I Learn A New Word

I learned the word fulgurous today. It means characteristic of or resembling lightning, i.e. “the fulgurous crack of the whip.” Feel free to work that into your everyday conversations, people.

Lightning, UK Telegraph newspaper

 

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Keep Flying with “The Verse,” Firefly Style

The television show Firefly basically became, with one short season on Fox in the U.S. and a follow-up movie, Serenity, for the fans, the mini-series that could. Over a decade after its ending, it’s still loved and feted internationally, and hosts an empire of comics, toys, models, games and merchandise. (My daughter currently has an official Jane hat in her room.)

One of those purveyors of “geek” merchandise, Loot Crate, does subscription gift boxes, and to promote its newest one, it decided to fund a “fan” short film in the Firefly universe, employing the help of several Firefly fan organizations and having Quantum Mechanix, the creators of Firefly Online, do the ship model effects. The result is “The Verse”, a 17-minute short film on the Web that looks and feels close to Joss Whedon’s western with spaceships, with characters loosely similar to the original show’s, but different enough in ways that make them rather interesting.

“The Verse” appears to have had official permission or at least no official objection from the show’s rights holders, since it’s helping sell Firefly merchandise and it’s free. And for us Browncoats, it’s both a pleasant shot of an old fix and a murmur of hope that maybe an official Web or t.v. spin-off of Firefly might get off the ground somewhere. I wouldn’t mind seeing more chapters of “The Verse,” in any case, though the actors need to get a little more comfortable with the dialogue style.

So if you want to have some fun, take a gander at a labor of love and commerce that still charms our attention:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spam Poetry, Philosophical Version

My current batch of spam comments, when not in Asian print characters, has gone from admonishing me to philosophical cultural commentary.

“Perhaps I’ve been looking at too many fashion magazines. There are a lot of them, proliferating in somewhat the way fashion itself has, as a decentralized system constantly mutating, replicating and deconstructing itself as the globe grows ever smaller. Increasingly, fashion has come to seem influenced not so much by monolithic and oracular editorial posses as by renegades, outsiders with few historical ties to the trade.”

Interesting thesis, give me a twelve page proposal on it by Monday. What? It could be true. I don’t know, I don’t read fashion magazines. What I do know is that A) 90 percent of fashion for stores is designed for fifteen-year-old underweight straight-figured girls, and B) fashion currently is frantically recycling styles from the 1970’s, 80’s, and early 1990’s, which I suspect is not very outlawy.

“’Whether an abduction occurred or not remains to be seen, and out of respect for those close to the ski, I’m not going to speculate on that at this time,’” Sheriff DiSalvo told reporters, adding that every second the ski remained missing its owner was losing valuable time on the slopes. “’Obviously, the pain of knowing one’s ski is out there somewhere, very possibly in harm’s way, is a lot to bear. I just can’t imagine if it were my own ski.’”

This is quite funny satire and fairly coherent, so I’m guessing they cribbed it from something. How this is supposed to sell me anything other than skis, I’m not sure. Perhaps it was penned by a renegade outsider with few historical ties to the trade.

“Fit a period restricted in songs. Similar to a patent is basically a fixed monopoly whereby typically the obvious support is actually awarded the particular unique to certainly make, work with, market the actual branded innovation for any confined time period. Once the name associated with defense has finished, typically the branded development goes in anyone area. Songs is no distinct after that an individual inventing anything.”

Sounds pretty, but doesn’t scan. I think they are making an argument for plagiarism of music and limitation of copyright. Why are they doing such a thing? They’re renegade outlaws! Don’t question it!

 

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Diversity Issues Are An On-going Campaign

Normally after I’d done a mini-rant on how Wonder Woman is getting marginalized and washed down, I wouldn’t plop down another group of diversity writing links so soon after, but there’s been a lot happening this particular spring and summer, a lot of it deeply saddening. The good side is that a lot of people have been writing interesting pieces on the issues, pulling up stats and social research, explaining for the umpteenth time what privilege is — since people seem to have a very hard time understanding that not being discriminated against in the society for being in a demographic group is actually a privilege that has wide ranging effects. But since I was otherwise occupied, those pieces I thought worth looking at piled up. You may have seen some of these already, but they are here for your reference. This batch is from earlier in the year, plus one older one:

1) Soraya L. Chemaly looks at how women’s speech is suppressed and erased on an every day basis, starting in childhood, with lots of lovely links to research studies, in “10 Simple Words Every Girl Should Learn“.

2) David Mura adds some interesting thoughts in the wake of discussions over author Junot Diaz’s piece on MFA degrees regarding people of color, in “POV on the Response to Junot Diaz’s MFA Vs. POC“.

3) Anne Ursu on her blog looks at how women YA and children’s writers get erased and the issue of diversity problems in children’s/YA publishing in her piece called, “‘The John Green Effect’, Contemporary Realism and Form as a Political Act“.

4) Devin Faraci at BadAss Digest looks at the inequality towards female directors in Hollywood and film in “2002’s K-19 is the Most Expensive Live Action Film from a Female Director“.

5) Model View Culture‘s Editors penned “An Open Letter on Feminism in Tech” about sexism in the tech industry.

6) Todd Harper at Polygon talks about the suppression of diversity in games and the particular excuse that having diversity destroys enjoyment in “Erasing Your Audience Isn’t ‘Fun’“.

7) Vixy, a blogger, writes about the answers to the question “What am I supposed to do about it?” regarding discrimination in society, in “So What Am I Supposed to Do About It? #YesAllWomen“.

8) Arthur Chu writes at The Daily Beast about the sexist scripts male “nerds” are taught in “Your Princess is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds“.

9) Damien Walter at The Guardian talks about diversity in SFF and regarding awards issues in “Science Fiction’s Real-Life War of the Worlds“.

10) SorryWatch talks about sexism towards female athletes in “Wanted: #1-ranked Tennis Player, No Fatties“.

11) Andy Duncan has a brief word for pals complaining that there’s too much complaining about diversity in “Politics in SF, What Side Am I On?“.

12) And finally, one from 2012 that I was introduced to, by Doug Muder, on privilege, that I thought was very apt, “The Distress of the Privileged“.

 

 

 

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Wonder Woman and the Costume

Getting back in the saddle again, and one of the funnier things that happened when I was on hiatus was the release of photos from the supremely weird DC Comics movie venture, Batman v. Superman.

I have not had occasion to write about Wonder Woman for several years, largely because nothing much was happening with Wonder Woman. The television series was scrapped, the new look and new story version of Wonder Woman in the comics (the comfy pajamas look,) went bye-bye at the conclusion of that alternate universe idea, and she returned to an outfit that was a variation of the older version that also is in the animated stories, and got another slightly changed origin story. And of course, there was no Wonder Woman film on the horizon because it was “too hard” for them to do apparently.

Then came word that Wonder Woman might be in the possibly going to get made Justice League movie, DC’s attempt to build a Marvel-style multi-franchise. And then it was announced that she would have some sort of bit part in Batman vs. Superman, and be played by actress Gal Gadot. Shortly before and at the San Diego ComicCon, DC released some promotional stills that included the new movie Wonder Woman in her new costume.

What were they going to do? Would they go with the classic signature stars bathing suit, (which originally had a skirt that got shorter and shorter and then removed,) like they did in the t.v. show of the 1970’s? Would they put her in pants, like the comics attempted and they’d planned for the t.v. show? Would she have a full out unitard like Batman and Superman? Here’s what they went with:

gal-gadot-wonder-woman-news-sdcc1

That might seem a tad familiar:

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Yep, they made Wonder Woman into Xena: Warrior Princess. This is not entirely unfair, as the look and some parts of the character of Xena were loosely modeled after Wonder Woman (ancient Greco-Roman don’t you know,) but the similarities are quite striking. Wonder Woman now has, like Xena, a sword, over the knee boots, bracers on her arms instead of bracelets, a leather doublet, a skirt of leather strap panels, all turned a dark wine red color akin to Xena’s reddish brown outfit.

In other words, their solution to the not really a problem costume problem was to go with yet another generic (and still impractical) style of costume — the fantasy lady quest warrior. Other than that she still has the lasso attached to her hip, you’d be very hard press to know that this picture of Gal Gadot was Wonder Woman unless you were told, and not instead a photo of some new character for the next 300 film sequel.

The irony of course is that in keeping their rebooted Superman, Henry Cavill, who is firmly rooted in the modern world, and having an aged version of Batman, played by Ben Affleck, DC/Warner actually had some grounds for giving Wonder Woman one of the more contemporary looks to match them. Instead, they went pseudo-ancient, so perhaps Wonder Woman is popping in from another dimension to borrow a cup of sugar. And when she does, she’ll be just another generic if kick-ass female, not distinctive, iconic, her own person. Not red and blue and gold — because Superman wears red and blue. Not immediately recognizable, like Batman in his unchanging black cowl. Just a female in red leather with a sword who could have been called anything.

Here’s hoping that they don’t decide to cut her out of the movie altogether in the end. Because for the last 75 years of Wonder Woman history, she is apparently very, very scary just as herself.

wonderwoman_large

 

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Goodnight, sweet Robin Goodfellow

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Videos for the Summer Is Almost Over Realization

I’m to be away, so have some funny videos:

The choir boys at Oxford do a Shakira medley for charity. Yes, they largely have no rhythm but Shakira found it endearing:

True Facts About the Owl (and Giggles):

Jeff Bridges does a “Big Lebowski” tribute in throwing out the first pitch at a L.A. Dodgers game. (His current wild west look goes perfectly):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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