Why Tinker Bell Is Awesome

This is a repost from my old blog. I still haven’t seen the Neverbeast movie, FYI.

 

I wasn’t interested in Disney‘s Tinker Bell when it came out in 2008. I thought it would be another lame “re-tell the movie from the perspective of the side kick” thing like The Lion King 1 1/2. I have never been crazy about Tinkerbell either. So I passed on the movie and completely missed the fact that there were sequels. When I saw the series on Netflix earlier this year I wrote the whole thing off as a shallow marketing ploy aimed at little girls who preferred fairies over princesses. (They also changed the spelling of the character’s name, which is a pet peeve of mine.)

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I was writing a post about how marketing is relevant to the success of any product or service — including entertainment — and I realized I was being a pissy little hypocrite when it came to the Disney Fairies. So, since my Netflix is active for this month, I decided to put my big girl pants on and just sit down and watch Tinker Bell.

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Star Trek, Sex, and Patriarchy: Is Will Riker A Jerk?

A few nights ago, a friend and I were talking about Star Trek. I brought up Cmdr. William Riker, who happens to be my favorite TNG cast member and the character I feel is the perfect embodiment of the space captain trope. (I know he’s the first officer, not the captain.  Keep reading.  It will make sense at the end.)

My friend characterized Riker as “a slut” and implied that because he enjoyed casual sex, he had no moral boundaries. Later, he went on to describe Riker as a jerk, presumably because Riker has multiple sex partners over the course of the series, is not interested in long-term relationships with most of them, and even when he is interested in a long-term relationship with Deanna Troi, he doesn’t press the issue and continues getting involved in casual relationships with women he meets throughout the galaxy.

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The Sorceress Didn’t Have to Lie to Teela and Here’s Why

Sorceress of Castle Grayskull

Sorceress of Castle Grayskull (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

This post is a re-working of several posts I made in early 2014 about the Sorceress and Teela.

 

My biggest plotting pet peeve is when characters keep secrets from one another that serve no useful purpose.  There’s nothing wrong with the character having a secret or secrets. It drives me crazy when characters keep secrets that do more harm than good and never seem to grasp the idea that they are causing their own problems when they lie to their loved ones.  There are PLENTY of good, interesting stories that can be told without this particular cheap plot device.

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Remakes, Reimaginings and Why LeVar Burton is Awesome

levar-burton-app_1000

This is an update of one of my first blog posts!

A few years ago, I saw a short interview clip with LeVar Burton on Yahoo! Shine.  (It’s not active anymore, sadly.)

I don’t usually watch actor interviews, but I knew that Mr. Burton wouldn’t be in character, so I thought I might enjoy it.  I was surprised, though.  I was truly impressed and challenged when Burton started to discuss his involvement with Reading Rainbow and an upcoming re-make of Roots.

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Technology and Civilization

Spent the last half hour trying to create a new Yahoo account to share public domain photos on Flickr.
 
Yahoo now requires a cell phone and “doesn’t support” landline phones. Other email providers I checked are heading the same way for new accounts.
 
I am regularly asked to text people photographs. No one says “Do you have a phone? Can your phone do this…?” anymore.
 
Cell phones are becoming a ubiquitous part of society, like “regular” phones have been for generations.
 
A prepaid cell can cost as little as $9.99
 
And yet, I consistently hear people grumbling about “the poor” having access to cell phone technology on the assumption that cell phones still cost hundreds of dollars.
 
“If you can afford a cell phone, you aren’t poor/don’t need help.”
 
Slowly but surely, we are creating a social order in which access to technology means access to civilization.
 
Think I’m exaggerating? Catastrophizing?
 
Science fiction has been predicting the future for a long time now…

Saving Grace: There’s No One On My Side

Holly Hunter

Holly Hunter (Photo credit: geminicollisionworks)

[This is a reworking of an old essay from 2014]

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been re-watching the show Saving Grace for an analysis series about portrayals of alcoholism and other chemical addictions on television. I ended up thinking more about my own experiences as an abuse survivor. On the surface, I’m nothing like Grace Hanadarko, but I understand her character on a level that (I hope) most audience members will never have to. Continue reading

Love Stories: Randor and Marlena

I want to reshare these amazing tributes to the two people whose love story has held my imagination for close to thirty years.  I felt like sharing them today would be appropriate.  The vidder is an amazing artist who uses the fandom nick Teelana78.

My Biggest Pop-Culture Plottin Pet Peeve

 

[This is a slightly altered version of one of my earliest blog posts, cleaned up as a standalone piece.

 

My biggest plotting pet peeve can be summed up  in the following phrase:

“I can’t tell you —for your own protection!”

It’s often used in connection with characters who have secret identities or live double lives. So, it’s common when dealing with superheroes, but I’ve also seen it in urban fantasy, thrillers, mystery novels, and it pops up every now and again in high fantasy. You have a hero who is supposed to be trustworthy keeping a huge secret from his or her loved ones, coworkers, etc. The secret is usually justified by saying something to the effect that if any of these people knew the secret, it would put them in greater danger. The problem is, these people are usually in a lot of danger anyway, and keeping them in the dark doesn’t serve any useful purpose. It’s a lazy, cheap, overused way of creating plot tension, and it becomes an excuse to keep characters from growing and changing in their relationships with one another.

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Syfy’s Dune: How Irulan Corrino Changed My Life

[This Essay is A Slight Reworking of one of my first posts on this blog.]

Syfy’s Dune: How Irulan Corrino Changed My Life.

 *Images in this post are courtesy of The Royal Sacrifice.  There’s a more complete biography of Irulan here on the Dune Wiki for anyone not familiar with the character or the world of Dune.  You can also check out the related links section for more comprehensive analyses of Frank Herbert’s work, because I’m afraid if I tried to do that I would write a 900 page book.

Irulan is my least favorite character in the Dune Chronicles, and she is one of my least favorite fictional characters ever.  So, she’s the last person I ever expected to have a positive impact on me, but watching John Harrison’s Dune miniseries changed my perception of her.

While I’m not always a fan of reboots or re-imaginings, I do feel that  seeing different adaptations and reimagined versions can help illuminate different aspects of a character or help me see things about them that I hadn’t noticed before.
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[Draft Version] Why I’m Not Russell Crowe Anymore

This is a repost of my essay from the other day. The original has been updated. After I had it. Workshopped through Blogging 201.

I’m reposting the draft version as part of a case study I’m planning for next month next month.

russell_crowe_the_insiderHave you ever seen the movie Insider with Russell Crowe? It’s an awesome story about a scientist named Jeffrey Wigand. Wigand is a (real life) former tobacco exec who helped expose the dangers of smoking and Big Tobacco’s efforts to keep that knowledge from the public.

I love stories like that.  Russell Crowe does that kind of character a lot.  It’s one of many reasons he resonates with me as an actor.

In the movie, Wigand had no interest in becoming an activist. A series of complications backed him into a corner, and he had to choose between letting big tobacco intimate him and collaborating with a reporter. He didn’t want to be a hero in the conventional sense. He wasn’t chasing justice because justice mattered. He was pissed off and fought back because somebody fucked with him and threatened his family.

I’ve been that person. I’ve also been the crusader for justice who would take up political activism because it was the right thing to do and somebody had to.

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