Top Ten Fanvids

Okay, I should say these are MY top ten fanvids.

For anyone who’s been following this blog, you already know I lamented the difficulty of making this post and mainly because there are so many RA videos out there. But I had such a good time trying to watch as many as I could to be fair. These things are almost like my children. I didn’t realize I had it in me to love so many. All the more to make it difficult to highlight only ten. But what a great problem to have! And I scrapped my in-depth criteria. The post would have been too long, and it may be already! Quite simply the ones selected are the videos I find myself going back to again and again.

I put them in an order, but hey, this order could change tomorrow or maybe later today. LOL!

I’ve embedded all of them below which shouldn’t be a problem, but if enough people experience problems, I may change how I’ve configured this post.

#10 — the ethereal quality of the song and the editing make me accept this AU (Alternate Universe) story as canon! Very soothing on a lot of levels. LOL!

#9 — considering it’s Thornton’s longing we mostly see in North and South, I love this take on Margaret pining.

edit: this video is no longer on YouTube, so the creator of the video, ATFrancis, has given me permission to upload here, and if you would like your own copy, you can download at FoolishPassion, one of Elvira’s sites.

#8 — this was one of my first Guy videos, and it captures his angst over Marian perfectly. At one point it disappeared from YouTube, but then it came back. Yea! I’ve never gotten tired of watching it. I love the editing, and it was my introduction to Shinedown.

#7 — too much to write about why I love this one; maybe it should move up. No, I’ve got to stop somewhere. Thank you, DB for editing MJ’s song. It was way too long. Your timing is perfect.

#6 — this is a masterpiece and probably should be #1. It’s the shortest video on the list, but the impact of it is enormous. I’ll stop there or this post will be so long it won’t load.

#5 — the quality of this video is stunning. Please, please, please if you like it, download it in the 1080 format. It’s RA like you’ve never seen him. Oh, and it’s Shinedown again. Love it!

#4 — whatever “it” is, Nat has it. I’ll sum up this video in a word: brilliant. Also, great thanks to Heather for her wonderful inspiration!

#3 — this is one slick video. DB just gets better and better and she’s already great. Oh, I would love to go back and completely rewrite the post I did on this one!

#2 — it’s scary how many times I’ve watched this and not just at the normal speed but slowed down as well. I notice something new every time, so I can’t seem to stop analyzing it. The video is a feast.

#1 This video may be a 10.

Most of these are available for download. Check their YouTube descriptions to find out how.

Waiting on SO

Isn’t it usually the man who waits on the woman? Well, in this case I’m waiting on SO to give me his take on Strike Back. I want it because, well, he’s just so blasted interesting most of the time. After all the years we’ve been together, he still surprises me and almost always has something to say that makes me think. It has been that way since the first day I laid eyes on him.

I was taking probably the most boring class I had in college. It was one of those filler classes when all the ones you really want keep closing, and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t stay in the class but was going to give it a couple of weeks before dropping. The classroom was in one of the older buildings on campus and had huge doors with transoms and desks instead of the slicked up table and chairs bolted to the floor. The first day I stepped into the room there were about 30 or so desks facing the blackboard and hardly anyone was in them. Across from the door and facing the sides of the desks was a lone desk, and there sat SO. I remember thinking, “Why is that guy sitting there when all these desks are empty?” Immediately I thought he was too self-aware and a turkey; he just had to be different. Wasn’t I a nice piece of work? The cynic was alive and well even then.

The room finally filled up and the instructor came in. He was an old guy with a comb over and chalk dust all over the front of his pants. I had to keep from rolling my eyes. Yes, I was a real piece of work who let no one out from under the magnifying glass. He launched into the requisite speech about how he ran his class, and I wasn’t really listening like I should have been. My eyes kept straying to the turkey sitting to the side of all of us. Then the instructor said there would be devotions at the beginning of each class and the students would be called on to do them. That got my attention. As much as I liked to wax on about my opinions, I knew I didn’t have any devotional material and wasn’t inclined to get any. Then the instructor took us all off the hook and said it was completely voluntary, and that he already had someone to do the first devotion. He extended his hand to the side of the room, and I turned to see SO standing up in his ragged jeans and golf shirt. Humph I wondered as he squeezed down the aisle to get to the front. What in tarnation could this guy have to say that wouldn’t sound contrived?

He said hello and made a shy grin reminiscent of James Dean (funny thing about it is that I found out later he had never seen James Dean; heard of him but didn’t really know who he was). I was almost a goner at that moment, and then he said he was reading from Romans 14. Oh yeah, I knew it was going to be lame. The weaker brother stuff again. It was verse 4: “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand,” and then he looked right at me and grinned again. I was about to feel convicted, well, yes, I did feel convicted, but I was definitely a goner when he said, “I don’t sweat too much about what others are doing, and I hope no one sweats too much about what I’m doing,” and then he sat down. I don’t think I heard a word the teacher said that day. I could not stop thinking about those moments. They were like a drumbeat in my head, and that was the case for the next three weeks when I stepped into that class. It’s a miracle I passed the course.

Don’t We Always Love the Girl Next Door? — SPOILERS

Spoilers I guess.

The breathtaking beauty is fun to watch too, but we want the girl next door to get the guy. It’s about as cliche’ as it gets, but isn’t that who most of us still want to win? Or have I completely misunderstood this audience? I didn’t think so.

Really how can most of us not pull for Layla? We’re set up to pull for her. Danni doesn’t stand a chance against the quiet beauty who’s a patient seeker of truth and fiercely loyal.

Could we ever believe that Layla would not ferret out the truth and then try to see justice done? Yep, I knew it. So since most of us aren’t breathtaking beauties but we are patient seekers of truth who are fiercely loyal or that’s what we hope we are, we certainly relate to Layla. Plus, her big brown eyes look at Porter so beseechingly that I melt when I see them almost as much as when I see his eyes. Of course the keyword there is almost.

Dang! I’d forgotten how much fun it is to be manipulated.

Just in case someone who has the ability to mold this character is reading this, could you have Layla kick some ass too?

For those who want a more heady discussion of Danni and Layla, see Servetus’ blog. At the moment I seem to be stuck on this girl gets guy/guy gets girl scenario.

Screencaps courtesy of Sky1.

Let the Cogitation of John Porter Begin — SPOILERS

WARNING: Spoilers in this post especially including the video!

I would have said thoughts, but I have to use words like cogitation occasionally. Then I don’t feel guilty about how I’m using that expensive education my parents paid for (oops, another sentence ending in a preposition; good thing this blog’s anonymous).

So I’m watching Strike Back, and it gets to this scene (SPOILERS AHEAD!):

and I remember what I like about most action flicks. They have Alpha males! Oh, I know what you’re thinking. Alpha is the guy who smashes beer cans on his head and has little or no respect for women. No, no. You’re wrong. Alpha is not just the guy who needs a shag and likes to handle guns and is good at handling guns, and wants to do damage to someone with the guns. He’s also the guy who kicks the door in and saves the damsel, and the damsel loves him for it and thinks about following him to the ends of the earth. When John Porter says trust me, I do.

I’m so glad RA is getting to play an Alpha again. My first introduction to him was as an Alpha male — John Thornton. The character I’m most fond of is an Alpha male — Guy of Gisborne (when he’s not kissing the Sheriff’s ass). But Alpha isn’t enough, and those characters are not successful just being Alphas. What women want and most men have not figured out is that we want Beta too. John Thornton and Guy proved they had some Beta, and it only made them more attractive. Conversely, of RA’s characters who are primarily Betas, they are even more attractive when Alpha emerges: Harry Kennedy when he wants Geraldine to pay up on her “debt,” John Standring when he runs off Andrew, Paul Andrews when he’s manifesting Alpha in the most elemental way, Lucas North when he’s taking the rich guy down in the pool. Imagine how dull these Betas would be without Alpha.

I’m not so sure we’ve really seen John Porter’s Beta. Maybe just a little peek in the beginning when he’s interacting with his 10 year old daughter, and of course when he spares the Iraqi boy. But that’s not enough for an RA character. RA likes to balance these enough to make things really interesting. We don’t have enough of Porter’s Beta yet. We need a little more, but oh, don’t slack on the Alpha while you’re at it.

I stumbled on a blog that gets the importance of the Alpha/Beta mix. The blogger gets it so well that I had a fleeting thought it’s really a woman writing the blog. His name even sounds like a woman’s when you say it really fast (ducking in case he reads any of the links to his blog). He is so dead on that it’s scary. Oh, I don’t think he’s dead on about everything, but he’s got women figured out fairly well — at least what turns most of them on. Yes, it’s just my opinion. Feel free to disagree, and I know some women do. LOL!

Here’s what he says about Alpha/Beta mix:

I generally disagree with the entire Alpha = good, Beta = bad mindset. You really need to have both Alpha Traits and Beta Traits in a marriage to really hit the sweet spot of happiness and sex. The blog is still new, but believe me I’m going to sound like a broken record on this point as the years play out.

If you’re a decent Beta, the solution is to add Alpha traits, not reduce Beta Traits and add Alpha. It’s not a zero-sum game where you can be either Alpha or Beta, but not both. You can and must be both. You still hold a job down, play with the kids, listen to how your wife spent her day, do housework etc. That’s all vital comfort building goodness. She likes and needs that to feel comfortable, like you’re invested in the relationship and family. These things are not “turn ons”, but lacking them makes them “turn offs”.

Read the rest here.

(emphasis mine)

Preach it, Athol!

I sometimes hear that Alpha females do not want Alpha males:

The alpha girl doesn’t need Mr Alpha to sweep her off her feet and buy her a condo in town; she has enough money to do that herself. She is successful, confident and she wants a caring man who can pick up some of the domestic slack.

Read the rest here.

Oh, a caring Beta is great, and I may not need an Alpha to sweep me off my feet, but I WANT ONE! and SO delivers. He flexes his Alpha enough that I know it’s not eclipsed by his wonderful Beta. I have several little SOs running around to prove that.

Speaking of SO, I think he’s going to love this show. Especially if it doesn’t make Alphas look like morons. Actually, to SO there is no such thing as Alpha/Beta. He thinks all of that is crap. To him it just means being a man who has the usual wants and needs of a man and of course the usual responsibilities. Okay, maybe there is no Alpha, but it’s fun to think about it, and certainly fun to watch it!

P.S. If Porter and Layla are not going to have some Alpha fun at some point, then I wasn’t watching the right show. Can’t wait to see how that plays out.