Also how do most of the adaptations manage to avoid everything that was important and revolutionary about Chris Claremont’s X-Men stories (like the focus on female characters and relationships between women and the whole Mystique/Destiny thing) even though they were hugely influential on so much of the rest of pop culture via secondhand influence?
Hatred toward Cho Chang and Lavender Brown and adoration toward Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape, a study in misogyny, sexism and double-standards by me.
those tags are beautiful
It’s an oversimplification and the fact remains that there’s a huge amount of diversity in comics - just not those produced by the main two publishers - but this is a good quote. However, I do believe it’s not just a case of publishers entirely focusing in on superhero comics. Yes, that’s a big deal, but it’s also a big deal that it’s also what retailers and store owners focus on too. And, for that matter, consumers, although I do think there’s more of a hunger there for new and original material there than publishers think there is - there have been plenty of ‘indie’ hits over the past few years that have obviously caught publishers by surprise. But I think it’s going to be just as hard a job to encourage retailers to see comics as being both a diverse market and one that should be kid-friendly as it is publishers. As much as readers might want diverse material, their choices are directed by what books retailers stock.
The only way things will change is if retailers put pressure on publishers and they’ll only do that if consumers put pressure on them.
Robert Sapolsky about his study of the Keekorok baboon troop from National Geographic’s Stress: Portrait of a Killer.
I am. I’m gonna go ahead and say that.
Interesting for various therories.Did some research, here are my conclusions: So, first of all, this dude has the same undergrad degree as me. Baller. Despite the hair, hes also a top dog at stanford and totally legit. Second, yes, this is science. The implications are perhaps taken a bit far, but the underlying mechanisms are not only legitimate, but tried and true. Another experiment has demonstrated primates will instill fears and taboos across gerenations (specifically, climbing a platform for delicious food when in the first generation it elicited a shock, even though there was no shock in subsequent generations.) If aggression led to death, or if aggression was never an option, there is no reason to believe it also couldn’t be taught as wrong or unacceptable. What’s even MORE amazing about this situation is that in baboons, males migrate and females stay. What this means is, the lack of aggression IS NOT GENETIC. NEW MALES EMIGRATE TO THIS GROUP. New males with new genes, not descened from the original TB-infected clan at all. Once they join, though, they LEARN not to be aggressive. Other clans in the area, where these males originate, ARE STILL AGGRESSIVE. The females who stay (and the young males and new alphas) are TRAINING new members to be nice. And it’s working. Also awesome is that the cortisol (stress hormone, which can cause chronic disease) levels in this clan is WAY lower than in other clans in the area. So it’s likely that they’re healthier, too. BOO YA
still upset that the films never acknowledge that Peeta loses a limb in the first arena and goes through the Quarter Quell with a prosthetic leg
or that Katniss has suffered permanent hearing loss in one of her ears and now requires a hearing aid
or, you know, the Avoxes
ugh i love roxy so much here but WHY THE FUCK did wood feel the need to make cessily violently homophobic
WHY THE FUCK
There’s basically no way this can play out that isn’t going to be a horrible character assassination on one or other character. Either Roxy’s telling the truth, in which case Cess is suddenly violently homophobic, or she’s lying as to the circumstances to manipulate Jubilee.
The implication seems to be (or, at least, one reading of the situation) that what Cess actually hit Roxy for was pulling the same kind of sexual assault as she pulls on Jubilee here. The implication being that Cess looks so annoyed because she’s repeated it with Jubilee and gotten away with it. If the other teachers saw that then it would certainly explain why they weren’t impressed by Roxy’s behavior and put the blame on her.
However, if that is the explanation then it makes Roxy a terrible person and plays into the awful predatory bisexual trope. If Roxy’s story is accurate then Cess is the terrible person.
Either way, one of these characters is being horribly served by the narrative.
Hell, if this is the way that they choose to make Jubilee’s queerness canon I shall be really upset.
Invaders from Mars (1953)
I’m not quite sure why this movie affected me so much as a kid. It’s one of the classic Cold War paranoia sci-fi movies, but always seemed to be on TV when I was young. Perhaps because the (inferior) remake was in cinemas, but the image of the sand pit and friends and family becoming total strangers overnight has stuck with me. And others too, presumably, since the movie has been hugely influential on the genre, predating even Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Perhaps it’s in part because of the striking design and direction. The director, William Cameron Menzies, was the art director and production designer on Gone With The Wind and there’s both a richness to the design and an artificiality too which is particularly memorable. It probably also struck home for me personally because the story is told from the perspective of a child - both storywise and literally - Menzies played with the camera shots so the affected adults are seen from below in forced perspective, making them seem even more sinister.
Interestingly, the ‘it was all a dream… or was it?’ ending was reshot for release in Britain with a more straightforward ending and I can’t quite recall which version I saw. I have memories of both, so I’m pretty sure that both versions were shown.
It probably wouldn’t stand up at all if I had seen it for the first time as a adult, but as a kid, it was terrifying. Right up until the point the Martians actually appeared.
Excerpt from Issue #8 -“Where All the Women Are Strong”, an essay on Fargo, winters in Minnesota, and Marge Gunderson:To read the rest of this essay, as well as receive full access to all issues and content, subscribe to Bright Wall/Dark Room magazine today. Or, if you’d prefer, grab a single copy of Issue #8 for just one dollar.“Like I learned early on, you don’t mess with a Midwestern winter. In Chicago, the temperature isn’t the only thing that plummets; crime rates drop in the colder months, too. It may be that subzero wind chills cool tempers, but Fargo provided another explanation that I hadn’t yet considered. It’s no stretch to say that the film’s Minnesota winter is not only a backdrop, but a key player. Each character’s movements are recorded in sharp contrast on its blank white board. Covering up your tracks isn’t just a pretty proverb when you’ve recently killed someone in the snow.
All of the characters in the film grapple with winter in one way or another. Jerry tries to erase it like he tries, angrily, to scrape ice off his windshield; he is just as evasive with the weather as he is with the people around him. Carl and Gaear can’t hide from it. We’re a third of the way through Fargo when Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), winter’s pal, winter’s foil and ally, shows up. What the snow can’t capture, Marge does. Marge, Brainerd’s chief of police, a woman and seven months pregnant, enforces socially what the bleak winter exposes naturally: uniformity, a standard by which everyone is measured.
I loved Marge immediately. Her singsong, her sweaters, and her (very polite) refusal to put up with anyone’s crap endeared her to me. Plus, aside from Jerry’s kidnapped wife and the prostitutes Carl and Gaear spend a night with, she’s the only woman in the film. If her pregnancy adds nothing to the plot, other than a few moments of comic relief, it’s essential to our understanding of her character. When she’s investigating bodies, it’s morning sickness – not the sight of gore – that makes her nauseous. Her condition makes her vulnerable, but it does not compromise her professionalism. In fact, she’s at the apex: not only of womanhood, in the sense that she is accomplishing something only a woman can, but also at the top of her game as a police chief, outthinking everyone around her. You’ll notice that while the male members of the police force do things like track phone calls and collect tips, she’s the one on the ground studying tracks and interrogating witnesses.”
(artwork by Sophia Foster-Dimino)
Fuck it all, I can’t get replies to work right now, but to sort of reply to Skalja and RedCat and also further expand on my grouchpost about comic violence:
The thing that’s really starting to piss me off about comic marketing, especially by the big two, is that I feel their attitude towards violence ratings is disingenuous at best and outright dishonest at worst. Like, there was that fluff awhile back over someone’s kid reading an extremely violent issue with Harley Quinn blowing people up or something, and DC was like “well, it’s not for little girls, go read Supergirl or something properly rated!”
Except both comics had the same age rating and were sold in the same stores.
And that’s what’s rubbing me wrong. Basically, the Big Two want to have their cake and eat it too by both not losing the children’s retailer market (because that’s where the toy merchandising is) while still catering to the dudebro Millar-gore-loving audience (because that’s the market they really want). And you can’t do that and then throw your hands up and say “It’s not my fault!” when people get angry. Either your comics can be read by the age group they’re rated for, or they can’t, and if they can’t, then you should put on your grown-up pants, re-rate to the proper age group and limit the market outside of where children are.
Reviving this really good post from the depths of my drafts…
The other thing is, it’s often parents who buy for kids and many people associate superheroes=for kids. When parents enter toy stores they’re confronted with row after row of Spider-man toys, Iron Man toys and so on and so forth. But neither the movies or, in many cases, the comics themselves are aimed at kids. But how are parents to know that? They see a comic with X-men or Spider-man or Superman or whoever displayed on the bright cover, looking similar enough to the toys their kids are clamoring for and of course they’re going to assume they’re suitable for the same age group.
I mean, you’d hope that retailers would have some idea in specialist stores, but you can’t expect most general retailers to check for content before putting a book on their shelves. At Bristol Comic-Con a couple of years back I think it was Richard Starkings (possibly) who mentioned being in a store when a parent bought a copy of Brian Azzarello’s Joker graphic novel because they assumed because it was Batman, the same Batman who was on a cheerful Saturday morning cartoon at the time, it was going to be okay for their kid.
The thing that pees me off is the inability of many creators, as well as the publishers themselves, to understand that All Ages means exactly that. That something can be genuinely be FOR ALL AGES. Pixar gets that. Doctor Who pretty much gets that. As do plenty of other series out there. That things can be enjoyed on different levels by the whole family and by appealing to everyone you’re opening the whole market out.
The obsession with chasing down only a single demographic for comic sales, and marketing your comics as an aside to kids rather than integral part, makes me mad. If a kid picks up a comic in their local TRU, they shouldn’t be seeing graphic mutilation. They should be seeing magic.
When people say that the violence in comics isn’t meant for kids to see and the ratings should be paid attention to and blah blah blah dudebro whining, I would just like to note that the December 18th Uncanny Avengers, in which Apocalypse Horseman!Sentry graphically tore his own head in half was on sale at TOYS R’ US when I went there yesterday. And not in some special grown-up section either, it was mixed in with things like Scooby-Doo and such.
So a lot of times when I can’t sleep, I’ll turn on one of my favorite movies to fall asleep to - a movie that I’ve seen a million and one times, that I know so well that I don’t feel like I need to stay up to see what happens, and provides me with that sense of comfort and familiarity that anyone gets from their favorite movie
(assuming your favorite movie isn’t saw or something)
but yeah tonight, I chose True Grit, which was perhaps a mistake. Much as I love that movie, I have a lot of opinions about it, and they always surface whenever I watch it - probably not the best movie to choose to fall asleep to.
This movie is really special to me because I think it is one of the very few remakes out there that (and I may get shot for this) blows the original away. I just find the remake so much more thought-provoking. Yes, it’s darker, and more depressing. It doesn’t leave you feeling particularly happy. But…that’s what the story is…supposed to be??
And I feel like the entire message I took away from the remake was barely present at all in the original. I mean, True Grit is a story that emphasizes the fine line between justice and vengeance, and how empty the latter leaves you. Mattie’s brutal fixation on finding and confronting her father’s killer herself makes the hunting of Tom Chaney vengeance. And you can see how it darkens her - she refuses to show grief, vulnerability, or any other emotion a child might show in the face of her father’s death. And who can really blame her? I mean, the movie implies that she’s been taking care of her mother and sibling her entire life. She’s used to standing on her own, taking responsibility, being the adult.
So she shoves away her grief, and obsesses over her anger alone. The vendetta absolutely robs her of her childhood - and then, when she finally gains her vengeance, she nearly loses her life as a direct result (and still has to pay a pretty hefty price even when she survives).
The epilogue shows the person Mattie’s grown up to be - how the bitterness has stuck with her, how gaining her revenge has not satisfied her but instead has left her empty. She’s become cold and detached from the world - yet, proud and strong and stubborn as ever, she doesn’t accept anyone trying to tell her to live her life any other way. The one person she emerges for is Rooster Cogburn, the man who helped her track her father’s killer, and when she finally seeks him out…it’s only to realize that it’s too late. That he’d died only a few days earlier.
And Mattie can probably remember it like it was only the other day, being a child and looking up to Cogburn and fighting by his side and having something to fight for. But no, that was then - now she’s grown up, and he’s grown old and passed away, and somehow she ended up with nothing.
Like the last line of the movie says, time just gets away from us.
Reblogging for excellent commentary and why the face-value reading of True Grit as a pure right wing revenge fantasy pretty much completely misses the point IMHO. Mattie’s determination and ‘grit’ are traits to admire - her cold-blooded desire for bloody revenge is not. Mattie’s not looking for justice, nor are the various deaths in the book framed as such.
deliriante asked: This is completely unrelated to Dresden Codak, but regarding an ask about Tolkien to Gingerhaze you called Aragorn and the Dúnedain "Middle Eastern". Is this based on how Aragorn is described as "dark", or on something else? I've never really considered the skin colours of the people of Arda so I'm really curious.
In his letters and also in Lost Tales/Unfinished Tales/Etc., Tolkien connects the crown of Numenor historically with the crown of Egypt. This was inspired by Plato’s idea that Egypt, etc. were founded as colonies of Atlantis. (This is likely why the Numenorean language has semitic roots). Tolkien explicitly made Numenor his version of Atlantis, and it’s no coincidence that the kingdom of Gondor roughly corresponds geographically with a Mediterranean/North African colony. Given the thousands of years involved, Gondor had to have been multiracial by the time of Lord of the Rings, but Aragorn, being of a direct line of Numenoreans and all but explicitly stated to be the ancestor of Egyptian royalty, would be what we would call Middle Eastern.
What’s fun is if we go further back, even the Numenoreans are multiracial in origin, comprising at least three distinct races of human (the Edain), none of whom were intended to directly correlate with or represent Anglo-Saxons or other groups of people historically associated with Northern Europe. Their adventures took place on a continent that sank and has no geographic analogue in the real world (in fact, they all originated somewhere “far East” just a few centuries prior). And, like I said before, they are collectively meant to be the ancestors of what would become essentially Egyptians and, possibly, all Middle Easterners. It’s actually one of the very few times where we can connect an ethnic group in the real world to one of Tolkien’s fictional groups of people. In general, the different races of people are kind of random, and rarely stand-ins for or ancestors of historical groups of people. Their physical and cultural descriptions rarely correspond with any real-world geography and racial groups.
Tolkien had some racist issues to be sure (his depiction of what might be black people is, at best, dismissive), but it’s a lot more complicated that what’s often assumed. To associate him with Wagner-esque Aryan wankery is way off the mark, when he openly derided that philosophy more than once (including when he told off some Nazis). The fact of the matter is, the cultures and races in the books rarely line up with anything in the real world. And when they sort of do, it’s not what people often think. What he called “Easterlings,” for example, would have corresponded with Slavic people, if anything, not East Asian people (who would be on a different continent, if you tried to make the maps line up with the real world). In any case, it’s dangerous to make those assumptions, as we’re talking about tens of thousands of years of human migration in between “when” Tolkien’s history occurred and “when” real human history started. Also, the geography and even continents are pretty different. Looking at the maps and trying to point out what each race/culture is “supposed to be” isn’t going to bear much fruit.
Sorry that this is such a long reply, but I feel like it’s important to point out that putting a bunch of white people in the starring roles of these adaptations says more about the people adapting them than Tolkien. With some creativity we can make these stories much more inclusive than they normally seem to be (and I intend to use this to include more genders and people of color in my adaptation of the Silmarillion).
Was Tolkien racist about some things? Absolutely, but he also deliberately left a LOT to the imagination, because he knew better than to spell it out. At the end of the day, it’s mythology, and that’s open to interpretation.
I was really taken with this idea! Attempted a quickie doodle of maybe a more Middle Eastern Aragorn…?
some people do use social justice as a way to bully others, to bolster personal preferences, to shut down arguments
that doesn’t mean none of these criticisms are valid
bigotry, all sorts of bigotry, are ingrained in our society; of course they’re reflected in media, and in fandom
and people have the write to discuss it, to critique it, to rail against it
because we matter too
when people point out problematic and offensive things in media we are really sincerely not trying to ruin it for you
i know it feels like that and sometimes finding out an author is shitty or that a movie is racist can really sour the story you might’ve enjoyed, but these are REALLY important things to acknowledge and yes, get angry about
because if no one is getting upset and people keep making excuses for these kinds of things they will continue to be considered acceptable and there’s no way any effort will be made to change things
A couple of years ago, disliking showrunner Steven Moffat was a niche interest in Doctor Who fandom, mostly the realm of feminists who objected to seemingly misogynist themes in his writing, and die-hard fans of his predecessor Russell T. Davies. Now, it seems, Moffat’s anti-fans may be in the majority.
Reactions to this week’s Doctor Who Christmas special, “The Time of the Doctor,” have been decidedly mixed. Along with the predictably tearful mourning for the departure of eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, the episode was widely criticized for being incoherent, confusing, and sexist.
There’s a reason why this fake TV listing has been retweeted almost 500 times:
The episode included (spoiler alert!) the Doctor spending 300 years in an isolated village called Christmas, which did not develop culturally or technologically during the entire time he was present. Essentially, the Doctor has now spent about a fifth of his current lifespan inside a Dickensian snowglobe. Another baffling detail was the fact that his companion Clara was touched by one of the previously notorious Weeping Angels but survived unscathed, despite the fact that a Weeping Angel directly caused the final disappearance of beloved companions Amy and Rory last season.
The episode also introduced a new female character who embodied many of the characteristics of a stereotypical “Moffat woman”: a sexy, powerful woman who flirts with the Doctor while he bobs around awkwardly like a confused child, before she is killed off, brought back to life, and then insulted by the Doctor for not being as good “a woman” as Clara—10 seconds after he kissed her without her consent. It was like a Greatest Hits montage of all the bizarre interactions between the Doctor and his various female companions and love-interests since Moffat took over as showrunner. And this was just a few minutes after Clara was forced by the Truth Field to admit that she first began travelling with the Doctor because she “fancied him.” [READ MORE]
"Many Whovians also noticed that Clara’s role in this episode was startlingly similar to the role of previous companion Rose Tyler in the finale of Season 1. In both episodes, the Doctor tricks his companion into staying in the TARDIS, which he programs to take her home to Earth in order to protect her from certain death. The primary difference was that while Rose did everything in her power to return in the TARDIS, save the Ninth Doctor and ultimately save the world, Clara’s main purpose in this episode was to provide emotional support to the Doctor while he did whatever he wanted, and to participate in comedy scenes where she introduced the Doctor (naked) as her boyfriend during Christmas dinner, or used the TARDIS’s Time Vortex engine to cook a turkey."
Honestly, I wouldn’t say that Clara’s role in the Christmas special was riffed off Rose’s in The Parting of the Ways. It just happened to hit similar plot beats and I’m certainly not about exalt RTD’s run as an example of Doing It Right. What is noticeably different, as mentioned, however, is Rose’s role when compared to Clara. When it comes to it, Rose took an active role in the finale. Clara was left standing around and when the final act took place, once again her role was to enable the Doctor, but not actively participate, because whereas the plot of Parting of the Ways gave Rose an opportunity to actively play a role, the same can’t be said of the plotting of the Christmas special.
Short version - I do hope that Clara’s active role, or lack thereof, was one of the most disappointing parts of the episode and, indeed, symptomatic of how female characters have been written in the show since at least the end of Moffat’s first series.