Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Obi Bloggers Kenobi...


DigitalFemme mentioned Steampowered in her 1000th post celebration. Does anyone reading have experience with buying games online and downloading them?

A quick search online found some issues with payments (but in other countries other than the US) and some random update problems and some criticisms as to how the business is run. I'm still wary, however, since this involves putting their software on my computer and part of the criticisms have to do with collecting information and sharing it and loops in their privacy policies.

Anyone with info to share?

I'm currently fascinated by PuzzleQuest since it involves the 3match games I like (just learned the term for it last night) AND a little bit of possible RPG/adventuring.

I'm currently under the weather and a touch grumpy and soothing games will help me feel better. I'm hoping during the first days of the New Year to have some thoughts on WebComics etc... But I'm not the only one whose body is flagging. Decembers Carnival just got bumped to January. More on that later too.

For now I'm just going to curl up, drink lots of fluids and attempt to feel better.

HAPPY 2009

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Drive By Posting

Wee Little Aang Look Alike

Note: Yeah, still pissed that Paramount Pictures wants to be OLD WHITEY McRacist the UnChanging Appropriator.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Faces of Color: Webcomic MAGELLAN

aka, Willow attempts not to cut people.

This past week & weekend, I've had the chance to look over some pretty interesting webcomics. I think I may add a section where I just link to all the ones I'm reading. I'm being oddly comforted by them in the wake of well, Bendis NuMarvel and D-whatthefuckaretheydoingnow-C.

This Faces of Colour I'd like to point to a web comic called Magellan. First page here.

Magellan follows the life of a non superpowered young woman named Kaycee Jones who's going into her first year at what's basically Superhero College - Magellan Academy; which trains the heroes of tomorrow. So it's kind of like a female Batman going to 'Sky High'. The universe already has it's equivalent to Xavier's for those who don't want to go into superheroing as a career but would rather become police officers, doctors or even just accountants.

Kaycee's smart, and in tip-top physical condition. But she's having to deal with friends, fellow students and faculty members wondering if a non-powered individual can really cut it in the school. And most of all, she's having to deal with something of a 'Batman Effect' - as those same individuals wonder if the impetus that started her on the road towards becoming an official hero won't lead her instead down the path to vigilantism (which is phrased in this world as taking the law into one's own hands usually with bloody ends). Even as I cheered Kaycee on, I loved that she lives in a world where those sort of questions are asked. Where heroes need psychiatric evaluations. Where there's the knowledge that with great power, often comes the need for training and learned stress management skills.

Now, while I do not believe Kaycee's white; though British Descended Australians can get fairly tanned; Magellan still qualifies for Faces of Colour because of Kaycee's hero, the Aboriginal Australian - Go!Anna. Go!Anna's plot twists through Kaycee's for a goodly portion of the long arc, making her not just someone's inspiration in the world, but a current driving force of plot and exposition. I got two major heroines in one plot arc.

And if I don't discount Kaycee's first year class mates, who run the gambit in skin-tone, nationality and ability - I have several other heroines and heroes to follow as well.

But it's more than just seeing Superheroes of Colour, or an interracial couple where neither partner is white. It's seeing those characters with plausible motivations, male and female. It's seeing a world brought to life. It's seeing Superheroes based somewhere other than the USA. And it's seeing the ripple affect of all actions, those heated and those we think coldly calculated. Ripple affects are another thing I'm a sucker for.

I also love ensemble pieces. I love X-men because of the ensemble. I loved Buffy and Angel for the ensemble action. I love seeing teammates grow together, learn together and get closer. Magellan gave me all of that in it's archives. It's a very rich world, with a 'gathering of the new generation' vibe going on and wonderful nods to the old heroes and a broader universe. The first long arching plot is finished now and something new (a crossover with another web comic) has just begun; So there's plenty to read to get you hooked on this world.

Friday, December 12, 2008

That's it

The world has officially gone fuck wit crazy. Man convicted in Australia for Simpson parody porn.

Because Lisa Simpson is clearly people and should not be discriminated against for having three fingers, a thumb and actual yellow skin.

"...Justice Adams agreed with the magistrate, finding that while The Simpsons characters had hands with four fingers and their faces were "markedly and deliberately different to those of any possible human being", the mere fact that they were not realistic representations of human beings did not mean that they could not be considered people."

2008 - I give up on you.

All the world's white, the rest of us merely live in it.


My name is Willow and I'm upset, confused and feel incredibly insulted. There are several conversations happening right now about the Avatar: The Last Airbender live action casting. And I keep seeing stuff like this:

"But there's no ASIA in that universe, so how can they be ASIAN? Plus, Ang is so light skinned and he has big wide ROUND eyes so he's obviously white & Zuko is at least mixed. But really the Fire Nation is the only one who's anything remotely Asian...."

And it hit me really, really, REALLY hard that white people have absolutely no problem with the central villains of the piece being Asian. But the heroes (and one anti-hero) are so OBVIOUSLY white (or at least half-white).

And on top of that, it hit me that even WITH the trappings of the fantasy ghetto; the architecture, language, names, writing, symbols and marital arts of East Asia it was never obvious to this group of people that this was a Non-Eurocentric, non white-centric fantasy.

I'm reminded of seeing a sliver of a post by Elizabeth Bear where she ended up having to prove that there are black people who have red hair and freckles by posting PICTURES. Because someone couldn't quite take the author's word on her work that her characters were. not. white.


I'm trembling at the realization that because I don't want to write about characters of colour in ethnic fantasy ghettos - then my characters won't be seen as not being white. If fricking AVATAR characters aren't obviously Asian, then what the fuck hope do any characters I write have?

If I say brown, will everyone who is white think 'Oh, they have a tan'?

If they're dark with anything but brown eyes, will that been seen as further proof of their whiteness in the eyes of everyone who isn't me?

Do my male characters have to be big and muscular and very dark skinned with no name in order to be a person of colour?

Will my hero, no matter what, be seen as white? Because all these people need is a honky is the only thing white people can see? Because that's what they're saying about Avatar. That of course Aang is white. He saved the day!

I am shaking in my anger and my fear and my mind blown wtf and... I think, my hatred. Right now I seriously, seriously hate white people. No doubt this feeling will pass, especially as seeing how I have relatives various groups in the world would look upon as white. And I love those relatives dearly.

But right now? I'm hating.

I hate the fact that two very white guys, went out of their way to create a non-white, non-Eurocentric fantasy world and apparently for quite a few people, they failed in that task.

I hate the fact that people are bringing up LOTR as a defense of seeing whiteness in Avatar. As if LOTR wasn't primarily about a Euro-centric, specifically British-centric white mythology as Tolkien himself wanted it to be..

I hate the fact that unless you're as dark as burnt walnut with a flat nose and bright white teeth and big lips - then in fantasy you won't be seen as being of colour.

I hate the fact that unless someone specifically refers to a character in stereotypical, caricature terms they won't be seen as Asian.

I hate that there are so many people who cannot see how they're using white as the default.

I hate that there're people asking me why I'm upset, cause skin tone doesn't really matter, what matters is the heart of the story.

I hate and despair.

ETA: A Letter Writing Campaign Against Avatar:TLB's White Casting

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hello Neo

This was originally posted in my personal journal, but some recent entries by various people on their blogs nudged my thinking that it should be reposted here. And I know I want at least one person in particular to see it.

Remember the Dove Evolution ad? Go on, youtube the words and you'll find it. Well I remember that it clued me in to the exact details of how models don't look anything like themselves in the final product. I had always had a general sense and then a bit more when it came time for me to do my own dabblings in photoshop, but this made it specific for me.

Then last night came PhotoshopDisasters. The next time I hear my sister mention working herself to the bone to exercise and stay fit and not be fat (she's taken after our mother in a serious way and is very petite but worries because Mom, is well, Mom) I'm going to point her to this site. Because it made me realize that as a whole, we the general public, myself included, no longer know what a real human body looks like. Specifically we don't know what a real female body looks like.

I caught some of the touchups after a few moments. But how often do people really stare at advertisements for several minutes? I tend to flick by them very quickly in magazines etc, unless something in particular has caught my eye. And I soon realized as I flipped through the site that if I wasn't already prepared, if I didn't already know things were screwy, I might have missed so many things. Which means in my head, I've begun to see the most distorted things as representative of the female form EVEN WHILE THINKING I WAS AWARE OF THE BIGGER DISTORTIONS.

It's been a revelation. Too skinny long arms, a little waist creation, body parts missing, everyone's wrinkles and sun lines and laugh lines (wrinkles of any sort) faded out, breasts the size of the model's head(Which came first? This feature in comics? Or comics copying photoreferences ? Who set the standard for this screw up?), plastic faces, something called 'monoass' where the asscrack has disappeared, bobble heads, impossible heights and more.

The link with the touched up faces but the untouched up reflections hit home to me just how much isn't done anymore with good lighting, good makeup and good angles. They don't seem to try and find people's good sides anymore, they instead create them. It blew my mind. A little created waist, change a face shape, remove shadows, remove life. One woman there had what I call in my head the 'hearty, healthy, slightly horsey British woman' look - that was completely morphed into smooth faced Hollywood leading lady, if not starlet. She looked like her own younger and less outdoor inclined younger sister (who happened to be born when their Mom & Dad could afford braces).

The whole thing, especially the stuff it took me a while to notice just started me thinking of when they do the photoshopping well and we, consumers, the audience, don't notice. And all of a sudden the phrase 'impossible standards of beauty' take on a whole new and deeper meaning. I remember growing up and realizing that it took hairstylists and professional make up artists, and someone picking out your clothes and good lighting and choosing the best angle to accent your best features, along with a photographer who knew what he or she was doing in order to look as perfectly laid out as possible. And even knowing all that, even being told that by women in my family, everyone still wanted to hope that they'd have a good day on that special occasion and get the perfect picture from the perfect angle and get to see themselves looking not just well, but radiant.

And even if they never reached their personal goal of dazzling, they still looked wonderful. I've had my moments where I thought I looked beautiful. Those were when I was younger. As I've gotten older, even though I'm comfortable with aging (it's a miracle to me I'm still alive and kicking), I feel beautiful less and less often. And I think that has to do with the fact that I'm not seeing people (particularly women - even more specific the few black women around) with character in their faces, caught in a way where you see their eyes glow and the soft curve of a lip and it all comes together to be attractive. That's more something I find myself doing as I walk along the street now, noting how someone's characteristics make them all of a piece. In the media there's just this soft focused perfection.

It's startling to realize that today they'd photoshop Nichelle Nichols. NICHELLE NICHOLS! Unhura the HOTTNESS herself. A woman who is still kicking ass in the beauty department today, would be fixed. You know how people talk about how Marilyn Monroe would be called a lard ass by today's standards? It goes deeper than that. Forget about mere photo 'retouching', Joan Crawford's nose and chin would get fixed today, virtual plastic surgery. Instead of being a commanding presence, who knows what role she'd get slotted into.

I can remember being disappointed when Isabella Rossilini was removed as the face of LANCOME. I'd grown up with her as such. I couldn't imagine any other spokesperson. And stubborn little me, never bought myself or my mother LANCOME again. Luckily, Mom felt the same way. Isabella Rossilini is a beautiful woman but of course she can't compete with younger models being molded like clay in post. They're even doing it with the men. No one's safe at all from this Barbie Plastic Perception of Perfection.

It occurs to me that my personal inability to see myself as a whole, may have been influenced by a culture that sees and promotes people as an assemblage of parts. If I'm unconsciously spending time trying to assemble the images I see into a whole person - it's no wonder I look at myself and try to assemble things in my head using the same process. And heaven help me because my limbs are never going to look that impossibly long, nor my waist or bust match the other impossible designations. Seriously if only people who have eating disorders are being made aware of just how BAD this crap has gotten - it's a damn shame. Because the rest of us are getting fucked over too.

And I haven't even begun to mention the erasures. One shot in particular, this one, for GAP I believe, caught my attention. The young black model? She was originally in the midst of the group, now she's solo, singular, out in the cold. This one is blatant. Other erasures are subtle in that one's eyes are likely to more easily believe a limb connects to the closest body even if that body already has all relevant parts. Some badly done erasures are freaky. But again, I'm thinking about the ones not on the site. The ones done well where we'll never know if the old man with the flowers had a WoC Wife, or a male partner for that matter. Where we never realize important officials really WERE at certain meetings and photographs were taken - they were just edited out for whatever reasons...

It kind of hit me the whole:

In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''

We create our own reality

Just who is we? And what is it that 'we' is creating?

I don't think these are idle questions. They relate to so much, as much about fashion and self esteem and body image as politics and gender equality and gender and sexuality rights. What else beside real bodies do you and I no longer know how to recognize? If the game of the day is 'We Create Our Own Reality' - then doesn't it add a sinister shade to the original push against Prop 8? And doesn't it make the Yes on 8 folk seem that much smarter? They created a reality for others to vote against, and a reality under attack - even though neither one was the actual reality.

Who is We? And just what reality have they created? Just how different is it from what many of us experience every single day in our lives? Who's been getting airbrushed out? Who's been getting slipped in? Once upon a time wasn't it the accepted practice of a fascist regime, a fascist reality, to create reality? To dictate that things didn't happen the way the public remembered them happening? To decide that someone's name would be crossed out and their picture erased and the public was never to mention it or discuss it again? Isn't that going on now?

And please, don't go 'OBAMA'. This is the machinery he's been left to work with, with little rats burrowing in the corners holding tools, specifically wrenches, to gum up the works.

There's a man in Iowa, currently on trial for having manga the government deems objectionable. Some if it may be lolicon. Some of it may be yaoi. What's known for sure is that out of everything seized in a raid - a raid created because a postal worker decided that the markings on Christopher Hadley's mail were objectionable to his reality - Hadley now faces up to 20 yrs in prison for only a few images.

over 1,200 manga books or publications; and hundreds of DVDs, VHS tapes, laser disks; seven computers, and other documents.

Hundreds upon hundreds of images - but he could face prison time as a private collector for just a few. And his case has to fight not just the unjustness of everything that happened, but the reality being presented that there's no way police and law enforcement officials would arrest someone over comics, so there must have been something icky like child porn or worse.

He could go to jail because someone (not just the prosecutor) is creating an image of a reality, one that threatens the ideal vision of the community he, and Hadley and the jury are part of and he's pointing Hadley out as the threat to that ideal, as the weed to be plucked out to make everything better again. It's all smoke and illusions and bullshit, but a finger's pointing. A scapegoat has been chosen. Why think?

To add a touch more relevance to this because this is my sequential art blog, I've a thought on NuMarvel and Joe-Q and The New Marvel Reality sparked by this entry on PostModernBarney.

The contention arising among comics fans, and the discomfort people are feeling because of Quesada and NuMarvel (and possibly NuDC) is it because they're changing the reality of what Superhero Comics ARE. So on the surface it seems like old timers complaining who should just STFU and women whining, and OMG do black people ever shut up about racism. But it's all more than that. It's more than a partiality to stories of old or heroes of old. It's more than wanting comics to be BETTER. It's perhaps not wanting them to de-evolve. It's being able to remember, to recognize what superhero comics used to be and what they are now; what they're becoming.

Continuity is more than just keeping a record of the stories in some order. It's remembering and recognizing the REALITY of said stories; how the universe works.

But reality is being dictated and we are to accept the status quo, because we've been told that this IS the status quo - don't question it. So Norman Osborn in a group that includes Doom, Namor and Loki, is in charge because it has been commanded that this reality is the status quo. Love is war. Marriage is worth less than a Deal With The Devil. Badass is a man who seduced a teenage girl and impregnated her. Tigra is weak. The Hood is a good A-list villain.

Because they have Weapons of Mass Destruction.

It's not art, it's porn. It's icky porn with ties to no community standards.

Missing limbs and photshopped bizzarro anatomy in fashion and consumer ads is beauty.

Holy crap. Wasn't the Matrix supposed to come with a messiah and cool powers?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Character / Plot Wish List

What's yours?

There's so much aggravating and steaming and pissing off... and as I was describing something to a friend that I'd wanted to see - the thought of it made me happy. First time I've felt happy about mainstream superhero comics in months.

So I figured I'd share my squee and ask what impossible thing would you want to see happen in DC or Marvel? It's coming upon the Season of Transformation (of Lights & Renewal). So if a powerful fantastical being could grant you a comic book wish, what would it be?


I'd want the Cosmic Dazzler Mini. I'd want a build on Dazzler becoming more comfortable with her powers and abilities and the mystery solved as to why she was coming back from death in Excalibur. My Cosmic Dazzler would have a scene where Dazzler and Quasar (Phylla-Vell) meet and in the middle of confusion and questions there's an attack and the bad guys have to deal with two determined women holding glowing swords of light.

Think how pretty that would look!

And the only way my Cosmic Dazzler Mini would be better is if included a guest arc with Monica Rambeau where she too is revealed to be part of a Cosmic Light Order. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention the part where Dazzler's ability to play on the Cosmic field is not just a natural outgrowth of her mutation but the result of a vestige of the power cosmic nesting within her in the past few years since Galactus asked her a little favour? Cause that'd be in there too.

And my dream mini would end with Dazzler forming her own team. The times when Alison picked music over do-righting have long since passed. She can be an ass-kicker with a phenomenal voice. But I'm so tired of her singing being the only thing a lot of writers remember about her.

While I'm dreaming, when Monica comes back from the cosmic adventure, she'd pull together NEXTWAVE again and then they'd go around kicking cops in the groin, blowing shit up, killinating supernatural monsters and FIGHTING CRIME!

Seriously, why can't NEXTWAVE be the Marvel answer to Shadowpact? Why can't Dazzler get her own supporting cast? Sprinkle in a mutant or two, some reservists from other teams - voilĂ .

Anyway, that's my crazy, impossible, will likely never be done, fantasy story with a favourite character. I probably have others, but this is the one I've wanted the most recently. What's yours?

Random: This post is possibly the sort of crazy dream post that belongs in the Happy Making blog, Mallet and Canton and I had wanted to try

Saturday, December 6, 2008

ETA: Philosophical Catfight

Cnt: From here

I just saw the perfect snippet (from a piece on Twilight 'the phenomenon') describing perceptions of women and for me, women in fantasy fiction societies, wherein the heroine alone gets to prove herself different. I disagree with the author's final conclusion - “If I can condemn vigilantism and stand up for due process while still enjoying 24 and Batman pictures (or pulp fiction like The Devil’s Advocate), then feminists can certainly enjoy Twilight.”

I'm not going into Twilight more than to say that I don't view it as female escape fantasy and I do not believe a man, the quoted speaker, should get to decide what female escape fantasy is - far less what feminists, womanists or gender equalitists can enjoy.

The quote, however, I find useful to the point of my previous post.

There are two main classic cultural myths of females, two false assumptions that have been used as the definitive excuses to subjugate and disenfranchise women for centuries in all manner of societies. The first is that women are devious and reckless creatures who tempt men who can't control themselves. As a result of these fiendish seducers, the weak but noble men do all manner of vice and corruption, deeds that without the temptation of the women they would not have even considered. But, wait, they are also weak-willed and emotionally fragile creatures that cannot care for themselves and must be protected from peril and shielded from emotional complication ('the fairer sex'). - (Source)

These descriptions sparked a flow of words and comprehension from me. I went "Of course! It's the Whore/Madonna Complex all over again" A simplistic title of my current thoughts, perhaps, but no less apt, I think. Fantasy fiction societies, particularly those in an ethnic fantasy ghetto do tend towards Vamps and whores and dangerous women of which the heroine is NOT one. Or good girls, Madonna's, virtuous if fragile women, of which, again, the heroine is NOT one. She is the Spunky Determined Girl! An option three squished in around the edges, though these days more likely firmly wedged in between to make the stereotypical depiction duo into a trio.

And yet, all the while the one main thrust of all these types of heroines is that they have to disdain other women. Disdain the good girls who never reach out and grab what they want; disdain the bad girls who never let things come to them for being selfless and noble or disdain both for not being (just as good as) a man with breasts and more open emotions.

And I think I understand better now why I associate the combination of world building with such underpinnings mixed with a fantasy ghetto to come from a white female author. History has shown far too many white female, self defined feminists, disdaining other women and walking all over them (or throwing them under a bus, or to the wayside) to get what they want.

PS: Do not mistake my thoughts to mean I will embrace, blindly, the hand of a white self labeled feminist who calls me sister. I'm pondering fiction & fictional representations, not indulging in a round of Be Stupid.

Friday, December 5, 2008

When The Plot Is A Philosophical Catfight

This was not originally going to be a post. But once I attempted to get it down to 140 characters I realized I did actually have more to say; The main thrust of which is that I'm sick and tired of white female authors writing fantasy books set in 'ethnic' fantasy lands where those ethnic societies believe a woman can't handle magic/can't handle power but now comes their heroine who will break the mold and prove them wrong.

It's patronizing.

It's not just the fantasy ghetto, where People(Characters) of Colour are limited to fantasy worlds that resemble their real world culture/analog. It's also a certain conceit about who is writing and what they're writing about. I get that there's a movement to get more female heroes, character role models in the world. But I think what jars the process for me is that the society's reasoning, no matter the fantasy cultural ghetto, is usually so damn WESTERN in origin.

Western and financially privileged.

The latest book and paragraphs to set me off are Eon by Alison Goodman. There's an exerpt up on the flash website here:; There is also a first chapter up here in PDF.

Now I haven't read the book and I'm not panning Alison Goodman. I'm being honest about what set me off; what felt like a straw on an overloaded camel.

Women have no place in the world of the dragon magic. It is said they bring corruption to the art and do not have the physical strength or depth of character needed to commune with an energy dragon. It is also thought that the female eye, too practiced in gazing at itself, cannot see the truth of the energy world.

I just...

Am I the only one who sees something like that and gets a mental image of strong, broad backed women of colour who tend their gardens (farmland) and do hard working chores and are strong family matriarchs and the backbone of their family? And then go WTF?

An I the only one who ends up thinking, sure there were some rich white women somewhere who had servants doing the cooking and cleaning and child minding and spent their days buying material for dresses and giving teas and socializing, gossiping, gathering information on the moods of the circuits and whose family was having a weakness their husband could then exploit in business? Actually, that last bit might be giving those women a bit more agency than is often implied - what with the 'Treat a woman like a spoilt, rich, child' thing that tends to be the undercurrent in these kinds of fictions.

I'm not sure what angers me more, actually - the premise itself, or the fact that the premise tends to always want to put up one singular woman as an example that an entire society's way of thinking is wrong. It's... do they really mean to have the whole 'prove yourself' rigmarole intentionally mimicked in fiction?

The world just seems messed up to me when I'm looking at gender biased Anne McCaffrey and thinking that she at least had women doing dangerous jobs alongside men as a matter of course. Yes, one woman might be special because her dragon was a Queen - but she wasn't the exception showing what women could really do if they could just all be as brave and daring. There were women a dragback risking their lives and women in the fields in the ground crews risking their lives. And even Menolly's story revolved around music being deemed useless in a fishing village where there were women, like men, doing things to keep body and home together.

Anne McCaffrey!

Ms. Tent Peg Rape Can Make A Male Gay! (it's all about hormones in the anus - google it)

Anne McCaffrey brings to mind heroines who excel in a world where other women are already successful in their day to day lives.

I think perhaps that others have mentioned this before in variations - Anita Blake Syndrome, for example. Where the character is tougher than a guy, a better shot than a guy, has a stronger stomach and nerves of steel than a guy and earns their respect just by breathing.

But that's not quite the same as seeing what I saw and just knowing the author had to be white. Twelve mystical energy dragons kind of sealed it but the One Woman Who'll Risk It All, just put the neon sparkles on. One Women Capable Of Overcoming Innate Female Vanity & Selfishness.

Does anyone ever call these writers on internalized misogyny?

Then again maybe I'm missing something. Maybe I'm just too whacked in the head to understand how momentous the triumph of one female protagonist against a world that expects her to never dare or try or to fail if she does. Maybe I'm too busy thinking about books where the protagonist's sex doesn't have to be oppressed in order for her to excel. And where the authors aren't trying to say that Western Civilization is the end all and be all and look how well it's doing. Cause really? Someone needs to hold up a mirror.

(Cnt here)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Warner Brothers Make Willow Unhappy

The BluRay 'The Dark Knight' has three commentary/documentary sections, including the making of the IMAX scenes - WHICH IS ALL MORE THAN WHAT'S AVAILABLE IN THE 2 DISC SPECIAL DVD EDITION

I realize all the white-collar, (bad word smoking, bad word bading, bad word) executives decided on BluRay and there was confetti and champagne and pie. But what the hell? So it's either pull out $400 dollars for a PS3 or $300 for Blu-Ray for your tv, or as an extra drive on your computer or DON'T get the majority of extras which are the reason I (and I'm thinking others) even buy for home anymore?

In this age of watching things online and torrenting, the only reason to pay money for a movie is because you actually want to support it. And I like the happy trade off of paying for something I haven't ALREADY SEEN, namely, behind the scenes documentaries and commentary which comes with a movie I have seen and liked.

Batman Begins won me over enormously for not having a commentary track by giving me an hour or so of glorious backstage footage and interviews and insights into making the movie. Now in order to get that for The Dark Knight I need to have BluRay or Bust?

WHY am I -not- supposed to just download the movie if I want to view it again? Or wait for it to come on cable with no interruptions and just tape the damn thing? Cause seriously, why spend money if I'm basically going to get something I could get off cable (that's already being paid for)?

This isn't even a rant, really. Cause I just want to grrrr and growl. Hopefully there will be an even more special, super dooper, wide-screen (the current dvd offerings are fullscreen) with an extra disc for commentary DVD offered hmm, in a month, maybe two months from now.

But it still means The Dark Knight is not something I'll be getting myself for Christmas. And if any friends of mine who DON'T know how strongly I feel about extras gets it for me - I'm likely to crush them by returning it and telling them to get their money back.

Hell, my mother bought me the theater cuts of the LOTR trilogy and it took me a damn year to even open it and that's cause I had a severe jonesing for FOTR and couldn't get anything online to stream correctly and in such a way as I could properly fall asleep to it. The extras on those suck horrendously too. Though heaven bless my mother for attempting to get me something I wanted. It's totally my fault that I couldn't find the energy to go all the way to the store franchise she got it from.

I've happily waited months and months to learn about the costuming and suit change and what it was like being back in Chicago. I don't like watching all the run up specials on tv before a movie comes out. Because that would involve watching tv and also I like being pretty damn pristine when it comes to certain movie watching experiences. And with comic book movies, you often already know the plot, so why not be unspoiled as to the new manifestation of the tale.


Crappity crap.

I don't really give a damn about even better picture quality and better sound quality. I grew up watching a black and white tv. I've shaken my milkshake to a transistor radio. As long as there's no static and the picture's not blurry and green is really green and distinct from blue - then I'm quite happy and satisfied. Heck there are some old westerns I've heard all sorts of good things about - but I'd rather wait until technology can let me make them black and white on purpose because I'd rather that than the faded colours of 70's filming. Jewel tones are what I'm still excited over. Dolby 7 channel surround sound? I thought they wanted me to go out to the movies more often, not sit around at home simply waiting for a DVD.

And 'A Digital Copy'? Someone needs to clue me in to what that's about. You can't transfer the movie you bought onto another device, but you can move this digital copy? Once? Possibly to iPod (which is proprietary) and heaven help you if you use something else? And that digtal copy will also expire after a certain point?


This is supposed to stop people downloading/torrenting shows they already own just so they can have the freedom to move them around as suits them in this age of multi-devices?


And all of this BS and graft is also why I can't have a proper device that lets me read prose, colour comics, listen to movies and music and NOT be a laptop?

< Insert More Badwords Here >

They Never Said Math Is Hard

Mattel has successfully won their case against MGA, the producers of the BRATZ dolls.

Now I'll be the first to admit I loathed the Bratz dolls. But something Digital Femme said made me pause just now. I loathed the Bratz dolls because I NOTICED THEM.

I've long since passed the age of playing with Barbies. I'm used to passing by and not noticing all the Pink and Blonde fluffiness of Barbie. If I hear news (Barbie's break up with Ken, for example) it's usually because it was something that hit an actual news cycle (possibly on a slow day).

On the other hand I was always noticing Bratz. The dolls, the clothes, the accessories, the infant versions, the pets. I even watched the darn Bratz movie. And all because there were three extra reasons FOR me to notice.

I noticed Sasha, Yasmin & Jade.

I noticed that it was a Latina, an African Descended American and an Asian American who had super sexualized lips and eyes. I fretted that there were FINALLY dolls in the mainstream for every little girl; and yet was the implication that all girls were hootchies?

Bratz made themselves relevant to me and I hadn't even realized that. They made themselves so relevant that when I first caught sight of the My Scene Barbie - my first thought was Mattel was copying Bratz. And I hadn't realized I've been waiting to hear how it failed - because I didn't believe that anyone but blonde and blue eyed Barbie would get attention (accessories, blah blah & stuff).

And for all my grr about stereotypes, I've just realized that Mattel has never released a movie like Bratz. Yeah yeah, it was the wrong thing to say that fashion accessorizing is a superpower. But have you noticed Barbie's movies? They're always animation, either cgi or traditional. Blonde Barbie is always the star with various friends (mostly white) circling around her while she gets the prince, conquers evil or risks her heart.

In the Bratz movie? I saw 4 real girls dealing with a real life issue of friendship drift. 4 real girls. Sure they had slim bodies, but those were real bodies. It was possible for any little girl to imagine herself as one of those 4 real girls. Moreover I saw 4 real families. Divorced parents. Mom and Dad and Grandma. Mom and Dad (with ideas about being the model minority). Single working Mom.

It's horribly true you don't appreciate some things until they're gone. I didn't take the time to really think about just what I'd seen in that movie. And DF's words made me really think about why I noticed the brand in the first place.

There's a reason MGA Entertainment was kicking Mattel's pastel butt! And it's sad and frightening to realize that by ligitgating their competition into closing - there's no impetus for Mattel now to look at what worked with MGA and capitalize on it. How soon before it's back to the Queen of Pink in her pink castle mansion with the pink convertible and her ever ready himbo while all her friends circle three steps or more behind with a big ass 'FRIEND OF BARBIE' stamped on their foreheads?

PS: Guess I know what I'm getting my little sister for the holidays. Wonder if they had a comic book version? There's bound to be something similar I can grab before Mattel steps on it too, right? Either way, I'll definitely be shopping for something Not!Pink.