Jun. 19th, 2012

starfire11: (Default)
It literally has NOTHING to do with what I'm thinking of, but since the fic I"m reading is titled "Embers"... it just popped in there. I guess I can blame all the music that I've been going through over the past few days. Because I haven't watched any Danny Phantom, seen art, read any information, or even seen commercials for the show. I haven't spoken about the show with anyone, either.

I have no idea. Life is weird.

I'm really liking the new Avatar episode. Tenzin gets some badass moments! But seriously, I'm not going to be REALLY happy until we see Zuko. I honestly don't even really care if we find out what happened to his mom. That's one last mystery I REALLY want to know the answer to (at least over how they increased the population of Sky Bison, anyway), but... I just want to SEE what Zuko's like.

Anyway... not been doing much. A friend's coming over tomorrow. It'll be nice to just... talk to a friend again. Being around my step-parents has been getting to me too much.

I have, at long last, read a significant portion of Embers! When I say significant, I mean "almost 22 chapters". 22/66. So... I've read exactly a third of the story (thus far)! Yes, I needed it to be drawn out for me. Cause I'm kewl like that.

So... so I really, really like this story. It's a really awesome story. Canon destruction and all. I love it. I've had a number of issues with the official canon storyline. I most likely would not have made the same choices if I was given an order to write something like what this writer is doing, but that's most likely due to a number of factors, namely: 1) I haven't spent even a fraction of the amount of time on research for even my most important story as this author has for this, 2) I cannot write like she does... I just can't. It's not perfect, but it's certainly beautiful. 3) I can't write this complexly. 4) I can't PLAN this complexly. 5) The plot ideas she's using... I don't think I would have ever thought of them. 6) The length and breadth to which this author knows the Avatar universe is simply stunning to me. I know I love the series, but honestly? I gave up on the series after the start of book 2, and didn't start rewatching it until halfway through book 3. I know barely any of the universe's lore. I know next to none of the backstories outside of what is revealed in the show itself. All the research I've done on DC, Marvel, and a large number of the book series, manga, and anime is not something I ever did for Avatar. What I feel for the series is barely a fraction of this author's clear love and devotion. I'm not saying she's a fanatic or a rabid fan or what-have-you. I'm saying that I do not possess anywhere near the same depth of feeling (or knowledge or understanding of the series) that she has to make something like this. 7) The way she describes the characters' personalities and uses their reactions to situations... it's utterly amazing. I know the surface of these characters. I have never known ANYTHING like the depth of knowledge she has on all of these characters. And her character creation is phenomenal.

This story is like fireworks and chocolate and whip cream with a lot of cherries on top served with a root beer while sitting on the most comfortable chair ever. There's pop and pizazz and beauty and you're comfy with it all.

No, it's not perfect. But damn, it tries. And darn it all if I would have MUCH rather watched something like this get animated than the canon Avatar storyline.

Been reading some of the comics Dad's been getting. The comics I really wish he'd stop getting. Budgets and all that. Anyway, the new Star Trek comics are interesting. For starters, there's at least a bit of this "well, why are you going against regulation so badly like, I don't know, being completely stupid when it comes to command decisions like SENDING YOUR ENTIRE COMMAND STAFF INTO ENEMY TERRITORY ON A SCOUT MISSION"... they honestly can't do much with that, but they're being inventive. Also, the whole female miniskirt uniform thing has always been grating. Even with the "parallel universe", arms race concept and how screwed up the time line is and how things have changed, I know that if they had gotten rid of that uniform, they would have lost a significant portion of their fanbase due to innacuracies in comparison to the source material. Even the people who dislike them as much as I do.

Well... I wouldn't have minded SO much. I would've groused, though. I honestly believe that even I would have groused.

Even if those stupid things make no sense anywhere near a military installation, let alone a space-faring vessel meant for professional use.

Before I even try to get into the details, think about it for a second: imagine trying to bend over. Then imagine trying to sit down, stand up, or climb a ladder.

"But they have turbolifts and teleporters and probably robots, and why would a space-faring society need ladders, anyway, when they can just float to stuff while they're in space..." Yes. Yes. But let me type this: while I have not seen a large portion of the original Star Trek series, I have seen every other series and all of the movies, discounting the cartoon series (which... kind of doesn't count in my opinion, since it's still based on the original series, while the other series featured different ships and crews). They spend a LOT of time in Jefferies tubes (however you spell it). Those things exist in case of power failures or ship takeovers or WHATEVER emergency scenario is required. There are a LOT of moments were a crew member has to crawl down into the guts of the ship and behind panels in tiny little tunnels to do repair work or run a test. Time in those tubes takes up a LOT of time in these series. They've been used for training, diagnostics, to hide bombs, assassins, enemy soldiers, friendly crewmembers, rebels, etc., etc. The turbolifts also get shut down. A lot. Because these ships keep getting attacked... 94% of the series. And taken over by enemy lifeforms... what... 62% of the series? Probably?

So they do have ladders. They do have crawlspaces. They do have a need for some crewmembers to bend over. And besides the fact that it is ridiculous to assume that they would restrict as large a chunk of their forces as Engineering to solely men (ignoring half your possible population pool of candidates), there are a LARGE number of women shown to be members of that chunk. Heck, the engineering chief in Voyager is female.

Also, a mini-skirt is a completely ridiculous idea in ANY professional situation, let alone one in a scientific or military situation. And love, peace, and exploration aside, the people who serve as the main crewmembers on Federation starships are members of the MILITARY. That's why they know how to use and typically carry weapons, among other things.

Why are mini-skirts completely ridiculous ideas anywhere? The purpose of clothing was (I'm assuming, from what I know), for warmth and protection. After that, it was for showing off to your fellows. But principally, it was for protection (from the elements, from animals, from other humans). It was also designed for ease of movement. Why were knights outdated after a relatively short period of time? Well, besides the fact that a full body suit of armor costs a CRAPLOAD of money that most people at the time would rather be spending on, say, FOOD, walking around in that much metal is NOT EASY. It does not provide ease of movement. Being able to do so makes you REALLY strong. But it also makes it VERY DIFFICULT to fight properly. So wearing a nice big metal breastplate might be good for protection, but if you get in a situation where you have to run really fast to escape enemies... dropping it is probably the better idea.

Mini-skirts provide neither protection nor ease of movement. They do not provide warmth. They do not protect your legs. They don't protect your crotch or your stomach. They are typically made of rather thin material to provide increased ease of movement. Well... probably just to increase the amount of butt, thigh, and crotch members of the sex you're interested in can see. Bending over in a miniskirt is not simply embarrassing (although, if you're wearing one in the first place, unless you were coerced, embarrassment probably isn't on your mind), but is downright painful, considering some of the materials mini-skirts are made of. They can be made of leather at times, and bending over in a leather dress... is REALLY unpleasant. Bending over in a mildly thick dress or skirt is a pain.

Before I go on, I will say this: I'm not into victim blaming. If the miniskirt uniform is just an option that these women choose to take as a personal preference, that's fine with me. Women can do whatever the hell we want and dress however we want (even if I don't personally support miniskirts, in or out of Star Trek). But the miniskirt uniform is the only uniform I can recall from the original Star Trek series. Maybe I'm wrong. But in a situation where you could be called to crawl through a tube or down a ladder or crouch down to work on something on the floor... those uniforms are sexual harassment. They turn the women not into fellow professionals and fellow crewmembers, but walking shows for the men (or other women) to enjoy at their leisure. Personal preference on this scale cannot exist when these uniforms make NO sense whatsoever for any job a female crewmember might have. "But what if they're just working the con, like Uhura", or working the helm?

Here's the thing: every member in the military typically has required firearm training. Every member on a ship has basic emergency training. Everyone has to do the tough stuff. Everyone has to know their way around. Someone who works the con PROBABLY doesn't know much about the engine room or some of the ways to keep the ship clean or dealing with storage rooms, how the food processing systems work, how the plumbing works, and so on, but they are certainly expected to be able to crawl through the emergency access zones in case of an emergency. They probably know the basics to piloting escape craft. They probably know the basics to repairing some of the machinery, in case of an emergency. Just like most individuals should know basic first-aid. They wouldn't be able to perform complicated surgery, but basic first-aid? That's just... automatic. So yes, their job doesn't require it, but in a situation where you're in a BUBBLE in SPACE, with a constant risk of being attacked... am I communicating how stupid wearing something like a mini-skirt is in this situation?

Also, the use of robots. While a great deal of machines are used to work on ships and manufacture stuff in the Star Trek universe, a relatively small number of actual robots is seen in use. Personally, I can't recall ANY use of them, although I can readily believe that there was at least some. Data is the first android I can recall seeing in the series, and he didn't come out until Next Generation. Ignoring that, the same situation for which there is such a large use of Jefferies tubes is the same situation for why bending over is so important on a starship. Crewmembers repairing things and running diagnostics takes a large portion of screentime in every series. Crewmembers are doing all these tests, not robots, not androids, not holograms... people. So any woman in engineering could, greatly within reason, be expected to take part in these sorts of repairs and diagnostics. Crawling along a tube or climbing a ladder or bending over is expected. Using an outfit that would impede their work in such a manner is a ridiculous concept.

At the end of it all, why did female crewmembers wear miniskirt uniforms? Because scantily-clad, sexy women should be in constant proximity in a nerd fantasy created in the sixties. Dur. Sexy, scantily clad women have always been around heroes in adventure stories, going back to the oldest fantasy stories. Look at things like "The Odyssey", where beautiful women were frequent, and kept throwing themselves at the male protagonist.

My point! There was a point to this! They didn't change it for the movie. Nor did they change it for the comic.

Or so I thought, anyway. They've shown at least two or three female crewmembers wearing a version of the male uniform.

I don't think I've ever seen it before. I can't recall it being used in the recent movie.

If introducing this uniform concept is a new idea, I can imagine a number of scenarios through which they could explore this avenue. 1) We already know that the Federation, as it is, has been pushed into an arms race that accelerated their technological advancement beyond that of the original Star Trek series. If this concept were continued, it would make sense that they would phase out the miniskirt concept. If a reason for the concept every fully existed. 2) The increased use of female writers, artists, and/or more liberal-minded male writers, artists, and so on, would probably lead to the increased use of these inserts. As time went on, fan placation would be satisfied, and this model could be used for everyone.

Whatever the reason, I appreciate the change. I like where it's headed.

I think. I think a little tiny bit of my brain just IMPLODED. OH MY GOD OMIGAWDOMIGAWD. IS THAT ZUKO'S SON???? IS THAT HIS SON???? OMGAWD... DUDE, ZUKO GOT HOTTER WHEN HE GOT OLDER! DUUUUUUDE!!! (Nope, it is apparently his grandson... although that could be fans... WHATEVER... WHAT...WHAT...WHAT...OMYGAWD).

Things happened. So.


Hang Out

Jun. 19th, 2012 11:26 pm
starfire11: (Default)
I feel like after all these years of making up titles, I should be a lot better at making them up. Like, seriously. If there's anything I've practiced, it's making up titles. I should be a CRAPLOAD better at this by now.

I spent the majority of the day hanging out with my friend.

I also found out yesterday that, eerily enough, the first really good friend I made in this state had the same name as my closest friend now. The first moved away before 3rd grade. I didn't meet the current one until high school. And we didn't become close until college. Weeeeird.

No, they aren't the same person. They don't have the same last name. Also, the newer one was born and lived in a different state and moved here later. She never left and moved back.

Woot! Less than nine episodes of Casshern Sins left. This series is REEEEALLY boring. And tries to be deeper than it actually accomplishes. Is Katanagatari going to be the ONLY artsy anime I actually like?

Picked up lots more reeeeally long books today. I forgot that I checked out Lost Stories. Ughhh... And it's as long as the actual novels in the series. It might even be a novel. I've been too busy to check.

We went swimming after I drove us back over to my place. It was... awkward. After a lap or two, we just sat and talked for a bit until we got bored and went back to my place to change into dry stuff. Then we watched Thor and browsed Tumblr. Even though I'm not watching nor planning to watch Merlin, I ended up following like five Merlin-centered tumblogs. Ah well. After Mom came home we drove to a Sweet Berry, got some ice cream, and went to her place. We watched the end of one of the Law and Orders with her mom and her sister... who has some really bad addiction problems, apparently. Her behavior reminded me a lot of my sister's, though. She burped in my friend's face, invaded her space, playfully (and painfully) insulted the things she liked... Well, my sister has done those things frequently when my friends are around. Maybe it's a sibling thing.

No real epiphanies today. I think. There might have been something... I forget, though.

Oh right. Victim blaming.

I'm not saying I forgive it. But I am saying that it isn't new. People, especially men, have been victim blaming for centuries.  Recall lines like "women don't have the heads for fighting", "women's heads revolve around nothing more important than marriage and housekeeping". So they can't get "difficult" concepts through their weak little heads.

Curious. In a world where women are instructed in ways to keep house, and are prepared for marriage. Where they barred from any profession other than those related to raising children or keeping house or marriage-fortune-seeking. Where a women could lose all status, be disowned by her family, ignored by society, be forced to leave everything they know well behind to earn enough money to survive on because no one will even speak to them... Where a woman's only power was in her ability to make her home or body appealing to others. Women are blamed for being overly focused on these subjects.

Women could not even teach, professionally, for the longest time. Oh, maybe a few basic religious precepts and personal hygiene tips, as well as housekeeping tips for their daughters. But nothing else. Men taught children after a certain age. Boys were either apprenticed to their fathers, someone else in the village or town, or sent to a school where male scholars taught. Female scholars were not taken seriously for quite some time. People would ignore them. Make fun of them. Women were "seen and not heard". For years, a woman's value was in her appearance, not her mind. In fact, the more amenable she was to her husband's mind, the more value she held. So women couldn't even truly try to change the way things were for future generations, except through small bits of progress over the passage of time.

So. People insult others for focusing on this issue, as if isn't a problem.

It is a problem. It's been a problem for a large portion of our history. It's been a part of official, professional practice. It still is. It needs to stop.

Just a thought.



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