“Violence is a part of our trade, yes. It is one tool of many. But violence is a tool that, if you use it but once, it begs you to use it again and again. And soon you will find yourself using it against someone undeserving of it.”
– Ashara Komayd, former operative for and prime minister of Saypur in City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett
Yup. I’ve been thinking along similar lines with regard to the racism in the U.S. and the ridiculous, racist non-reasons some racist-ass whites justify their calling of police on people of color, especially blacks. It’s racist, wasteful, racist, reprehensible, racist, entitled, racist, cruel, racist, wrong, and racist. It has to stop.
Bennett, Robert Jackson. City of Miracles. New York: Broadway Books, 2017, p. 177.
Serving exactly what it sounds like, the Quotes feature excerpts other people’s thoughts.
Pacific Rim Uprising is directed and co-written by Steven S. DeKnight; other writers credited with the screenplay are Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder, and T.S. Nowlin. I have seen some of DeKnight’s writing and directing for Dollhouse and possibly even story editing for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The rest of the writing team are entirely new to me however (apart from having at least heard of one of Snyder’s latest producing credits, The Handmaid’s Tale).
While I’m mostly not in the mood, now and then I like lots of smacking monsters around and busting buildings. But not only that—destruction without a reason gets tiresome faster than you can say marmalade sandwich. Among the falling skyscrapers and lurching jaegers in these trailers I’m left wondering about the human stories.
The features of the first Pacific Rim that most strongly attracted me to the story were specifically that—human stories. One was Learning to Work Together and the other was the respect that Raleigh Becket showed Mako Mori. I’ve seen interviews with Guillermo del Toro and the design team where everyone kept calling Mako Raleigh’s “love interest”. Come on, dudes. Reducing a character to her gender and relationship to a male character is the worst kind of dismissal. She has a name and you know it, not to mention that Mako would kick your butt eight days in a week. (It’s sad when a fictional character has to take his creators to school on how to respect women as people.)
I really hope Uprising will be a case of Never Trust a Trailer, and the movie will be at minimum tolerable. Granted, the first trailer is more people- than fight-heavy, so that’s a reason to stay positive. At the very least we’ll see more of Rinko Kikuchi, John Boyega—looking forward to seeing what kind of depth he has—and Tian Jing, whose performance in The Great Wall I enjoyed but for whose character there was pitifully little to do in Kong: Skull Island.
This post has been edited for clarity.
Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.
For a good long while, I’ve been having unpredictable hiccups when submitting comments on other people’s blogs. It’s gotten so bad that I routinely copy & paste my comment in a text document before submitting it in case it’s eaten up by the hungry Internet Mawster.
Sometimes logging in and out helps, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes disabling my ad blocking software helps, sometimes it doesn’t. Et cetera, et cetera.
This past week takes the cake, though: now I can’t even like a post reliably anymore. Clicking on the little star just doesn’t necessarily register regardless of whether I’m logged in and browsing a blog, or reading a post through my subscription feed, or running around the house howling at the full moon.
I might be a tad bit… miffed.
Ohwell. I dare say I’ll find a workaround at some point.
Co-Geeking is about the things we love: history, art, science fiction, fantasy, language, and so on. It is not about contemporary politics. We would rather just tend our geeky garden than get involved in the affairs of the big world outside.
But sometimes contemporary politics comes blundering through your garden gate and plomps itself down right on top of your petunia bed. And sometimes it proceeds to crap all over your tomatoes and puke on your antique roses. Then you gotta say something, so we’re saying it.
If you’re feeling threatened, worried, angry, or sad about the upsurge of hatred we’re seeing in current events, we’re with you. If you’re someone who loves the things we love but your history classes, SFF conventions, or geeky blogs made you feel like you didn’t belong, you belong here. If you’ve ever felt left out because of your race, religion, gender, orientation, or any other part of your identity, or if you’ve seen that kind of exclusion happen to someone you care about, we’re with you. If you don’t see yourself in the books, movies, tv shows you love, know that we want to see you there, too. If anyone has ever told you are wrong, bad, or dangerous just because of who you are, where you come from, or how you live your life, we stand with you.
Screw the fascists, racists, xenophobes, anti-Semites, Islamophobes, homophobes, sexists, transphobes, and all other flavors of bigot. Screw the people who believe that they are better than other people because of arbitrary details like race, religion, ancestry, sexuality, or gender. Screw the people are afraid of others just because of who they are. And double screw the ones who think that history supports their brand of hatred, or that they can drag it into the kind of stories we love, with a side of get stuffed.
We are in this together. Those who want to divide us will fail. Hatred and fear will fail. As we co-geeks carry on with our usual business of posting about interesting facets of history and squeeing over the latest movie trailers, know that we are here for you.
If want to get away from the problems of the big world for a little while, our garden is open. If you want to talk about what’s going on these days and how that relates to the art, stories, and history we love, we’re here for that, too. You belong here.
Image: Selected screencaps from the Babylon 5 season 1 episode 5, “The Parliament of Dreams”.
I mentioned that we re-watched Warcraft: The Beginning, the movie based on the MMORPG World of Warcraft. I had forgotten that in a council scene in Stormwind, there’s a short glimpse of a woman who looks like she might be a Dwarf. Here’s a screencap:
She’s at the right hand of the screen, walking towards Anduin Lothar (the prominent man in the middle). And with a DVD, you can of course stop and check out details you miss at the theater. Who knows, I thought, it might lead to cosplay in real life or a transmog in game!
I was pretty excited, because female Dwarves are my absolute favorite race / gender combo to play in WoW. (I love female Dwarf cosplay and fanart, too!)
Anyway, the WTB DVD has a few extras including deleted and extended scenes, among them this council scene. The woman in question even has a few lines. Hooray! Here’s a screencap from the extended scene:
Alas, I was triply disappointed. As it turns out, not only is she unnamed, she’s a human woman, not a Dwarf. Adding injury to insult, they had to go and cut her speech.
While it was great to see additional female faces (because the, shall we say politely, scant amount of women in the movie is frustrating), it’s getting really, really tiresome to witness women’s performances end up on the cutting room floor in favor of another 30 seconds of impersonal, wood-faced clones of tin soldiers whacking at each other en masse.
The other day I saw yet another recommended books article with a headline of the type:
[number] Books You Must Read
[number] Books Every [persontype] Should Read
Ah hah hah hah haa. No. So much no. A non-descriptive headline isn’t an attraction, it’s a turnoff.
Writing a header like that, enthusiastic as it’s probably supposed to be, just comes across as lazy, narrow-minded, lazy, self-centered, and lazy marketing-speak.
It makes me think that your interests, oh dear random person on the Internet, aren’t even in the same galaxy as mine. Worse off, it sounds like you don’t care enough about your job to throw in even one modifier, not one, to narrow down the audience for your list.
There are no books you get to flat-out tell me I must or should read. For one, you’re not the boss of me. You don’t get to dictate my choices. For another, you’re not the arbiter of universal taste. What you promote is not and cannot ever be a must of anything for the rest of humankind. Furthermore, you know nothing of me; literally, not a thing. You don’t know whether I’m interested in whatever it is you’re promoting, whether I hate it, whether I’m lukewarm, or whether it might be a PTSD trigger. Assuming your recommendations are a must for everyone else is dismissive of priorities, experiences, and circumstances that differ from yours. Lastly, your puny title tells me absolutely nothing about your list. There’s not even an indication of whether we’re talking about fiction or non-fiction. I won’t waste a click on a header that’s laughably generic. Congratulations, you’ve just wasted both your time and your employer’s dollars.
Instead, tell me why I might want to have a look at your list. For example, the headlines below have a significantly higher likelihood of getting a click, provided I’m remotely interested in the topic / genre / protagonist / etc.:
[number] Books to Read If You Like [topic]
Exploring [genre] Worlds: [number] Books for Newcomers
[number] Books with [type of protagonists]
Our Favorite [genre] Books in the Style of [popular title]
Love [author]? You Might Also Like These [number] Books on [topic]
New Books for [popular title] Fans to Check Out
[number] Books to Consider for [topic] Enthusiasts
Darker, Edgier [genre] Worlds
The [number] Most Inventive Books that Break [genre] Barriers
[number] Worlds to Delve into If You Like [author]
Much, much more informative, don’t you agree?
Image: detail of photograph by Mundo Resink via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
You ever leave a comment on someone’s blog, or at least try to, logged in your WordPress account already, happily press the “Post Comment” button, having already confirmed that your little Gravatar icon shows up correctly, only to have the &$%#&%* platform turn on you to ask “Are you [username]? You are being asked to login because [your email address] is used by an account you are not logged into now”?
WHY YES I AM ME, THAT’S WHY I’M FRACKING LOGGED IN ALREADY DID YOU NOT FRACKING SEE MY LOGIN!!!
Sure, there might be a solution to the problem, but it requires research that you don’t presently have the time for. As if you need another item on your to-do list, anyway, so you just put up with the stupidity. And besides, shouldn’t the point of saving your settings be that once you save ’em, they’re available for future use. RAAAAHHH!