jmatonak: (Default)
I am a little fuzzy on the whole "good/bad" thing. I admit this freely, and I'm not being sarcastic. I have personal standards of "good" and "bad", but they're quirky and not always consistent.

One of my biggest problems with genre fiction is a tendency to excuse horrible things that a hero does because they are wearing a T-shirt that says "hero"- or, as I believe they'd put it over at TVTropes, holding the hero ball. It's not the excusing as such that bothers me- I am certainly capable of special pleading on behalf of characters I like. The thing that bugs me is some variation on. "it's okay to treat character X that way because character X is just an orc/a vampire/a Dalek/whatever." Deception, abuse both physical and mental, petty cruelty- all excused because the target is "bad." It absolutely drives me up a wall. Almost inevitably, we are later asked to hate the villain characters even more because they have the gall to treat the hero characters exactly as the heroes have treated them.

I prefer to read about, sympathize more with, and even admire more, characters who don't try to excuse their assholery with this kind of rationalization. I would much rather hear "yeah, I lied to him, and I'd do it again" than "I lied to him, but it's okay because he's bad."

A related complaint is this: I don't like it when heroes spit in the soup. If someone invites you over to dinner, you don't go into their home and then spit in the soup. You just don't. It doesn't matter if someone is a complete monster, in personal action as well as species. By accepting their hospitality, you've agreed to put that aside. (The same goes for offering them hospitality.) In particular, there is one scenario guaranteed to get me rooting against a hero faster than any other.

As happens, a hero and a villain are teaming up, to fight against a greater threat or just because the author thinks that would be cool or whatever. There's some downtime, while the truce is still in effect. The villain makes some idle, polite chitchat- the key here being that it's not a veiled threat or a deliberate attempt to needle the hero. It is, honestly, just making conversation. "I hear the Mets are gonna suck this year." And the hero gets all snippy and starts going "we're not friends, you suck, I am super super better than you."

That's when the little voice in my head starts rooting for someone to fuck the hero up, really really badly.

(And then there's the one where the hero gets all mad at some character who gives him a boner, just because she [heteronormative bias!] disturbed his equilibrium. But at this point, I should just do a post on how much I want to see Harry Dresden get the full Prometheus.)

Huh.

Nov. 25th, 2009 05:26 pm
jmatonak: (Default)
Apparently, Michael Moorcock is going to write a Doctor Who novel.

It won't cross over with the Eternal Champion stuff (I hope!), but I can't help thinking...

Is the Time War another manifestation of the Conjunction of the Million Spheres? Because it sure seems like it. The Doctor is a Time Lord hero responsible for the destruction of his people. Since Romana was supposedly retrieved from E-space and made some kind of Time Lord mucky muck, there's room to posit her as the Ermizhad figure....

(Michael Moorcock's Eternal Champion novels, which include Elric and almost everything else he's ever written at this point, rely on a cosmology that, frankly, I can't even sum up. If you're curious, try Wikipedia. Or Google. That's what I'd do.

There's always a tragic hero figure, there's almost always a woman who sparks a betrayal of someone/herself by the hero, and all the tragic heroes and the women are manifestations of the same "persons" playing out complicated, predestined schemes. Occasionally, the gender roles get swapped, so we get a tragic heroine and a hapless boy. Most of the time, the hero destroys the world. It started out as an attempt to write pulp fantasy as unlike Conan the Barbarian as possible, and it's better than I make it sound.)

I bet there's a Black Sword of Rassilon. :P If so, the Doctor should run away from it, fast and far.

SDCC

Jul. 27th, 2009 12:35 pm
jmatonak: (Default)
1. EPIC FAIL: I managed to set up meetings with precisely no one from my friendslist. Maybe next year. :(

2. Joss Whedon's excursions into sophomore philosophy are boring. "THE CORPORATIONS OWN YOU OMG!!!" But the rest of the Dollhouse panel was cool.

3. Navigating through the Exhibit Hall in a wheelchair is one of the lesser known circles of Hell.

4. I saw plenty of Phoenices and no Emma Frosts.

I mostly stuck to comics panels, which was a coincidence but made me happy.

It seems like I should have more to say about specific events, but I don't. It was fun, though.
jmatonak: (Default)
A cube hovers in front of a saucer:

"We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own."

"EX-TER-MIN-ATE!"

The answer? )
jmatonak: (Default)
Merry Christmas!

If you'd prefer a different expression of goodwill, such as "Happy Hanukkah" or "Joyous Yule", please consider the above to incorporate that. I say "Merry Christmas" because I'm into the whole Christmas thing. (For two days a year. It gets old fast, yo.) I don't assume you are.

If you're not into the whole Christmas thing, well, you have that in common with the Puritans and the "Framers" of the Constitution. All the people who assume "this is a Christian nation" and so forth usually get this one wrong wrong wrong. The Puritans hated Christmas because it was a party, and the Framers disdained it because it was English. (As with most sweeping statements of this kind, there are some nuances I am eliding. In my case, it's because I'm trying to be funny.) Christmas was first proclaimed a national holiday after the Civil War.

Don't ask me why veneration is sometimes offered to "the baby Jesus" as though the baby version is a different person than the adult version. I have never managed to puzzle that one out.

This is from The Onion. As usual, it's completely made up and yet surprisingly accurate.
jmatonak: (Default)
The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

Now imagine it's Johnny Cash:

The Man in Black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.

Now imagine it's Will Smith.

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