ravenswept: (Default)
Have you heard the word? The word is actually, the bird.

Baring said bird, the big thing to talk about, praising, poorly or otherwise, in the lit world is the BDSM erotica-fanfiction-cum-bestseller thing called 50 Shades of Grey.

From all that I've gathered, it gets prodominately the stay-at-home momthers hot under the apron, who seem to be the only ones anyone will say this book is for, while being essentially a Twilight knockoff (and a slightly proud one, at that) only with less sparkle and more spanking. Woo.

What everyone (everyone) agrees with, however, is the book, as written is utter bile. Not the subject matter isn't poorly researched or well introduced - rest assured, as little research went into this as possible - but while most racey subject matter is bound to be banned from some library somewhere, it says a lot when they say their reasons rest less with the bondage and sex than it does with how utterly horrible the writer is at what they should be good at.

None of this is aimed at fanfiction. Fanfiction is what it is; a testing ground, a place where writers of large and small go to play with wordage and see what skill they possess. Some are good, numerous are bad, most are just an outlet of wishful thinking fingers. Too often the ones that make it big, such as this, should never have been given trees to kill, but again, not what this is aimed at.

My issue? My procrastination issues.

Because (at least I believe) I wrote, or at least had the idea for, something that while close in basic idea, was a lot fucking better written. This. This right here! This would have been so much better than the putrid whatever it was that came out!

*huff, sigh*

Okay, got that out. I'm well aware that many ideas germinate at the same time, and often it's coincidence that they come out the same time or close to the same manner. It's not the first time it's happened to me. But still, it's a kick in the ass to get going on things, because while I may not get as far on shock and spanking as 50 Shades, I can at least know I did the concept better.

Stoked Off

Apr. 27th, 2012 10:30 pm
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Read more... )

Something I never thought about, at least when I first started watching, was that they do their jobs... pretty badly. Number one of which is, somebody turn on a freaking light. How these people do any work at all, or aren't all wearing glasses is beyond me, because I swear these people are vampires. Okay, granted, they're the night shift, but when you're sweeping a scene for evidence, what protocol is there to not turn on a freaking lamp or ceiling light? Especially in the lab, where you're supposed to be doing important work; you need more than just a single light source focused on just the evidence in question. I shudder to think of how much they miss, or misfocus on, because their attention is attracted to the bright light. CSI Las Vegas are a lab of moths.


Read more... )
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After what seems like some time, I've finally bought some new books. My last buying spree, that what it was, was last year when Border's was hemraging books for sale, and while I haven't made it through all those yet, I figured it was time for some new blood, er, ink.

I got:

~The Serpent Sea~ by Martha Wells

~Ganymede~ by Cherie Priest

and gave into mass media hype and bought ~The Hunger Games Trilogy~ as to be ready for the new movie (should I go see it).

The first two I've wanted to get, have read the previous entries in both series (The Cloud Roads and Boneshaker/Dreadnough respectively) and was excited to see both on the shelves when I was in a purchasing mood. The Hunger Games... I'll be honest, I'm not sure how I feel. The movie looks to be interesting, one of the good things about massively popular books-turned-movie is that good attention is given to what is produced (which is why Eragon's movie sucked so much HEY-OO). But is it just me or does the world seem too... I dunno clean? I get dystopia's aren't wandering mobs and such, but, I guess I expected more, sorta, less shiny? Did that make sense?

And I don't care how much I may turn out to like the books and such, I still think Mockingjay sounds stupid said out loud.

However, one of the big motivators for new books was the current one I'm reading trying to read. The Horns of Ruin by Tim Akers. It's...

It wants.

I had hoped to save this for an actual book review later (of which I plan on doing for the aforementioned already read series mentioned above), but I'm seven days gone and only one chapter in, and I'm just about giving up. Trying to press though this thing gives me a logic headache, and I just can't give enough a crap to try to make it make sense.

When I say "it wants" what I mean is it "wants you to take it super-serious". It "wants you to be sucked in". It "wants you to be impressed by how super-noir it wants to seem instead of WRITING SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T MAKE ME DOUBLE BACK TO REREAD THE SAME GODDAMN SENTENCE TO MAKE SENSE OF THE LAST FIVE".

*takes a breath*

Sorry, it's just... within the first paragraph, you get how uber-into the noir-speech Akers is; or at least is trying to convey. Short clipped sentences. Darkly described imagery. Fucktons of Proper Nouns of Specialness.

This book does what I consider a literary crime, which is it doesn't make me ask anything important like "what happens next" or "why does that happen". Instead, it makes me put the book down and concentrate on toilet time. Toilet time is the most sacred of uninterrupted reading places, and I'd rather think about that rather than actually read.

First, it's asking a lot to of the reader to give a crap (sorry, no pun intended) to care about the Scion of Morgon. We have no history with this concept, or whoever Morgon is/was, so it's like asking African natives to give two tugs about Christ; there's no concept of who this person telling you about this other person is, so why should there be any caring? (The Jesus reference isn't far off, Morgon is some sort of dead-god thing that's talked about constantly but given little to grasp on to).

Second, it's really trying to give you it's all in regards to the steampunk genre. Really, really trying. There are descriptions of things that, while "totally cool", are just, when you think it though, are just kinda stupid. Like the sword sheath idea; it's not just a leather or metal sheath to house a sword (the sword itself, if anything like the cover, is off itself), it instead imagines a weired spider, claw, grasping-idea that, again, sounds cool but when you actually imagine it, comes across as too much Rule of Cool and not enough, "but why?" Remember the scene in Spider-Man 2 when Doc Ock's spinal arms attach to his spine? How the indiviual segments closed around or along the spinal column? It's that, to a sword, and every time you remove or resheath it. Seems a little overdone, don't it?

Like a lot of such books, it tries to claim the ever-ellusive, if even existing, title of "quentessential steampunk title". Which turns out to be exactly what people who don't like steampunk describe it as; all glit and form and little actual function. Aesthetic over purpose. And that in turn leads us into-

Third, and most major, it's narrative voice is way overdone. Think of the most stereotypical hardboiled detective narrator you can being even more stereotypical, and you got the voice Ruin. Short sentences. Aggitated voice, like the book is annoyed at having to tell you anything. This overimpending sense of darkness, where there really shouldn't be one yet.
And finally, bad editoral sense. A page or two after getting two characters walking and talking, suddenly there's a scene break and four thick paragraphs describing the city and a bit of the history. Just, the fuck outta nowhere, dropped on your head. And it has no, NO bearing on anything it follows or preceeds. That's what really got me, that single section right there. It breaks narrative flow for information that does us no good.

Worse, it contradicts itself, in the same chunk-blown paragraph. I had to reread the same part five times before I just tossed my hands up and moved on; it's all I could do, otherwise I'd still be there trying to figure it out. It was someone asking me to find the beginning of a Mobius strip made of frying bacon still in the pan behind my back. I can only take so much.

Add on some weird uses of the same word ("I do not think it means what you think it means), even more Proper Goddamn Nouns, and I swear a character with sentence-by-sentence mood whiplash, I just can't continue with this right now. I have The Serpent Sea, which is the sequel to a well imagined fantasical world (I can't really call it a "fantasy" world, it's too beastial for that) and the ever-talked about Hunger Games (weird how it doesn't feel wrong to not italize that, isn't it?) so I'm not lacking of words.

And I'm finally getting a writing flow back again, so let's see where this ship sails.

And finally;

ravenswept: (Default)
Seriously? Seriously? What the hell is going on, because I thought I got a new computer so this kinda shit would stop happening.

I got a virus - the oh-so fun "This is really your computer, and you have a virus, you should totally download this program you never had before to get rid of it, and oh, if you don't, I will never let you actually access the internet again, LOLthnxL8r" virus (also known as the Win7 virus), right before the New Year. Took it it, had it fixed, didn't take three days.

Not 2 half-assed days later, same fucking virus. And it's not like I was cruising any questionable sites or anything, this was just my daily jog; sites I visit regularly. Sites I don't get virus' from.

It took Best Buy over 3 goddamn weeks to finally "fix" it; I put up the parathesis, because I only got an email saying they were actually getting to it a week before I finally got it back.

SERIOUSLY? Why so long? The first time was almost nothing, and I've had to take my computer (old one) in before too and it has never taken this long. Was it because I actually bought the warrenty/repair program? I'm being fucking punished for brining my computer in? Is there a limit to how many times I can bring my shit in to get fixed before you actually do it right? Does the time frame expand expontentially the more often I bring it in? Will it take 2 months next time?!

And now, to top it off, I'm currently in a Barnes&Noble because for some odd ass reason, the neighbors wifi connection (which I have permission to use, mind you) either isn't on or my computer won't connect to. Which it never had problems with before my having taken it in. It can find other wireless networks (all of which are protected, paranoid neighbors), but not the one next door.

Fuck this month.

Bull y/ied

Mar. 17th, 2011 04:45 pm
ravenswept: (Default)
The lastest and fadest fad on the internet at the moment is this little gem:

[Imagine there's a Youtube video here, showing a scrawny little chickenshit bully punching a much larger and taller boy in the face and stomach after pushing him against a wall while his unseen friends egg him on, the larger kid doing nothing noticible and taking the punches, the beanpole dancing around on his feet as he gets more into in it as the big kid starts to deflect the punches, and then the big kid fights back, overwhelming the skinny snot, bear hugging him and pile-driving him down on his twiggy little head, the big kid walking away immediately having stopped his bully, and the turd-rail shakily and very wobbily getting to his feet and falling over with almost every step; I'd post another video, but I'd get tired of trying to re-embed a new vid everytime Youtube takes it down over "policy violation"]

Also known now as the "Zangief Kid", Casey Haynes kicked a bully's ass. Hopefully this video stays up a while, Youtube seems to be cracking down on how viral this thing went and taking them down.

The story and details surrounding it are now fairly easy to come by; Haynes, a sixteen-year old Australian school student, had been picked on and bullied for years prior to this incident. The bully in question, Richard Gale, is twelve-years old and maybe a third of Haynes weight and several inches shorter. So that says a lot to how down-trodden Haynes had been to let some little prick of a twig punch him in the face and stomach and not do anything; until he did.

Everyone loves a victim who stands up for themselves; expect those in authority )
ravenswept: (Default)
Everything has weird little trends. Tropes if you will. Things that form patterns that people notice when they happen often enough in a specific order. Little traits that span works of media again and again, sometimes keeping to a rout pattern to the point that they don't even know why anymore; it's just the next piece of a one line puzzle.

Being as I thoroughly enjoy kids films, or at least films aimed at kids, one thing I've found interesting is the high population of inventors. Many of them, usually at the start only getting in the way and making life difficult for everyone else. But only because they are misunderstood! If only they had a dire situation that required their selective skills, as well as a small group of friends, or at minimum friends who used to be puttering antagonists, to help them showcase their unique and timely talents. If only.

It most likely is a trope, but I'm not going to bother hunting for it; a trope is any established trait or pattern in media, whether it has a name or not. But I'm curious as to why inventiveness is such a go-to for writers.

The jaded side of me says that it's about marketing. And when I say marketing, I mean the mass production of toys. Have a character who makes a lot of weird shit, and have that shit throw something, and you have the potential to make it on a lot of Christmas lists. Kids films don't always rake in the dough, so to compensate there usually needs to be an associated toyline to get kids excited as well. When the film does awesome, it's just gravy.

The optomisitic side says that it's that want every kid has to be able to make something really, really cool. Like being MacGyver, only without a mullet or knowing who MacGyver is. To be able to make ray guns, or mini motor vehicles, or just anything that screams "rad" out of things avalible in your own home. Pretending that your mom's hairdryer is a freeze ray is on thing; to be able to actually do it would get you such a grounding, but be so worth it.

But it's still a little weird to be such a go-to personality add on. Even if it doesn't go anywhere, as long as the main character shows that part of the reason they aren't well liked is because they "think different" and their inventions are a physcial representation of that, it like saying clapping your hands and saying "done".

What really got me to notice this trend is How to Train Your Dragon. Main everyman Hiccup isn't well liked by the pretty much the whole village, excluding one hold out mentor figure. While he doesn't make very much weird stuff, his opening scene includes him showing off a bolos launching he made since he can't throw one himself. This is frowned upon, because instead of making up for what he lacks, he should've instead made himself able to throw them without help. And supposedly this is not the first thing he's made to make up for his lacking physique. The only other thing he makes the rest of the movie is a practical saddle for dragon riding, but the seed was planted. It's there, and it's why.

Flick in A Bug's Life. Tries to help by making things that, supposedly, will help the colony. Said invention ends up kickstarting the whole plot of the movie. By the end, his inventive skills not only save the day, but his original invention is adopted into the mainstream just like he dreamed.

Nick Szalinski in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; actually, he gets a slight pass, as his father is an inventor and he merely wants to follow in his footsteps.

Lewis from Meet the Robinsons.

Artemus Gordon from Wild Wild West (not really a kids film, but still felt like one).

Doc Brown (because he's awesome).

And that not even getting into side or plot device characters.

Is being an inventor something to aspire to? The movies say yes, but think about what they have to go through to get to that point where things are hunky-dory. For the most part, things are not so good for them. Generally they're hated or disliked until such a time that circumstances absolutely require their speific ingenuitity.

Is all this a bad thing? No, not really, not in the long haul of things. The visual of handmade, creative items are almost always appealing, and if it helps jumpstart the creative processes of kids, who am I to complain. But it is weird. Are there that many ackward kids or people out there who need to have their unsung hero template? Are there that many people belittled specifically for thinking and making creative devices? Really?
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Just ran across this article relating to Disney's new movie, Tangled, and frankly I'm a tad pissed, not surprised, and still cocking my head sideways at the going ons over at those studios.

Most of my annoyances about Disney's latest fare seem to have panned out. And it seems that the male gender is to blame. To cater to the 8 to 14 boy demographic, Disney has seen fit to change their movie and marketing style, up to and including changing the title to something less girly. Because boys don't want to watch anything with girls or princesses at the main fare, so they're going to bend over backwards to appeal to the little snots.

It's not just with Tangled either, apparently it's a wide cast Disney decree. After Tangled, Disney will not have any plans to make any new movie with any Princess specifically, or anything girly in general. This male wave also appears to be the main drive behind last year's purchase of Marvel Comics, and all associated branches, in a bid to grasp more of this demographic.

The blame seems to be riding on The Princess and the Frog, whose mid-to-good reviews and box office were also harbringers of doom to the bigwigs. Because TPatF didn't blow everything out of the water like back in the Reniassance days, that meant that the Princess trend was dead. This also lead to retooling of the Rapunzel movie in the works.

I now remember that years ago, when you went to Wikipedia, when you visited a Disney page and clicked the box at the bottom for Disney Animated Films, they usually have a couple movies that are going to come out in a few years. Rapunzel was one of them. I just now remembered that, because I had been wondering how Tangled snuck up on me. They changed the name so it wasn't so obviously a Girl. And Flynn (I still hate him) apparently got a story boost so as to carry more, if not more than, the lead female. Because, you know, guys don't want a female leading. And the action was ramped up, with some added chase scenes and more Flynn (I already suspect that she doesn't hit him enough with that frying pan).

This all seems very strange really. Disney's biggest movies, their Reniassance period, is dominated by female leads. Little Mermaid, Jasmine (not the overall lead, but still), Belle. Yeah, when you break it down the Princess line may not have the overall best messages to tell little girls, and males figured just as much as them, but they never catered to those with outside genitialia. They told good stories (within reason), and usually evened out who carried the story.

Ironically in all this, Pixar is starting to (well, they have but it's picking up steam) get called out on their lack of female leads in their movies. Not until their thriteenth film, The Bear and the Bow oh I'm sorry, Brave, will a female lead a Pixar ship.

Disney films have never been what you could consider high art. Beautiful they may be, but they're still simplified versions of much darker material, sometimes overfilled with pop culture references, and more and more playing to who they think bring in the biggest draw. But this just smacks in the face of lack of respect, towards girls and boys alike.

Basing decisions on any one film is usually stupid, especially one from Disney. So TPatF wasn't a critical darling or financial record breaker; it's a 2D, oldschool feel Disney movie, something that hasn't been made in years, of course it's not going to compare to when you were in your prime. It's a direction, a good direction I feel, that you have to slowly move back into.

But the decision has been a long time coming it seems, TPatF just gave them the excuse they wanted to say goodbye to "girly" movies. I think that, even if it had done well, not much would have changed for Tangled. There's a new reign in Disney, and they believe that boys are the key to success. So, at a time when most everything on the Disney channel, on the animated side anyway it seems, is already catering to action and male testosterone, the feature films, where girls had the advantage, are too turning to boys to carry them forward.

Forward and backward.
ravenswept: (Default)
I have a bevy of thoughts going through my head; suicide, political issues, gender equality, where my life is going. Instead of those, however, I choose something a little lighter; Disney.

I get reeeeaallly wordy here. Hope you have some spare time on your hands. )

The actually enTangling )

*Note* This got waaaaay beyond what I was originally planning, and turned into a mini disertation of Disney's animted history instead of just the simple moan and groan about their latest movie entry. I kinda want to go back and keep talking, because I like this kind of stuff, but that's not what I meant to do so I'll leave it as is. But still, warning and all that.
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Are we an idiot culture? Not that we as a society are made of idiots (you know, mostly) but that we see them as the opitomy of what is the widest reaching voice of the people? Because really, I'd rather not have that the voice of my generation.

I mentioned this in my webcomic idea post, but there are so many of the things out there whose main character is a complete moron. So stupid that you wonder how they even function. And yet somehow they not only do so but excel, often more so than say you or me.

And somehow, no matter how idiotic or insulting or selfish an act they commit, rarely will someone call them on it. Yes, occasionally a side character will mention how incorrect they are acting, but also usually does that same conversation turn into how sweet and caring and how they don't realy mean the MC is. Like somehow getting punched in the gut is okay as long as they kiss your cheek at some point.

Ctrl+Alt+Del is probably the most well known offender of this. The main character Ethan is little more than a man-child, hurting himself constantly and just as often endangering others, but those around him somehow talk themselves into it not being his fault and they're the ones who need to be more understanding. He's for some reason the jilted one, even though it was his fault (usually through his own actions).

Nerf This is just as bad, with a MC who is less man and more child. Chase has less coherient thought than cross-eyed epileptic watching ping-pong, tennis, and air-hockey mid-sezuire. Yet not only do his friends and girlfriend love him through his many, many faults, but he can get away cancelling his bestfriends honeymoon because he couldn't go.

There are plenty others on the web, but those two just pop out and annoy me the most. But it's not like stupid is limited to the digital domain, they've been around a lot longer. TV has the most idolized of idiots anywhere.

The Simpsons. Gee, who could I be thinking of? Homer is forever the bumbling, legally mental dullard that somehow is the most likible and beloved cartoon character for too many years. Yes, it does have it's moments, but so do anything given enough time. Meaning right and having a good heart, I'm sorry to say, does not forgive your immediate past idiot actions.

Family Guy and American Dad!, follow the same vein of moron fathers. A somewhat saving grace to these two are that the rest of the family, and good deal the extended cast, are just as stupid so there's more of balance. But still, so much selfishness stops being funny at a certain point.

Actors like Will Ferrel, Jon Hedar, Seth Rogan, Rob Schinder, Ben Stiller, there's a Hollywood laundry list of just... idiots. Though very few women in such roles (unless the cast is at least 90% female) mind you, because you can't have a stupid woman, that's just sexist.

And I don't want to sound, despite the preceeding paragraphs, that I want or can't enjoy anything except smart humor or characters. I don't. I like stupid just as much as the next person; one of my favorite cartoons is Dave the Barbarian a nonsense cartoon of bumbling idiots. But then again, I hate Spongebob, which has the same thing. Its that I think stupid needs to be smart in it's own way.

I think my main problem with the concept is that the idiot is so beloved. I know they're meant to be funny, and in reality they'd never get away with a quarter of the shit they get up to, but that's not really a reason to let them just be brain dead. You can only push a stupid character so much until the audience asks, "Why is he doing that? Why do his friends tolerate him?" And that's what I'm finding myself asking again and again lately.

There's little balance to the cast. The stupid one is so overpowering, and too often an expy of the writer/creator, that even if you try to counter them with an antithesis of them the stupid one still wins. The rival becomes someone the MC is meant to overcome, to prove that they can be stupid because they've somehow earned it, even if they really don't. Or the counter is so underplayed that they're nothing more than setup for the moron to do or say something more stupid.

This is turning more into an angry rant than I'd like, but it's so annoying to me that there's this general perception that to be funny or attention getting, you need to be a halfwit dolt who, because he's written that way, still gets to keep his friends and loved ones even though he shouldn't. That you can't have smart main character, especially of a comedy, because you may insult the intelligence of someone, and it's better to appeal to a more base attention block than what you really meant.

I'm not saying everything has to be smart. I just wish that stupid was so marketable.


Sep. 13th, 2010 08:44 pm
ravenswept: (Default)
There are few things I truly hate. The word gets thrown around quite a bit, and has become to mean less "utter loathing to it's core" and more "extreme dislike". And that list gets even fewer when you start talking about actual people, because no one (well, most people) don't want that kind pressure to say that they "hate" someone.

What's worse is when you don't know the person well, or even at all. Your opinion is based on what you heard, what you think you know, tabloids, whatever, your information is not what it could be. It's all curcumstantional. So when people say it, it usually doesn't speak well of the person expressing their "hate".

So, having weighed this knowledge and finding it to be true to me, I say this; I hate Phillip Jones. No, I will not dignify his stupid nickname by acknowledging it.

Oh, strap yourself in, I'm fucking pissed here and that's not steam I'm blowing off, it's pure revulsion in condensed gaseous-liquid form )
ravenswept: (Default)
Where I work, we deal with multiple clients a day. We try to give as relaxing an experience as possible, and it starts with the environment. We also have a break room.

This break room is at the end of the only hallway in the place. You open the door, and you can see into the room, and anyone should they be inside. Now, inside this break room is a microwave. It is used to cook, usually more of a re-heat, edible foods any employee has brought in and wishes to eat on their break.

For the third time in several weeks, I've been bringing in several dehydrated mirco-meals for anyone who cares to to use; usually instant chow mien, should you wonder, though I did find a mac n' cheese version on my last hunt. I didn't care so much about the price or anything, it came from a dollar store. And this act was much appreciated by the other employees, because often there would be little time between sessions, and no time could be taken to go and get something to eat. And, of course, few of us actually bring in something to eat from home.

What all this rambling explanation leads to is this; smells. Apparently, the instant meals I've been bringing in have been causing - "smells" - to waif down the hallway. Which, according to my boss, is disruptive to the relaxing experience I described above. Smells only he, really, seems to pick up on, and only go as far as one door down, which is a bathoom; which, you'd think, would be a bigger worry, smell wise. So, on the first day of my latest shipment, and with only a few people able to partake of the haul, I was asked to take the meals away.

Here's the thing; I get it. He's the boss, and really I can't argue with what he wants done in his place of business. But you have a freaking microwave in the break room. This device, by its nature, is cooking whatever is placed inside of it; something is going to smell eventually. And if we bring something from home, it's gonna happen. Also, what's to stop someone from bringing only one instant meal to work? It's what they brought, there's really no rules on food (other than the new "no smelling food"), and they need to eat. They may not have the money to buy something.

It's asinine to block my food, which is a gift to others as well, and no one else. If smell is what you're worried about, take the microwave out of the building. It's the only way you can guarantee the air will not be befouled by the smell of someone relaxing. Sure, you may cause some hated among those you employ, yeah, you're saying that the room designated for our break can only be used for sitting and talking (which still needs to be done quietly), and our food intake is limited to that which can not be cooked in a microwave, which you provided.

I don't know, it's annoying. I'm still bringing in the meals, for myself at least, because I have sixteen of the bastards left, and I'm eating them only for dinner.


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