By Any Other Name
the tale of Willow

Date: 02:55AM | Sat, December 17th | 2011
Subject: MMPORPG: Star Wars - The Old Republic
Security: Public
Mood:hungry, disappointed, mildly pissed hungry, disappointed, mildly pissed
Tags:#social justice issues: media representa, games: general, genre: scifi & fantasy

The fairy dust dropped off the Franchise for me w/ the prequels - perhaps even earlier w/ the revised originals. Tried to sleep, it ended up being a nap. Internet currently working for the moment - I watched a let's play. Only thing going through my head in that 1st episode? What are the Jedi doing on a planet that has native inhabitants - calling said inhabitants hostile cause they don't like that someone came and set up shop in their home? WTF is it 'OMG, they're primitive but now they have guns!' With the strong implication that some outsider power is supplying them and thus these natives have no agency and exist to be killed, for HP. My frowny face, people. My frowny face.

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Date: 03:10PM | Thu, July 21st | 2011
Subject: Alphas (Tv Series)
Security: Public
Mood:eye roll for days eye roll for days
Tags:#social justice issues, genre: scifi & fantasy, tv

Dear Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, how do you stand it having people cribbing your shit ALL THE TIME?

Seriously WTF Alphas? Finally got around to watching it, and I couldn't stop laughing. Professor Xavier w/ his First Class Five. And a Magneto who sees 20 moves ahead and knows homo sapiens will react with panic and fear, experimentation, exploitation and annihilation.

Yeah, I suppose it could be one of those stories, in the sense of there are only a set number of stories in the universe and the trick and skill is in how you craft the tale. But seriously?

Even if I did like the little twist of this universe's Magneto seeing the truth not due to history repeating itself, but because he's a probability cause and effect master - there is still a most intimate and sensitive relationship, a betrayed trust, and a realization that that person is purposely (perhaps optimistically or blocked due to privilege) not comprehending the truth of the situation.

I can't even. I just. can't. even.

Maybe this is one case where I'm too genre savvy to just go with the flow. Or, I don't know, too contemporary times savvy. I see all the time the reactions to equality of life for everyone; the hoarding of privilege, the lashouts, etc. It could be there's a reason this particular tale gets repeated in a manner so formulaic - it's all wide eyed, non self analytical white privileged dudes doing the damn writing.

But whatever.

I'm still seriously WTF? Really SEEFFEEY Channel?

Also I saw a snippet somewhere months ago about the formulaic characters themselves; the gender and racial and possibly socio-economic make-up. And I find myself nodding along, wondering if that ties into my point about the writers and how it makes the story so damn repetitive. The black guy is strong and occasionally feels no pain (and scared the white women), a woman is the seductress manipulator, bristle face loner white dude is misunderstood with issues around failure, fatherhood and manliness, shy latina/immigrant is 'oversensative'/perceives the world oh so differently from any of us, and I twitched at the 'autistic dude does computer' - ooh a way to put 'purpose' to seemingly random movements.

So much headsmack.

So much headsmack.

And oh yeah, the latina was gonna have to personally hand clean the office.

Eye roll forever.

While I know characters, especially in television, start off broadly defined and can overtime develop more complexity, I'm still left going; glazed donut, glazed donut, glazed donut.

Small upside: Saw 'Murphy' and whathisface from The 4400, and what'shisotherface from Due South / BSG. It was all 'Hee! Canada Urban SciFi Actors! Woot!'.

PS: Don't even talk to me about how they chose to represent Synaesthasia and how I feel about a WoC doing the grunt work of a whole damn lab without more compensation than a pat on the shoulder and a good job, but all the expectation the work should be done. Sweet Mongrely Christmas, that's some bullshit right there.

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Date: 08:48PM | Sat, October 6th | 2007
Subject: Tap tap: Hello, is this thing on? I have a question.
Security: Public
Tags:genre: scifi & fantasy, question everything, thoughts on: fiction, writing: me

Quick random question:

Has anyone ever wondered, whenever they read fantasy stories with prophecies just where the hell the prophecy came from?

I mean how does that work? Who says "And in the year of ___ there shall come ___ who will ___ and ___ our _____ "

I admit it, some of this is triggered by seeing online vids and ads for Playstation 3's newest game: H E A V E N L Y     S W O R D . But that was mostly because of the phrasing:

It was written that 23 years ago, in the year of the FireHorse, a deity would be reborn in the body of a mortal man, a saviour destined to unite our people and show us the way to the promised land.

But fantasy stories, a lot of fantasy stories have prophecies about, .. and one day a king shall come... a warrior ... a noble from the house of... the monks shall take in a child...the sword shall choose the victor...blahblah cakes and jam!

My memory occasionally sucks, so maybe I've just forgotten who gives these prophecies and how they come about. But right now I'm inclined to think they're nothing but plot tools that are never properly explained. That the author needs for their hero to be 'the chosen one' and they forget all about attaching the prophecy into the world they've built.

Where did this trope come from? I know I've got the extremely college educated and curious occasionally reading my rambles, so please? A little help?

I've never thought of putting prophecy into any of my stories because it seems like such a cop-out.

"Oh the hero's destined to win, because they were destined to be born and destined to find the weapon/weakness/information that will free us all."

Where's the suspense exactly? Is it in which side-kick doesn't make it to the end? Why don't prophecies say: " Hey, that guy with the bum leg and the blue eyes who ascends the throne in the year ___ will go stark raving mad and eat his children. You should bump him off in two years. And never let his bloodline near political power again. "

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Date: 10:58AM | Wed, September 5th | 2007
Subject: (no subject)
Security: Public
Tags:genre: scifi & fantasy, show: the 12 kingdoms, things i like, writing: me

Can't stop thinking about The Twelve Kingdoms. There's a touch of awe involved as well as just plain liking and admiration of common sense in the author's (Fuyumi Ono) world building. She's said in interviews that she didn't consider herself a fantasy writer and had never done anything like it before and so she went at it as a historical piece about a fantasy world, basing several bits on mythology of her region (Asia, specifically China I believe).

More writerly thoughts about world building in fantasy here. )

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By Any Other Name
of Willow
January 2016