essbeejay: bored roar (i be roarin'. resignedly.)
You guys, I love this show so much.

For those of you who can't name specific episodes by name like other dorks that may or may not be making lj posts about it, "The Mane Event" is the ep where Blossom's hair gets COMPLETELY BUTCHERED by Buttercup and Bubbles, to the point where all of Townsville (and the monster (and her own FATHER (and the audience too))) is laughing their asses off at how ridiculous she looks. I mean, it's awful, but it's HILARIOUS, and it's also super fucking amazing, and this is why.

gif set sourced from bubbley-boo

In the beginning of the ep you see all the Girls waking up. Bubbles gets up with horrible bedhead.


Buttercup gets up with horrible bedhead.


Blossom gets up--


AND HER HAIR IS FUCKING PERF


So you think the natural progression of things is Bubbles and Buttercup are going to be super jealous of their perfect leader-slash-sister's perfect hair. But the great, amazing, wonderful thing is? THEY'RE NOT.

In the very next shot her sisters are smiling! Seeing their pretty sister with their pretty hair actually makes them happy. They spend the morning brushing it and playing with it (BUTTERCUP BUILDS A FUCKING RACE TRACK IN HER HAIR, SHE SHOULD STYLE ALL THE HAIRS) and helping her do it up! They never spend a single moment bitching about how much they hate Blossom for having beautiful hair that doesn't turn into a disaster area within a night. They don't make snarky remarks about who the fuck cares if your hair is gorgeous in the morning. They never at any point exude any jealousy towards her for her hair whatsoever.

Instead they revel in it with her. (They also inadvertently mutilate it within seconds, but they weren't being actively malicious. They were genuinely trying to fix it. They were just very, very bad at it.)

You know, as girls we're constantly expected (I think moreso than dudes) to always be jealous of other successful girls and women - because they're prettier, or they have nicer hair, or they have nicer clothes, or they're skinnier, etc., etc., etc. So isn't it just so great and awesome and amazing that all that business is completely absent from a show geared towards young girls starring three superpowered sisters?

(Granted, there is jealousy in "Ice Sore," but that is different - we aren't talking about a purely physical trait there (and so much of women's self-worth, particularly when you look at the media that's marketed to us, is supposed to revolve around being physically attractive); we are talking about a superpowered ability one girl gets that the rest of the team EXPECTS they should have because they all share the same powers.)

So when I see other fics depicting Bubbles or Buttercup (ESPECIALLY Buttercup) as being super-resentful or jealous of Blossom-in-high-school, I'm not really into it. And I understand that feelings can change as we get older, and we become more insecure as we go through puberty, so it's not entirely unreasonable. But I'm also not really into the idea (and expectation) that we're automatically conditioned to hate any other woman we see who we perceive as being "prettier" than us. I'd rather do as Bubbles and Buttercup did.

Up to the point where they fucked it up, that is.

tl;dr - "The Mane Event" is great, everyone should watch it, then come back here so we can gush. ♥

I made this post instead of working on TEF today. NO REGRETS
bottom img sourced from the Powerpuff Wiki
essbeejay: saving the world. (Default)
Spoilers for TEF/More Than Human below.

I don't know if anybody on tumblr is actually reading this, and I know the comments are meant in jest, but it bums me out some to see people hating on Cindy. Cindy didn't do anything. Cindy should not be blamed for liking a guy, and she doesn't deserve any vitriol for "getting in the way of your OTP." The only people getting in the way of your OTP at this point are the OTP, believe it or not.

What if Cindy were a real girl? What if Cindy were you? What if you were a nice girl (I know you all are!) and you really liked this guy that everybody thought was into this other girl who was WAY more popular and recognized than you? What if that guy you liked asked you to Prom? What if you saw him dancing with that girl that everybody mistakes him for being with? Would you appreciate being viewed as a rude bitch for interrupting them (IN BETWEEN DANCES, so that kind of... doesn't count as an interruption, tbh) when YOU'RE his date?

Cindy does better than most of us. Cindy is never mean to Blossom. She's never a jerk about Brick. She gives Blossom plenty of opportunities to "have Brick" and you know what stops Blossom from taking those opportunities? Her own pride. Not Cindy. You know who's responsible for making Blossom feel like crap on Prom night? Surprise! ALSO NOT CINDY. And you know whose Prom night was really ruined? Because it wasn't really Blossom's. I daresay Cindy had a much shittier Prom night. At least Blossom had a Prom date who genuinely wanted to be with her and wasn't using her as payback.

I know this is fandom and we get attached to our OTPs and this is the way things are so I should just get back on the bus and go home. But I can't abide by girl-hating on a girl who has done absolutely nothing to deserve it. I'm probably exaggerating on the hating; I don't think anybody is actually hating Cindy (at least, I hope not). But I think the way we treat or view characters in fiction subconsciously reflects the way we treat or view people in real life, even when the fictional situation is outlandish and would never actually happen in real life.

Let's be nice to all the ladies, please.

ETA: Seriously everyone, quit giving Cindy crap. Who chose her over Blossom? Who made her think he liked her? Who led her on at Prom?

I love how Brick is the one being an absolute dickbag but he isn't getting an ounce of shit for it. Meanwhile, one of the victims of his assholery is being told to step off. The only reason Cindy is even involved in this business is because Brick pulled her into it. I'm getting progressively more and more irritated by this. Fandom, you need to prioritize your sympathizing in order of who deserves it most, not who you find most attractive.
essbeejay: i'm happy and i'm driving! (i'm happy and i'm driving!)
[profile] sarahtales linked to a good article Zoë Marriott wrote about Mary Sues that I think everyone should read. (Sarah's post linking to it is worth reading as well.)

Every once in a while I still get a reviewer for TEF stating that Blossom is too Sue-ish. Shrug, baby.
essbeejay: saving the world. (saving the world.)
Disclaimer: I am not attempting to sway anyone's opinion of the film and I do not think less of you or your intelligence if you disagree with me.

Let's get one thing straight here: I did not think Sucker Punch was a good film. From a storytelling standpoint, it didn't speak to my sensibilities at all - weak character, weak dialogue, some pretty awkward pacing... there's more, but I usually lose the thread of it there.

And here's the reason I lose the thread of it: Sucker Punch is a very unconventional film masquerading (and being marketed as, of course) simply a movie where we get to see a bunch of hot girls kick ass. I walked in expecting a mostly big dumb action flick with girls/women at the forefront of it, which is in itself an unusual thing, frankly, for a big, dumb action flick. I did have some expectation to get a feminist reading on the whole thing, partly because of the dialogue happening around it (that I've avoided for the most part to stay spoiler-free), but mostly because I am a feminist and that's one of the things I am thinking about when I'm watching a movie, or a show, or reading a book.

I walked at the end of the credits and proceeded to talk with the s.o. about it for over an hour. The thing is, while it's not a good film, Sucker Punch has a wealth of ideas and concepts in it that still made it interesting to watch. I mean, we sprung for IMAX tix here and didn't walk out feeling cheated, even though I didn't enjoy it as a story nor as an action flick (man they could've used a better choreographer). But it's not every day that I can walk out of an ACTION movie that is trying to talk about feminism, and patriarchy/misogyny, and sexual power (because yes, as Lady Gaga has demonstrated to much greater effect, sexual power is power too), and not playing any of those things for laughs or presenting it in a way that plays up the Girl Power.

The other strange thing is it is also very clearly made for women, and young women in particular. I mean, the spoiler if you care ) is a dead fucking giveaway if you hadn't gotten it at that point. I mean, my mind was pretty much boggling, because Zack Snyder's previous efforts (one in particular) never, ever made me think he would actually make a movie about young women kicking ass intended for young women. I don't think he quite succeeded, though, and - here's the incredible thing - it's not because of feminism!fail or girlpower!fail! Which is extraordinary. I mean, I would expect most stories trying to talk about these things to fall flat on their faces, particularly when we're in a "guy" genre and it's the director who did fucking 300, but the movie seriously did not offend me as a feminist! (Only as a wannabe storyteller.)

I mean, despite The Powerpuff Girls and Kick-Ass, it is still a very new thing for me to be watching a movie and suddenly have one of my little girl fantasies come to life right before my eyes, and then to have this acknowledged as a legitimate fantasy that little girls/young women possess - that we too want to kick ass - and NOT have it devolve into exploitation of the female form, as is the norm for most action flicks involving women.

Okay I'll put this behind a cut now because it's getting pretty long. )

I would really like to see these things re-visited in another film with a better script and better action, because I like walking out of an action movie about women and being able to talk about it afterwards in a way I haven't been able to before. I'd be hard-pressed to recommend it; I think Sucker Punch is much more of an experiment than it is actually entertaining in the traditional sense of the word. Although, if you're teaching a course on Women in Film, then get thee to a theater, NOW, because you'll want this in your curriculum.

I'm only going to spend the rest of my day trying not to look up what other critics have had to say about the film, so by all means, feel free to share your thoughts with me! (At least now I can read that O'Hehir review I linked to last entry - yes, believe it or not, I STILL haven't read it yet.)
essbeejay: bubbles as mayor (bubbles wins at cosplay)
I'm not sure who's on who's flist anymore, but just wanted to bring some PpG-related things happening on lj to everyone's attention:
And as for me, well, all you hotties out there get more from my PpG-related playlists 8B

Because the AC adapter for my big machine has died and I'm trying to go easy on Captain Sparklypants (given the previous issues I'd been having with it), no uploads today. SAD, I KNOW. Also, I wanted to go with a theme this time (well, mostly - but consider the tap dancing a beautiful little bonus). My theme? A few of the fucking fem-tastic songs on my playlist. The ones that make me happy to have the Girls and happy to be a girl woman, whatevs, and that can't help but make me feel a little bit better about myself and the world and the things I can do in it.

GO! Do it to it, girls! )

THANK YOU ALL FOR INDULGING ME. "Hey there, Mr. Blue, we're so pleased to be with you...!" is totally going to be on my next Bubbles icon.
essbeejay: saving the world. (Default)
I had my thoughts on what I wanted to post today more or less collected, but I'm still reeling from Satoshi Kon's death, especially after reading his farewell message. I'm serious, the man was a complete inspiration to me. It's all to say that I'm making the attempt, but I do apologize for any ineloquence!

(I want to preface this by saying none of this offended me and I didn't take it personally. More than anything, it got me thinking. And if you haven't noticed or you're new around here, I tend to overthink things a lot.)

ETA: If it matters at all, this contains spoilers for what has been posted of TEF.

Didn't mean for it to get this long, so behind a cut it goes )

IDK. What do you guys think?
essbeejay: saving the world. (Default)
But I crashed like a dead person on the couch and I'm so tired that I will just have to make up my Meme Monday post tomorrow! Double-posting Tuesday like nobody's business, what. (Never mind that this post here already makes it a triple, BAH.)

I leave you instead with this trailer which had better be advertising a movie that isn't going to suck.

I can already sense myself inhaling popcorn. Please don't suck, movie.
essbeejay: saving the world. (saving the world.)
I'm in a really weird headspace lately. There's a lotta rl stuff going on (has been for the past two months), and I haven't touched TEF since... since I sent ch10 to beta (which was the day before Valentine's... URK), and the lack of actual writing is wearing me down. I can't wait until all this rl garbage is done and I can get back to my daily writing time; I'm getting really, really, really itchy to continue. Not only that, but I just resolved a large plot point that up until last night wasn't very definite in my head, and that reminds me that I need to finish my outline for pt3, and augh. AUGH. My hands are actually shaking; that's how badly I want to write. (Type. W/E.)

I'm sorry for the lack of comments lately; rl is really that intense right now! I will get back to you guys about certain (AWESOME) meme responses shortly, as soon as I stop dodging bullets.

With that mild venting out of the way, I refer you to the title of this post. I got to this blog post (titled In Defense of Hit Girl) via [livejournal.com profile] shiegra (who I greatly admire, even if I never tell her so) and basically Kate Harding is worlds more eloquent about HG's awesomeness in ways I can never hope to be, so I wanted to post excerpts from her post like blockquoting is going out of style. (Seriously, expect lots of blockquotage. I know and love and will abuse that BLOCKQUOTE tag like nobody's business.)

(I highly recommend eventually reading In Defense of Hit Girl, but ONLY IF YOU'VE SEEN THE MOVIE, as there are significant spoilers abound. Don't worry, none of the bits I'm quoting here are spoilers.)

Not lj-cutting this mass of blockquotage because I am an inconsiderate bitch and want to get as many people's eyes on this as possible.

*Note: SBUAALOPD stands for "Shit Blows Up And A Lot Of People Die."

That lack of sexualization might be the number one thing I enjoyed about watching the character of Hit Girl, and the sad truth is, I can’t imagine seeing a female assassin on film who’s not sexualized without her being pre-pubescent [...] Once boobs are involved, it’s pretty much game over: You put even a nascent adult female body into this context, and suddenly, the Chicks Kicking Ass Are Hot switch is flipped, and it’s a whole different story [...] It’s not that she’s too young to be so violent, it’s that she’s too young to have the sex appeal that’s supposed to make the violence not only palatable but titillating.
[I]f you accept that this is, in fact, fundamentally a SBUAALOPD movie, and that the 11-year-old girl is the Big Action Hero, then all the horrific violence that happens to and because of her is par for the course [...] if you are the kind of person who enjoys a good SBUAALOPD movie, you have to admit that in terms of what happens — as opposed to who’s at the center of it — this one is not particularly unusual.
And that’s what’s simultaneously disturbing and awesome about Hit Girl being the one at the center of it. Because if you’re too turned off by all this happening to/being caused by an 11-year-old girl to enjoy the movie, you kind of have to ask yourself why you enjoy watching the same basic shit happen to and around Bruce Willis or Matt Damon or Nicolas Cage or whomever [...] Sure, we’re usually watching grown men who can take care of themselves, but Hit Girl is, if not so grown, at least shown to be every bit as capable of fighting off hordes of bad guys. She handles knives, swords and guns as smoothly and confidently (not to mention implausibly) as any adult male action hero, and strategizes just as cleverly.
[...] I do like [SBUAALOPD] movies as a rule, and so do about a gazillion other people, so it’s probably safe to assume that liking them does not actually make you a bad person who struggles to be compassionate and non-violent in real life. It just means you can suspend your better nature for a short time in order to watch a lot of intense, terrifying shit happen to (and because of) a fictional character, provided you know that character has the intellectual, financial and physical resources to wind up safe and triumphant, and that the fictional people who get slaughtered along the way are all A) evil and B) trying to kill the hero first. Hit Girl is clearly shown to be such a character, fighting such characters. So if you can’t stomach this well-established formula with her at the center of it, the obvious question is, are you usually willing to suspend empathy because of the character’s resources and the good/evil thing and the knowledge that it is fiction, or because the hero usually has a dick and a deep voice?
[...] I’m usually not so into SBUAALOPD movies with adult female asskickers-in-chief. They’ve never appealed to me much, probably because they tend to be sold on the fuckability of the heroine more than the relatability of her; the primary market is still young, straight and male, after all, so a female lead is drawn to evoke fantasies either of being dominated by such a badass or being such a badass yourself that you could rock her world, neither of which does much for me.
The sexualization of violence against and executed by women is one of the things I usually hate about even the relatively good SBUAALOPD movies. If there are any women to speak of in the movie, then the focus is inevitably on how hot they are while kicking ass, how hot they are while getting their asses kicked, how hot they are while tied up and waiting to be assaulted by the bad guys/saved by the hero, etc. [...] and I fucking hate that these are nearly always underdeveloped characters who exist only to further the hero’s story and whose most lovable demonstrated quality is, in fact, hotness [...] the mark of a really good SBUAALOPD movie is that there’s somewhat less of that than usual, either because the hot chick evinces a glimmer of personality or because the hero has some purpose other than rescuing her sweet ass. And even making a woman the hero doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be a good SBUAALOPD movie, because I’m still supposed to moved by her hotness, and I’m just not, and I’m actually rather creeped out by the idea that the kind of extreme violence I’ve described above is supposed to come off as sexy when a lady does it (or has it done to her).
[Kick-Ass] is the first time I have ever seen a female character doing it all just like the men do it — with physical and mental toughness, cleverness, courage and a shitload of ordnance as her only resources, and exactly zero use of her sexuality to make an easily duped jackass do her bidding[...] it would frankly be damn near impossible to pull off with anyone much older than 11, because once a female has secondary sex characteristics, Hollywood will never, ever ignore them long enough to tell a completely unrelated story. At least not in a SBUAALOPD movie, and generally not at all.
Is it disturbing to watch a child doing all of this, and having all this done to her? Yes, incredibly. But mostly because it should be disturbing to watch anyone doing all this, and having all this done to them; in reality, violence isn’t exciting or funny or sexy to watch whether it’s happening to a little girl or a grown man or a hot chick. Kick-Ass removes the veil that usually makes it so easy to willingly suspend empathy long enough to enjoy this kind of film, which is woven from a whole bunch of cultural bullshit about Tough Guys and individual heroes and good and evil and hotness that we damn well ought to think critically about more often, even if we are the kind of people who enjoy these movies in between protracted bouts of being compassionate, decent human beings. Especially if we are those kinds of people.
[O]n further reflection, the new thing for me was not a violent, remorseless, brutalized, potty-mouthed child but a female action hero with all the agency and skill of a man, whom the audience is not supposed to want to fuck. That is a pretty awesome thing, even if it is also frankly pretty fucked up that I thought that movie was awesome.
essbeejay: saving the world. (Default)
It's funny - I found myself super-excited about Kick-Ass (which did not disappoint me), and in the months previous finally got around to reading Soon I Will Be Invincible, which is actually more superhero-genre intake for me than I am used to. (I know considering my fandom it doesn't make a lot of sense. Shut up.)

I do recommend the book, which has a well-crafted narrative voice, particularly from the perspective of Dr. Impossible, and highly recommend it for any of you who are interested in reading the story from the villain's perspective. Because Dr. Impossible is a villain, yes, with the typical comical take-over-the-world schemes you're familiar with from your childhood, but those schemes are delivered straight-faced and with a very recognizably human voice. Not human as in it'll touch you, but human as in it feels like an actual person talking. Minus, you know, the whole superhero/supervillain thing. You'll inevitably draw parallels between this book and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog (as far as I know, neither influenced the other), and for those of you PpG fans out there who are interested in villains (Mojo Jojo in particular), you'll probably find a wealth of creative inspiration here.

That's my plug for that. Now. Kick-Ass.

I was giddy like gangbusters about this ever since the red-band trailer w/Hit-Girl came out, and when I finally got around to seeing it last week I had a blast. And I'd talk about how awesome it is, but after reading a few things, I have something else I want to respond to/get off my chest.

Ebert (who I do think has intelligent opinions occasionally, but who I also have been reluctant to trust ever since he put down the awesomeness that is The Powerpuff Girls Movie) gave the film a very unfavorable review, objecting to the violence dealt by and to Hit-Girl. That, and the following comment stuck out to me as well:
When kids in the age range of this movie's home video audience are shooting one another every day in America, that kind of stops being funny.
Let it be known on my part that I tend to take what individual critics say with a grain of salt, as the opinions I form about what I watch tend to matter more to me than others' (as it should be).

Now, the quoted bit first. I would hope that the "home video audience" wouldn't include parents who aren't supervising what their six-year-old is exposed to at home (because the truth is you have parents who don't supervise what their kids watch, either because they don't care or they don't have the time, or because their kids have access to this magical thing called the internet and know of these things called torrents that their tech-illiterate parents aren't aware of). But it's kind of impossible to take that out of the equation, so let's say you have this general pool of kids who are exposed to excessive violence, and blood, and cursing. Out of those kids, you have a relative handful who actually go out and commit violence against other kids their age. And I would assume that's the segment of the population that Ebert is concerned about in that quote.

... I get the impression from Ebert's review that he is actually talking about two different audience segments here - the six-year-olds at home who are being further desensitized to violence via various media, and the older pre-teens/teenagers who are getting involved in gang violence. Maybe it's just me, but... I feel like the type of kid who would go out and shoot another kid isn't going to be saved or corrected by a less violent movie. Millions of people around the world are exposed to this stuff, and a great deal of us do become desensitized to it, but it isn't inspiring significant numbers of us to take arms and go around beating the shit out of other people for giving us crusty looks. When I was nine, I saw seriously violent movies (yay Hong Kong cinema!) and tried to pick up the Playboy station when the parents were out, and I didn't become an instrument of violence, nor a sexual deviant. I daresay I grew up pretty normal, relatively speaking. And I have to assume, based on my limited interactions with the rest of the world, that the majority of us are not going to be induced to more violent behavior just because we saw a violent movie.

With that out of the way, though, the point that's more important to me is a point that Ebert has already shown me he isn't going to get. I am a girl. Or, I was a girl. (I still have a hard time thinking of myself as a woman.) So when I'm watching an 11-year-old girl up onscreen, who is beating up bad guys, killing a bunch of them (who, let's point out, are pretty obviously trying to kill her), taking bullets (sort of), flinging around knives and ninja stars and loading more clips into her guns and running up walls and kicking all sorts of ass? I cheer. I rejoice. I get up and fucking sing. Because there is so much media - so much - that never shows girls kicking ass without sexualizing it, when it decides to show girls kicking ass at all.

Maybe it's just me, but I also feel like when Ebert is appalled at the notion of a little girl kicking ass, he is kind of unintentionally saying that this is not how little girls are supposed to act. Never mind that children in general aren't supposed to act this way: he doesn't call her a "child" hurting people. He really does seem to focus on the fact that she is a girl. I'm sure it is unintentional, as is a lot of sexism (though too little of it, unfortunately), and coming from an adult male, I understand that he isn't going to react to it the way I will.

Because when I see girls like that onscreen? Girls like Hit-Girl and Buttercup? I wish I'd seen them when I was six. Because maybe then I'd have punched the bully in the gut instead of crying. Maybe then I'd have kicked that shitface in the dick when he whipped it out. Maybe I'd have run after the fucker who grabbed my ass and jabbed my elbow into his solar plexus instead of just standing frozen to the spot out of shock and horror.

I need to know I can do that. We all do. We need to know that we are strong and fierce and a fucking force to be reckoned with. We need girls like Hit-Girl and Buttercup, who are violent and bloodthirsty and spit in your face and make no apology for it. We need to know that we can do that. We need to know we are Untouchable.

We need girls who are unapologetically strong in as many ways as possible (and yes, that includes physically and mentally) so we can be, too. Never mind that Ebert objects to Hit-Girl. I don't. I can't. I want to be Hit-Girl. Maybe I already am. (I wish!)

Just knowing that Hit-Girl exists, that the Powerpuff Girls exist, makes me feel like I can (and want to) be a stronger woman. They already make me wish I'd been a stronger girl.

So to hell with the haters. Bring it. Because us girls need to know that we can kick ass.

And you can't fucking touch us.
essbeejay: saving the world. (Default)
First off, I loved reading everybody's comments! And instead of responding to each one individually and repeating myself over and over, I thought I'd just take the time to post and say HEY. FIST BUMP. *TAPS*

A bunch of people had bunches to say on clothing things! And here are my rambly thoughts on them! It is AWESOME if you like skirts and heels. It is AWESOME if you prefer jeans and sneaks. It is EVEN MORE AWESOME if you like jeans and heels. Or skirts and sneaks! Or perhaps all at the same time! (I will give you funny looks, but will not think lesser of you for that. Well, maybe.)

The point is... )

That is my spiel! tl;dr, flaunt it if you got it and you want to, be it jeans or skirts or heels or sneakers or certain physical attributes you are very proud of. Or not, if you don't want to! Being a sexual person isn't necessarily a bad thing! Neither is being a virgin. Neither is being monogamous! Neither is being, you know, kind of curious about things and willing to experiment. As long as you are happy and not hurting anyone, of course.

I have not posted about my PpG efforts in awhile. Um, I finally finished up Brick's character dissection this AM! (Ugh, I think? I may go back and add, oh shit, whatever, FAH.) I keep getting distracted by RL, and songs that I hear and think "OH THAT TOTES FITS BOOMER/BLOSSOM/BUBBLES/THIS CRACK SCENE IN MY HEAD THAT WILL PROBABLY NEVER GET WRITTEN." Anyway, hopefully I'll finish it this week and get it posted the next. Then I will... either continue the "Something" series (yeah, it's a series now) or jump onto TEF ch10a. Damn I have a lot on my to do list. UGH.

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