Archive for the Grumblings Category

With Friends Like These…

Posted in Grumblings with tags , on November 10, 2017 by chemiclord

And now we can add Louis C.K. to the list of despicable men who have used their position and their fame to do disgusting things to women that didn’t dare ruin their careers by speaking out.

And while it’s bad enough that this is just another example of the systemic misogyny that plagues Hollywood (can we admit that this is a big problem in our entertainment industry now?), Louis C.K. joins Joss Whedon as someone who was supposedly one of feminism’s biggest allies in the industry.

As reported by the New York Times; https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/09/arts/television/louis-ck-sexual-misconduct.html

Ever wonder why women are always so suspicious of anyone who sounds like they support them?  People like this are the reason why.  Louis C.K. loved to say all the right things (I once noted that he could get away with a lot of seemingly sexist and racist comedy themes because he knew how to turn it around on himself, and that his “credit was good” on those topics).

And turns out he was as bankrupt as Harvey Weinstein.  It would be tough to absorb if there wasn’t a resigned “of course” about it all.  It’s no longer a surprise… these revelations are almost to be expected.

Sad thing is… it didn’t have to be this way.  When these rumors first began swirling, had Louis’s present been different from Louis past, he could have met them head on, acknowledged what had happened, and been a lesson about how people can grow and change over time.  Instead, by hiding behind the anonymity of the accusers, he allowed doubt and scorn to be turned on said accusers… which might have been the idea, really.

Hard not to look back and see Louis’s actions during all of this as an intimidation technique.  “Look at what society is going to do to you if you ever come forward and put a name to what I did to you.”  It’s an insidious implied threat and fortunately, at least in this case, society didn’t have this man’s back any longer.

On a purely personal level, this is very disappointing.  He was a brilliant performer, and had an amazing ability to turn the despicable and/or irrational behaviors of those in power on himself to deliver a message that was equal parts informing and comedic.

One of his best pieces that still had me chuckling the last time I watched it about a month ago is this one:

Now?  Well, it’s just further evidence of that age old axiom among creators.

“You write what you know.”

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On Labels…

Posted in Grumblings on October 22, 2017 by chemiclord

Between Joss Whedon’s affairs and sexual improprieties, and the recent revelations surrounding Tyler “Evilore” Malka (the owner of the video game forum NeoGAF), both men who were supposedly “progressive feminists”… it’s helped me understand my own reasons why I’ve never allowed myself to wrap myself in such labels.

I’ve been reluctant to call myself anything, admittedly (well, at least not anything kind), but it was especially true when it came to the topic of feminism.  I had never particularly thought it was my place to make such a declaration, even as I faced accusations that I was somehow ashamed of being grouped in with such “prominent” creators who proudly wore the label on their sleeve (metaphorically, of course).

But now, I think there was more to my decision that I wasn’t ever able to really explain properly.  Self-labeling, at least to the extent that a lot of creators do, really doesn’t mean much.  I can call myself anything.  That doesn’t make it true.  I could call myself the next great Neo-Nazi writer (for the record, I will never do this), but it’d be an empty label if I didn’t actually do anything to advance that cause.

A label is something you earn, and in the case of being a “feminist” it’s something a man especially has to continue to prove he deserves.

For what it’s worth, if others decide I’m a feminist and my writing is of feminist quality, it’s a label I will gladly accept.  But it’s not mine to bestow upon myself, nor would it be something that once earned, I’d earn forever.

Whedon and Malka and others like them either forgot that… or never bothered to learn.

I’m not sure which would be worse.

No Conventions for Old Men

Posted in Grumblings on August 28, 2017 by chemiclord

A friend of mine who calls himself Mookie composed a post bemoaning the lack of originality that he has seen in his convention forays.

http://www.starpowercomic.com/fan-art-is-everywhere-and-its-making-me-mad/

While I don’t go to nearly as many conventions as Mookie, I can confirm what he is seeing in the ones I do attend.  Fan art and fan compositions for sale do sure seem to overwhelm the sales floors.

I’m torn on this practice, because on a purely business standpoint, I understand why artists and creators are doing this.  As much as the public bemoans the “remake and/or sequel” of our entertainment industry, they sure as hell are supporting that trend where it matters (with their wallets).  People are risk-averse by nature, and dropping money down for something they don’t know much about is a big risk… they want things they already know they like.

Originality in our entertainment isn’t particularly rewarded, and never has been.  I won’t lie when I say what little niche I’ve carved for myself is almost entirely due to fan fiction, and the bleed off that I’ve gotten from people who have seen it and decided to give my other work a shot for it.

That said, fan work really should be the key that unlocks the door, not the one that keeps you in the room.  There doesn’t seem to be much point for a creator to simply use what someone else has done (especially when you aren’t giving a cut to the person you’re effectively stealing from).  You’re not a creator at that point… you’re just a copier.

I really don’t see how that would be particularly fulfilling or even all that lucrative at the end of the day.

The Problem I’m Having

Posted in Grumblings on August 20, 2017 by chemiclord

And what really boils to the core of why this blog hasn’t been getting many updates.

I decided that I really didn’t want this site to be a particularly “political” blog for my thoughts.  Sure, I’d occasionally dabble with it, but I didn’t want it overwhelming my feed.  There’s enough political opinion bouncing around, no one really wants to hear mine.

Well… that’s kinda all that my thoughts are focused on… and because of the above reason… that’s why no one’s seen many updates.

And I’m pretty awful at this “social presence” thing.  That’s probably the bigger problem.

Youmacon 2017 (I’ll Be There)

Posted in Grumblings on August 19, 2017 by chemiclord

Yep.  My first update in months, and it’s just a little note for where I’m predictably going to be this coming November.

I’m sorry.  I suck at this sort of thing.  That’s probably never going to change.

On Jaded Eyes and Rose Colored Glasses…

Posted in Grumblings on March 2, 2017 by chemiclord

I was never, nor had any particular desire, to be a psychologist or a behavioral scientist, but as an aspiring writer, how people behave and why is something of special interest to me.  And one of those behaviors that has always amused me is a sort of phenomenon I’m seeing as the latest iteration of the Zelda franchise is quite literally hours from official release.

A bit of disclosure; one of the first games I ever played that I didn’t have to copy myself from a book related to an Atari 800XL was the original Legend of Zelda, and I have at least attempted to play every console title of the series produced since them (and a handful of the handheld titles as well).  It’s one of a small handful of IPs that would be a wild dream of mine to write for.  So if I occasionally drift into fanboy territory with some of my prose here, that’s why.  I’ll try not to.

Anyway, what I’m describing as one behavior is really more two behaviors that are related to each other.  The first is a dogged, I dare say irrational, urge to be as jaded as possible about anything in the present or the immediate future.  It’s like an unspoken competition between people to be as negative as you possibly can about something right in front of you without getting your teeth punched in by someone else who is finally sick of your shit.  This is made all the easier by the inability to strangle someone through the internet, so online we get to see human behavior plumb to some depressing-to-the-point-of-comical depths.

And, no, it’s not something restricted to The Legend of Zelda or even games.  New movies, new shows, even remakes or new seasons of existing shows receive this treatment from a remarkably large segment of the public.

However, this tends to go hand in hand with another behavior, often by those same people; an equally dogged urge to remember what came before fondly, becoming ever more fond of what they experienced the further back they go.  This phenomenon is especially visible in the Legend of Zelda series, and why I noted it in regards to this intellectual property.  See, I remember the release window for The Wind Waker.  That thing was loathed for much of the period that it was the headlining title in the franchise.  The cel graphics were such an awful change in visuals.  The storyline was such a deviation from what had been so successful before.

Nowadays?  Those same fans look upon it as one of the best in the series.  The art style that had been a cop out to accommodate “weaker” hardware?  It’s “charming” and “colorful” now.  The story is now a “bold direction” to take, and history is now remembering it as one of the IP’s best titles.

Why did they have to abandon all that was so great about Wind Waker to make “The Legend of Skyrim?”

LAME!

We have gotten so good at dismissing what was bad about the past and comparing that idealized version that didn’t really exist to what is in front of us that I believe it contributes greatly to the gun-shy nature that infects our creative industries.  We punish the natural course of things… until it comes time to remember them… then wonder why more people don’t break the mold more often.

Okay, coming NOW to Kobo…

Posted in Grumblings on January 22, 2017 by chemiclord

Sometimes, I’m shocked by how quickly modern publishing can move.  Literally hours after I had submitted everything to Kobo for their review, all four books are live and for sale.  If you’ve been one of the few that have been waiting, just go ahead and find the relevant links within the stickied posts at the top of the blog.

And yes… at some point, I’m gonna need to put together a proper page for all of these so that people don’t have to navigate my blog.  I will.

Eventually.

I think.