salinea: Storm facepalming (oy)
I think there's special hell for people who hand code their posts (usually fics) in fancy fonts rather than the viewer's default.
salinea: Emma Frost, sitting comfortably (chill)

Like with other issues of sexism in comics, the problematic narratives revolving around female characters becoming dangerous and insane / evil (the insane=evil thing in itself would be very much worth the examination and could be easily seen as worse than gender issues, but I’m not sure I’m up to it) as a result of their power was something I’d heard of before I started reading comics; mostly revolving around Jean Grey, and a little bit around the Scarlet Witch with Disassembled and Decimation. Now that I’ve just read the X-Men storyline Inferno, I found it interesting to see how many characters are present in it which plays in various ways along those lines, and how really fucking bad it looks.

Now most of the characters in Inferno have more to do with a theme of corruption by evil than by insanity (though again, the two are too often seen as nearly equivalent), but power, though in not an obvious way, definitely plays a role in each one of those.

Those characters are Madelyne / Goblin Queen, Illyana / Magik, Lorna / Polaris & Warren / Angel. Two of those, Madelyne & Illyana, are placed right in the center of the story; whereas Polaris and Warren are more peripheral but still make an interesting counterpoint.

Read more... )
salinea: (Default)
Oh for fuck's sake, how the do you find a fucking icon with some fucking text on it nowadays? Has that gone entirely out of style? I'm just trying to hunt some icons for Darker than Black and Pandora Hearts, perhaps Durarara, and I'm getting sick of all the fucking faces with cute fucking expressions. I want some conceptual icons.

Vampires

12 Oct 2009 03:32 am
salinea: (smug)
When I was 10 years old, I watched Coppola's Dracula, which convinced me of two things: #1 Winona Ryder was fucking hot; #2 antagonistic love stories with reincarnation and a bit of eros/thanatos aesthetics were really fun. Like, really, really fun.

When I was 12 year old, I watched Interview with the Vampire, which convinced me of two things: #1 Brad Pitt was fucking hot; #2 vampires were okay. I mean, immortal life and powers to do whatever you want? Sounds neat.

So it was the early 90's, and I was primed to love vampire stories.

Fast forward to the night of Halloween 1998; after a couple of false starts I have managed what have been one of my goal for the last two years : find a role-playing game club which I could join and play with. The game? Vampire:the Masquerade. They explain the premise of the game, and the setting of the chronicles (Los Angeles, and one of player is The Prince of the setting) and help me make a character (a Toreador street artist - you can laugh, they did - neonate) in between a whole lot leering and sexist jokes. Upon a few minutes into the game we were stuck into a gunfight and I was realising that #1 all other characters were rather powerful, I was not #2 This was apparently a game about amoral superheroes in trenchcoat fighting with katanas and shotguns who happened to live by night even though they had explained it to me as a gothic punk game of personal horror. During the next couple of years which I spend a this rpg club, playing a wide selection of games, Vampires was without question the most popular and frequent game - whether I wanted it or not. I made a ridiculous amount of characters for it (my default archetype became the Gangrels with anarch leanings, mostly cuz of the claws ♥); and soon came to utterly loathe Vampire the Masquerade. It wasn't just the whole superheroes by night thing. I had loved Highlanders the TV shows when I was 14, I could deal with katanas, and a few years later I would love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, including the vampires. VtM was a game which concept appeared to be about a bunch of immortal people who are so fucking bored than instead of enjoying their powers and immortality to enjoy stuff from the world, they would waste their time and energy in endless meaningless and frequently mind-numbingly boring power struggles, with a result of crushing hierarchy being out to bore to death or outright your average new vampire and their player. About as fun as dealing with my university administration. And sadly, my loathing for VtM soon became a disgust for vampires in general

But wait a minuted, in between 94 and 98, I spent the years of life where I was reading the most fucking ratio of books a weak, a period of my life where I was pilfering the SFF shelves of the local public library to fill my absence of social life. There were no few vampire book in those shelves. Between Ann Rice, Poppy Z Brite, King's Salem's Lot and classics like Carmilla. Honestly I forgot most of them. Actually that's my point : the majority of them were utterly forgettable. Derivative variation on the theme. Sure, the conceit of vampires appeal from a baseline aspect to my kinks and are a powerful fantasy. But could they be interesting in the face of the near parodic triteness of the thread bone cliché that they most often were? Not really. Vampires qua vampires do not do it for me. Oh, but give me vampires with a twist? Give me vampires reinvented with imagination and flair? Then I'll love it.

My favourite vampire novels : Tim Powers' Stress of her Regard, where vampires are half stone half reptile creatures which inspire poets and artists while feeding of their vitality. CS Friedman's Season of Madness, which mixes vampire with aliens invasion of earth and symbiotic energy vampires on a medition on change and memory. CS Friedman's, again, Coldfire Trilogy, in a gothic fantasy SF blender exploring sacrifices and a vampire that prefer to feed on fear. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust with a visual feast mixing gothic to cyberpunk and western aesthetics.

Yet most of the time when I read about the new cool vampiric story in town (or the new uncool one which everyone loves to hate) screaming for my attention they always seem to fall back to the same old boring tropes. Bo~ring. So most of the time when I'm sold something as vampires, I won't even give it two seconds of my attention. I already gave Charlaine Harris a chance, must I really try the TV Show? Even if everyone tells me it's better than the books, exactly what does it have of new and original to bring to the vampire show? And why does Bill always look so constipaded on pictures?

Okay, but sometimes, you get lucky. Like Setona Mizushiro's Black Rose Alice, in which she appears to be trying to out Yuki Kaori Yuki Kaori, and in the two volumes of her manga I've read so far, actually comes close. Vampires as parasitic plants that seed into people. Dual personalities in a same bodies. Feeding by using insects and arachnids. Sex as death. Brilliant. Why is it so fucking hard to get that sort of stuff?

I leave with you with a fun AMV :p
salinea: (Default)
So, I've been wondering for a few weeks now, how much I hate Bakker's answer to this interview (led by Pat of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist, Larry of Blog of the Fallen and Adam of the Wertzone; three SFF review blogs I follow). And each time I go back to it, I see, that, yes, it is that bad, and even worse.


- Are you baffled by the fact that, though you have pleaded your case several times, some readers continue to interpret your writing style as misogynic?

‘Disappointed’ would probably be a better word than ‘baffled.’ It’s human nature to mistake depiction for endorsement, I think. And I actually think the criticisms of more sophisticated readers, that negative depictions reinforce negative stereotypes, have a valid point to make–one that I would take quite seriously were I writing after-school specials. You know, stories about an Elfen child having difficulty growing up in a Dwarven home.

On the one hand I understand that many readers require overt ideological fidelity to enjoy books–why else would there be religious bookstores? People find agreement agreeable–full stop. On the other hand censoriousness is simply a fact of human nature, no matter where a person falls on the political spectrum. Since we all implicitly understand the power of representations, we often fear them as well. And of course, we all naturalize our values. So you have well-meaning fools like those behind the hate-speech legislation here in Canada, who have no real sense of just how prosperity-dependent democracy is, and so design legal tools to illegalize the public expression of bigotry, all under the daft assumption that those tools will always be used the ways they want them to be used.


I mean the question isn't asked in the most intelligent way in the first place, of course, but there's just no excuse for Bakker's patronizing superiority in his answer. It's simply disgusting to see him dismiss any critical reading of his text along sexism as well-meaning idiocy, that even what he calls the "most sophisticated" readers get called daft and dismissed as wanting afterschool special. It's insulting to all his readers.

And, you know, I love those books. I read them twice, now, and I find them fascinating and intriguing, very well plotted and with some deep explorations of power dynamics in relationships, the impact of philosophies on societies, and some great characterisation.

I love those books, but when I read this answer I wonder if I want to buy the next one. Sometimes writers should really learn to STFU if they don't know how to stay classy. :(

See previous entries on the sexism in Prince of Nothing here; and my overall review of the series here.
salinea: (Default)
I love my flist for it already said everything I might want to say about the first solid news we get on the cast of the Avatar live action movie : here, and here, and here, and god why here.

Is there some kind of rule that says liveaction fantasy must be pasty white regardless of the BLATANT pointers in the text/animated canon about the fact that characters are in fact of colour? It feels like the Earthsea adaptations all over again :(

And yeah, people's eagerness to downplay, justify or rationnalise away this shit is making me want to scream.

Bite me

29 May 2008 07:59 pm
salinea: (Default)
Back from the dentist. Teeth fucking hurts. Hurts. Hurts. But not as much as reading about the imbrioglio from Wiscon. (Read about it here, here, and here). The last part thankfully, brings in the good, thinky and fuckyoustillnotashamedsucker part. Yay.

However so not the day for a friend (?) to make pithy comments about my teeth or bad breath which are going to repell men, you know? Not funny in the first place, definitly not funny when I hurt, still not funny when I tell you I don't think it's funny and you keep doing it. Thanks for reminding me how much being a woman, my whole life is supposed to revolve around how attractive I am (or not).

Teeth still fucking hurts.
salinea: (Default)
I think I'm in a wanky mood.

Got anything I could wank at? (wait, that sounds dirtier than I meant). Maybe I should actually start following one of these something_rant communities I look down on so much.
salinea: (Default)
I be wisdom toothless. My mouth's all numb.

It went relatively well, apart from the part where dentist was always saying "Don't panick!" "Don't panick!" when I was like "I'm not panicking, I was just informing you that I am in pain right now. In a non panicky way."

So, is it just me or are we giving this whole ridiculous Open Source Boob project more attention than it deserves? I mean, the whole part where there's essays kindly (or more acurately righteously angrily) detailing why it is so wrong instead of just mocking the WTF-ness of it... wobble worthy. Like, it actually requires explanation?

AFAIC if people want to indulge in free boobs (or other part) groping party, more power to them! But a public arena like a convention of SFF/anime/whataveyou is not the place for it. Well, not unless it was the Boobicon, or something.
salinea: (Default)
There's a whole discussion that happened last week on Ran's Board which my friends from there most probably know all about, but about which I'd be curious to have some other opinions. (BTW, I use the nickname "Stranger" in those forums).

It all started with a post about Kushner's novel Priviledge of the Sword started by Pat, who beyond his activity on that forum also manages a Fantasy blog, which I think has a pretty good reputation.

Anyway, one of the thing that caught my eye was that Pat, among other things, called Priviledge of the Sword "chick lit through and through". Other people gave good or bad opinions about that novel or Kushner's novels generally speaking. Ran, notably, denied that it was Chick Lit, whereas Calibandar called it "the girliest books I've laid my hands on in recent years".

Discussions about the "male-ness" or the "girly-ness" of specific books is something I have seen often, and which I may have sometimes made use of myself, even though I don't like it, to refer to some hard-to-define aesthetics. So I started a thread about that subject, using Pat's thread as an example, in which I asked a lot of questions to people : Chick Lit, What is it? Why isn't there any Boy's Lit?

I had two agendas with this thread : pointing out the sexism in calling some books Chick Lit in order to dismiss their quality, and questionning which specific images and idiosyncracies were associated with which gender and why. The thread saw much more discussions about the first point, both in agreement and disagreement, although some people did good effort to answer my second point as well. The discussion grew in some points somewhat heated and even wanky, but wasn't uninteresting.

A certain amount of people did agree that "Chick Lit" described a specific genre of book about female protagonists in urban, modern setting with an irreverant tone and some sexual situations, that such a genre had nothing to do with Kushner's writing. Some people also agreed that Chick Lit wasn't a good name for such a genre because it described what kind of market the genre is aimed at instead of the content of the books; and because it can cause confusion about other books, like Kushner's. Although lots of people still disagreed about that, so I'd hardly call it a consensus.

Last part of this little debate, Pat's eventually posted his final review of Priviledge of the Sword at his blog yesterday. Unsurprizingly, he was still mostly negative about it, but also persisted in calling it "Fantasy chick lit" and "one of the 'girliest' novels [he's] ever read", moreover he extrapolated this description by saying :

"There's a very "girly" approach to the narrative. It focuses on undying/forbidden love, corny romance, flowers, jewelry, gowns, fabrics, and an inordinate amount of emo moments. For crying out loud, the characters shed more tears in this book than bridesmaids at a wedding! There is only so much crying one can take, after all. In addition, the emo male characters are not authentic."

You'd think he was talking about about badfanfics ^^ I'm not entirely surprised by this reading because earlier at Ran's Board, I'd seen ErrantBard, who appeared quite sane otherwise, say about Swordspoint :

what I would say classify it as "chick-lit" in my mind is, from memory:
  • Flowers and effeminate looking men with open shirts on the cover, first
  • Prominence of homosexuality in the relationships
  • Pure love
  • Invincible yet sensible, fragile, honourable hero.
  • Insufferable whiny useless support characters you're supposed to pity rather than wish dead, for some reason
  • A plot revolving around the feelings some people have for each other.


  • A number of which terms had me raise my eyebrow in regard of Swordspoint. But hey! People read books are see different things in it. It happens.

    It makes sense that a certain lack of sensitivity about specific genres that one doesn't like mean that one blurs the distinction between those genres. Thus romance, mannerpunk, and Chich Lit elements are all confused and equally dismissed as if they were equivalent although to anyone looking into those seriously it's obvious they're very far from being the same. The fact that all these different elements are, for some reason, associated with female taste and female writing is of course what makes such confusion problematic and sexist.

    The thing that really makes me angry there is that several people as well as Pat have defended their use of the term by saying "what is so bad about works written by women that cater to what women want to read?" even though they're very obviously using the word "Chick Lit" or "girly" to dismiss and criticize a specific type of writing : "corny romance", "inordinate amount of emo moments", "the emo male characters are not authentic."
    That's not the description of a genre of writing that one doesn't like but that's still considered as legit. That's a description of bad writing, through and through. A bad writing that is typified as female.

    Now, while I'm still infuriated about the structural sexism of such use of terms, I'm also still curious about which elements are associated with specific genders and why.
    salinea: (Default)
    Someone on a board I frequent has linked to this : http://www.lightamillioncandles.com/

    Given that I've got those post-traumatic Warriors For Innocence flashbacks I can't help wincing everytime someone reports signing the petition. Do you think this organization has any kind of legit credential beyond pretty graphics? It's an online petition so anyway I doubt it's going to be much effective, but I'd feel bad if it managed to collect many signatures and then use it for a kind of extreme right platform like WfI apparently do.
    salinea: (Default)
    Am I the only one to find the whole [livejournal.com profile] burr87 sub-set of the whole Boldthrough kerfuffle deeply hilarious? I mean, for one, [livejournal.com profile] efw itself is obviously a nasty-funny, Fandom_Wank-like community that's rather hilarious and the mocking - while insensitive, misrepresenting & unprofessionnal - isn't extremely off the mark. And srlsly I seem to remember than during Part 1 of this LJ wank Fandom was the one insisting that [livejournal.com profile] burr87 came back to be a spokesperson. Maybe that's why he hates us. Maybe he really didn't like this job. XDDD


    For something completely different, there's a fascinating post from [livejournal.com profile] metafandom full of graphs about how LiveJournal is shrinking.


    Oh, lastly, I made myself a JournalFen account and I should transfer my fanfics overthere. It's not perfect in terms of managements but I think that right now it's the one Journal I can actually trust a little bit not to go witchhunting happy.

    Ultimately, I might keep on this journal for personnal life purpose but I'll probably put all fandom content somewhere else.

    ETA : [livejournal.com profile] alighiera has just posted about the LJ Boldthrough story being on big German newspaper Der Spielgel. Woaw O_O;;
    salinea: (Default)
    Nobody likes being called a racist. That holds true as well when you're being explained very nicely and politely that something you said could, in certain circumstances, be interpretated as racist. It's an upsetting accusation. It's one of the thing we typically think of as EVIL, right along the Godwin point and rape.

    Trouble is, more often than not, the accusation is true.

    The thing is, we're all, in some way, racist. we're all liable to one day say something with racist conotations. That means me, you, my family, my friends, my coworkers. That's no because me, you, my family, my friends, my coworkers actively think that Black people (or whatever other "races" would be targetted) are not human being, should be oppressed, exterminated or whatever exemples of active and violent racist. That's simply because our culture is dripping with implicite racism (and also with sexism and homophobia, etc.). We breath it and we often don't realize it, at least not until we fall victim to it.

    So being called up for it when we didn't realize in the first place we said anything wrong, when we really believe ourselves to be a enlightened, self-concious, progressive person is upsetting.

    Sometimes (way too often) that causes knee jerk reactions. The 'OMG HOW DARE YOU CALL ME A RACIST' kinds.

    I understand that, but... while saying something racist while not being aware of it is one thing that's going to happen to anyone, conciously ignoring and scorning the people who've kindly (or not) informed you of your own prejudices is a whole other thing.

    No, I am not saying that you should bow and let anyone who pulls a "Racist!" card get their way, but you should seriously consider your own prejudices. Because it's likely you have some, and no, it's not going to kill you to admit it, rectify, appologize.
    Sure it's embarrassing and upsetting, but the alternative is worse.

    The alternative is being of those people who intentionnally turn a blind eye to racism because they held their own pride as more important than actively trying to not be racist.

    I've been there. I've said stuff that were offensively ignorant regarding Black people. It took me a full day before I backpedaled and appologized (and I'm very glad I did). It will likely happen to me again despite the fact that I think myself as anti-racist.

    Again, appologizing and rectifying isn't that hard. It's not going to kill anyone.

    Post related to the current [livejournal.com profile] daily_deviant merrygoround :
    [livejournal.com profile] witchqueen's initial post.
    [livejournal.com profile] liviapenn's collection of links on the subjet.
    [livejournal.com profile] bethbethbeth's take on it.
    [livejournal.com profile] daily_deviant's current official answer.

    ETA: On the other side, here are some of links to posts by people that try to defend D_D :
    [livejournal.com profile] greenspine on racism
    [livejournal.com profile] celandined on racism which is particulary funny in the way she accuses people of making unfounded accusations, makes herself an unfounded accusation which she then admits was wrong, and then do something very similar to what she was accusing witchqueen of. All in one post, kudos.
    with a cute anecdoque on bullying that has nothing to do with anything. Links removed after poster's request.

    ETA : Thank God, [livejournal.com profile] daily_deviant has removed the tag and appologized.
    salinea: Magneto going *?* (wtf)
    So I'm reading RPG.net, which is a big and quality board about roleplaying games, and someone raises the idea of "Harlequin Romance... the RPG" as a possible licenced RPG to touch a previously untapped market. So I miggle in the discussion, and mention my view about the similarities between RPGs and fanfics, and freeform RPGs within the fandom community, and their potential as a RPG market. It's an interesting discussion.
    Then there's this guy that comes and mentions the game he publishes, HeartQuest, which a game meant to simulate the Shoujo manga genre. Cool. Very fitting to the discussion. I google quickly the game (because I didn't know it before, does any of you guys do?) and find a blurb description (very cute) and a list of the writers :

    Written by: Michael Hopcroft, Robert Pool, Dimitri Ashling, Ewen Cluney, Robert Boyd, Robert Bain, Ismael Alvarez, Travis Johnson, and Douglas Larke.

    Hum? I think. I'm not sure about Travis and Ewen because I'm not that good with American names, but all of the others are very, very male names. That's an overwhelming majority (at least) of male writers to write a RPG to simulate the Shoujo genre.
    So in the discussion I mention I'm surprised by that, and the guy asks me why, so I elaborate.


    Quote:
    Why should that shock you? It isn't like all shoujo stuff is written by women, nor is it's audience all young girls (despite being marketed to them). Just like the fact that all romance novels aren't written by women either.

    Well, that not all shoujo is written by women or read by women is all well and good, and what percent of it is written and read by women? I'd be surprised if there wasn't a very big majority of women involved there, but I could be wrong, I only have my personnal experience to judge by.

    I assume you've done market researches about that game? That you have some data about Shoujo audience in the US? The profile of people more likely to be interrested into that kind of game? With this game, I assume you're trying to tap onto shoujo readers (that's why you mention the next ed in manga form, no?)
    I'm a shoujo reader. I'd especially kill for a game that'd let me play an unholy alliance of Shoujo Kakumei Utena and Princess Tutu complete with meta-narrative tools and fairy tale on crack ambiance. I'd probably also love to play X1999 RPG.

    However I also remember a French amateur RPG which was called "Lycéenne" which was plain horrible. Shoujo seen by males and full of ill-adviced stereotypes at its worst. So I'm suspicious. And I'm Roleplayer so I know how sexist the average RPG scene can be, so I'm doubly suspicious. If I see a long list of male names as authors, I get even more suspicious. Doesn't seem like something for me. Seems like something for guys who are already into RPG and who wants to play shoujo for exoticism's sake, the kind who think Hina Love is a shoujo.

    I don't know anything about the game, as I told you, I just googled it. And that's my first impression. Maybe I'm not typical of the market you're trying to touch either


    Then the guy gets angry :

    I find charges of sexism against my products made by someone who has not read them to be incredibly offensive. While the HeartQuest line was written before I owned the company, I still stand behind them 100%. I also find charges that they weren't written by knowledgeable individuals to not only be offensive but you are also veering into personal attack territory because at least two of the authors are members of this very board.

    As a publisher I take allegations against my products very seriously and I strongly suggest that you rescind your comments, as they are based out of a lack of knowledge of the books. I do welcome anyone checking out the HeartQuest line but I find your comments to be ill-formed and offensive to both myself and the individuals who wrote these books.


    I tell him he missed the point.

    So he starts getting on how shoujo is totally not about women, and gender is irrelevant about discussion on RPG adaptations of Shoujo.

    I don't see that shoujo or romantic fiction as being a gender issue. I don't think one gender "gets it" more than another, any more than I think that is the case for any other genre. Saying otherwise does a great disservice to those individuals, male or female, who are interested in those sorts of things.


    And that's where we are.

    Apart from the part where he's trying very hard to intimidate me, I find his exhuberant outrage very funny.
    salinea: Magneto going *?* (wtf)
    asljfodrignjerlgnvlerngleg!!!

    I could have done without being spoiled for this book, THANK YOU so very much. Yeah, it was all well intended and they probably didn't know, but ARGH!!!

    Of course it's all my fault because I don't read fics headers most of the time.
    salinea: (Default)
    I hate cat macros.

    Actually I hate all macros.


    Obviously, I'm old.
    salinea: (Default)
    Passed the get that FUCKING nav bar away from my journal (and communities) reaction, I'm just confused about why there's even an option for imposing this on all visitors of your journal.

    I mean, the whole reason that lots of people don't like a navigation bar is because aesthetically it doesn't work with whatever graphic configuration you made for your journal. It's an alien block that's there, and supposedly useful for navigation when you're visiting other journals. Having it on your own journal is pointless because you usually have all links already there ! Forcing it to others visiting your journal is none of your business because it's not YOU it's going to help. The only thing you should have as an option is having turned on, for yourself only, when you visit other people's journal so that you can go back to your own in only one click (instead of two, so that rather limited as help goes *rolls eyes*)

    Regardless, I really don't want to see that ugly piece of ware again. I want to turn it off from everywhere I go. AND I DON'T WANT TO HAVE THEM TURN ON THINGS WHICH I'D ALREADY SAID NO TO WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.


    Thanks Livejournal. First time I had to rant about anything.
    salinea: (Default)
    Well, fuck.

    I guess it would kill my parents to be nice to me just one day, at one time when I need it.

    Why is the world so full of emotionnal blackmailers ?
    salinea: (Default)
    The current X wankage isn't going for the best, and now I'm all flipping out and feeling guilty for my part. I should never have link to the comm. just posted my message there. At least I might have been the only one being attacked, because now there's some awful trolling going on there.
    On a more hopeful sidet, [livejournal.com profile] shineko being such a sweetheart, created a new subaruxkamui community over at [livejournal.com profile] _notalone. Yay for her and for a place where there will be yummy fics and good discussions about this pairing ^_^
    My, isn't a good time for creating new comms ? I also just joined a just created Please Save My Heart comm, one of my old favourite manga. It's called [livejournal.com profile] ps_myearth. There way too few fics about this manga.

    And a funny test out at http://www.mindmedia.com/brainworks/profiler, gawked from [livejournal.com profile] ariseishirou

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