Lady Actors Doin’ All the Work

As I mentioned in passing in my post the other day, I’ve noticed lady actors often have to work harder than men. Men in acting are allowed to “go subtle,” probably because the directors have heteronormative notions about what looks cool from masc characters. I think that sucks. Men flipping out have been very memorable and cool in cinema history. Se7en Brad’s “What’s in the box?!,” young Mel tremblin’ and shakin’ in Lethal Weapon, lots of guys in Hong Kong cinema.

High key moments aside, even being expressive in casual scenes is surprisingly amiss in dudes. I feel like a big reason young Bruce Willis was a sex symbol was that he bothered to fuckin’ smile in his movies. Arch an eyebrow, look at someone sideways. Use your facial muscles, guys.

I’m mostly noticing this in TV. Steven Amell‘s tiny eyeballs would be hard-pressed to register an emotion, so maybe he has an anatomical disadvantage compared to the rest of the cast of his show. I’m watching all the episodes of Dead Zone I missed back when it aired, and as much as I want to like Anthony Michael Hall, he is usually dead-faced as hell. This was at its worst in the episode when he had a one-night thing with his ex. All the tension and drama throughout the season, Nicole de Boer looking at him with a face brimming with intense feels, and AMH was just kinda standing there bugging his eyes out.

Let’s say for the sake of argument that due to cultural expectations and dramatic conventions, they just gotta play it cool 99% of the time. They still need to let it out of the bottle when it counts. The aforementioned scene in Dead Zone? Way undercut by the man’s acting.

The most comical example ever had to come from the otherwise pretty decent Sam Waterston early in his run on Law & Order. There was an episode where a lady he’d worked with in the past got busted for an ethical violation, which she said she did in his name, because they were having hawt romantical naked torrid hawt affairs. That actress – Laila Robins – was falling all over herself to show that she had some kind of intimate connection with Sam’s character Jack McCoy. Bedroom eyes all the time, slouching around like Mae West. And for all that? Waterston wobbled uncomfortably in his starched collar like an asexual quail.
 

Laila Robins as Diana Hawthorne on Law & Order
too hawt for quails

 
Not that there’s anything wrong with some quails being asexual, but they seem miscast opposite a siren. It was unintentionally funny, but also emblematic of the prob. Men need to work harder in the acting game. And not like Jared Leto.

Great Shows with Nowhere to Go

HBO’s Westworld and SyFy’s 12 Monkeys. I’ve liked those shows a lot. Westworld was laughably edgy at times, seemed like it was trying to reach a quota of F bombs and tiddies in some episodes, but had several excellent to truly great things about it. 12 Monkeys played with a lot of sketchy mental illness tropes, had all the time travel related foolishness you might expect, and used a child as a character motivation in a way that felt emotionally dishonest and a bit ridiculous to me. And the lead actor looks like a tired otter. But it had a bad-ass two-fisted style and some sweet moments of plot payoff. I love the first season twist ending about The Power of Friendship, and Kirk Acevedo is sexy in a way that I find hard to explain. Plus the lead actress (as usual) does all the heavy lifting on the show, and does it well.

I’ve liked both of those shows a lot, but I have such big doubts about future seasons that I’m unlikely to tune in unless I get very positive spoilers. The places they left off promised nothing good. Spoilers below the fold. Anyhow, do you ever get like this? Find yourself bouncing on a show because you can’t imagine it sustaining the same quality going forward?
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On Mother’s Day

Today as I was in a drive-through to get breakfast, I saw a crow get its breakfast. Right in front of me, just as I was saying something nice about crows (I’d recently seen one using a proper tool and it warmed my heart), a crow flipped a sub-adult pigeon off the roof and started pecking it to death slow like. Up on the roof, a mother watched its child murdered. Portentous?

The driver of the car was herself a mother, and more upset by the scene than I was. Dismal business, if natural on all accounts.


Uncomfortable Positions

Some people occupy uncomfortable positions in culture. Ladies that are into video games, when gaming culture is overrun with misogyny. Ex-muslims who want to denounce islam, without playing into the hands of racists and xenophobes. Atheists that care about their fellow humans at all, apparently. For all of us, there’s a lot of choosing your battles, choosing your allies, choosing your enemies, and – worst of all – having those options taken away from you by circumstance.

Some of my favorite bloggers in progressive atheism have gone silent in the face of this horrorshow world kicking it up all of the notches. Unrelated, maybe. I think some people are considering the path of least resistance – scaling back their approach to social justice issues, tolerating some skeevy fools more than they would have a year ago. Maybe for some of us, that’s really what we would have preferred all along – not getting into an ideological corner box where one must fight the world.

That isn’t me. I’m in the corner box, no interest in playing nice with people I fundamentally disagree with about hugely important issues. If you want more discourse with people who don’t see you as fully human, there will be blogs you can follow. If you’d rather not see that, this place is going to remain clean as a whistle. I don’t care if people see me as a jackbooted enemy of all freedomz amurrica holds dear, but I have no intention of loosening up moderation here in any way.

Certainly, I have no intention of cutting slack to half-assed allies and NPR liberals either. If you’re 95% in favor of the progressive agenda, but feel the need to condescend about bellicose radicals, don’t bother to comment. I can take criticism, I know I’m not always right, but I won’t take it from someone who has to be an asshole about it. Already banned one fool over that. Step up to the plate if you like, you’ll get the same.

Anyhow, I find running this kind of show makes my personal uncomfortable position a lot easier to navigate. There are a few battles I’m avoiding, you can guess at. But within the blog? It’s the SJW-dome. For me at least, fuck anything less.

All that said, as much as I have a powerful distaste for the nice guy approach, can’t hang with it, I really don’t want anyone to think I begrudge them for going that way. We’re all in uncomfortable positions, some worse than others, and it’s far from the worst thing one can do, morally. There’s even a place in the world for people too peaceful to punch nazis. It’s a different path. Good luck with it.


LGBT Lingo and Pronouns in Europe

I understand there are a lot of borrow words from the American movement. One thing I don’t know about is if folks of non-binary genders have terminology for themselves in various non-English languages, and if they would prefer some different pronouns, how they handle that. I know we have that international audience here. Let us know how you do.


Who Loves the Wachowski Speed Racer Movie?

Somebody has to. Maybe you saw it as a child and it totally worked for you? I wanna know. One thing about the Wachowski sisters, they like to try something new. I think the movie was an ambitious failure, but had a lot of gusto. Some of it worked. Just, as a whole? Too gotdam zany for 99% of the human species. I’d love to hear somebody talk about it fondly, or tell me about someone they know who likes it. I think the effort deserves at least a few fans. Who are they?

Here’s one positive review from Emily Asher-Perrin. I want more.


There’s a Concept

There’s a concept that occurred to me some time ago, and I see it occurred to others as well. Well, less the concept, which is well known, but the label for it: “cultural gamers.” I’d like to do a more thorough article on it some time, but for now, a quick summary.

One of the articles that brought a writer into the crosshairs of internet shitbabies suggested that “gamers are over.” It also neatly summarized the view of that maladjusted mob from outside. Useful, because for years they’d mostly been described from within, by the likes of sycophantic game journos and gamer webcomics. The concept of gamer culture was now more accurately defined.

Meanwhile, internet nazis decided “cultural marxists” were a thing to fear and fight. This is the thing that makes “cultural gamer” an amusing turn of phrase. It’s an accurate description of people who base much of their identity on that pastime, but also echoes a term their fellow regressive nightmare people use for the rest of us.

So cultural gamers, as people, as cogs in the internet’s human ruining machinery, as distinct from people-who-play-vidya-games. I don’t care for ’em. Can’t think of anything clever to say about that at the moment.


Buying Child Porn on iTunes

The title of this post is an extremely tasteless joke, but it fits the foulness of my mood on this subject. In the last few months I’ve become aware that Apple has, through ignorance ineptitude or uncaring, allowed its iTunes gift cards to become a prime currency of the black market, which means most assuredly that people are using those things to pay for child pornography, weapons, drugs, prostitution, and soooo many stolen things. Not to mention the money laundering. So my question for Apple: If you’re allowing this to happen, why not sell the contraband directly through your corporate platform? And fuck y’all evil asses.

For any naive old folks in my readership, never do any business involving iTunes cards on any end. They’re employed in a number of cons these days. Heard about this deal where they try to get you to deposit a check for $3000, spend $2700 of it on iTunes cards which you return to them, and keep the $300. Do not bite.

Muted Commercials

Corporations do franchise-wide updates of their interior and exterior design. One day you’re at the McDonalds and it’s primary colors clownland, the next day it’s classy hipster color swatches and the M is italicized. Usually they do not advertise the redesign overtly, they just slip it into the background of a commercial or whatever.

Domino’s Pizza isn’t so restrained. They have a series of commercials now talking about how cool their new look is. Anyhow, I ALWAYS mute commercials, so I miss some information and it can occasionally have amusing results. One time I saw a commercial for I think heart medicine? and without the sound it seemed like the family’s children transformed into happy healthy pet dogs. And just now I saw this one about the redesign at Domino’s.

First they show all this Made-in-Amurrica imagery like a truck commercial. There’s perfectly manicured farmland, white men in overalls, someone using a machine that shoots beautiful sparks. They transitioned from an image of a barn to somebody furiously digging a hole inside, which was a bit bizarre. “This is where real Americans stash the bodies,” you know?

So, time for the big reveal. This is what it looks like inside the fresh look new Domino’s pizza. Everyone’s happy, customers and employees alike. What does it look like? A cool barnhole? No, a payday check establishment with bulletproof windows. So, kinda like it already did, but with lovely commercial lighting. Congratulations.


Signal Boost: Fuck Marvel Nazis

Via someone who calls herself “drachentöter” on tumblr, regarding the recent “nazis were meant to win WWII” reveal in some recent shit-ass Marvel comics by shit-ass nazi fetishist / “civility advocate” Nick Spencer:

it’s exhausting to keep seeing people talk about marvel’s hydra problem as an issue of them just being tone-deaf or obtuse or clueless, this “boys will be boys” mild eyeroll attitude to the entire conversation that so vastly downplays just how fucking evil these people are

do you honestly think that the CEO of marvel who is an outspoken trump supporter and pumped millions of money into the trump campaign doesn’t know what he’s doing by pushing the nazi faction into the limelight of his comics?

turning captain america, the literal symbol for american nationalism and patriotism, into a supporter of hydra and therefore a nazi, is not a writing accident. it is deliberate.

their latest little ~fuck up~ of asking comic stores to re-brand their stores and work uniforms with hydra logos, is not just a PR gaffe. it’s deliberate.

their continuous campaign to make nazis into a faction readers are supposed to find exciting, supposed to align themselves with, supposed to wear on their shirts like a uniform, is not an accident in the kind of political climate we’re in right now. it’s deliberate.

i don’t care that hydra is fictional, this isn’t like the empire in star wars or w/e where it’s just about some sort of vague fascism aesthetic. hydra were always explicitly n a z i s, since their very conception, have always been called nazis by marvel, have always stood for nazi values. and now marvel is trying to make them cool again. and it’s not a fucking accident.

stop giving them the benefit of the doubt. stop talking about this like it’s something that can be fixed with civil conversation and a stern finger wagging.

nazis and anyone who defends them don’t deserve that much consideration from anybody. just, yknow, a friendly psa from your neighbourhood romani jew.

Oh, did I spoil that plot for anyone here? Sorry. Guess you’ll just have to not spend money on the shit-ass comics now, or just enjoy your nazi wank a little less. Shucks.