Friday, March 30, 2012

Putting a Man on the Crescent Moon is your stop for Islam and Islam related discussions in science fiction!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hulk Vs. The Monomyth

The Hulk Film Critic takes on shallow formulaic interpretations of Joseph Campbell's Hero With A Thousand Faces. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

.....Just Wow

So... apparently there is a contingent of Hunger Games fans who are upset that black actors were cast for the roles of.... black characters.

I know I've mentioned whitewashed cover art around here, and I probably said something about how annoyed I was with the casting on The Last Airbender (the Avatar series was one of my favorites, specifically because they did such fabulous Asian culture based stuff... so it was very weird when the only named characters who were any type of Asian (and then clearly not the type of Asian they'd been in the series) were the villains, and then only because the white Disney pop star boy backed out. I actually really got into it with a friend of mine over this, which was terribly weird to me, because I really just assumed they would also assume a character named Toph Bei Fong was, you know, from some sort of Chinese or Korean extraction. Not quite so, apparently.)

Aaaaanyway. Here is a bunch of angry tweets from people very upset to see that characters they apparently thought were just tanned white folk portrayed by black actors. 

In the words of one superfan: "when I found out Rue was black, her death wasn't as sad".

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mohawks in Burma

This is a fabulous article about punk rock around the world that will make your own attempts at youthful rebellion feel shameful. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Help Me, Internet, You're My Only Hope

Well, I've started and stopped a number of posts here that have been kind of rambling and ambivalent. I don't want to treat this blog just as a space I have to fill, nor do ultimately want it to be just me yelling soliloquies out into the void. So, to those of you who come here, what would you like me to talk about? What would make this a useful space for those of you who read here?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Webcomics Rumble

For those of you who like free comics and bracket contests, here's dozens of webcomics facing off.

Honestly, my money is on Penny Arcade, because they have a mobilized army, but I think it's going to be very fun to watch. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, internet! Please drink responsibly. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Body Type, Clothing, Beauty, and Posing

I feel like I actually bang this drum quite a bit, possibly to the point where I'm annoying, but damnit, I really like comics, and the constant soft-core porn drawing of female characters bugs me. So this is a pretty good run down of the problem, with pictures.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On Consistent Production

Alright, I don't talk much about my personal life on this blog. This is a conscious decision I've made both because I tend toward being a bit more of a private person generally, and also because I don't generally think you all would be terribly interested in hearing about the minutia of my life.

Today I bring it up because I tend to be one of those people who says, listen, if you don't make time for writing, it just won't happen. And generally I believe that's true.

I've got two weeks coming up where I don't think I'm going to get any writing done at all. At my physical, paying job I am scheduled this week for 60 hours of work, 50 of it in situations where it's unlikely I will get any significant breaks. After that I'm going to spend a week playing host to a visitor who's very important to me. I don't anticipate getting a lot done either of those weeks.

And I think that's okay.

For one thing, I intend to make it up. I'm below my goals for the whole year, but not as far behind as I was this time last year. It's a process.

But I also think that the time you spend writing isn't a zero-sum game. Obviously the time you spend doing something that isn't writing is time when you can't write, but the other side of that is that you need to have something to write about and you need to have the energy to write. You can't just treat it like a grindstone, and you certainly can't let it become something you resent. Life is beautiful and sometimes you've got to step out and grab a couple fistfuls of inspiration; learn something and come back to your writing bringing greater insight and experience with you. Can't grow as a writer without growing as a person, basically.

Which is not to justify not ever writing, if you're one of those people I need to restate that for. But it is to say if it's all you do, it's going to suffer for it. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Graduate Onion

I know it's an Onion article, but it's exactly how I've felt about some graduate study discussions.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

On Loving the Medium

This guy's talking about why he loves photography. Loves it. Not just loves the best of it, but loves the possibilities and the realities of the medium itself. It's a touch long, but it's really worth the whole read.

Or, you know, you could just look at the pictures.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Reverse Bechdel

Okay, so, you may or may not have heard of the Bechdel Test, which first appeared as a joke in Alison Bechdel's "Dykes to Watch Out For". A movie passes the Bechdel Test if all of the following happen.
  1. There are two or more named female characters
  2. Who at some point talk to each other
  3. About something other than a man
This has become a pretty popular measure amongst feminists and media critics because it's easily quantifiable, and when you think about it, it's stunning how many movies don't pass. Now it's no guarantee that a movie is good, or even a good portrayal of women if it does pass, nor is the reverse true if it fails. However, I think there's a lot to be taken from the measure in terms of the presence, importance, and agency assigned to female characters.

That said, not everybody agrees. The counter argument is that a movie is a tight form without a lot of room for superfluous information (which is fair and true), and all the characters who are not main characters will suffer for it in terms of characterization. That's where the Reverse Bechdel comes in. I polled my friends and acquaintances for movies that do not pass a reverse of the rules above, that is:
  1. at least two named male characters
  2. who talk to each other at some point
  3. about something other than a woman.
If the movie is about a woman and her relationships, will men occupy the same ancillary role? Will they have agency, interests, and relationships outside of their orbit around the main female character?

I figure it's the kind of question I can answer late at night if I come home and am too tired from work to write.

Here's our list of potentially reverse bechdel failing movies so far (please feel free to add in the comments if you have any more):
  1. Amelie
  2. Antonia's Line
  3. Beaches
  4. Bridesmaids
  5. Bridges of Madison County
  6. Boys on the Side
  7. Calendar Girls
  8. Coraline
  9. The Craft
  10. Death Becomes Her
  11. Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood
  12. Driving Miss Daisy
  13. First Wives' Club
  14. For the Boys
  15. Fried Green Tomatoes
  16. Ginger Snaps
  17. Heathers
  18. Heartburn
  19. Julie and Julia
  20. League of Their Own
  21. Mean Girls
  22. Princess Mononoke
  23. The Ring
  24. Rose
  25. She-Devil
  26. Steel Magnolias
  27. Spirited Away
  28. Stepmom
  29. Sucker Punch
  30. Teeth
  31. Thelma and Louise
  32. Underworld
  33. Wall-E
  34. The Women
  35. Working Girl

We'll see how it shakes out.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Aoife's Kiss!

My story "I Fall to Pieces" appears as a reprint in this month's Aoife's Kiss! Go pick one up, it's a groovy place that publishes both a lot of writers I love.