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Yes. At long last, that book is DONE. I can safely return it to the library tomorrow!

Assuming I get to the library in time, anyway, since it is Father's Day and Dad and I are at least going to lunch, and it's a Sunday, so the library runs on special hours and there's traffic that hates me and... yeah.

I want to get this out while I'm thinking about it. I went and saw "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" with my mom today. It was good. It was cute. A feel-good movie, to a certain extent. A movie with a number of names and faces I was familiar with. Before the movie, India was not on a list of countries I wanted to at least visit before I died. After the movie, and now, it is still not on that list.

BUT THAT'S NOT IMPORTANT.

What's important is that I realize that I take American traffic for granted. I really do. Of the many other countries I have seen traffic pictures and videos of, or heard stories of, the US seems to have the best and safest traffic/traveling scheme.

I should probably look at statistical evidence before I say that, because I could be ENTIRELY wrong. I'm just saying this from my personal experience as a driver, in US traffic (in multiple towns, cities, states, and on different types of roads), and from my knowledge of other countries and my experience in international traffic patterns, even in the few traffic patterns I've been in, including Israeli traffic and London traffic. No, I don't judge the world by a city and another country. I judge it by all that stuff I addressed up there that I don't want to retype just now.

One of the truly glaring things in this movie was Indian roadlife, of which I've seen a number of examples previously. Non-fictional examples, too. It's... kind of terrifying. Also, between my five Spanish teachers and the French teachers I've met, as well as friends I know who have traveled to France and other places, I've viewed a LOT of photographs and heard a LOT of terrifying stories about foreign traffic patterns.

For example... I have yet to drive in the US in a situation where people started driving on the sidewalk. Not official vehicles. I would honestly understand if, say, a police car got onto a sidewalk all action-movie style and started chasing somebody. I mean like TAXIS and NORMAL PEOPLE CARS. I don't frequently see people driving in the wrong lane. I don't NEVER see it. But I don't see it a lot. And typically people don't get very far with it, or, well... they're lost and often get into accidents because they don't have a clue about where they're going or what they're doing.

Anyway. I'm not trying to be rude to India, specifically. London traffic terrified me, too. There were quite a few occasions where I thought we were going to die (even though British taxi drivers are known as "the best drivers ever"; I believe that whole-heartedly, but it doesn't stop me from being terrified, seriously). My friends and teachers have greatly terrified me from ever going to France.

That last sentence makes no sense, and I don't care enough to fix it.

I really wish there was some magic way to mass-tab a Word document. Seriously. I probably have at least 400 more pages of this thing to fix up. I have no idea how many lines I have to tab. And I am REALLY getting tired of it?

"How about you just don't tab the whole thing?"

My OCD senses would tingle.

"Go back to reading it while tabbing it at the same time."

I read faster if I'm not reading around the damn autoformat stuff, and if I'm not messing with the format at the same time. If I try to format a document while reading it, it's like proofreading a draft while you're writing it. Doesn't work out well. In fact, it's pretty annoying.

OH THE ANGST.

Sorry, but um... this explanation in "Legend of the Legendary Heroes" is kind of... silly. Methinks real nobles/politicians wouldn't talk this way with each other.

"Why do you expect a series called "Legend of the Legendary Series" to be something you should take seriously?"

Like Prometheus, because of Reasons. With a capital R.

So now. Sexism in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. I've gone over this topic before. It's mostly because they're relying on (I believe) golden age characters and ideas. I can understand it. That doesn't mean I condone or forgive it.

There's been a recent rise in the visibility and use of female characters in superhero comics. Female characters who aren't simple damsels or bystanders or trophy heroines. Genuinely powerful characters. Heck, these women were powerful before, but because of certain ridiculous notions of femininity, they were held back and turned into damsels in tights. Did anyone else notice that Wonder Woman is on par with Superman in strength? Does ANYONE notice those many times we're told that Superman HOLDS BACK because, for example, if he SNEEZED WRONG he could blow a skyscraper over? Someone on par with him (admittedly minus his deux ex machina power assortment), and without his boy scout temperament (when he's in boy scout mode, which is NOT all the time) and plus a LOT of warrior anger. Plus, Wonder Woman was trained to be a warrior. Superman grew up in a farming town. Maybe he got into minor fights in high school, but he didn't train for a LONG-ASS time (considering how old Diana probably is) with actual warriors just as strong as he was. She also doesn't have a lame-ass compunction against fighting women.

So LLH is kind of lame. ANGST. ANGST. ANGSTANGSTANGST.

Black Canary is also a VERY strong fist-fighter. When a lot of the villains in DC's universe border on the truly ridiculous (although some are downright terrifying - do you realize how many people the Joker kills on average? I mean SERIOUSLY), a large percentage of which have never received real training in fighting, someone who can pack a punch and knows a CRAPLOAD of ways to take down another individual like Canary is REALLY scary. Oh, did I mention Hawkgirl/woman? I thought I might. Just cause. Don't need much else to mention about her. She's on par with Wonder Woman and Superman in the strength department, and on par with Wonder Woman in the ferocity department. Catwoman's on part with Black Canary in the agility department. Huntress and Green Arrow could probably have archery competitions, while she's a pretty decent fist-fighter and detective.

And then we have Supergirl/woman. While she's, sadly, a part of the rather expansive Super-family (which include like thirty Superboys, a dog, evil clones, parallel universe copies... you get the picture), that still means that she is PRETTY strong. She's... well, she's a female Superman. Depending on the story, she's as strong, slightly weaker, or stronger than Superman. Superman's terrifying. Superwoman should be just as terrifying. Especially since she's no boy scout.

I'm now REALLY taking an issue with the "boy scout" concept. Superman can be very corny, depending on who's using him and how in what storyline... but he's not always cheesy. He can be EXTREMELY terrifying. He has lost his temper. He has lost control. Heck, he doesn't even NEED to lose control. Most shows involve him tearing cities apart. Cities that are MAGICALLY empty of people. Buildings that are MAGICALLY empty of people. Seriously, if things were at all realistic (ignoring the whole "Superman" factor), the body count the guy would have racked up by now, despite his "we don't kill" motto... would make nukes look like pin the tail on the donkey in comparison. Also, Superman doesn't happen to be the brightest bulb in the box in most of his incarnations. It's relatively rare to find the smart Superman. Apparently, giving him brains is one too many skills to give Big Boy Blue. Do you know WHY it is a GOOD idea to make soldiers intelligent? Putting great power in the hands of a moron is one of the DUMBEST ideas in the world.

A lack of ambition is different from a lack of intelligence. Sometimes, the intelligent person is the one without ambition. It isn't only the ambitious who are intelligent.

The good thing is that Superman lacks ambition, which would lead to a misuse of his power. The bad thing is that he lacks a great deal of intelligence a large portion of the time ("oh no, kryptonite!", "how could I not have seen that you were my enemy?"). Power without guidance is just waiting for something bad to happen. Something REALLY bad. Can ANYONE say "The Hulk"?

Where was I?

Oh right, DC heroines.

Vixen can take on the abilities of any animal in Africa. Presumably. That's anything from an ability to fly, to strength, to being able to bend bones back together, to speed, to body armor... there's a LOT of abilities she can draw from. Depending on the writer, Vixen has some Superman deux ex machina capability of her own. An intelligent writer could come up with any number of powers for her to take on. She might not rival the man of steel in strength, but she tries, and intelligence and creativity on her part in using her abilities (much like certain people called BATMAN) would make her rather formidable as an opponent.

Fire. DC's human torch. Ice. DC's female Iceman. Do you know what effect fire can have on things like metal, plastic, and organic material (e.g., human skin)? Three things that make up a significant portion of what humans call existence? She's KIND OF really scary when it comes down to it. Also, people can lose limbs due to frostbite. Pneumonia can kill. Falling into freezing water is most likely a death sentence. Why are a lot of villains fire or frost based? Let's think for a minute... CAUSE THOSE ARE REALLY STRONG ELEMENTS THAT CAN DO A CRAPLOAD OF DAMAGE IN THE RIGHT/WRONG HANDS!

There's also Zatanna... someone who can seemingly do anything as long as she can make up an accompanying incantation and say it backwards. Raven's another incantation character, with a lot of magical power to back her up. Almost up there with the Scarlet Witch, if she REALLY wanted. Then there's Starfire - a lot of energy and a lot of physical strength.

We're not touching the Scarlet Witch. Marvel's hero who can WARP REALITY. Marvel has a bigger history with powerful women (albeit with the same misogynistic problems). Look at Jean Grey, Storm, Rogue (who can actually kill people by touching them if she isn't careful), Kitty Pryde (if you think she's kinda lame... did I mention that whole intelligence bit and using it properly to get the job done?)... yeah. How you use power is just as important as how much power you have. At least, that's the general  message in a lot of these comics. Heck, Batman doesn't even have any power other than his personality, and he's still one of the more badass characters in comic book history.

Lots and lots of heroines... and they get extremely little light in this series. And when they do... they can be pretty lame.

Casshern Sin's concept confuses me. I'm assuming it's some sort of metaphor for pre-apocalyptic scenarios. Or post-apocalyptic scenarios. I'm confused as to which. On the one hand, it creates a world similar to that described by a large number of authors, with people desperately grabbing onto whatever piece of reality they can... or one where people rise up from the ruination of the world... it's a pretty standard set-up. This just seems to be more artsy, with a mixed fantasy and sci-fi group of twists.

I've been getting angry with Elves. Not the little, cute kind. The "I'm so pretty I make angels weep" kind. I kind of don't understand their purpose. Why do I want Elves in my stories? Because right now, they're mainly the "I'm so pretty I make angels weep" kind... and that's not something I care for. It's stupid and pointless.

I guess if they were keepers of the forests... if they protected the earth, then that would make sense, and make them special and valued as members of the world.

Hmm... this deserves more thought.

Bored. Stuff to do.

Ta.

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January 2013

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