arionhunter: (Nextwave - Beer is good!)
( Jan. 7th, 2011 09:58 pm)
- I now have a sizable 60 Bookmooch points, most of which I don't expect to use anytime soon. Thus, if anyone is after a book and wants me to look for it/add it to my wishlist, let me know. If it comes up, I'll e-mail you for a mailing address to have it sent to. If you're not in the continental US, I'll have it shipped here before sending it out.

- I have not yet decided if I can love Arrested Development yet, but it's trying very hard to win me over. I'll keep with it through Season 2 because I really enjoy me some Portia Degeneres, but I'm not sold on Will Arnett yet.

- Finished both Monster, 1959 and Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles this week. I'm not entirely sold on Monster, for though Maine knows his kaiji, his attempts to expand the metaphor (Humans are the real monsters) fell quite flat. His tone grows increasingly strident through the and the final "twist" bludgeons the reader so hard it could make them to launch the book across the room.

Weight balances its metaphor much better--it is Jeanette Winterson, after all. But there's still a bit of Monster's sermonizing laying about, the indirect lessons of the Atlas myth write so large as to be blinding. Winterson's language, though, is such a delight the reader can endure a few more blows for it alone.

- [ profile] re_silvera and I are finally relaunching Queers With Beers! The first attempt putzed out due to lack of time, but we're giving it a second try. The full, one-hour show will be released monthly; the shorter “QWB: Happy Hour Edition,” wherein I explain the history behind and mix various different nerdy cocktails, will be on a bimonthly schedule (as time allows). (Also, I'm not going to edit episodes after this one, which should do wonders for getting stuff out on time.)

It's a basic “queer nerds + booze” format, half queer stuff, half nerdery. The nerd topic of the month is, unsurprisingly, a mutual love of ours: Kamen Rider Hibiki.
arionhunter: (Hibiki - Blowin')
( Jun. 24th, 2009 07:50 am)
I'm gonna talk about Art.

(Bear with me, this starts out with some obviousness.)

For a long time, there was Art and then there was all that other crap. What the artists, who were often a part of and/or funded by the privileged classes, made was in the objectively unassailable category of Art. And this Art was especially unassailable by the lower, 'uneducated' classes.

Thus, Art is a construction from societies which used top-down power structures to establish hierarchies which reinforce the dominance of the (most often economically) privileged over the unempowered. As such, no one cared if the unprivileged did not like, were offended by, or were hurt by Art - it's wasn't About Them. It was about the subjects who were also its target audience.

This idea is generally seen as starting to change in English literature with Chaucer, who wrote about the lower classes and worked to subvert the concept of Art. By now, most people tend to think of Art as an outmoded concept. (Most importantly to fandom, the deconstruction [Whoo-whoo, here come the postmodern police!] of Art forms a large part of the foundation for establishing the legitimacy of derivative works--a legitimacy which is ultimately unnecessary but often sought after by fandom.)

So, now that we kicked Art in its metaphorical privilege genitals, what is the point of creating? Does there need to be one or several *legitimatized* reasons for creating?

Not really, but people keep trying to establish them anyway. Often in literature classes, students cite one of the reasons for reading/studying literature is how it exposes the reader to the Others who they might not commonly encounter in daily life. (A million existentialists twitch, as if called by a far-off dog whistle.)

What these students really mean is that literature makes you less of an asshole. By being exposed to the Other, it is assumed in the students' reasoning that, following said exposure, one will better understand the Other and learn to view the world through multiple perspectives. The community standard of imposing harmony through obeying hierarchies (the standard of Art) is replaced by the community standard of promoting harmony through mutual respect.

And personally, I like this reasoning. I agree with there being fewer assholes in the world.

But with the warnings wank, the exact opposite is happening. Fanfiction is reestablished as Art. As Art, fanfiction doesn't need to abide by community standards. It exists in a vacuum and can be an asshole if it wants to, and it doesn't care how the Other reacts to it.

Why hello, hierarchies of power, so very not glad that you decided to come and crash the party!

The object lesson? Don't be an asshole. (Unless you want to, which is fine if you're, say, okay with being generally viewed as someone who is a privilege-abusing asshole.)
"Oh fuck, I feel like I just got a movie lobotomy."

There really isn't enough beer in the world to make The Spirit a good movie. There's not enough beer in the world to make The Spirit a bad movie, either. Instead, The Spirit is a turd movie--composed of once-good things which have been so highly digested as to no longer be recognizable.

(It may then be fitting that before I was watching The Spirit I was listening to Lady Gaga, whose minuscule bit of talent has been autotuned into a coma from backbeat overdose. Then again, I'm also a queer, which means I am (according to our culture) genetically hardwired to love anything with a singable-but-insipid melody line and beat strong enough to knock out an elephant. See: disco.)

I did not actually see The Spirit to mock it, however. A while back, I read a review of The Spirit which pointed out that "[i]f there's any zone of action movie Miller's project looks toward, it's probably the Japanese tokusatsu film of the costumed hero type, very self-evidently artificial in special effects and gangly in action stylization - realism is often not the goal." Me being me, I decided it was imperative to see The Spirit and test this theory.

The author chose the remake of Cutey Honey as his example film, but I chose instead Takashi Miike's Zebraman. Though the author's point about Hideaki Anno is well-taken, Miike has a lot of Miller's same quirks with regard to violence and masculinity, without the whoreswhoreswhoreswhores.

(It's important to note that I don't think any tokusatsu film would automatically be better than The Spirit by virtue of being toku--Kamen Rider The First was by and large KR-As-Done-By Miller, up to and including the unnecessary grimness.)

If only Miller had given the Spirit a theme song... )

PS: See Zebraman if you haven't. It's a brilliant film for anyone who likes considering the many ways superheroes evolve, and it stays very true to the Ishinomori hero, who just happens to be a lot like the very early American hero archetype.

PPS: I has made [community profile] kamenrider on DW for all one's KR needs.


arionhunter: (Default)
A Vagina You Can't Take Home to Mother


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