Argo was a very good movie, actually. I think it's shit that they felt the need to shit on the contribution of the Canadians (wtf Ben Affleck and Co.) and I'm sure it pissed off the Iranians, but I still enjoyed it.
I have a lot of luck with movies my mom picks that I'm either not aware of or not really into beforehand. "The Queen", "Argo", "Pride and Prejudice" (the TV series), "Out of Africa", "The King's Speech"... and so on.
I'm very annoyed. Well, sort of. On the one hand, I did read a lot of "Bleak House" today. On the other, I'm just behind where I should have STARTED for today.
I also don't have an English version of "Cradle of Stars" (Kiddy Grade) and cannot find one, even though I would really like one.
I still have to write a journal article, my workshop story and my hangman Computer Science project. I don't really know if it's worthwhile to re-do my homework 3, especially since I don't know what went wrong with it and the things he wanted us to run through them never got to my email for some reason.
But I have finished the Irish plays, read the school newspaper, gone over the two workshop stories I do have and read a lot of "Bleak House"... sort of. Plus, I've been running through ideas for the stor(ies) in my head.
I really want to and don't want to write this article. I have no idea how to write it.
On the other hand, I'm REALLY tempted to write something on gender roles at school.
In two classes now, several students have presented gender roles as if they're established fact, everywhere, which obviously isn't true and for some reason no one takes umbridge to this, other than friends and I outside of class. In one class, a girl took issue with the fact that the male protagonist was effeminate, in relation to the fact that the protagonist's sex is not identified until page two or three. Three classmates then proceeded to suggest ways to get around this: make him do stereotypically heterosexual masculine things. When I suggested "Just start with 'My name is Alvin, and I like the beach because blah' (which is basically how her story started, minus the name) and then move on", people laughed. I like making people laugh and I'm glad no one openly disapproved, but I mean COME ON! Yeah, I was a little confused about who or what was specifically talking (was it a kid, an adult, a man, a woman, a disembodied narrator?), but I didn't care all that much and I wasn't so desperate to identify who it was that I had to pick one sex over another. You get the guy's name out there, BAM, you know it's a guy (unless told otherwise, which we weren't) and you don't have to change the character. I don't see Alvin doing the ridiculous stereotyped things they suggested. I do not want her to change the character like that. I think he's fine as he is. The only person doing something wrong in relation to his being marginally "effeminate" is his accuser, the moron in our class who has this obsession with fitting men and women into specific little gender role boxes.
I find it amusing that "I'm" the conservative Jew and she's the reform Jew and yet "I'm" apparently the more liberal, at least when it comes to gender discussion.
Every time she does this she acts like it's a BIG. ASS. SHOCKER. Her reaction was like this: "OMG, he was just SO effeminate! Wasn't that WEIRD?"
Wow. The guy acts like he walked out of the Romantic Period and he's automatically homosexual to you, Miss I Walk And Breathe Stereotypes.
So he likes the beach. So he notices his surroundings. The only reason the narration before he gave his name didn't seem "masculine" was because it was lacking action, crassness and/or references to women as sexual objects. I mean, seriously? Seems like a person I'd want to be friends with over some of the guys I know who like spitting on the ground, punching walls and laughing when sexism is brought up in discussion.
Note, we never learn his sexuality. He shows what might POSSIBLY be a slightly attraction to the other character: Orelia. A slight something that's never really explained. But it's not really sexual or romantic and we don't really know what their relationship is going to be after the story ends. It never really turns into anything other than friendship, as far as we're aware. The author could have easily explained away Alvin's personality by using sexuality stereotypes. "Oh, he's just gay." "Oh, he's bi." "Oh, he's asexual". She could have.
But she didn't. I don't know whether it was purposeful or not, but she didn't.
And I am so tired of people sticking people into these boxes. I sat in the car with a friend while driving back from wherever it was that we went together and she was talking to me about her "gay friend in denial". I asked her why she thought he was gay and she told me about his clothing choices and the type of water bottles he drank from.
I asked her if she had any other evidence. Like did he comment on the attractiveness of men or did he have a boyfriend or was he not interested in women or something?
She repeated the clothing choices.
I tried to explain that clothing choices don't make you anything. Well, other than a member of the KKK or MAYBE Muslim, I suppose, but people can wear head scarves and not be Muslim.
She didn't believe me.
I RESPECT this friend. I LIKE this friend. I MISS this friend. But I think of this conversation and I just cringe.
Heck, I even liked Miss Moron until I realized that this was a thing with her.
I kind of liked the other guy who does this until I realized that... well, there are a number of issues with him. Besides the fact that he never shuts up.
My issue with gender roles comes from what I know and experience. Yes, people need to be aware of the way our society and different societies reinforce them. They deserve studying. The media's portrayal and reinforcement of them deserves studying.
But forcing them on others because that is the way you view the world is ridiculous. If a writer wants to write about a guy who's a nature lover and not a skirt chaser, then I say by all means.
You know who's bought feminine hygiene products and taken my sister to Victoria's Secret when she wanted nice underwear? My Dad.
You know who makes more money from their job? My Mom.
You know who likes Enya and New Age music? My Dad.
You know who likes the supernatural, horror and ghost hunter shows? My Mom.
My parents are both computer engineers. They both scuba dive. They both cook and bake and do it well.
And you know what? I liked barbies. I liked barbies for a long time. I liked Polly Pockets. I listened to Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and N'Sync (admittedly, only one CD), and thought that was good. When I was little, of course, and didn't know what good music was. I also watched and read "Sailor Moon" and thought it was amazing. Before I knew what good art and story was.
You know what I also liked from a young age? "Gladiator", 3rd Grade (eight years old). "The Last Samurai", 6th Grade (eleven years old). "The Mummy Returns" 5th Grade (ten years old). I liked "Ronin Warriors" from when it aired on Toonami when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. I watched the 1984 film version of "Dune" on laser disc many a time when I was in Elementary School and beyond (age seven and earlier). I watched the mini-series when it premiered on TV in 2nd grade. I ADORED it. It was the first soundtrack I fell in love with when I didn't even know what that really meant. It was the first series that made me love specific actors and voice actors before I knew what that meant. In 5th grade I waited with bated breath for and watched the premier of its sequel: "Children of Dune", in the hopes that it would be just as good. It was good, too. I grew up watching "Doctor Who" on laser disc. Dad started collecting the old series episodes on DVD LONG before Christopher Eccleston showed up in 2005 (7th grade, age 12) as the 9th Doctor. We were prepared for the new show beforehand. I was skeptical. He was anxious. We were surprised and pleased when we saw what it was.
My most-read manga genre is shounen. My favorite manga is "Rurouni Kenshin", hands down. I started reading the swords-manga in 4th or 5th grade when I realized that I wanted to get into mange because a) I like books and b) the anime looked cool on Adult Swim. I picked up volume 1 in the bookstore of the University of Maryland. I was immediately hooked.
Of the three serial manga I read, "Bleach" is my favorite, due to the preponderance of bishounen and the beautiful art. "xxxHolic" is probably my second-favorite manga, followed by "Fullmetal Alchemist", "Buso Renkin", "Fruits Basket", "Sailor Moon", "Ranma 1/2" and then "Flame of Recca".
I think pink is an okay color, but it's not my favorite. It's too bright for some of my moods. Cerulean blue is my favorite color. I always kept and never used the Cerulean crayon because I didn't want to run out and it was so pretty. I like country, rock, heavy metal, folk, new age, classical and electronic music, but I have far more soundtracks and Musical CDs than anything else. My favorite artists are composers, not singers and not bands: Joe Hisaishi, Hanz Zimmer, Yoko Kanno, Yuki Kajiura, and Vivaldi. Enya also possibly wins out, but that's a slight thing. She's like everyone else out there: after a time, it's all the same sound. Big Bang also fits into this category.
I like action-adventure books and webcomics. Currently, I'm watching the on-going series "Supernatural" (sorta), "Sherlock", "Doctor Who", "Young Justice" (fav), "Legend of Korra", and "Once Upon a Time" (eh). I'm reading two hard SF books and an assorted number of high fantasy books, as well as an autobiography from WW2, the fourth "Wizard of Oz" book, and a thesis about the Holocaust, Judaism, Christianity, social theory, politics, perception, religion and so many other things.
My desk bookshelf features "Howl's Moving Castle" (fav book), next to "Macbeth", three hard SF books, a Steven Brust (high fantasy) omnibus, some "Gargoyles" comics, an "Avatar: The Last Airbender" comic and an assorted group of manga. My Chris Hemsworth Thor bobble-head stands beside my Black Knight sans limbs bobble-head, a Pocahontas action figure and three Pokemon action figures.
I am good at cooking. I do not do it often. I do not necessarily enjoy it. When I have a choice, I weigh the pros and cons: "Is it worth having to prepare and clean up after, as well as wait for it to get done?" Typically it's not. I do not hate gardening, but neither do I like it. I do not dislike sewing, but neither do I like it, nor am I necessarily good at it. I like singing. I have, like many, a special relationship with God (not that I'm better than others, but that I approach religion in my own way). I like cats and dogs, but now prefer cats because they require less maintenance. I play computer games, and play WoW rather well. I write fantasy. I enjoy swimming and soccer. I'm okay wearing a dress or skirt but I prefer pants. Heels make me look better but non-heels are more comfortable and practical. I do not enjoy putting on make-up or fixing up my hair. I hate clothes shopping because it takes forever, women's clothes are too flimsy and pricey and nothing really nice fits me anyway.
When I was little I wanted to be a mixed version of Superman and Pocahontas from Disney's "Pocahontas", with Ariel's hair from "The Little Mermaid", AndrAI's body from "ReBoot" and Bell's fashion sense from "Beauty and the Beast". I wanted Morticia's personality from "The Addams Family" and Velma's sense of humor from "Scooby-Doo", as well as her intelligence. I also wanted Sailor Jupiter's fighting abilities. When the Ridley Scott "Spider-Man" film came out in 2002, I wanted to be Spider-Man and that was it. When the "Justice League" TV series aired in 2001, I wanted to be Wonder Woman.
People are not what gender stereotypes you label them with. People are complex and weird and surprising and interesting and amazing and disappointing, but you need to find that out for yourself. Don't fit people into boxes.