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May. 21st, 2012

frack me

A Tiny Thing

I saw The Avengers opening weekend. I had a fabulous time watching it, possibly in part because I had pretty low expectations going in but was also ready for a good time. It wasn't everything a movie can be, but I had fun.

I agree with a lot of the things Cleolinda said. I really really agree with her reaction to Loki calling Natasha a "mewling quim" in the middle of his big scary speech.

But obviously it didn't ruin the movie for me, and the only reason I'm mentioning it at all, guys, is that when Cleolinda brought it up, her comments thread CAUGHT FIRE for two posts in a way that half a decade of Twilight trolling never provoked. She had to close comments, otherwise I'd just be dropping her two sentences of support rather than posting this mini-rant. Dear Fandom, you're weird.

Just for the record, my objections to that line are twofold: obviously it's a startlingly sexist insult that's unleashed in a spew of vitriol that only gets directed at the sole major female character. But then, Loki is a bad guy, he says bad stuff, and I read/watch a lot of things with a lot of sexist insults in them. In a different film, that line could have been an effective villainous moment. But what really made this particular incident stand out is how incongruent it was in the context of this big, shiny PG-13 superhero movie, in which gender issues are not exactly at the forefront of discussion. If they had used the American equivalent, it never would have made it past the MPAA.

That unexpectedness gives it more of a gut-punch impact, and that's a double edged sword. That was an intense scene and I was pretty into it, but I remember sitting in the theater, hearing that line, and going OH WOAH, and what was that, and looking around at the people sitting with me.* And I think that anything that drags you that far out of the story is a poor narrative choice.

(I am looking at you here, Game of Thrones. It's not just that it's kind of terrible of you to insert a fairly graphic attempted rape scene to prove how grimdark you are, it's that I am no longer focusing on how grimdark you are anyway, I am not thinking about the character or the plot, I am thinking about the teenaged actress who simulated that on set and what exactly your writing room was thinking.)

TL;DR: Thoroughly enjoyed the movie, was startled by sexist insult and think it was extremely ill-considered thing to include, am COMPLETELY BEWILDERED why saying this is enough to get Cleolinda Jones flamed and trolled by fen.



*And the kid sitting behind me. On and ENTIRELY UNRELATED NOTE, I know that parenting is complex and each child and each family is different, but I think we can lay down a hard rule that if your offspring is too young to sit in a chair for longer than an Earth's Mightiest Heroes ep, they are too young for PG-13 movies.
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May. 8th, 2012

bilbo

(no subject)

Scene: 11: 20 PM in The Apartment. The phone rings.

Me: If you were a left tennis shoe, where would you hide?

Disembodied Voice of Mater: Under the bed; now tell me what 'filking' is.

Apr. 5th, 2012

capslock

Cooties

El Ferret has a post up about Twilight (and Justin Bieber) hatred that spells out a lot of things I have never had the energy to say. Basically, even though Twilight is hugely problematic in its handling of sex and gender and relationships (and a bunch of other things) and also just not very good writing, a lot of the backlash against it is also misogynistic and icky, because it's part of a larger pattern of holding "girl fantasies" in contempt while "boy fantasies" get to be culturally significant archetypes.

I don't agree with everything he says, but I definitely think that in addition to the people going after Twilight because of the very real problems it presents, there are also people who attack it because on some level the idea of girls having the sort of tastemaking power to make this sparkly, sexy fantasy about a sparkly, sexy boy hyper popular really freaks them out. And there are a lot of people who don't know or care what actually happens in the book, they just know that as a designated girly book it is a socially acceptable punching bag.

I would also add that when criticism of a book reaches a certain level of vitriol, even the most well-meaning critiques frequently spill over from condemning Twilight to condemning all the girls who read Twilight.

Interesting things are happening in the comments thread, though a lot of the responses are somewhat defensive reiterations of "I don't hate on Twilight because I'm sexist, I hate on it because it's crappy," which I think kind of miss the point that this isn't just about Twilight and its crappiness, it's about the big picture phenomenon of how it's okay to thoughtlessly heap contempt on things teenage girls like, because things teenage girls like are dumb.

And another thing: I'm sure there are still sparkly vampire jokes to be made in the world, but at this point it's going to have to be a really good sparkly vampire joke to impress me. When you're shooting fish in a barrel, it won't be long before you run out of fish.

Anyway, here regurgitated in all its glory is my first comment in the discussion:

I mean, I have a lot of problems with Twilight in terms of both what is says and how it says it, but that means I end up in conversations like this:

Dudebro: That Twilight, it is really questionable!

Me: Very true! Would you mind if I shared my thoughts on the matter?

Dudebro: I mean, it's all about this GIRL, and she's not cool or anything but these guys LIKE her. EW.*

Me: I think you are hating on Twilight for all the wrong reasons...

Dudebro: And the vampires are PANSIES because they LIKE A GIRL, EW.

Me: ....

Dudebro: And while we're on the subject, HUNGER GAMES. It's also about GIRLS, who guys LIKE with their DUMB FEELINGS, and I haven't read it but it's only popular because girls are TOO STUPID to read Battle Royale.

Me: WHY MUST YOU HUUUURT MEEEEE.

*This would never happen in a male fantasy about a guy who is kind of a dweeb but keeps having hot chicks fall for him, like for example Spiderman, this would never happen to Spiderman.**

**That is a totally untrue statement.
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Apr. 10th, 2011

Rosalind reading

Suggestions Needed

To make a long story short, one of my best friends (and a truly awesome person) was just in a very bad bike accident. She'll be okay, in the long run--no major head trauma or anything life endangering. But her injuries were severe, and she's looking at a lot of reconstructive surgery and her plans for the next year or so are shot.

My family and I are putting together a bunch of CDs and books, to help a very active person get through a lot of staying put, and I'm looking for suggestions. She reads across a lot of genres, so I'm mostly looking for books that are engrossing and smart but maybe on the light side. Well-written, girl/girl romances of the not depressing variety a plus.

So what are you reading right now?

Input greatly appreciated, flist much adored.

Jan. 26th, 2011

I Am Number Four

I Am Number Four, by Pittacus Lore. Rant begins in 3...2...
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Jan. 21st, 2011

Rosalind reading

Matched

Next on the current dystopian YA list….

Matched, by Ally Condie

Matched is pretty inoffensive. The writing is competent, the protagonist is sympathetic, some of the ideas are interesting—and yet I kept wandering off to read things with low-cut Victorian bodices.

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Jan. 19th, 2011

Rosalind reading

XVI, by Julia Karr

A big part of my Current Employment is scrambling to keep on top of current YA/juvenile releases (Oh, twist my arm why don't you...). I don't have the time--okay, mostly I don't a have the motivation--right now to writer proper book reviews, which would require, le gasp, thoughtfulness and proof reading, so I'm inflicting my rants on the flist instead.

So. XVI.

Nina Oberon’s life isn’t easy. Her family doesn’t have enough money, her mother’s boyfriend is an abusive jerk, and she’s about to turn sixteen. While her best friend can’t wait to reach the age of consent, Nina just figures it makes her fair game for whatever creeps are out there—and with the legally required XVI tattoo on her wrist, there’s no hiding. Then her mother is murdered in an alleyway, and Nina’s problems get a lot more complicated.

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Dec. 14th, 2010

carpe diem

Quotation of the Week

L: Oh, [Big Name Author]'s new book is in, you'd better call [Customer].
Me: Okay, but isn't the release date on that next week?
L: Well, yes, but he's dying.

Jul. 5th, 2010

frack me

Quotation of the Day

On Padme's frankly bullshit death in Star Wars: Episode III, which the minions just watched:

Little Sister: Well, if Boyfriend turned evil and went to the Dark Side, I would be really upset and need some really good therapy, but it wouldn't occur to me to just die.

Boyfriend: I have a secret.

Jun. 29th, 2010

Rosalind reading

Quick Note With Shiny Things

Woah, I'm alive!

Back in the realms of computer connectivity. I spent the last few days in the Hill Country, went to Jay's birthday party, drank homemade beer and stayed up late listening to homemade music.

I also spent a considerable quantity of time in the car, most of which I passed by catching up on PodCastle and Friday Night Comedy. And oh my stars and fluffy clouds above, guys. All of the stories and readings I listened to were consistently great, as usual, but I finally listened to Tina Conolly's reading of Samantha Henderson's "The Mermaid's Tea Party," and it was giant and took about of a third of the way from San Antonio to H-Town, and it scared the weeping bejeesus out of me. The way she did the mermaid voices...Seriously, if you haven't heard it yet, go listen. Especially if you have a thing for terrifying carnivorous mermaids, I am talking to you phoenixflame7.

Also in PodCastle news, I have just been apprised that tithenai's "And Their Lips Rang With the Sun" is being read, and sure enough, it is right there in my downloads queue and I am so excited.
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