ellestra: (big gun)
I think that films and TV made me used to male buts being on display that I assumed that's what all the media does. But films and TV learned that pandering to female viewers is important (mostly TV - since more women watch scripted shows) for success. Of course pandering with great character development would be preferable everywhere.

ellestra: (slingers)
The popularity of the new Star Wars is still soaring. And it's very popular - it just became the highest grossing film in US ever and third in the world already and despite everyone saying China doesn't care for Star Wars it's also did extremely well on it's first day there (I knew it - what does it matter they didn't watch the originals in cinemas - they stay on point on popular culture as well as everyone else and love big spectacle as much as everyone else - maybe even more). This kind of popularity means inevitable fan art and parodies.

There are the beautiful mash-ups of Star Wars with Calvin and Hobbes by Disney artist Brian Kesinger. The most popular one is the most classical:

By my favourite one is this - so true

After all we all know Kylo Ren is the emo one (I wondered if he dies his hair from the start - noone in the family had hair this dark). He shows us all how misunderstood he truly is through his twitter account. Misunderstood by his parents and picked on by his very lonely uncle Luke.

It's a hard life. The one that's may lead one to drank Force calling that girl Rey and keep offering to teach her the Dark Side. Because "No" is never an answer and and she will eventually want him if only Hux stops putting his tantrums on Youtube. It's all described in Kylo Ren needs to Chill.
ellestra: (slingers)
I liked The 4400 a lot. It had it faults (my thoughts on Isabelle and the awful trope that befalls characters like her were expressed here repeatedly) and sometimes baffling changes in direction but I liked a lot of the characters and the plots and I always wanted to know what happens next now that the powers are common and the people policing the issue have them too.

I always felt that Heroes killed it. It was new and shiny and had bigger budget and wider audience. That first year when everyone loved it and NBC Universal didn't care for another almost identical show on cable. Then the Heroes crashed and burned and we were left with nothing. But now Heroes are back. They got a second chance. So why not The 4400? Even at the end, with all the cast changes to "improve it" they were better than post season 1 Heroes.

The fans started the movement to revive the show and both the show’s cast and writer and consulting producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe got behind it. They even made a video supporting it. You can support it too and sign a petition that asks Netflix to bring it back.

Path To Revival (Bring Back The 4400) from Jordan Ray Allen on Vimeo.

ellestra: (telamon)
So I break the catching up posts for something different.

John Scalzi reads a book about the truth about John Scalzi (for money). It uncovers the truth about SJW and the fact that John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular. If audio version isn't enough you can also get it in ebook (and read the amazon reviews helpfully pointing out that it isn't about the "award-winning" Florida meteorologist John Scalzi in case you didn't know) - also non-amazon version.

For those who don't know - this is a parody of the book from the guy who organised Rabid Puppies take over of Hugo nominations this year. It makes fun of his obsession with John Scalzi who he blames for being removed from SFWA (not true) and accuses of being SJW (true) and gamma male (Hulk?). This parody is superior to the original as it has even more chapter 5s (showing that Alexandra Erin or [livejournal.com profile] alexandraerin is also better editor than the Hugo nominated Vox Day and also live tweeted her read of the original so you don't have to). And the charity is worthy too.

Now all we need is the song.

And to complete the SJWness of this post here is Target Ad from their gender confusing gender neutral Star Wars line
ellestra: (big gun)
My TV tastes are a little uncommon. I'm not overly fond of the two guys solving the case of the week type of shows. I prefer to have larger group of people and I like story arcs. I got bored by Supernatural after couple of episodes and all my tries to get to it later ended the same eventually (also because all the interesting secondary characters die and I hate the main ones). I only really got into Person of Interest after Carter learned the truth and I like it so much more now that it has a team. Grimm became more and more fun as characters learned what was going on. And Sleepy Hollow became more interesting with Jenny and Frank helping out.

So I'm probably the only one who liked the idea of Katrina and Hawley joining the team. But then it turned out the writers didn't really know what to do with them. Katrina has never really been allowed to the powerful witch we were told she was. Hawley meanwhile has been badly pushed as a love interest but they couldn't decided whether for Abbie or Jenny. Everyone hated them so Hawley was put on the bus and it looks like Katrina is turning evil. When you don't have an idea how to deal with a character just do what crowd screams for. Since this kind of hate always makes me want to be contrary I'm probably the only person in existence who wants Katrina to be the one making right choices and finding the solutions.

She suffers from a kind of bad writing that always pisses me off. The kind that creates a character who's an object, a goal to obtain by the protagonist, a motivation for their actions, a plot point. Characters like this don't exist as actual people, they don't have a personality or their own goals and stories. So if the protagonist achieves the goal of finding/rescuing them the writers usually don't know how to deal with that. How to switch them from the idealised object of desire to an actual person.

So Katrina the super powerful witch and great spy becomes ineffective even at her stated area of expertise. She spends half of the season imprisoned again where she fails at spying and getting rid of Moloch and then almost all of her magic fails. She's not allowed to ever capitalise on her stated power because our main heroes must be the ones defeating the enemy. So she's always either wrong or knocked out. And now she seems to be heading towards the final stage (before dying) of such character - turning evil.

Because this is usual fate of any such character with special powers. Since the expectations built for them are so high they cannot be good because if they were the good side would win too easily so they have to turn evil. And then our protagonist can fight against their superior power and live through angst of having their loved one turn evil. Of course they go back to good just a moment before dying. This way we can go back to the beginning when the existence of that character was all about being a motivation for protagonist. More comfortable this way.

All this is no fault of the character. It's the writing that's at fault. And it pisses me off. This is why I hated Neal's story on OUaT - he was a driving plot for Gold and Emma when he was an idea but they had no idea how to work him in as a character. This is what all the special kids suffer from when they grow up in shows that started being about their parents - I'm still angry about Isabelle Tyler even after all these years. And the faults in writing make the fandom hate those characters and, because I'm contrary by nature, this is why I love them. Even though it sets me up for failure because they always die.

There is also the fact that they are almost always female and almost always in relationship with the protagonist and fandom already has a different OTP so the amount of hate just piles up higher and higher. Everyone just calls for them to die. Even the official reviews of big SFF sites are full of "Katrina is stupid and useless" (even when she was let to finally be right about Henry and and Orion and it doesn't help because her existence means Abbie/Ichabod is not happening) and calls for killing her. And producers will finally listen. This is how the cycle of hate works. Fandom hates the character so she gets killed off and then fandom bemoans there are so little female characters and that they keep getting killed off and round and round we go. Is it really so hard to focus that hate not on the character but on the writers? Make them look for better plots.

I want those characters to succeed in their new roles. I want their goals to actually turn out to be worthy of pursuing. I want them to be right and competent and have their own storyline. I want them to be written better. There is no reason why they could give Katrina possibilities to actually do something useful and work with the rest of the characters effectively. She could be the team's Willow. She could be awesome. There is nothing horrible at allowing characters other than the main protagonist to be competent. Look at integration of Shaw and Root into the team on PoI and they have much more overlapping skills with the initial protagonists than Katrina. There is nothing that stops her from being someone we love. Except for shoddy writing.
ellestra: (tiger)
Everyone you know and a lot of people you don't have been doing the ice bucket challenge for ALS. That includes some billionaires, our favourite celebrities and even writers. It almost feels like everyone poured ice water on themselves. But this is nothing*. Here's a guy pouring liquid nitrogen on himself. It works because of the Leidenfrost effect - skin is so hot compared to liquid nitrogen that it turns into gas instantly so the liquid never touches the skin. Still - not something to try at home.
EDIT: The original video is down so here's another version

*I didn't mean it like that. ALS is one of those terrifying neurodegenerative diseases I talked about earlier. It's almost the exact opposite of the things like Alzheimer's but is equally horrifying. You're not loosing your mind but it becomes trapped inside your unresponsive body - still there inside, unable to do anything. As I said - these are the kind of things that horrify me. Anything that helps to make it better is awesome.

EDIT: And since I'm adding things to this - here is Stephen Hawking version
ellestra: (winged)
This episode of Tropes vs Women in Video Games comes with the Content Warning: This educational episode contains graphic sexual and violent game footage and it is very true. After a while it become hard to watch. Other tropes annoy me more from the storytelling point of view but this is visually most disgusting.

ellestra: (river song)
Jewel Staite did AMA on redid this week and shared her head canon for Kylee's future:
"Kaylee's kicked Mal down a couple pegs and become Captain, obviously. Simon looks after the babies."
It's probably better then Wheadon's (where one of them is almost certainly dead).

Both Lev Grossman and John Scalzi are going to visit place where I live next week. They are both promoting their new books. I still feels so weird that I live somewhere where that happens regularly.

By clicking on this link you decide to see 11th Doctor, Stan Lee and TARDIS in one photo. I'm not responsible for the result of seeing this.

Speaking of th Doctor, Doctor Who will be back tomorrow and it's coming with a new title sequence based on the design made by a fan. I suppose this is fitting. The show is run by a fan, the Doctor is played by a fan and now the design is by a fan. I just watched Moffat admit this on TV during the tour special. It's like the whole show is like tumblr for middle aged men ;P. It sure must feel good.
ellestra: (slingers)
I'm reinstalling the system. I was planning this for months but there was always something urgent I needed the computer for so I kept postponing it. I finally have time as it always take forever to update. So way I keep restarting you can have May the Fourth from ISS:
ellestra: (river song)
There are first pictures of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor in series 8. We still don't know his look but we know he, at least, didn't forget how to ride a horse.

There are also more and more proof showing the fan of Doctor Who that Capapldi was - he made fan art. Pretty good fan art. The TARDIS drawing is beautiful and 4th caricature he did recently is spot on. I'm glad he's still drawing.

There is a new version of 1984 in the works that is to remake it as a dystopian love story. It's almost as if they couldn't find another YA book. To make it even more sellable to teens it will star Kirsten Stewart and Nicholas Hoult. If you, like me, wonder why - maybe because romances in times of oppression are in vogue now? Apparently, that's all that has been learnt from Hunger Games popularity.

Jamie Alexander will be on Agents of SHIELD. I have to admit that this show finally become watchable. I mean it still isn't awesome but watching it no longer feels like chore and I don't feel like I hate everyone on it and their stupidity (Helix doing fine with that - seriously GFP thing was ridiculous and that was the least of the problems of that episode). The team interactions seem less forced and they are finally doing something about their mysteries and story arc (I'm intrigued about the Clairvoyant more then the Coulson not!death already and Skye's backstory has finally become interesting). They are also getting more and more of the wider Marvel Universe in it and I certainly don't mind more Lady Sif (in fact I could have a lot more).

Also there are more and more details coming out that suggest that the Agent Carter show might actually be happening on ABC. This may mean actual sf comic book based show based on female character. Sounds too good to be true but everyone keeps talking about it.
ellestra: (winged)
Remember this whenever you interfere with the cool lives of those awesome antiheroes - all this happens to you just because you are a whiny bitch:

BuzzFeed asked female cosplayers at New York ComicCon to share the creepiest thing that’s ever been said to them while they were in costume. There is a whole series of pictures on this link and some of them are really bad. And to all the commenters that say sexy costumes explain those comments - you can get random "Nice boobs" thrown at you when in jeans and unisex loose t-shirt. I know. And it's creepy every time.
ellestra: (cosima)
There are some things that are fashionable to hate in certain parts of the webs. People look down at you if you don't despise them properly and spend unduly amount of time on making others hate them too. Today I will talk about few such things.

Comic Sans - it's been called the font of the feeble minded and ugliest type ever invented. There are articles and songs about how bad it is and a website dedicated to banning it. Mentioning it anywhere with even slightly more readers then my blog will result with someone expressing how ugly it is.

I have no problem with it. It wouldn't be my choice as it feels dated because I strongly associate it with the early internet of geocities and angelfire (I'm old - you can look that up on wikipedia). Still, I don't see the reason for hate. It's readable. I don't expect much more from a font. And it looks nice to me. It may not be the prettiest type but it's not the ugliest thing ever - none of the examples in the video bother me. So Happy Birthday Comic Sans. However, American quotation standards drive me nuts - they are awful, stupid and I will not willingly adhere to them ever so to each their own.

Nickelback - sometimes it feel like it's more uncool to like them then any of the boybands (at least you can like boybands ironically). I'm not sure why they are hated so much and I don't care enough to google it. I'm not a fan because I usually like songs not bands (at least until I like so many songs from one artist I admit I do like their music in general). However, both Photograph (for it's you can go home again vibe) and Rockstar (for it self aware satirical take) are among my favourite songs.

I do care about the lyrics and I have a things for songs that are not about love (I like plenty love ones but still). I also like artist who make fun of themselves - that's how Robbie Williams convinced me to like him despite me being dead set not to (for what it's worth I still don't care for his boyband days and his love songs). Now, I just don't care anymore about who I'm supposed to like. I don't even keep track of who we are supposed to look down on to be cool (what is the recent status of Coldplay?) but, as I mentioned, I still care about the words so no matter how cool the melody sounds I do despise Roots - Seed and Blurred Lines.

Big Bang Theory - it's all slander and stupidity and they just do it to make people laugh at us (nerds, geeks and scientist are all us to me). I think it's OK. When I happen to watch it from time to time I find it funny. I do it more often now because of Bernadette and Amy who are both close to me. Of course, they are not very representative. Just look how Mayim Bialik the real neuroscientist differs from Amy Farrah Fowler the sitcom neuroscientist. And SFF genre fandom is not so male (most likely both Bernadette and Amy would fans or at least had exposure to fandom before meeting the guys), and most physicist don't dress so badly, and most scientist are not that socially awkward.

However, if you look for true to life and thoughtful representation of a group of people sitcoms are not a best place. They are exaggerating fringe and ridiculous to make things seem funnier. In this case fine as you also feel great dose of sympathy for the characters. And I do love that they do check their science. That's actually makes me fan of the show because it is so rare on TV. However, I do hate Two and Half Men and find it unfunny and can't even go through a full episode so there might be something inherently wrong with Chuck Lorre.

Johnny Mnemonic - I always liked this movie - dolphins and all - despite people laughing at that. I liked a lot of stuff in it - Dina Meyer's cybernetically enhanced bodygaurd, Dolph Lundgren's cyberpriest/bounty hunter, cyberdolphin - generally all the cyberthings. I liked the action. I generally am fond of Keanu in everything he's in (I know - another point proving my bad taste) and even Ice-T was OK with me (even if not as hilarious as in Tank Girl). I still have fondness for it despite the way it aged (32GB - LOL). Also Strange Days was a great film and Richard K. Morgan thinks so too.

I still haven't read or watch Twilight but the excerpts I saw convinced me not to waste my time and trailers make me want to band my head on the wall until I unconscious so I think I'll agree with the haters on this one. Still, it's not worth the amount of time and pages people spend on hating it.

Now, go leave hate posts and unfriending threats below (good, that not enough people read my posts for this to actually happen but it'd be funny if it did).
ellestra: (slingers)
Have you seen the adventures of raging fangirl? Leigh Lahav animations certainly strike a cord with anyone familiar with fandom.
ellestra: (tiger)
Jeff Victor has a gallery full of n the evolution of our favourite artists and heroes through their film career. Go see how Sigourney Weaver changed form lady with a cat to a cat lady.

Troy & Abed = Geordi & Data. How long before this will become a meme? I see it spreading with the new season (whenever that might be).

The web version of BSG: Blood and Chrome has just reached finale so you can see the whole thing now. It has space battles and loads of cameos.
ellestra: (sunrise)
I have trouble believing it's December already because after few cold days and nights with temperatures below 0 when I woke up to frost covering everything we have once again short sleeve weather. It's been 20oC and it's too be even warmer in next few days. It's felt so weird when I went shopping yesterday and there were Christmas trees  and the smell reminded me of the holiday but I was standing there in a t-shirt. It just felt so out of place (time?). The fact that for me this is way too early - November just ended - most of those won't last another 3-4 weeks. I wondered about that and one of my German co-workers (in Germany like in Poland people get Christmas trees just before the holidays) that some people here get two trees - one now and another just before Christmas. I can also see the lights and trees visible in people's windows when I walk around and seeing people in shorts at the same time this weekend is just wrong. Of course, this winter, even though it haven't officially started yet, is already colder then the last one and a few warm days are normal around here. So, unlike last time when we went straight from autumn to spring and magnolias bloomed for Christmas this year might be actually be cold. Good I'm going home for Christmas this year and judging from recent forecasts for Warsaw I should even see snow during my stay. With typical Polish cloudy weather that shortens already very short days all the lights are so much more appealing.

And since I'm doing follow-ups this week here are some awesome comics reactions inspired by the recent bout of Fake Geek Girl by Meghan Danger and Jemma Salume. But you have to appreciate a publisher taking stand on the whole thing with the official DC merchandise with this Super Fake Nerd:


Nov. 25th, 2012 11:45 pm
ellestra: (slingers)
My new obsession - Busty Girl Comics. That's the story of my life.Too soon, too much, constantly uncomfortable. 34GG. I just had a physician advise a reduction. It would be so nice for my shoulders and back but the scars and complications and long healing time are a little discouraging. Enlargement is so much easier.

Can there be anything more nerdy then turning Star Trek action figures into famous scientists action figures? Certainly, there are only few things more awesome. Although, I would wish for more women.

The reason to have famous parents - the kitchen after your birthday can look like this:

Is it wrong that my first though after "this is so awesome" was about all the fanfiction it must've spawned? I'm afraid to look but rule 34 makes it inevitable.
ellestra: (winged)
Look, it's another attack of the Fake Geek Girls. All those too pretty young women who are not really pretty but just made pretty by the cosplay of characters they know nothing of but dress up as just so they can get admiration from boys they don't want to have anything to do with. They just came to steal the fandoms they know nothing about and destroy what guys enjoy by standing to close or maybe even having sex. They are that insidious. Or something. I'm not really sure. Better people then me wrote about the intense misogyny and mindboggling stupidity of all this. Sometimes multiple times. It still comes back. At least the guy who caused the last one is asking for differing opinions. So maybe not all is lost.

Or maybe I feel better because I just saw Nexus7 commercial and it had a girl dreaming to go to the Moon and dressing up as an astronaut it made me feel all fuzzy inside. Or is it sad that I look for comfort in ads?
ellestra: (anomander rake)
I think I'm going to be sick - my throat starting to hurt, my nose is almost running and I'm tired, sleepy and my muscles are sore. So instead of finishing writing my thoughts about The Crippled God I just mindlessly spent time searching the internets for other fans (you know outside the malazanempire forums which are practically official). I learned that reddit has a Malazan subreddit. There are Malazan fans on tumblr and they even do shipping (these are not good books for shippers).

I also realised that Subterrean Press is taking preorders for collectors edition of Memories of Ice (especially since even normal hardback is impossible to get). Their illustrated and signed editions are so beautiful (my icon and the poster SE signed was their cover for Gardens of the Moon) I still feel bad about not buying them from the start. The cover and illustrations inside will be made by the J. K. Drummond who also did Deadhouse Gates. And her Coltaine cover was awesome too.

And tor.com has a new page for their Malazan Re-read of the Fallen. It collects all the posts and even has it's own spoiler thread.
ellestra: (anomander rake)
Steven Erikson mentioned (when he said he no longer remembers some things he wrote) someone who writes music to his poems (the ones that are at the beginnings of books and chapters). It seemed vaguely familiar and when I looked I found I listen to some of those songs before. Kit Soden has also composed a tribute to Coltaine

Chain of Dogs stays one of the most popular and enduring images from the saga. I even found a band that's named after it that sings malazan based songs - including one about Coltaine

It also reminds me that someone asked Erikson which book is his favourite. He said 3 of them. Toll of Hounds is the most personal. Midnight Tides because he jumped into something completely different after four books. And Deadhouse Gates are the most self-contained, complete story.

As much as I love Deadhouse Gates too I always preferred Genabackis as a setting. As Erikson said yesterday he went big with DG but then went even bigger with Memories of Ice (it was so big that he had to go lower with the next one or it would all get overboard and crash under the weight of expectations). So that's my favourite book in the series. However, I picked Gardens of the Moon for him to sign because this was the book that gave me everything I wanted from fantasy when I was ready to give up on it completely. I hated all the cliches and his book dealt with them in a way I felt like he read my mind. The depth of history, the lack of clear evil, no teenagers trained to rule kingdoms by living on a farm. I loved everything even the thing that many find hard to get through - getting thrown into deep water - as story starts in at the end of campaign to conquer Genabackis Free Cities. Here you can listen to how it all began - Gardens of the Moon - Prologue.
ellestra: (winged)
Ah, Internetz you never stop being full of dickhead trolls but sometimes this inspires some awesome moments. Still, wouldn't it be better if we didn't have to have those moments? If there was no awfulness to react to? I know - never will happen so for now lets enjoy the response of Nick Mamatas to your standard death threat (and homophobic slurs (and webspeak)). New kung-fu movie - Nick Mamatas vs. Internet trolls.

Genevieve Valentine posted a two months sum-up of the Readercon "experience". I would say it had happy ending but in RL nothing ever really ends and Rene Walling still attends cons and behaves badly and has friends defending him.

It was part of the long string of convention troubles with harassment recently. The sad part is that the one that was the least awful in RL turned into the biggest mess on the Internet. I still cannot quite believe the mess that Elevatorgate turned to and the Defcon "contest" is hard to even grasp it really happened now and not in Mad Men.

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