Posts tagged ‘books’

Friendly Neighborhood Character Assassin

I am a white, heterosexual male.

Sidenote: I refuse to use the term “cis gender”, because it is the norm. You wouldn’t call a non handicapped person a “cis capped” person, would you?

As a kid I watched Princess Fantaghiro.

Who, surprise, surprise, is a girl/woman, who is the hero, who saves the kingdom, who saves her prince. She was tutores and guided by the white sorceress, who also posed as the white knight (the actress even was glued on a beard to make it obvious for the watcher) while teaching our heroine to fight with a sword.

As a teen I was drawn in by Deep Space Nine (DS9 for short), where the main protagonist was a black man, Commander, later Captain, Benjamin Sisko.

I also was watching (and am a huge fan of) Voyager, with Captain Catherine Janeway.

I loved the Alien movies, where the main protagonist was, as you hopefully know, a woman, Ellen Ripley.

Of course, there too 0 was classic Trek, TNG, Star Wars, Babylon 5, X-Files, MacGyver and other stuff with white male protagonists and rolemodels.

But I wanted to draw attention to the aforementioned series and movies, because they feature women and a PoC, and that I fully engaged with and idolized, ALTHOUGH I am a white, heterosexual male.

Why?

Because they did diversity right.

They didn’t set out with the goal of creating a BLACK captain, a WOMAN hero.

They set out with the most important of goals for these characters – make good characters, who happen to be [insert gender/ethnicity here].

While today’s “progressive” characters are focusing on the wrong aspect. When I see Ghostbusters 2016, new Star Wars, Discovery I get this vibe:

QUOTE

The BLACK HEROIC WOMAN protagonist steps into the sun and looks good while sweating

END QUOTE

While a good introduction to the same character would be:

QUOTE

The protagonist steps out into the sun, the sweat beads on her forehead look like diamonds on black velvet against her dark skin.

END QUOTE

That, coincidentally, is part of why I hate pride days/weeks/months/events. You’re proud of, and concentrating on, aspects people have no control over.It’s equal to “I’m proud to be balding!”

You are reducing people (or yourselves) to things that, if you were reduced to them by whitey, it would be sexist, racist, trans-, or homophobic. (Or hateful towards the pholically challenged, if you reduce me to my balding.)

Who’s the real bigot here?

So. How to write a great FEMALE character? A great BLACK character? A great TRANS character?

Write a great character. Period.

A great character who HAPPENS TO BE black, female, transgender, gay, or even bald (Michael Garibaldi, anyone?).

Do not focus on the “minority” aspect, but what makes yoir character great.

Note: If you write, for example, about a black woman overcoming adversity in the 1950s, disregard everything I said.

Also note: read the Expanse, or watch it, or Caprica. Being gay, or in a multi-person spanning relationship, is being treated as normal as “traditional” relationships, or heterosexuality. THAT is the right way.

Take care,

A.

Friendly Neighborhood Character Assassin

I am a white, heterosexual male.

Sidenote: I refuse to use the term “cis gender”, because it is the norm. You wouldn’t call a non handicapped person a “cis capped” person, would you?

As a kid I watched Princess Fantaghiro.

Who, surprise, surprise, is a girl/woman, who is the hero, who saves the kingdom, who saves her prince. She was tutores and guided by the white sorceress, who also posed as the white knight (the actress even was glued on a beard to make it obvious for the watcher) while teaching our heroine to fight with a sword.

As a teen I was drawn in by Deep Space Nine (DS9 for short), where the main protagonist was a black man, Commander, later Captain, Benjamin Sisko.

I also was watching (and am a huge fan of) Voyager, with Captain Catherine Janeway.

I loved the Alien movies, where the main protagonist was, as you hopefully know, a woman, Ellen Ripley.

Of course, there too 0 was classic Trek, TNG, Star Wars, Babylon 5, X-Files, MacGyver and other stuff with white male protagonists and rolemodels.

But I wanted to draw attention to the aforementioned series and movies, because they feature women and a PoC, and that I fully engaged with and idolized, ALTHOUGH I am a white, heterosexual male.

Why?

Because they did diversity right.

They didn’t set out with the goal of creating a BLACK captain, a WOMAN hero.

They set out with the most important of goals for these characters – make good characters, who happen to be [insert gender/ethnicity here].

While today’s “progressive” characters are focusing on the wrong aspect. When I see Ghostbusters 2016, new Star Wars, Discovery I get this vibe:

QUOTE

The BLACK HEROIC WOMAN protagonist steps into the sun and looks good while sweating

END QUOTE

While a good introduction to the same character would be:

QUOTE

The protagonist steps out into the sun, the sweat beads on her forehead look like diamonds on black velvet against her dark skin.

END QUOTE

That, coincidentally, is part of why I hate pride days/weeks/months/events. You’re proud of, and concentrating on, aspects people have no control over.It’s equal to “I’m proud to be balding!”

You are reducing people (or yourselves) to things that, if you were reduced to them by whitey, it would be sexist, racist, trans-, or homophobic. (Or hateful towards the pholically challenged, if you reduce me to my balding.)

Who’s the real bigot here?

So. How to write a great FEMALE character? A great BLACK character? A great TRANS character?

Write a great character. Period.

A great character who HAPPENS TO BE black, female, transgender, gay, or even bald (Michael Garibaldi, anyone?).

Do not focus on the “minority” aspect, but what makes yoir character great.

Note: If you write, for example, about a black woman overcoming adversity in the 1950s, disregard everything I said.

Also note: read the Expanse, or watch it, or Caprica. Being gay, or in a multi-person spanning relationship, is being treated as normal as “traditional” relationships, or heterosexuality. THAT is the right way.

Take care,

A.

Friendly Neighborhood Character Assassin

I am a white, heterosexual male.

Sidenote: I refuse to use the term “cis gender”, because it is the norm. You wouldn’t call a non handicapped person a “cis capped” person, would you?

As a kid I watched Princess Fantaghiro.

Who, surprise, surprise, is a girl/woman, who is the hero, who saves the kingdom, who saves her prince. She was tutores and guided by the white sorceress, who also posed as the white knight (the actress even was glued on a beard to make it obvious for the watcher) while teaching our heroine to fight with a sword.

As a teen I was drawn in by Deep Space Nine (DS9 for short), where the main protagonist was a black man, Commander, later Captain, Benjamin Sisko.

I also was watching (and am a huge fan of) Voyager, with Captain Catherine Janeway.

I loved the Alien movies, where the main protagonist was, as you hopefully know, a woman, Ellen Ripley.

Of course, there too 0 was classic Trek, TNG, Star Wars, Babylon 5, X-Files, MacGyver and other stuff with white male protagonists and rolemodels.

But I wanted to draw attention to the aforementioned series and movies, because they feature women and a PoC, and that I fully engaged with and idolized, ALTHOUGH I am a white, heterosexual male.

Why?

Because they did diversity right.

They didn’t set out with the goal of creating a BLACK captain, a WOMAN hero.

They set out with the most important of goals for these characters – make good characters, who happen to be [insert gender/ethnicity here].

While today’s “progressive” characters are focusing on the wrong aspect. When I see Ghostbusters 2016, new Star Wars, Discovery I get this vibe:

QUOTE

The BLACK HEROIC WOMAN protagonist steps into the sun and looks good while sweating

END QUOTE

While a good introduction to the same character would be:

QUOTE

The protagonist steps out into the sun, the sweat beads on her forehead look like diamonds on black velvet against her dark skin.

END QUOTE

That, coincidentally, is part of why I hate pride days/weeks/months/events. You’re proud of, and concentrating on, aspects people have no control over.It’s equal to “I’m proud to be balding!”

You are reducing people (or yourselves) to things that, if you were reduced to them by whitey, it would be sexist, racist, trans-, or homophobic. (Or hateful towards the pholically challenged, if you reduce me to my balding.)

Who’s the real bigot here?

So. How to write a great FEMALE character? A great BLACK character? A great TRANS character?

Write a great character. Period.

A great character who HAPPENS TO BE black, female, transgender, gay, or even bald (Michael Garibaldi, anyone?).

Do not focus on the “minority” aspect, but what makes yoir character great.

Note: If you write, for example, about a black woman overcoming adversity in the 1950s, disregard everything I said.

Also note: read the Expanse, or watch it, or Caprica. Being gay, or in a multi-person spanning relationship, is being treated as normal as “traditional” relationships, or heterosexuality. THAT is the right way.

Take care,

A.

Mea culpa

I forgot to post yesterday!

Neither did the world end, nor did anyone of y’all complain.

Indulge in a nice picture

Why this one? Because the tv show the expanse is threatened with cancellation.

If you can, tune in LIVE on Wednesdays on SyFy to watch it, if you DVR it watch it within 3 days (so the view counts). The more people watch the better the numbers, either SyFy won’t cancel, or another station is picking it up.

Help where you can.

World Wide Warning

An acquaintance of mine got a passive aggressive note passed to him by a stranger in the tube. A world wide warning. That the internet is evil and that you should appreciate live music, paintings in galleries and conversations in the flesh.
Bullshit.
I have a magic device in my hands as I write these lines, that allows me to listen to obscure African metal bands I could only listen to live if I invested a ludicrous amount of money (and time) to travel to some African country or another, while chatting with people on the other side of the globe and looking at paintings from the great masters, which I – again – would have to spend ludicrous amounts of money (and time) to gain access to. Carrying on my kindle an entire library worth of books, with no added weight. All while riding the metro. Or bus. Or sitting on the toilet.
Whoever thinks that only live encounters with art and people are worthwhile must lead a pretty boring (and/or expensive) lifestyle. Heading from encounter to encounter, with vast stretches of nothing in between.
Hey Mr. In-the-flesh, take your world wide warning and take it with you in your warm filthy hipster holes. I believe I have seen more than you did.

Take off the nostalgia goggles of times before you were born, those times had their shit sides too. (Coldwar, anyone?)

Take care,
A.

People are fucking nuts.

Just a fun FYI, for once I would like to witness today’s title happening literally. 😉

What drove me to my “highly unusual” conclusion of mass debility?

Amazon, Books and People.

This mixture is odd, you say?
Maybe.
But once you saw that in the top selling books, two coloring books are among the top ranked, you start asking questions.
Like: Are there really that many children around, that these not only are top sellers, but also out of stock, on Amazon? – in short: No.
These books are bought FOR adults.
Colored in BY adults.

That was the moment I took some toilet paper, and wiped off my faith in humanity:

Coloring books for adults.

Are you fraking kidding me? I repeat: Coloring Books. For Adults!

Any potential “calming down” effects aside – you can get that from watching a fire consume the bodies of your enemies – how much more infantile can you get?
Coloring out a fairytale landscape is for five year olds, but not for grown ass people. 

Those are the same kind of people who think the Bible is to be taken literally, who believe Vaccines cause autism, who take channelings from the galactic federation of light seriously, and who take globuli against diabetus!

Coloring frak books, for fracking adults!
And you wonder why extremists want to wipe out western civilisation? There’s the answer. Grownups doing coloring books, and posting it online, while western society is standing by and let’s it happen without a word against it.

If it was one or two mental patients, my mouth would be shut tight. But two entire mental institutions couldn’t buy out the entire amazon.com stock! All of the US, can.
And here I sense the real tragedy – people with access to nuclear weapons (which are controlled by computers using 5inch floppy discs) are doing coloring-books.
Really?
A nation that sent men to the moon fourty-six years ago, is now populated by people who do this stuff for a pass time?
Really?
All you coloring Schmucks, turn to your (great)grandfathers. Look at them. They fought, in a little event called the second world war, Korean war, Vietnam war, and many more. They fought, for you. For your future.
And this is how you repay them? By doing coloring books?
If this was a fad amongst Veterans, who compensate for their PTSD – again, tightly shut pie holeon my part. But this is done by people with no excuse. The Teletubby generation, I presume.

Look numbnuts, if you need to unwind after a long day at work, do what I do – read. Books with words. Let your mind soar, sharpen it, and enjoy what unfolds. One book, one chapter, can give you more images in your head, than an entire library of coloring-books ever could!
But if you have to color in a coloring-book, here’s my suggestion. Do it in secret. Only oncea month, or in (or rather AFTER) very stressful situations – go home. Close all blinds, unhook the phone, turn off TV and internet, drink some wine (Ravenwood’s Zinfandel is recommended), and sit down with your array of 42 color pencils and a fresh page of the coloring book. Then toss that thing in the trash! And draw something that comes to your mind. Something that is truly allowing you to let out some steam! If it is a fiery mess that is eating through your life – doesn’t matter, as long as it let’s out some steam. If it looks like a 3 year old drew it, and your thirty three, doesn’t matter!

But don’t do coloring books, for crying out loud.

Take care, and lay off those coloring books!
A.

Young Adult crap…

…I kow I’m going to make anything but friends with this, but I need to get this out of my system…publicly.

Enough with this “Young Adult” garbage!

Enough with the mostly terrible books, and the almost entirely unstandable film adaptations. Yes, I’m looking at you Twilight crowd, and you Hunger-Games people.

First off, there is NO such thing as a young adult. There are teenagers (Kids basically) and then there are twens (adults). The former are anything BUT adults, and the other are not “young” per se. These movies are made for the tiny margin of people between 18 and 21. Kids who achieved adulthood by not dying, and who aren’t old enough to drink hard liqor in some backwater countries around the globe.

In short, a group of people in desperate need of rolemodels.

I’m all in favor of empowering women, and giving teenagers in general a healthy attitude, but these books and films are (mostly) crap! When I was a kid and a teen and a “young adult”, I was watching MacGyver, Star Trek and James Bond. Those were my rolemodels. Not a teen my age who had more experience than Bond, more brains than MacGyver and Spock combined and more chicks / guys lusting after them than Captain Kirk!

Not only are these characters two dimensional superhero cutouts, empowered with the might and knowledge of an adult writer, in most cases the premise of the scenarios themselves are crap too! Yes. Here comes the Hunger Games Crowd: A society that has the technology and resources to create these idiotic games and setups and surveilance and traps, has the technology/power to FEED FRAKING EVERYONE and have enough for exports! The whole premise is not dystopian but idiotic.

Kids, get GROWN rolemodels. I admit there is a certain lack of adequate female rolemodels out there (at least im comparison with MacGyver, Kirk and Bond), but still, girls, look to WOMEN for guidance, not girls.

You don’t want to be a sixteen year old (that sounds like a fourty something wrote his dialogue) – sixteen is a stupid age. With sixteen you’re full of shit and you have no idea that you are. (If you are in that age range and you disagree, wait ten years and then come talking to me.) As an adult you are full of shit, and you are painfully aware of it. Which makes you a complete person.

If boys wanted to be boys, and girls wanted to be girls, when would they transform into adults? Right, never. At least if they had any say in it. Boys become men, girls become women.
Adjust your rolemodels and ditch the idiotic “Young Adult” concepts.

It is, amongst other things, these crappy “Young Adult” nonsense flicks that distort young people’s view on the world. They feel that they are entitled to stuff. Which they aren’t.

Bring back coming of age flicks, in which a full-of-shit-and-unaware-of-it character slowly realises the ugly truth about him/herself and of the world. Bring (back) adult rolemodels for boys and girls, by showing them men and women who are all they want (and need) to be.

In that respect, take care, especially you young reader, especially you.
A.