Archive for December, 2015

On An Awakening Force…

Posted in Grumblings with tags , on December 29, 2015 by chemiclord

I want to get this out of the way right now.  The Force Awakens is a very good (if not great) Star Wars movie.  I enjoyed watching it, especially a couple weeks after release where I had the theater more or less to myself.

I have nothing but respect for J. J. Abrams, and feel he did a masterful job with a setting and style that is right in his wheelhouse.

I think the characters are brilliant (Harrison Ford stepped so effortlessly back into the shoes of Han Solo that I’m starting to think he’s just been method acting the character for the last 35 years).  I think it is brilliant having a woman and a minority as lead characters (if for no reason than to see the GamerGater racist pricks cry bitter tears of betrayal).

Kylo Ren is everything that Anakin Skywalker was supposed to be in the prequel trilogy.

The call backs and parallels between Episode 7 and Episode 4 are well done.  The people who made this movie know exactly what makes a Star Wars movie, and they nail pretty much every single point to perfection.

The problem, for me, is that I don’t think Star Wars movies are really my thing anymore.

The Force Awakens does absolutely nothing to challenge the Star Wars mythos.  Which is a shame, because that’s what I really wanted to see.

Emotions = rage = chaos = evil.  That’s the dark side in a nutshell posed in the movies and the books.  It doesn’t have to be, and in my opinion shouldn’t be, so conveniently easy to suss out, but it is.  Rather than challenge that statement, The Force Awakens reinforces it.  Kylo Ren is clearly an out of control emotional mess, for reasons that are not wholly clear yet.  Snoke is clearly manipulative evil, seeking nothing but death and destruction for death and destruction’s sake… because he can, and because he can, he will.

The Star Wars mythos offers no room for complexity, a complexity that I feel it desperately needs at this point.  It doesn’t have to be the way it is.  The canon has the ability to be more than that.  It would be amazing to have a Sith antagonist that actually follows the Sith Code rather than give it lip service while turning into something barely above an animal in terms of spiritual and emotional development.

Imagine an antagonist that can actually challenge the Jedi way with more than brute force.  One that can demonstrate how logic, serenity, and mercy has its problems too.  Picture Jedi struggling not just with the dark side, but with living evidence that the jedi code is also incomplete (because, guess what, it is… dreadfully).

Bioware’s efforts with Knights of the Old Republic come so very close to this, even as it falters in the end.  Malak becomes the traditional dark side villain, and Revan either follows that path or converts to a traditional Jedi protagonist (depending on the path you choose).  But in that game (and its sequel), I see what the Star Wars universe could be, and I like that idea.

Shame that The Force Awakens is merely a very good Star Wars movie.

On (A Lack Of) Sexuality…

Posted in Grumblings on December 24, 2015 by chemiclord

Warning: You’re about to enter my headspace again.  You read further willingly, and I am not responsible for any brain damage you may receive.

I am, ostensibly, a straight cisgendered male.  In the most technical definition, this is true.  I have found women attractive in the past, and have never held any sexual attraction to a man.  I would, in the most literal definition, be a painfully solid 0 on the Kinsey Scale.

But technical and literal definitions don’t really tell the whole story.  In my thirty-seven years on this earth, the number of women that have earnestly interested me could be counted on one hand (you might need a second if your name isn’t Count Rugen).  I am probably far closer to non-sexual than anything else.

I am perfectly fine with the theory of sex and sexual contact, but find the practice fairly uninteresting.  My passions and hormones are at best stirred for a handful of days every few months at the best of times.  And I have had one relationship fall apart for those very reasons.

Why do I bring this up?  Because when trolls, creeps, perverts, and Men’s Right Activists accuse me of trying to suck up to women in the hopes that I can get in their pants, it is one of the few times that my temper boils, as if the only reason I could possibly defend women online was because I was thinking with my dick.

It can’t be because I find the treatment of women in public scenarios disgusting or distasteful.  I can’t be because I see how horribly skewed society is in favor of the male gender.  It can’t be because I think that just because a girl has a twitch channel and doesn’t wear clothes from neck to ankle, that she doesn’t deserve to be asked about the size of her breasts, or suggest she could make more money if she’d just “pull her fat tits out.”

No, it must be because I’m trying to score.  And that disgusts me almost as much as the bullshit a lot of women get just by existing.

I have next to no skin in that game, literally and figuratively.  That dog don’t hunt.  Try again.

On Censorship (Gamer Edition)…

Posted in Grumblings on December 14, 2015 by chemiclord

So, apparently censorship means something wholly different in this day and age.

But ya know what?  Okay.  Language is an ever changing thing, and definitions shift over time.  So let’s just get over that.  If our society has decided that censorship means “any change made by a creator to try and make their work have more widespread appeal,” so be it.

But… why does it seem to be that all the cries of “censorship” specifically have to do with the push for less scantily clad women in video games?

Is this really the hill gamers want to make their stand on?  Especially when it pertains to 13-year olds with bikini costumes altered to cover more?  Is… that really the line you’re going to draw in the sand?

Or lingerie outfits for characters ostensibly locked in a horrific struggle for their lives and sanity?

Is this really what we want to define censorship as in the future?

Because, well, it doesn’t speak very well for you, even if you think your motives are pure.