I saw Jurassic World nearly two weeks ago with my husband and a friend. While I enjoyed it while I was watching it (barring some discomfort I'm going to get into in a moment), my main impression by the end was that I'd enjoyed it far more when I saw it twenty-two years ago and it was titledJurassic Park. This felt almost like a (bad) remake, rather than a sequel. Hell, Ron said that it was the Superman Returns of Jurassic Park and after two weeks of thinking, I tend to agree.( Spoilers ahead. )
The good news is that about 5 months ago, I started working at a new place. I may post more details under f-lock later, but suffice to say that the money, coworkers, and overall environment are now significantly better than they were. In fact, it's exact the sort of place at which I envisioned working as I was finishing school. Career-wise, while I wouldn't call myself completely settled, I do feel that I'm finally starting to reap the rewards of all the dues I've paid since March of 2011, which was when I finally bit the bullet and went back to school.
Here's the thing... At first, I was very busy after I started at the new place - learning the ropes, getting used to the hours, and generally learning the culture as one does when one is just starting a new job, which was my excuse for setting my writing aside for a time.
I also made a number of resolutions when I left my former place for this one, but one of the biggest was to keep my head down, avoid drama as much as possible, and not get too involved with my coworkers' lives. This has served me well.
Very well, actually. So well that my overall stress level has decreased considerably, which is awesome.
Except that apparently, I can't write when I'm happy. So once again, the sequel to "The Perfect Storm" has stalled, which is, naturally, the bad news. Well, that and the bridging chapter, the one that is absolutely essential in order for anything I've written that takes place after it make sense, is nearly 20,000 words of utter dogshit. Thanks to beta reading, it's getting better, but for some reason, the words simply aren't there, the story doesn't flow, and I feel as though I'm leading the characters instead of the other way around, something that I've sworn from the beginning that I wouldn't do.
Long story short - I haven't forgotten, I haven't given up, but I'm really hoping that something terrible doesn't have to happen in order for my muse to return from where it seems to have retreated.
Thank you to everyone who's been so encouraging and patient - it means more to me than I can say.
As always, thank you for your interest, :).
I have no clue what the final word count will be. All I know is that what I have now is looking a lot more like a rough outline than the nearly-finished draft I thought I had.
As always, thanks to everyone for their patience and interest. For what it's worth, I'm working very hard to make this worth the wait.
Okay, so, NCIS: LA is the reason I'm blogging tonight, but this has annoyed me for a very long time, so I'm going to take each annoyance in general chronological order.
( Read more... )
You are Will Riker
|At times you are self-centered
but you have many friends.
You love many women, but the right
woman could get you to settle down.
Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character am I?" quiz...
It's a movie about the end of the world. A very realistic one at that. If you don't think that the real end of the world wouldn't have "jarring tonal shifts," you don't know much about people.
Those who have been reading here for a while know that I absolutely LOVE disaster movies. I've seen "Armageddon," "The Core," "Volcano, and "Independence Day" multiple times. Actually, it's more accurate to say I've listened to them, as I usually like to put on such films when I'm cooking because I've seen them so many times that I don't have to watch every moment.
I've also sat through "The Towering Inferno," "The Poseidon Adventure" (both versions), "Dante's Peak," "Daybreak," "Deep Impact" (one I used to hate, but which may move to the list in the second paragraph at some point), and "The Day After Tomorrow." Not to mention watching multiple made-for-TV disaster movies over the years and more than one about some sort of supernatural "Antichrist" that must be stopped to save the world. Or political thrillers where we stand on the brink of nuclear war if some brave individuals don't step in to stop it.
And the fact that my favorite pre-1977 Sci-Fi movie of all time is "When Worlds Collide."
The point is, I love disaster/adventure movies. I love seeing what people think that people will do when they believe that the world is going to end. I love seeing stories of survival and sacrifice of the few for the salvation of the many.
But what happens when the mission to save the planet fails? What happens when all of the scientists and astronauts are killed in a fire and the only hope for mankind to stop the 70-mile-wide asteroid heading for us dies when there are only three weeks left before it hits?
That's the question that "Seeking" answers and answers brilliantly.
I've been wanting to write this review for quite a while, but haven't because I realized that I don't simply want to write a review, but what amounts to nearly a scene-by-scene analysis of why this movie is so brilliant.
( This is essentially a lengthy plot synopsis - don't read if you don't want to be spoiled. There's also some poor grammar because I couldn't stick with a tense while I was writing it and I don't care to fix it at this time. )
( The review part, though it still has spoilers. )
An anonymous woman known only as Beatriz is dying horribly in El Salvador because of the non-viable fetus that is killing her. El Salvador has a total ban on abortion, so human rights groups are trying to put pressure on their government through petitions. Please sign the petition and pass this on to try and save her.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
After seeing some anti-woman protestors on my former college campus today, seeing them use Nazi imagery and pictures of Pol Pot's Killing Fields to make their disgusting "point," I felt the need to express my rage with the following reasons why I'm Pro-Choice.
1) It's not my business what anyone else does with their body.
2) It's not anyone's business what I do with my body.
3) Savita Halappanavar of Ireland.
4) Beatriz of El Salvador - you can still speak for her.
5) Every woman who has ever died because of a "back alley" abortion.
6) The evidence supporting the idea that the crime rate drops when abortion is legal because wanted children are less likely to grow up in circumstances that lead them to become criminals.
7) Forcing a rape or incest survivor to carry her rapist's baby to term is a way of raping her all over again.
8) In 31 U.S. states, it is legal for a rapist to sue for visitation rights and/or custody of the child he fathered during the rape. This is horrific on many levels, as it forces the woman to continue to have contact with the person who attacked her, which can be used as a way to leverage her into not pressing charges. There's also the added horror of a convicted rapist being permitted to have a hand in raising the child to whom he donated genetic material during the attack.
9) The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads as follows:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Forcing a woman to carry a baby to term against her will is involuntary servitude and violates the very Constitution that most conservative assholes seem to worship. Women are human beings, not the property of the state. Giving women control over their reproductive choices is a form of empowerment. Conversely, taking away those choices turns women into second-class citizens.
10) Forcing a woman to complete a pregnancy risks her life. Not to mention that outlawing abortion risks the lives of women who have wanted pregnancies that are non-viable (see 3 and 4). To those who want to argue that a woman can give the baby up for adoption, there is a lot of evidence that it is more psychologically damaging to give up a baby after giving birth to it than having an abortion. Yes, a lot of people want to adopt, but that doesn't mean that a pregnant woman should act as their handmaid unless it is 100% HER CHOICE to do so.
Having given the reasons I'm pro-choice, I'd now like to address the arguments against my feelings.
I thought about getting into the philosophical debate of whether or not a fetus is "alive" or should be considered a person, but I realized that it doesn't matter if the fetus is a person. The woman was here first. The rights of the born must outweigh the rights of the unborn, otherwise a woman is no longer legally a person the moment the sperm hits the egg.
When does the fetus start to have rights? A lot of people say, "In the third trimester, once it's theoretically possible for it to survive outside the womb." Let's examine that. Under what circumstances would a woman carry a fetus for twenty-eight weeks and then decide she doesn't want it inside of her anymore? I can't imagine a circumstance, but if a woman is in that position, I don't think that the state has a right to block her. Do I find the idea of aborting a nearly full-term or full-term fetus horrifying? Fuck yes! But I believe that the circumstances under which that would be necessary are so rare that they shouldn't even be included in any arguments against abortion.
What about gendercide, i.e. abortion of a female fetus because the parents want a male? Fix society so that women are considered equal to men, don't deny a woman her right to choose.
Abortion as birth control? If someone wants to go through the pain of multiple abortions rather than taking birth control, it's their body, their choice. Especially since birth control, even multiple forms used in conjunction, can fail. That and, like it or not, abortion IS a form of birth control.
There's also the "one penis, no vote" argument, which I find repugnant simply because NO ONE but the pregnant person gets a vote. I have a uterus. Having one doesn't give me more of a right to weigh in on this issue than someone who doesn't have one.
And now we've come to men's rights. If you are a man and choose to have sex with a woman, you accept that whatever she decides to do after you put her penis close enough to her for your semen to get inside of her is her decision. You accept child support. You accept that she may abort a fetus that carries your genetic material. You accept that it is her body and her decision as to whether she's going to risk her life to bring your child into the world. If you don't think that's fair, don't have sex. ANY sex, not merely protected sex. Even if the woman stops taking her pills or pokes holes in the condoms, you're still choosing to have sex with her.
Which brings me to woman rapists. They exist and I believe they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. That said, while I don't feel that you should have to pay child support if a woman rapes you, nor do you have the right to force her to have an abortion. It's still her body in which the fetus is growing. Is that "fair" when we chemically castrate some pedophiles and rapists? Is it "fair" for a man to have that genetic link to a child that was conceived against his will? No, but it's the woman's body in which said child grows, so sorry men, no forced abortions OR forced births, no matter what the circumstances.
Essentially, I'm pro-choice under all circumstances, with NO EXCEPTIONS. Go ahead, come up with a scenario in which you think that abortion shouldn't be allowed and I'll tell you my reasoning for why it should be permitted. I'll give you a hint: they're ALL going to start with, "It's not my business, nor is it yours."
I'm looking for someone to PLEASE beta my sequel to The Perfect Storm.
The plus is that you'd get to read it before everyone else.
The minus is that it's rough, really rough, and you'd be reading that before anyone else. Even so, I think I've gotten it to a place where I can at least start to put the pieces I've written together into a coherent whole. While in some ways the sequel is not as dark as its progenitor, there is what's essentially a 30,000-word, pretty heavy BDSM scene, as well as flashbacks, PTSD, references to rape and torture, and explicit violence.
With over 70,000 words in rough chunks written out, this is not a request for the faint of heart. Some chapters and bridgework are essentially still a gleam in my eye, but they're a gleam I'd really like to get out of my head if at all possible. In addition, if everything that needs to be written gets written, this could wind up being over 100,000 words very easily - it just depends on the feedback I get and how my muse responds to it.
I would prefer that any volunteers be familiar with The Perfect Storm and be willing to tell me where I'm going wrong in keeping with the spirit of that story. The latter is very important to me, as this is still my baby and I'd like for her sister to be as well-cared-for as she was.
Thank you very much in advance for any and all volunteers.
Comments to this entry will be screened and any responses will be answered via PM or e-mail, as per the volunteer's request.
ETA: Wow, that was fast! Thank you! :)
Scroll fast if you need to because I'm not cutting this.
Before this case came about, I'd heard of Steubenville from a lovely older couple (the Enditches from Steubenville, which is how I remember) on a bus tour I took roughly twenty-two years ago.
I didn't know about the football program there or how it was basically the only thing that held the town together. However, when I heard it, it didn't surprise me because of how utterly beyond the pale OSU fans are. They riot sometimes when they WIN, :/.
For those of you who are either not in the U.S. or who have been living under a large boulder for the last few months, a young woman of sixteen got drunk at a party last August and was dragged, semi-conscious and unconscious to several locations, where she was sexually assaulted multiple times. She didn't know she'd been attacked until the next day, when she discovered multiple text posts, pictures, and videos about/of the assaults had been posted online.
Sunday, two football players, Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond, were convicted of "digitally penetrating" her. There were at least two dozen other witnesses/possible assailants, but these two were (in my opinion) the sacrificial lambs. I wonder how good they were on the team? I wonder how many more players/bystanders actually assaulted this young woman? These two young men were convicted in juvenile court despite their ages (seventeen and sixteen, which in a lot of cases would have them tried as adults), which means that once they're over twenty-one, their records could be swept clean. Yes, they have to register as "juvenile sex offenders" and yes, their pictures have been plastered all over the media, (we'll be talking more about the media in a moment), which will hopefully help to save future victims, but they still won't have ADULT criminal records. This still won't necessarily ruin their lives forever in the same way it's affected the life of their victim, who has been shamed in court and received death threats from two other young women via social media sites. Ohio's Attorney General is charging those who made the latest threats, but where are the charges against all of those who watched this young women be raped? Not only that, but made videos in which they were laughing about her being raped.
To be clear, I think that this young woman can overcome this, but she might not. She might not be able to come back from what they did to her. Her life might spiral out of control because of the control that was stolen from her that night. She's a survivor either way, but whether this rules her life forever or she's able to put it behind her, the fault still lies with those who, according to the prosecution, "treated her like a toy."
Where is the outrage? Oh, that's right. It's being directed towards the RAPISTS, in that media outlets like CNN think it's a shame that their lives were ruined by all of this. (Here's a petition you can sign to tell them what you think of their coverage of this issue.) And the fucking Onion predicted all of this two years ago.
So what am I taking away from all of this? I'm not a person once I get drunk. Hell, I'm not a person if I'm out after dark alone or forget to lock my door or to set my alarm or am not careful enough with my surroundings or wear pants that are "too tight," a skirt that is "too short," or a burqa that shows "too much ankle." You see where I'm going with this, right?
We teach men that women are "asking for it." We teach them that they aren't responsible for their actions and that their "innocent lives" could be ruined by "giving in" to a girl who was too drunk to say no. We shame rape victims so much that someone made a video called, "Shit Everyone Says To Rape Victims," and I'd heard them all before.
Our society doesn't teach men not to rape. Look at what happened to the woman who dared to suggest that we do so on Fox News - she was vilified and got both rape and death threats. Bullying is a part of it - men are bullied by their peers into going along with behavior that makes them seem "manly" to said peers. Even now, we're telling them to "man up," as though being a man is automatically strong and capable.
However, young men are also bullied by their fathers who bullied them, "Don't be a [misogynistic slur]" if they dare to express their emotions. They are bullied by a society that tells them that they aren't "real men" unless they attract as many women as possible, by any means possible. This is not peer-on-peer bullying. This is bullying at every level, from every angle, every day from the moment these young men are born.
If this is not 100% clear - I'm not excusing their actions, but until the rape culture stops telling women how they can avoid rape instead of telling men not to rape, cases like this will continue to happen. People are starting to think this way (in Vancouver, an ad campaign entitled "Don't Be That Guy" has helped to reduce sexual assaults there by 10%), but the process is entirely too slow. Also, the myth of the stranger attack needs to go away. Most women are raped by men they know. The Steubenville survivor even testified that she "thought she could trust" one of her rapists and didn't realize that she couldn't until she saw all of the social media about her attack the next day.
Can you imagine that? Finding out you were raped (and that multiple bystanders, many of whom were your classmates, stood around ENJOYING your rape as though it was entertainment) via fucking Facebook and Twitter? Can you imagine having two supposed friends of yours call you a liar and end your friendship because they wanted you to leave the party and you didn't do so, ergo what happened to you was your fault?
I've spoken about this before, but seeing what this sixteen-year-old woman is having to go through, with 18,000 townspeople she's known all her life and thousands more strangers online all acting as though this situation came about because she was drunk and not because those young men are fucking rapists, is making me sick on a level I can't begin to express.
She deserves better. She deserves to be believed, to be supported, to be cared for, and, above all, to be told it was NOT HER FAULT! But we don't do that in this country, or apparently any other, if Steig Larson and recent reports out of India are accurate, which I'm certain they are. And those are only two examples - if anyone knows of a country/culture where rape is considered SOLELY the fault of the rapist, I would certainly love to hear about it, as I could use some good news on this front today.
The worst part - everything I've linked here is the barest tip of an iceberg so huge it could sink a million Titanics. I could find dozens more links, all telling me that in the eyes of the world, my bodily autonomy is subject to the whims of others.
Society doesn't see me as a person. I'm going to fight to change that.
ETA: Henry Rollins' commentary is rather similar to mine.
"Wreck-It Ralph" is a pretty good kids' movie with a decent plot and some good humor. Even if one is not much of a video game fan (i.e. if they're me), one can find it entertaining and highly watchable.
( Cut for slight spoilers, length, heterosexism, and me feeing depressed about the world in which I live. )
You'll notice that I used AND instead of VERSUS in my subject line because unlike what seems like most of the rest of the Sherlock Holmes-loving world, I like them both.
Shocking, I know. Blasphemy! I, a woman of thirty-six years and reasonable intelligence, can actually like two shows about the same character who have completely different approaches AT THE SAME TIME!
My sarcasm, it is showing. Mostly because I'm more than a little irritated that someone actually blocked me on Facebook over this shit (a while ago, actually, this rant has been building for that time - I figured I should get it out before it boiled over). For that, I think they are an asshat. They were also an LJ friend and guess what? I blocked them from this journal. Because I can be online petty too.
For the record, it took me a few episodes to get into the groove of "Elementary." I wasn't sure about having Joan instead of John (for probably a lot of the same misogynistic reasons as those who absolutely refuse to watch it, even if I didn't want to admit it) and was even less sure about Jonny Lee Miller's ability to play Sherlock. Guess what? He pulls it off. He is not Benedict Cumberbatch, but he's not TRYING to be. Miller is is own version of the character.
I started to compare them, but there is no comparison - they might as well be playing completely different roles. Well, what do you know? They ARE playing two different roles, neither one doing a "better" job at it than the other. They each capture Sherlock Holmes in the modern world, they simply approach it very differently. And I like them both.
Did you hear that? I. Like. Them. BOTH!
It bears repeating, because I don't feel like I should be forced to choose here. There is no "side," no "right" or "wrong." They're both good in their own way. They each have strengths and weaknesses, neither of which do I wish to discuss at length, mostly because I've seen "Elementary" more recently and so right now I like it more. When "Sherlock" comes back, I'll probably like it more for while I have it. It's a matter of changing gears, not fucking RELIGIONS.
Also for the record, I don't give a flying fuck about CBS "not being true to the character" by moving him to New York and giving him an amazing woman partner. Nor do I give a flying fuck about those who say that CBS "just wanted to cash in on the popularity of BBC's "Sherlock." Um, yeah - that's what TV networks do. And sorry boys and girls (I would say men and woman, but the people in this "debate" have shown themselves to be little more than silly children), but neither concept is anymore "true" to Conan Doyle's work than Robert Downey Jr.'s version is.
Fact: John and Sherlock may be your slash OTP, but in the original, Victorian-era canon, they were friends and Watson was married. To a woman.
Fact: in the BBC's "Sherlock," both John AND Sherlock have shown attraction to women. That's not to say that they can't also love each other romantically (hello, bisexual poly woman here), but they are not shown as sexual towards each other. If anything, Sherlock is shown as being more asexual, with the exception of Irene Adler. There have been a lot of jokes about John and Watson getting or being together in "Sherlock" canon, but as others have pointed out far more eloquently than I, "bromances" and "winks to the camera" do not equal gay inclusion.
So sorry slashers, it's not homophobia to turn Watson into a woman for a new TV show. For "Sherlock" fan fiction, I can see the argument because writers are changing the canon gender of a character because they don't like the idea of two cis-men together.
For an entirely new show, no, though I do see where you're arguing from. Your argument is flawed, but I see it.
Fact: the backlash of misogyny and racism against Lucy Liu since "Elementary" came out has been disgusting in the extreme, especially since she is made of total awesome in the role. Martin Freeman can kiss her beautiful ass, as well. Don't fucking tell me he was joking. It was unfunny, m'kay?
To be honest, all of this bullshit (along with the mods of horror at the most popular "Sherlock" LJ site) have kind of turned me off "Sherlock." I'm not saying I won't watch it (though it's now rather in the category of "liking a problematic thing"), but I'm avoiding the fandom even more ardently since I got blocked on Facebook for telling someone I felt they were missing out* to summarily dismiss "Elementary," because they were "completely opposed to Watson being a woman."
Why? There is no answer to that question that I've seen so far that isn't rooted in misogyny. Somewhere. Yes, Watson was canonically male. But canonically, both Holmes and Watson lived over 100 years ago, so canon is pretty much out the window the moment writers take a modern take on it.
Vaginas are icky, I guess. And heaven forbid a vagina come anywhere near beloved characters that have been redone and remade so many times I think that only "The Three Musketeers" have them beat for variety of productions.
Finally, to be perfectly clear, I'm not saying that anyone has to watch or like either show. However, I am saying that it's possible to enjoy both without it being some epic battle over who is more awesome. And I also think it's wrong to judge something without having watched a single fucking episode. Now, there are those who say that one can judge something by its previews ("Battleship," anyone?), but when most of the negative press has more to do with casting decisions than actual acting critiques, I start to smell a misogynistic, racist rat.
*The person argued that I wasn't respecting their judgment by saying they were missing out. They're right. I wasn't. And I'm not apologizing for it, especially since they blocked me on Facebook over it because they didn't like my telling them (fairly nicely, I thought) that they were full of shit.
Until today, when I finally found a story that I felt embodied what I was looking to do when I created the community.
So if you believe that sex is a positive, wonderful thing when shared between consenting adults, please head on over and join the fun.