prove his sincerity, but Lex has nothing close to this. And I think that having Clark's POV skews perception highly on how we view Lex's actions and reactions, or rather, what we think they should be.
Let me try this from a different angle.
Every so often, Livia and I have a Jonathan argument, in which she defends and I end up baiting her for a couple of hours. She explains why Jonathan is right, I explain how he annoys me, and for the most part, I agree with her, though I'm never telling her that in argument, ever. Seen purely from Jonathan's POV, Lex is a massive threat to Clark. From our POV, we know Lex means no harm, but we've access to information Jonathan does not. Just like from the Lexian POV, Jonathan is a bigoted moron.
The same holds true for a purely Lex perspective on Smallville. Removing Clark's POV and every scene that does not involve Lex, Clark is, quite simply, really damn bizarre. I've never been able to blame Lex for investigating and certainly not for Nixon. Seriously, if this was an X-Files world, Mulder would be bugging Clark's house and stalking him through fields and we, the audience, would be applauding this muchly. It's dangerous for Clark. But it's not Lex putting Clark in danger so much as Lex's lack of complete information that he's acting on. Lex does not know, cannot know, that his actions are a danger to Clark, any more than Chloe does when she puts up that information about Clark's adoption on the net. In the former case, Lex is faced with a massive puzzle that, frankly, anyone would want to solve, and there's no possible way that he could anticipate the consequences that follow. In Chloe's, she was trying to be helpful, and while she might have possibly anticipated response, she couldn't anticipate the danger it would be to Clark's secret, and frankly, no one could have anticipated Lex being tied up and nearly axed to death by the prospective mommy.
Here's an exercise for you. Rewrite Heat from the pov of someone who isn't Clark and has no idea of alien origin or new power, even if it's just in your head. An observer, if you will. Arsonist? Yep. The police believing that Clark blew up Desiree's car seemed perfectly possible to me even without Desiree doing her mojo, if she even was using it on the police. Frankly, the Talon thing ought to have gotten him investigated, he and Lana both. That's two for two with his and Lana's presence.
So Mercy, from the first, worked for me because it offered me something very, very little Smallville fic does, which is a purely Lexian pov on the mystery of Clark. Unlike us, he has no access to any information whatsoever other than that he directly observes, hears about (however garbled), or discovers himself, however garbled.
Koi brought up the concept of faith with Lex. Lex works on faith a LOT with Clark from the beginning, which in itself I'd love someone to cover thoroughly, because that's just as weird. Natural human observation and logic is always being filtered through this emotional bond between them--the really interesting thing is that the breakdowns of this bond don't happen more *often* than they do on the show. When he loses the faith in the story, the faith that built the emotion, it leaves him with only the cold hard facts of observation and logic. And here's what he has.
Clark is an alien and Clark lied about being an alien for years to everyone for an unknown reason. Clark is a remarkably human-looking alien. Huh. What are the chances of parallel development on two planets of life being *that* similar? Ignore Star Trek please. Clark has *powers*. Interesting ones. Deadly ones. He's invulnerable. He's very intelligent. He arrived here during a deadly meteor-rock storm which has caused ecological and human mutation and contamination.
Koi explains this far better than I possibly can, but that's one of the countless reasons I love this story.
From comments in Koi's LJ by maraceles link:
Though his actions might be taken as an act of faith, of leaping without looking...for Lex it's just not right. Because he doesn't *have* any faith in anything, and really, considering the guy's experiences, I agree with him. Faith has to be earned; it isn't just arbitrarily given away to the first passerby. And that is really what he's doing with Clark...he's arbitrarily deciding to follow blindly. And from any perspective you look from, whether religious or not, that is an awful and terrible thing to do.
*grins* I agree with everything except the idea that faith isn't arbitrarily given.
To me, faith by its nature is arbitrary. That's its entire--thing, its existence. Faith with proof isn't really faith, it's logic and observation. Faith is the ability to go beyond what's given to you, to believe without reason.
I'm attracted to the concept of faith a LOT. It's random. It's illogical. It's almost against human nature except everything we do is based on that very concept, even what we base our logic on.
Rhiannnon quoted this bit of Koi in her LJ, which kind of sums up how I feel about it.
I figured that, okay, surely I'd close off the ambiguity at the end. But no; by the time I reached there, it felt like a cop-out. We have to live in a world where we can only accept on faith that there's somebody home at the other end; that our loved ones care about us; that the evidence of our senses has meaning. Lex wasn't going to get any more than anybody else. Like all of us, he was going to have to accept not because of evidence but because of need -- because he couldn't exist in that other reality.
To me, the ending was one of the best I've ever read, and perfect in itself.
How I Spent the Last Few Hours
I started this entry before I went to get dinner, and that was three and a half hours ago.
What, one must think. Whereas does she live, that she must gather food that far from home?
My sister and I decided to get dinner at McDonalds and Mr. Gattis tonight, so wandered off to do so after a diaper run to Wal-Mart. Blah blah blah somehow it's my fault (it's not), but the keys were locked in the car.
At McDonalds. With a one and a half year old girl and a six year old boy. It's cold and windy outside. It's very bright inside. They don't let these kind of experiences happen in PRISON, becaue it's cruel and unusual. My sister went looking for something to open the door, thus leaving me with The Children. Then she went looking for a cell phone.
Of course, no one we know is home. Because it's Friday and people have lives.
Anyway, long story short, one sundae, two orders of fries, a cheeseburger, a medium sprite, and a coffee later, (not to mention the giggling of an entire damn fast food restaurant when they figured out what had happened AND a kind of gripey yet strangely amused sister) my sister's fiancee brought the spare key and we got home safely.
But here's a couple of things I learned.
1.) Children can't cry when their mouths are full of ice cream and fries. Very valuable.
2.) The car antenna is a lot harder to get off than you might think.
Right. This has been a good night.