Archived Ramblings



Well, the daily ramblings are taking a bit more time than I expected.  I don't think I'll stick to the one-a-day routine, I'll be going back to doing them whimever.

I've finished reading (again) "The Teachings of Don Jake" and there are a few more similarities.  So far, most of them have compared Quinn to an evil sorcerer (or a hallucinogenic plant) and Jake with Carlos.

Don Juan teaches Carlos about two 'allies', one of which is the devils weed, that is, Jimson weed.  He always refers to the weed as she, even though there are male and female plants, and both are used.  The characteristics of the devils weed are also much like Quinn... jealous, tricks by flattery, and so on.  And there's a part that might be a reference to the mud-mask Quinn put on when she didn't have any makeup on.  In "Don Juan" there is a divination Carlos performs using the devils weed.  The part that is interesting is that part of the plant is made into a paste, which later gets rubbed onto the temples and sides of the face, in fact, pretty much everywhere but the center of the forehead.  Now, this in itself isn't much, and Quinn ended up with mud only circling her eyes.  However, the paste is the portion of the divination that gives guidance.  And right after Quinn puts on the mud, Helen asks if they know where Jake's spirit animal went, and Quinn says she does.

As for Jake and Carlos, they seem alike in many ways.  They both complain and worry in pretty much the same fashion, although "Don Juan" never goes into Carlos' finances.  Also, they both have some sort of trouble with their fathers...  Jake's is pretty obvious, but Carlos' is never really explained, just hinted at.

That's pretty much everything I noticed from the book.  There were a few other points that reminded me of the episode, but I couldn't explain why well enough to include them here.




Today I was informed of a new Daria article available on the net.  It's the best one I've seen yet, go read it.  Now.  Then come back and finish reading this ;)

Before I go back to "The Teachings of Don Jake", I'm going to bring up yet another subject I've wondered about/been asked about.  Daria and transportation.  She always walks, or bums rides.  We've never seen her drive a car.  I do think she has her driver's licence, since she asks to borrow either car in "Esteemsters".  This nicely brings up the other point about transportation.  The Morgendorffers have two cars, but we've only seen one of them.  Not only does Daria mention two cars in "Esteemsters", but Jake does in "Road Worrier".  (Daria:  What are you going to do?  Helen:  You know, pay the bills.  Jake:  Wash the cars.)  You'd think with two cars, they'd let her use one of them now and again.  Also, why doesn't Daria have her own car?  They have got to be fairly well-off, they've got a great big house, two cars, and Daria has two TVs in her room (the one on the TV tray and one near the ceiling in one corner of the room).  Jake did go ballistic about college tuition, but anyone who makes less than 6 digits (not counting the two behind the decimal mark) feels the same, and he has a history of money worry.  Of course, that may be the problem.  Cars aren't that cheap, and insurance is worse (Daria is a girl, however, so she'll have lower rates), so perhaps they just refuse to pay it for her?  She is pretty independent, so I'd think a car would be great for her (not to mention an easy escape from her family when she needs it).

Now, back to "Don Jake".  I've been re-re-reading the book, and I've been keeping track of whatever similarities I notice.  So far there aren't too many (there are two many), but I do have a question for any nature buffs in the audience.  Does anyone recognize the berries Jake pointed to as breakfast?  I bet the bright red berries with white flowers is distinctive of something...  Since several psychoactive plants are mentioned in "The Teachings of Don Juan", I wouldn't be surprised if that was one of them.

In "Don Juan", a diablero is a sorcerer that can change himself (or herself) into an animal - any creature at all.  In fact, one of them, who has a grudge against "Don Juan" tries to kill him at one point, and later tries to kill his apprentice, Carlos Castenada.  She is only described as 'an evil old bruja', and named 'La Catalina'.  Now, I'm sure everyone remembers Quinn's glitter-berry episode.  When she says "Those are the ones that make you act crazy... until you spread your shimmering wings and fly away."  So, this could be a snide remark about Quinn, probably comparing her make-up and cuteness to black magic.  This is a pretty tenuous link, but there's something that really solidifies it.  When Carlos undergoes his first transformation (to a crow) he's whacked out of his skull on hallucinogens.  They're necessary (at first, anyway) to the transformation process.  Also, all the transformations refered to in the book involve birds...  Carlos into a crow, and La Catalina into a blackbird.  So far this doesn't explain shimmering wings, but yes, there's more.  From what Carlos sees, and Don Juan tells him, birds see colors differently.  Specifically:  "The white feathers of a crow are really silvery.  The crows shine so intensely that they are not bothered by other birds."  In other words, shimmering wings...

The other similarity is a fairly minor one, but worth noting anyway.  Both Jake and Carlos Castenada (author of "Don Jake") served aborted apprenticeships of a kind.  Carlos quit his after a period of a few years (and later goes back, but that's in later books), and Jake's father tried to force him into a different sort of apprenticeship.  Jake complains greatly all through the episode about things his father forced him to do.  And Carlos complains all through the book about things Don Juan was forcing him to do...

Well, the experiment is off to a good start.  More will be coming.  And after I finish with "Don Jake" I'll have to wrap my observations with a pretty ribbon (and a spell check) and put them on a page linked from the episode summary.




It's me again.  I'm going to try out an experiment this week.  I'll be updating, or attempting to anyway, the Ramblings on a daily (or almost-daily)  basis.  If it doesn't take up too much time, and I'm not struggling for ideas, I'll continue it.

One annoyance of note about the Dariathon.  Did they really have to cut all the end credits just to cram in more commercials?  It's not like they don't already show enough of the bloody things.  MTV is really starting to milk this for all it's worth...

Okay, anyone else getting annoyed (or should I say pissed?) at the Jenny ads on NBC?  (Wonder if they got SNL's permission for those idiotic ripoffs of an idiotic skit, namely "Deep Thoughts")  She's getting a lot of media attention, and every time I hear something about "female" and "MTV" I hope like hell it's not her, but it always is.  If she remains in the spotlight while Daria is delegated to the wings, it'll say a lot about this society...

I've added a facts section to the page, which will have the basic useful who-what-when-where-why-how info when I bother to flesh it out.  I started it mostly so I could keep track of merchandise, which will probably start flooding the market not long before second season starts.  Expect a massive advertising campaign for the season premier..

Right now I'm going to talk about Daria and Jane.  They have an interesting friendship, and I'm glad "The Misery Chick" happened.  At first, Jane looked like she was going to be Daria's yes-girl (in "Esteemsters", anyway).  In "The Invitation" she showed a bit of individuality, since she went to the make-out room even though Daria dissaproved.  Of course, the rest of the time she pretty much went along with whatever Daria started.  Except for Jane teasing Daria about Trent, they pretty much stayed this way until "Road Worrier".  I really don't need to say much about how Jane helped Daria against her (Daria's) will, so I won't.  "The Teachings of Don Jake" doesn't have much interaction between the two of them, but the end of the episode is rather interesting.  Why is Daria calling Jane's house when she doesn't expect her to be there?  Did she just get really bored and decide that it would waste a couple minutes?  Also, why does Jane answer the phone?  Her parents are probably home, they didn't go the family reunion after all, and I can't seen Jane jumping Quinn-like for the phone when it rings.  With her friend out of town, who was she expecting a call from to pick up so quickly?  Of course, she may just have her own line, which Daria called, but that simply trades one question for another.  Why would Jane have her own line?  Unless her parents obsessive-compulsively gave all their kids living at home their own lines, she really doesn't have a need for one.  Back to the friendship.  In "The Misery Chick" the writers showed that things aren't always sunny in Darialand.  She and Jane do have a mis-understanding, but it's quickly resolved.  The two characters have a lot to teach each other, and they've already started.  Jane is, of course, more open than Daria, and more sensitive.  Daria has few illusions, and she's willing to face pretty much anything.  Jane admits that she's not ready to handle mortality when she tells Daria "I've been trying not to think, and you make me think."  Daria isn't willing to handle Trent, and pretty much has to be dragged by Jane into his presence.  The two of them are different enough that we're occasionally going to see sparks.  They have a comfortable relationship where they can exchange friendly insults and tease each other, and pretty much try to look out for each other (although this has been more Jane looking out for Daria so far).  This in itself can cause problems, as we see in "Road Worrier".  Daria really wasn't happy with Jane until after the road trip...  Jane will be forcing Daria into a larger group of people (starting with Jodie and Mack it seems), and Daria will be forcing Jane to face things she doesn't really want to.


8-03-97, later that night


Well, some recent developments made me decide to continue the ramble tonight.  First is some not-quite-related-to-Daria news that I find offensive (and Daria would surely have some comment on), and then some web-pageish issues.

In the news recently (well, Newsweek, really) has been some, and I mean very little, information about a lawsuit against NASA.  It seems that three Yemeni men are suing NASA for, get this, trespassing, by way of the Sojourner probe.  It seems that they claim their ancestors inherited Mars some 3,000 years ago...  I will keep you up to date on further developments, as this is a prime example why people such as Daria are considered "misery chicks"...  Unfortunately, I haven't found anything else yet.

The other involves my site ratings.  I had really expected a larger negative response to this, but so far it's been fairly quiet.  Hopefully this means that people who didn't get great ratings have been thinking "So what?  This is for my amusement, not his".  Comments included in the e-mails made me want to clarify some points of my system, however.  Originality is the key, people.  I care far less about appearance than I do about content.  And, no, video captures do not count as original.  They're nice to have, but remember:  they're made by the artists at MTV, they only require money to get (I'm against anything that only requires money to get, since I don't have lots and lots of it).  The other reason is the purpose of the site ratings.  They're there to direct the casual web-surfers to the sites that are most interesting first, to get them hooked.  Then they'll be happier to look at every single Daria site in existence.  There's lots of readily available articles on the web about how people surf the web...
There is a related point that I want to make here, about PhReAkY cApS.  I hate it.  It's even worse than all caps.  There is a simple reason for all this.  I read a lot, and I read fast.  I normally go through a paper-back at about a hundred pages an hour (which isn't a patch on my high-school biology teacher's 2,000 words-per-minute).  Why did I bring this up?  Because people read more by recognizing the shape of words than by reading each individual letter.  This is one reason you can identify mis-spelled words even if you're not sure of the proper spelling.  Phreaky caps, of course, breaks up the pattern of the word unnecessarily.  The only reasons I can see for actually using this silly style is an attempt to fit in with the k3wl doods (I still haven't figured out why someone would want to do this, however).  It's still up to you whether or not you want to use it, and I don't care if my site ratings actually effect someones web page (unless it brings another good one on the web, but I can't figure out how a rating system can do that), this is just what I feel.  [Anyone remember those Discount Tire Company commercials with the "please feel free to bring it back" voice-over while the little old lady throws a tire through the window?]

Yes, I am being very ego-maniacal here, but this is my page.  You say what you want on yours, I'll say what I want on mine.  I'm doing this more for my fun than anything.  I definitely support the First Amendment and the anti-CDA groups.  I will speak my mind while fighting to the death for your right to say something blisteringly stupid.  You have to take the good with the bad (should I mention Tennyson?  Nah, better not...).

Also, there is no real need to make a new hotmail account just on, well, my account.  All complaints about the ratings have been sent this way, and it's really not necessary.  I won't give out e-mail addresses in connection with something like this without permission, and I won't post such mails, or excerpts from those mails, without permission.  I also haven't flamed anyone yet, and probably won't.  If you want to protest the rating I gave your site, feel free.  As anyone who knows me well will tell you, I love to argue.  I can take any side of just about any issue, and have often take both sides at once, just to keep an interesting argument going.  If you send me something intelligent, rational, and support your points, I may just be persuaded to change the rating.  If your site shows the same qualities, at any rate.  Also, feel free to send me any new curse words and insults, I'm always on the look out for good ones.  I have yet to see any truely quality ones on the net however.  There is one type of mail that I do feel compelled to flame (haven't received any with respect to this page yet), however.  If you spout a mindless repetition of four-letter words and Yo Mama's, I always feel compelled to show the true richness and depth available in the english language...

Well, I got rather off-track today, but I'll be back to over analyzing (or is it anal-yzing?) the episodes.  WAGs are great, aren't they?




Well, the Dariathon just finished, so here I am.  There's still a lot left to be said about "The Misery Chick", but just for variety, I'm going to be focusing on "The Teachings of Don Jake" this week.  But first, news.

In case you didn't notice, I've been working on the page formats a bit.  More changes will be coming along soon.  For now I've got things changed to make it easier on me to update and maintain the page.  It should also make navigation a bit easier, frames or not, and hopefully anyone stuck with a text only browser will have a little better time of it.  I've also added comments to some of the Alter-Egos; either about where the pose is from, or possible alternate names for the pic.  If you know of or notice one that isn't listed, send it to me.

Recently I re-read "The Teachings of Don Juan", an interesting book in it's own right.  I haven't yet re-read the rest of the series (I got distracted by a book called "Word Play:  What happens when people talk").  Watching "The Teachings of Don Jake" again today, so soon after finishing the book, pointed out some similarities I hadn't noticed the first time through.  Of course, I'll re-read "Don Juan" again this week to pick out more, but today I'll start in.  The show is more a parody of (or possibly commentary on) the book than I first thought...  In "The Teachings of Don Juan" the book is split into two parts, as is "Don Jake".  However, that's about the only similarity in structure.  "Don Juan" is first the account of what Carlos experienced, and then an analysis of his experiences.  However, it isn't fragmented as "Don Jake" is, both parts are whole.  This is just a minor similarity, and is probably a coincidence, but it's there.

The biggest similarity is the death over-tones shown in "Don Jake".  "The Misery Chick" seems to have totally obliterated this from people's minds, but in "Don Jake" there is quite a bit about death (not even counting Daria's story).  Jake is having his mid-life crisis, and Helen points this out to Quinn, who doesn't understand.  Now, to relate this to "Don Juan" I'll have to set a little background info.  "The Teachings of Don Juan" is the recorded experiences of Carlos Castenada, who became Don Juan's apprentice.  Don Juan was a 'man of knowledge', and was teaching Carlos how to become one.  There were, according to Don Juan, four major enemies a man would face on his path to knowledge.  Fear, clarity of mind, power, and old age.  I'll be analyzing the references to the first three (and there were quite a few) later on this week, for now I'm concentrating on the last.  Old age was the enemy you could never totally defeat, it would eventually win.  According to Don Juan, the only way to totally lose the fight against any of these enemies was to give up.  Jake's shout of "I'm not through with you yet, old man!" is probably a reference to this.  It's also interesting to note that the main theme of the next show is mortality, although not in the form of old age.  This may have been a hint as to what was going to happen in the season finale, but no one was familiar enough with the books to notice it (if they were, they didn't tell me about it).  I'm going to have to watch the episodes again a few times, and re-read the book, to catch all of theses, but there's quite a few that reminded me of the book in one way or another.

Well, I'm going to have to think about this a bit more before I continue much.  Humans can only think of so many concepts at once, and "The Misery Chick" is enough to over-load someone in the first place.  However, "The Teachings of Don Jake" wasn't nearly as shallow an episode as I first thought...



Sick, Sad World (the site) was created by Wraith