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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Back To the Drawing Board

I was reading an interview with David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) about his new book, The Bone Clocks, and a phrase kicked me in the gut.
"the murderous feud between two circles of shadow immortals"
I read that and thought, Oh, you motherfucker.

A story I've been working on, as currently conceived, could be fairly described as being about "the murderous feud between two circles of shadow immortals." 

Now I'll have to read the book to see if I must come up with a new idea.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Thanks For the Clarification

Alyssa Rosenberg says:
Nobody is asking that Marvel and DC stop making movies and television shows about male superheroes until we have enough Black Panther, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel and Wonder Woman movies to constitute parity or proportional representation. Instead, the request is that, in a market where the appetite for superhero movies seems to be infinite, a few of these non-white, non-male characters get some of the slots in an ever-expanding roster that may stretch as far out as 2028.
The ignorance and naivete of this statement boggles my mind.  I don't even know where to start.

*  "In a market where the appetite for superhero movies seems to be infinite..."

Things are often not what they seem.  The appetite for superhero movies is, obviously, not infinite.  It's a trend, one that's been going for a while now, giving it the illusion of permanence, but it's a trend nonetheless.  The comic book A team is already in the reboot and team-up phase, and it's only a matter of time before the B team is exhausted, too.

No golden age lasts forever.   Just ask the good ole reliable Hollywood western.

*   "Nobody is asking that Marvel and DC stop making movies and television shows about male superheroes"

Well, that's nice, but you have to understand the nature of your request.  We are, despite the "ever-expanding" rhetoric, talking about limited resources.  A movie studio is only going to put out X number of pictures a year.  Depending on its size, that number could be very low.

Would it hurt, in such a zero sum game, to have more stories featuring "non-white, non-male characters?"  Hell no.  Done properly, it would be great.  But this is what I don't get:

If you want to pursue stories about "non-white, non-male characters," why would you mine a canon that contains almost exclusively white male characters?  Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Iron Man, Captain America.  You pick a stable of white male characters and then "request" the complete opposite?

It makes no sense!

Alright, so now that the ranting is done, I will say I agree with (some) of her premise.  But something about it bugged me.
Maybe this is a period of adjustment, and flag-flying geeks and nerds will emerge from this upheaval in a better place. Maybe people will see that the video game industry can survive both expansion and criticism. Maybe “Game of Thrones” fans will recognize that the show’s essence will survive even with fewer naked, threatened women on screen. Maybe the bomb threats will stop.
 She doesn't seem to understand that when people are talking about the "geeks and nerds," they're talking about people like her.  People who get all pissed off at Sons of Anarchy because it doesn't play as an afterschool special. 

I mean, bomb threats?  That's ridiculous.  But some of this "criticism," that is too.
"Maybe "Game of Thrones" fans will recognize that the show's essence will survive even with fewer naked, threatened women on screen."

The show's essence?  R-rated adult content, sex and violence and the F word?  Or are we talking about some other essence?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Does the NFL have a "Woman Problem" or do Women have an "NFL Problem?"

Am I getting old or is our culture getting dumber?   People don't like to think of themselves as herd animals, but Jesus Christ, we're a bunch of cows.

Item:  Ray Rice

In case you've been living under a rock, Ray Rice punched his then-fiance/now-wife, then dragged her unconscious body through a hotel.  There's video.  You've probably seen it more than once.

If that leads you to think that Ray Rice is a piece of shit, a failure of a man and a generally horrible human being, then you're onto something.  It should not, on the other hand, lead you here:

Can you believe in women's rights and enjoy football? Can you be angry about Ray Rice and the NFL's inadequate handling of him but still feel okay about watching the game? The answer, to both, is no.
 A couple things:

1)  Liberals need to figure out just exactly why they hate the NFL and then stick with it.  Is it because of concussions?  Is it because of racist team nicknames?  Is it because the NFL is "awful to women?" I get that liberals want Roger Goodell's head on a spike, but they need to come up with a good reason.

Not 10 dumb ones.

2)  "Can you believe in women's rights and enjoy football?"

It is not as obvious to me as it is to Dr. Peggy Drexler that the answer is "No."  Millions of women, it seems to me, are quite capable of simultaneously believing in women's rights and also enjoying the game of football.  To suggest they are not should be as insulting as the idea that women must choose between their careers and having children.

3)   "Can you be angry about Ray Rice and the NFL's inadequate handling of him but still feel okay about watching the game?"

Again, I don't see why not.  Ray Rice is one man on one team.  And while I agree the NFL's handling of the Rice situation was initially inadequate, shouldn't the later response --rule changes and banishing Rice from the league-- have any influence over our thinking?

Me, I'm going to watch as many games as possible today, comfortable in the knowledge that Ray Rice won't be playing in any of them.