Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I have been told that I rant too much and that I should go elsewhere to get it out of my system. So I am here, on the 'net. Ranting. To my one follower. I feel effectual and empowered. Yay.

Here it goes.

If you haven't read anything Glee lately, or seen the recent eps, then please turn back now. If you have, then feel free to continue. The ep was all about sex and self-discovery and a general sense of empowerment and coming-of-age whilst surmounting (inter)personal issues. Cool beans. I like that. I'm even OK with the (as one webauthor put it) "twilight-style fade to black sex scene" that seemed to pervade the two sexcapades that were central to the main plot of the ep. I found it relatively out of place in a show that hasn't really pulled that many punches: lewd and semi-exploitative teenaged gyrations are OK; an off-handed comment about child rape/molestation (oh sweet Brittany.. please get help) OK; TALKING about Masturbation and sex and such .. OK; but.. when the entire visual experience of them "having sex" is being fully clothed on a bed and joining hands? Sorry. No. Way too much cognitive dissonance. It's not that I wanted to see full-on sex and teen!porn. There's a word for that, it's called pedophilia. And, frankly, I'm quite pleased that they didn't show anything like the dirty deed. However, a fade to black after a closed door would have been preferable than the "artsy" Twilight-inspired visual drivel that they chose. It's not shooting around the monster to make the monster more scary when you opt hand holding as metaphor. It's making a really bad visual metaphor and calling it "art." It's also mildly hypocritical given season one's escaped with April Rhodes (why would a 30+ years old woman walk out of a steaming hot mens' shower half-naked, and wearing a guy's jersey? hmmmmmmmm.)

Beyond that, Glee also horribly mangled one of the most compelling and powerful plots I've seen on mainstream TV in a good long while: Karofsky's quest to come to terms with himself, Kurt's quest at self-empowerment and leadership role in mentoring Karofsky, and the burgeoning romance between Kurt and Karofsky. The Karofsky plot is especially painful because it hits very close to reality and was a story that could have truly spoken to a great many people (both gay and straight alike) and really served to try to dismantle to some hatreds and misconceptions about homosexuality that are out there (and let's not forget the wonderful stereotype of the effeminate and quirky gay male that seems to be the only kind of gay guy you see on TV.) Gays aren't just the guys on Queer Eye: i.e, we don't all know about fashion, or wine, or interior design. Not everything is always just FABulous (in fact, I don't know a single gay guy who's said that outside of being ironic.) However, that is the image that is posted on TV: either sex-crazed party animals, or vaguely feminine characters given to histrionics and catty bitching. They never talk about people who struggle with identifying as gay, or try to illustrate something other than flamboyant craze.

Karofsky's plot line gave that untold portion a chance. REAL issues and important support networks were brought to light: PFLAG, Trevor Project, suicides and beatings. Karofsky and Kurt were supposed to start a PFLAG chapter (notice how THAT plot has also disappeared from the show in favor of Kurt's insane drive to become Class President as a last-ditch effort to become Popular and enter NYADA). Rather, we get a few lines about how Karofsky's transferred schools and how he's "much better now" and segue to the drama that is the Kurt--Blaine- Sebastian love triangle (more on that later).

Instead we get stereotype after stereotype after stereotype. During an episode where the walking stereotype Mike Chang (Super Asian extraordinaire) throws off racial profiling and his TV-appointed "traditional role" of brain (Wow! a Smart Asian.. that's so... uh.. ya) and, instead defies his father, we get to meet Sebastian (whom i shall dub He!Santana) who is basically the slutty, over-privileged, and snarky version of Blaine. So, basically, a more sexually aware and mean-tongued Blaine). Yay. Just what this show needed... The writers appear to be terrified at writing anything new or thought provoking, or even good. Instead, they're rehashing the same plots from season 1: love triangle(s), diva-off (please, please please SHUT MERCEDES UP--or, at least, give her a song where she doesn't do runs. She's got an amazing talent, but hasn't showcased even half of that--and not for a lack of opportunity), and Finchel drama.

The Kurt-Blaine-Sebastian love triangle (also known as Quinn-Finn-Rachel 2.0) is rather pointless. As pointless as the on-again-off-again Finchel romance. Do we really need to see a gay love triangle? Did the writers simply say "Oh it's season 3, we need to have a character fall in love with the opposing team. We used Rachel and Kurt... i know! let's use Blaine! Plus! Since this is a GAY love affair and people are sick of the Finchel drama, let's make Klaintian the new sitch!" *barf*

So, there it is. My thoughts on Glee spread out before you in on back lit white with digitized pixelated letters. Hate it. Love it. Whatever.

end rant

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stop killing characters I like!

Idk if I'm being overly sensitive here., but why is it that people tend to hate the characters that I jones for? Colossus: dead (he comitted suicide in a retconned!state of super-depression to cure a disease and finish a plot that had been ignored for about a decade). It was touching, and sweet, and oh-so awesome, but at the same time, kinda came out from nowhere. Shadowcat: Ok, so she was fused with the bullet so that it would pass through Earth and not obliterate it, and she was gone for a longish time. And, Whedon has a thing for martyered super-powered teen girls (see Buffy). There were other ways to do it. Ares: Gah, this one just chafes my willie. He's the freakin' god of WAR and he's ripped in half by a punk like Sentry. WTF? To top it all off, Sentry gets the freakin' hero's funeral, and no one says jack about Ares. Sentry literally almost killed the world, ripped Asgard a new one, and pretty much fricks everything up to Hell in a handbasket. Not because he was brainwashed or mind-controlled, or whatever, because he was so STOOPID he believed Norman Osborn! WTF?! Alex (Phobos): why the Hell did this guy need to die? It didn't really drive the plot at all. There's NO ONE to mourn him or do anythign about his death since the only people who cared about him were Ares and Fury. So, again, why off him? He was a cool kid and had potential. Cable: Ok, awesome death, but still. Wtf? Cap: and then to take it back so *quickly* Sammy: WHY did Austin need to have Tom kill him? It;s not like he fed any sort of angst or was any sort of inspriation for Cain. Juggy was already a good guy, was already doing the right thing. So, WTF? I think that's the point i'm tryign to make in this blog/rant: The writers are killing off characters for 2 reasons: 1) to make a point that This Is A Big Deal. The villains/badguys/antagonists/non-focal characters, are for real real, and that they can and will do anything to achieve their ends. 2) To legitimize a weak plot: Wow! He killed this chaacter! This Plotline Must Matter. Now, as a comcis fan, I understand that my beloved heroes (and villains) can and will die from time to time. Heck, Jean Grey pretty much has discount rate at the local cemetary because of the number of times she's been offed. They off'd Cyke, too, in that ill-fated the Twelve storyline and, I gotta admit that was pretty powerful stuff. But such events were the culmination of a entire story arc spanning MULTIPLE tie-ins and events and near-misses. And the characters were always central to the storyarc. And, while Kitty and Cap were major players in the arcs that resulted in their "demise", Colossus was only tangentially involved in the Legacy Virus; Ares was a mere soldier in the Siege storyline (and he actually realized he'd been duped and turned on Osborn unlike someone else i could mention *cough* Sentry; Sammy's only real plot was "abused kid that Cain identifies with", and Alex's was more along the lines of becoming Fury's super-assassin kick ass go to guy. So, again, why the off? It's not like Marvel is suffering from a glut of characters. It's got a lot, but, really, it's managable. There are other characters to kill, better choices, that actually fit the plotline. And, it's just plain bad writing to off characters willy-nilly. So marvel, please, stop killign my faves!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My favorite Marvel Characters

I really have no clue why I feel the need to say this... but here it is: my list of favorite Marvel characters (in no particular order):

  1. Cable
  2. Colossus
  3. Shadowcat
  4. Juggernaut
  5. Captain America
  6. Captain Britain
  7. Havok
  8. Squid Boy
  9. Dazzler
  10. Nocturne
  11. Ares
  12. Hercules
  13. Amadeus Cho
  14. Cypher
  15. Lockheed
  16. Magik/Darkchilde
  17. Cyclops
  18. Sinister
  19. Hulkling
  20. Wiccan
Now, I'm noticing a pattern here: I tend to like Bricks, Nut jobs, and Spunky Kids/Wiseasses

Broken into these categories we have:

Bricks: Hercules, Ares, Cable, Colossus, Juggernaut, Captain America, Captain Britain, Hulkling (dude can shapeshift into anything.. that counts as a Brick).

Nut jobs: Sinister, Magik, Cyclops, Havok, Ares, Juggernaut, Cable (there's a bit of bleed between the Bricks and the Psychos... hmmm)

Spunky: Lockheed, Cypher, Amadeus Cho, Dazzler, Nocturne, Squid Boy, Shadow Cat, Hulkling, Wiccan

But, when you look at the plots the characters have been involved in... a different pattern develops:
Total Asshole (Very little redeeming qualities. They may be good guys, but they generally either don't care about collateral damage, or use it to their advantage. Or, they've blurred the lines so many times that they really are only 'heroes' because the people they fight against are so much worse than they are) , Douche (They've done some shitty things to people they care about with and without good cause, but, in general, they haven't blurred the line between good guy and villain), and Genuine Nice Guys (GNGs) (These are the Heroes who generally do the right thing, all the time, and try to support their fellow heroes. Dickish acts are almost non-existent).

Total Asshole: Cable, Sinister, Juggernaut (slips into Douche because of Sammy and Excalibur), Magik (she tried to destroy the world.. a few times... being fucked (literally) over by Belasco doesn't mitigate that in any way), Ares (other than how he treats Phobos.. the guy is a total dick),

Douche: Colossus (Tried to kill Wisdom, broke up with Kitty (after cheating on her), went with Mags), Cyclops (Do I need to explain it?), Havok (Lorna ('nuff said), breaks his bro out of catatonia via verbal abuse), Captain Britain (alcoholic verbally abusive towards Meggan, kind of a self-entitled prick), Amadeus Cho (just a smart ass in general, and he tried to kill SHIELD for hurting Hulk), Lockheed (he 'betrayed Kitty.. .this one's kind of tangential)

GNGs: Cypher (Ya, he was taken over by the zombie-technovirus But! he tried to fight it off, and didn't actually hurt anyone too badly), Shadowcat (she went all demon-ninja and tried to kill Logan. That's a good thin in my book), Captain America (dude, he's Cap. 'nuff said), Nocturne, Dazzler, Squid Boy (ya, he wanted to shoot his classmates, but he didn't. So, close call?), Hercules (ya, he's kind of a frat boy several thousand years overdo for graduation, but he's never actually done anything BAD to.. anyone. So.. GNG), Wiccan and Hulkling (dude, they're gay for each other.. how cool is that?!)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Make the bad man go away!

Am sitting in a workshop on using a program for online classrooms. He frightens me. He's a used car salesman on meth... With the personality of Ben Stein.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Shutter Island


Shutter Island?


Scorsese how you have betrayed me so. He did the Color of Money, Goodfellas, Cape Fear (take 2), Gangs of New York, Raging Bull, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Taxi Driver, the Age of Innocence, the Departed, and the Aviator. (wow, he's got a De Niro/DiCaprio thing doesn't he?)

He's this director who KNOWS how to make movies, good movies. OK, so there's a lot of crap in that list, too. Cape Fear was still disturbing, even though it doesn't compare to the original. But, Taxi Drive was AMAZING! And, so was Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.... what I remember of it, anyway.

But, Shutter Island? Crap. Pure and total crap.

Now, I'm not a fan of DiCaprio. I admit that he's got some chops, and he's not afraid of playing range. But, really, he's just not my cup of tea. Maybe it's his voice, maybe it's the way he looks. Maybe, it's the fact that I still see that annoying little homeless kid from Growing Pains. I dunno, but whatever it is, I just don't like DiCaprio. However, I looked past that to see this movie. I actually enjoyed him in this role and thought he did a pretty bang-up job.

I did not, however, like this movie.

And, it's really through no fault of the acting.

It lies completely at the hands of the direction. There were certain cuts made, camera angels and glaring changes in props and positioning that seemed at first like poor editing. I still pray they are. However, on final analysis, after the big reveal of the movie, they're really just hack techniques to create evidence and pieces of a greater puzzle.

Pieces that are already there through the script.

For anyone who doesn't know, Shutter Island is a psychological thriller. A US Marshal goes to this asylum on an rocky island in the middle of the ocean to try and locate a missing person. It's the Alkatraz version of Arkham. Now, he's got issues himself and the movie plays on these issues. The script leaves hints and clues at the beginning (which are really more than enough to suss the plot), but it's as much messing with the characters as it is the audience. The pieces don't always connect, some contradict each other, and some are just plain red herrings. Some of the pieces are dialogue or action... things that happen or are said just don't mesh with the rest of the story. Others are strictly visual--a prop continually appearing, a glass that disappears and reappears, things like that.

Scorsese misses the point of these visual clues--which are much more important to creating the aura of madness that pervades the asylum than the dialogue. He forces the camera to dwell on them, he calls them to attention with frequent jarring camera work.

Within 30 minutes I had figured out the entire plot of the movie. the other hour and ten minutes was waiting for the film to catch up with my brain. And it was ALL because of the shoddy direction. I have the feeling that in the hands of a director more experienced in the genre, this movie would have been solid gold. (although it's kind of ludicrous to think of ANY director more experienced than Scorsese). Hitchcock would have done this movie justice.

Anyway, if you want a good psychological thriller, rent a Hitchcock flick, or Gaslight. Hell, rent Identity, same riff better plot.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I like Juggernaut.

There, I said it.


What's more, I like him as a hero. It's a nifty concept, really. Guy who for the passed forty-odd years of his existence in comics has been a villain (however reluctant that may be at times) decides to seek redemption. Thanks to Marvel's sliding time scale policy, these four decades of rampaging destruction are crushed to something more like ... never mind pre F4 events really don't fit with that time scale, and Xavier/Cain/Magneto kinda occupy that time period. Moving on. It's the idea of this guy being a hero after being the bad guy for so long, that really gets to me. The quest for redemption.

It's not like it's all that unwarranted. He tried to stop Onslaught, and helped the X-Men realize who he really was. He helped the Avengers (Iron Man, Thor, Xavier, and Spider-Man to be exact) stop the Exemplars from destroying the world. He joined the SCA to track down and stop supervillains.

Even before that, when he was a "bad guy" he had started to lose a lot of his punch. When Dazzler joined the team, he acted like an obsessed fanboy. Even when she was wailing on him with her powers he refused to really fight her. Instead, he thought he'd killed her when he knocked her unconscious to make her stop attacking him. He even built her a grave (which, ironically, almost killed her in truth. But, still it's the thought that counts). Sure, in the beginning, he was all about killing Xavier and the X-Men. But, soon afterwards, his appearances became more about him being a petty thug and the heroes trying to stop him. He wasn't really about taking over the world, or even killing people. He just wanted to make money.

And he kept getting cast as a hero. Reluctant though it could be.

And, we learned things throughout his appearances that endeared him to me. Ya he was a bully and real terror to Xavier, but his father was abusive and sent him to military school so he wouldn't have to deal with him. He comes home to find that he's been effectively replaced by another family. His brother experimented with his powers on Cain's mind. Cytorrak wanted Xavier, not Cain. He has a ... special... undefined friendship with Black Tom Cassidy and likes bubblegum pop (Dazzler always comes off as Britany Spears to me... even during her disco phase). And, he loves kids.

And, that's the real kicker.

He's this big invulnerable super-strong behemoth of a man who has literally ripped people in half. He's killed, maimed, robbed, and threatened everything under the sun at one point or another in his career. Yet, he listens to Dazzler, and he likes little kids. "Because there aint been time to screw 'em up yet".

He's hopeful. He honestly believes that kids are good and pure and the future in all the warm soft and pink fuzzy floppy-eared bunny goodness that that statement invokes.

So, ya, I'm a Juggernaut fan. I'm a Heroic Juggernaut fan. Thank you.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Magneto is Mojo Jojo

So, I'm reading through my old X-Men, and I come across X-Men #1. Now, because I live alone, I tend to read comics aloud. It keeps me from going stir crazy and going on a nine-state murder spree because I misinterpret the meaning behind a poem titled Ode to a Hall, or from getting lonely. You know, whichever makes me seem less crazy. (mmm... halls.....) As I do this, my inner voice tends to become my outer voice.

So, I'm reading and I come to this panel:

I notice that my voice suddenly goes deeper and a bit more guttural. Which is odd, because I've always heard the X-Men Evolution version of Magneto (Earth-11052 according to in my head when I read him in the comics. You know, sort of a lower-end baritone but resonating/echoing? It's a voice of command and respect, in my mind. *shrug* What can I say? I respond to child-abusing megalomaniacal dictators. I have issues. But, the voice in my head suddenly went deeper to a low bass as I read that panel. Which, I thought was weird but pressed on.

Then, I come to the panel directly next to it.

And I start speaking in gravely Engrish. You know the kind of accent that 'Really Old Japanese Patriarch Possessor of Profound and Ancient Wisdom' has on TV or in the movie-films? Again, odd, but I didn't make the connection.

I continue on for a while using this voice whenever Magneto speaks, without making any connections. Until I come to this panel and find unnecessarily exposition (TM!):

And my voice takes on a fast-slow-slow-fast-fast cadence. I start to think I know this voice from somewhere, but I couldn't quite place where. Until....

YES!! ALLITERATION! And, suddenly, *miraculously* I put it all together! Magneto has Mojo Jojo's voice! At least, in the early comics. By the time of Second Genesis, he's achieved more of his X-Men Evolution voice. Odd, I suppose, to think that he's evolved *snort* into a voice that won't be actually heard for another thirty years.