?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 

Who do you want to be - Serenity is MalContentment

About Who do you want to be

Previous Entry Who do you want to be Oct. 10th, 2005 @ 01:25 pm Next Entry
She sits in a dark room. The only light comes from a computer monitor. It is a dim light, barely enough to illuminate her silhouette. That's alright, there is no one there to see her. Alone. "We live as we dream...alone." Joseph Conrad. To put a dream to words, "She was.... a gift."

Not she, me. Why do I find it necessary, imperative even, to try to capture a character who cannot be captured? River Tam is not someone who can be caught in a net of words. Her essence transcends my ability to describe. Try, though, I must. My failings will not be complete. An eye, a pinky, the left ventricle, some piece of River will be bared, just as I bare myself in what follows.

Staring, thinking, fingers unable to move except to type that they aren't able to move. Immobilization. Then a burst of inspiration, an idea hanging on by a thread. Love. These two extremes are the life that River lives. She is not the weapon, what the Institute tried to make her. She is whatever she defines herself as.

"What am I?" she wants to know in "War Stories."

And we're sad because we think we don't belong here
We're guilty 'cause we think we should be stars
Floating in a navy soup, we're sailing
There you are


These lyrics from "Universe" by Sarah Slean (used by my favorite River vid) show River's problem. It isn't what was done to her, but what she does with that. She tells Simon that she is "broken." One of my favorite icons at the Browncoats states "Don't try to fix me. I'm not broken." Much pain in this world is caused by thinking we aren't what we should be, that we are somehow broken.

No matter what was done to us, we aren't broken. We still have free will. We have the ability to say "It's just an object. It's not what you think." We can do that with any event in our past. We can do that with any trait we posses. In the words of Martin de Maat, "You are pure potential."

When River picks up the stick and depowers that particular trigger, she understands what she does, she just doesn't comprehend the significance of it.



What we have is Serenity. In a seemingly insignificant moment (as Joss has done before), she realizes the significance of understanding. "I'm okay," she tells Simon. Then it dawns on her. By understanding what happened at Miranda, she depowers that delusion.

It is these delusions that the Institute used to create their weapons. Every time she is triggered, she is undergoing a delusion. The neural stripping that is causing the breakdown of her reality matrix (much better than the earlier explanation of the amygdala) is both a desired an effect and, when it goes too far, a consequence.

This makes her unstable, a weapon that cannot be fully controlled yet. She can be set off, but the finesse required by an Operative isn't there yet. Would it ever? I say this was impossible for the Institute to accomplish with their means. It took the love of Simon and Mal's belief in her to make her more stable. Simon is the one with the true safe word...love.

What the Operative failed to understand is that the breakdown of her neural matrix (which he knew about from the tape) linked things as we see in River's delusions. As I showed in "How Safe is Serenity," this was there from Firefly. As the Operative triggers River to become the weapon, he releases the secret he wants to hide.

Now I'm going to get real personal. Our brains make these linkages all the time. The more traumatic the event, the stronger the linkage. River was dreaming of monsters when the Institute found her to be most accepting of their conditioning. In my own experience, trauma was linked to certain emotions. Cause those emotions, and I used to be right back at those events.

Is that what exposure to the Reavers did to River? When their psyche invaded hers, was it the breakdown of her reality matrix that associated things triggered to cause the delusions? When River flips out because of the Reavers, is she really back at the Institute being tortured again?

That isn't broken to me. That is a very normal human reaction to trauma. If she wasn't messed up, she would be really messed up. Even with all the experiments done to her, there is still a girl inside of her, a girl who still has all the same problems we all do, including defining herself.

To depower the Miranda trigger, she needed to understand it. Seeing the comm allowed her to do this. Rather than trigger her, rather than flip out like she was doing earlier, it sickened her. This reaction let her know she had control back.

We see that cShe sits in a dark room. The only light comes from a computer monitor. It is a dim light, barely enough to illuminate her silhouette. That's alright, there is no one there to see her. Alone. "We live as we dream...alone." Joseph Conrad. To put a dream to words, "She was.... a gift."

Not she, me. Why do I find it necessary, imperative even, to try to capture a character who cannot be captured? River Tam is not someone who can be caught in a net of words. Her essence transcends my ability to describe. Try, though, I must. My failings will not be complete. An eye, a pinky, the left ventricle, some piece of River will be bared, just as I bare myself in what follows.

Staring, thinking, fingers unable to move except to type that they aren't able to move. Immobilization. Then a burst of inspiration, an idea hanging on by a thread. Love. These two extremes are the life that River lives. She is not the weapon, what the Institute tried to make her. She is whatever she defines herself as.

"What am I?" she wants to know in "War Stories."

And we're sad because we think we don't belong here
We're guilty 'cause we think we should be stars
Floating in a navy soup, we're sailing
There you are


These lyrics from "Universe" by Sarah Slean (used by my favorite River vid) show River's problem. It isn't what was done to her, but what she does with that. She tells Simon that she is "broken." One of my favorite icons at the Browncoats states "Don't try to fix me. I'm not broken." Much pain in this world is caused by thinking we aren't what we should be, that we are somehow broken.

No matter what was done to us, we aren't broken. We still have free will. We have the ability to say "It's just an object. It's not what you think." We can do that with any event in our past. We can do that with any trait we posses. In the words of Martin de Maat, "You are pure potential."

When River picks up the stick and depowers that particular trigger, she understands what she does, she just doesn't comprehend the significance of it.



What we have is Serenity. In a seemingly insignificant moment (as Joss has done before), she realizes the significance of understanding. "I'm okay," she tells Simon. Then it dawns on her. By understanding what happened at Miranda, she depowers that delusion.

It is these delusions that the Institute used to create their weapons. Every time she is triggered, she is undergoing a delusion. The neural stripping that is causing the breakdown of her reality matrix (much better than the earlier explanation of the amygdala) is both a desired an effect and, when it goes too far, a consequence.

This makes her unstable, a weapon that cannot be fully controlled yet. She can be set off, but the finesse required by an Operative isn't there yet. Would it ever? I say this was impossible for the Institute to accomplish with their means. It took the love of Simon and Mal's belief in her to make her more stable. Simon is the one with the true safe word...love.

What the Operative failed to understand is that the breakdown of her neural matrix (which he knew about from the tape) linked things as we see in River's delusions. As I showed in "How Safe is Serenity," this was there from Firefly. As the Operative triggers River to become the weapon, he releases the secret he wants to hide.

Now I'm going to get real personal. Our brains make these linkages all the time. The more traumatic the event, the stronger the linkage. River was dreaming of monsters when the Institute found her to be most accepting of their conditioning. In my own experience, trauma was linked to certain emotions. Cause those emotions, and I used to be right back at those events.

Is that what exposure to the Reavers did to River? When their psyche invaded hers, was it the breakdown of her reality matrix that associated things triggered to cause the delusions? When River flips out because of the Reavers, is she really back at the Institute being tortured again?

That isn't broken to me. That is a very normal human reaction to trauma. If she wasn't messed up, she would be really messed up. Even with all the experiments done to her, there is still a girl inside of her, a girl who still has all the same problems we all do, including defining herself.

To depower the Miranda trigger, she needed to understand it. Seeing the comm allowed her to do this. Rather than trigger her, rather than flip out like she was doing earlier, it sickened her. This reaction let her know she had control back.

We see that control when she is fighting the Reavers. No longer triggered, her impetus is love. She is able to fight as well as she could before, because even though the trigger is gone, the ability is still there. She is control of it and therefore herself now. "It's just an object." She can define that object, her own ability, however she sees fit. She sees fit to save her brother.

"I'm okay." "I'm not broken" "It's just an object."


"Who am I?"

As a friend tells me, "Who do you want to be?"

She IS a gift.

The gift that keeps on giving. "Joss wanted to make a sci-fi show about people who didn't fit in. That's us." (Lani Parris)

(ontrol when she is fighting the Reavers. No longer triggered, her impetus is love. She is able to fight as well as she could before, because even though the trigger is gone, the ability is still there. She is control of it and therefore herself now. "It's just an object." She can define that object, her own ability, however she sees fit. She sees fit to save her brother.

"I'm okay." "I'm not broken" "It's just an object."


"Who am I?"

As a friend tells me, "Who do you want to be?"

She IS a gift.

The gift that keeps on giving. "Joss wanted to make a sci-fi show about people who didn't fit in. That's us." (Lani Parris)

(
Wax philosophical
Top of Page Powered by LiveJournal.com