Monday, July 29, 2013

The Help

I watched The Help tonight.  It's a decent movie, I suppose.  I want to like it.  But for some reason, I can't really bring myself to.  I want to, because I can't quite verbalize what it is that's prickling me so much.  There's a lot of awkward "white person saves black people because they just can't do it on their own" stuff that everyone before me has mentioned; honestly I found the whole "Skeeter writing black women's stories for them" somewhat less creepy than the "Celia gives Minny the strength to leave her drunk, physically abusive husband by making her dinner one day" because hey, at least Skeeter gets called out on it once or twice, and the maids had a reason not to tell their stories.  It might not have stuck or sounded sincere, but the subject was brought up and the situation was at least believable.  Celia's deal was just.....weird.  But I've watched the movie a couple of times now to try and figure it out, and all I can say is there's something about it that leaves me feeling not-quite-satisfied.  Like it's doing something wrong, but I can't really put my finger on it.

But even the first time I watched the movie, there was one scene in particular that stuck at me.  I'd heard about the white-saviour stuff beforehand and so I came in expecting that, but this scene near the end kind of blindsided me.  The racist woman who was the main antagonist through the film, Hilly Holbrook, goes to main character Skeeter's house to rat her out to her mother about who wrote the book with all the maids' stories in it.  And she's drunk, despite never being seen drinking much at all in the rest of the film.  And she's got a cold sore on her lip, for the first time in the entire film.  And it's just a really cheap, tacky scene.  She's only drunk because it makes her look more pathetic and easily mocked.  She's only got the cold sore so Skeeter's mother can trash her appearance, telling her "no husband wants to come home and see that!" and "Get out of here, before we all get one of those disgusting things on our lips!"  And since cold sores are a type of herpes, I'm pretty sure it's meant in a slut-shaming way too.  It just felt like a really gross scene.  I mean, we've seen Hilly's behaviour throughout the rest of the film, we know how terrible she is.  And in like one of the very next scenes she gets called out again by Aibileen, only Aibileen uses her behaviour and shit to call her out.  Because that's what the problem is, Hilly is a racist turd who's mean and manipulative and generally terrible.  That's what she should be called out for, and it's so satisfying when she is called out for it.  The scene at Skeeter's just feels unnecessary and contrived, because instead of using her established character flaws they just make cheap cracks at her appearance.  This scene also happened in the book; I had to check, because it seemed so far out of left field.  The book's kind of worse, because it also points out how she's gotten fatter and that her shirt buttons are gaping open over her belly.  Seriously?  She's racist and mean and awful, and the best way the book/movie can think of to get at her and make her look bad is.....attack her appearance.  It is so vitally important to make her look ugly that it comes before the scene where she's rightfully told off for being a little shit and ends up in tears. Congratulations on making me defend the nasty racist asshole, The Help. I hope that's what you were going for there.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Airplane

On any dating site, you're going to run into creeps. And they can be fun, let me tell you. Back when OKCupid flagmods still got to deal with flagged messages and profiles, you'd run into creeps like old FifaFiat/True Poizon all the time; remember his bullshit list?  Unfortunately now you only get to moderate on flagged photos, probably because assholes like me would post their douchebaggery on other sites, which I guess some people objected to.  Because how dare someone tell people about your public profile that shows what a dick you are, right?

Whatever, flagmod has less of the fun stuff now.  But that doesn't mean there are fewer weirdos; it just means you find them when they message you directly instead of when you find them flagged for shit.  And it is so much more fun when they message you directly, because then you can just fuck with them right back.  Check it, I spent like half an hour messaging this guy last night, it was hilarious.  I wish I knew more about airplanes, though.

And if you can't see the photos or don't feel like clicking to make them bigger, here's the text of the conversation:

Your conversation with [redacted]      Chat

[redacted]7/25/2013 3:00:19 PM
Flag Message

hey, are u interesting on someone who has natural gift?

[me]7/26/2013 2:48:41 AM
I'm an airplane.

[redacted]7/26/2013 2:49:19 AM
Flag Message

haha---not that lol, just whether u like it or not

[redacted]7/26/2013 2:50:01 AM
Flag Message

u dont need satisfaction?

[me]7/26/2013 2:54:03 AM
My dream is to someday break the sound barrier. I know, big dreams for an average commercial airliner, right? But I practice all the time, I can go really fast! I just love flying, it's what I'm meant to do.

[redacted]7/26/2013 2:57:15 AM
Flag Message

try other things too, u have to try everything in your life time
so try mine.
it is like flying also when u hang on it

[redacted]7/26/2013 3:04:30 AM
Flag Message

try this one another dream

[redacted]7/26/2013 3:06:57 AM
Flag Message

can I have your number lol so that we will meet another day?

[me]7/26/2013 3:15:16 AM
Are you asking for my make or my serial number? I'm a Boeing 727, line number 18436.

[redacted]7/26/2013 3:20:07 AM
Flag Message

I need your cell number.
ours will be friendship... just to meet some days and have coffee together and be friend.
are u pilot or just dream?

[redacted]7/26/2013 3:23:21 AM
Flag Message

lol, I want to sleep, can I have your cell number?

[me]7/26/2013 3:24:37 AM
Don't be silly, airplanes don't have cell phones. How would I even use one? I have wings, not hands. Though I guess maybe I could get a bluetooth headset or something, but it'd have to be pretty big to fit on an airplane.

[redacted]7/26/2013 3:25:04 AM
Flag Message

this is my email: [redacted]

[redacted]7/26/2013 3:25:51 AM
Flag Message

okay come down ntonight

[me]7/26/2013 3:33:00 AM
I'm sorry, my place is in the sky. I belong in the clouds, far above you, with flight attendants handing out small packs of peanuts as my engines shred unlucky birds. I'm afraid we are simply too different to connect; you as a human, me as a Boeing aircraft. I know this must be hard to hear, but don't take it personally. It just wouldn't work between us. But hey, if you ever need a lift to another province, I'm your plane!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Welcome To The Jungle

Apparently there is a song by Guns 'n' Roses called Welcome To The Jungle.  It seems to be fairly popular, because I keep running into people referencing it, or saying it's stuck in their head.  I don't know if I've ever heard it myself, though.  And I always get very confused when someone brings it up, because whenever they mention Welcome To The Jungle, this is the version that I think they are talking about:

It is such a good song.  Well, it's not, but you know what I mean.  I love it.  Pizzazz is a crazy jungle lady attacking random crew members in some straw hut/pyramid setting, crawling around on all fours and pouncing on the cute blond hunter guy, presumably to rip his throat out with her teeth. After her freaky convulsion-dance on the pyramid, anyway. Roxy and Stormer are on bongo duty.  At some point they die and their ghosts ascend to the stars to bongo Mufasa style, and Pizzazz goes back to dancing on the pyramid.  Somehow her shadow doesn't seem to match up with her movements at all.  The Misfits just had the best music videos.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Happy Belated Blog Anniversary To Me!

Holy shit!  I just realized I've been blogging for a whole year now!  A year and five days!  Daaang, I did not expect to keep this thing going for so long!  I rock.

Also, daaaang it has been a year and five days and I still haven't done any Jem recaps, like I was planning to do when I started this thing.  I suck.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Star Trek Next Gen: Up The Long Ladder

So I'm slowly working my way through Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I'm almost done the second season.  I just finished the eighteenth episode, "Up The Long Ladder,"  Just wow.


So the episode starts off with some dinky little subplot where Worf gets Klingon measles and has tea with the doctor.  If that counts as a subplot, because that's pretty much all that happens.  It's also the most tolerable part of the episode, so...yeah.

The rest of the episode is about the forgotten human colony they find and rescue from a bad case of splody planet or soemthing, a colony of the most cliche stereotypes of Irish people you can imagine.  Complete with Irish accents, despite being isolated from Earth and other humans for three hundred years.  They're a bunch of redheaded farmers who don't know anything about computers or science and the men are all portrayed as lazy drunks and the women are sharp-tongued and complain about how they have to do all the work and they've got sheep and pigs and goats and assorted barnyard animals and use equipment like looms and wear homemade peasant-type clothing, and it's basically just a really offensive Irish stereotype and what the hell Star Trek, I thought you were supposed to be progressive.  The sharp-tongued redhead daughter who's dad keeps trying to marry her off to random dudes wears a petticoat.  A petticoat, for crying out loud.

Then it turns out there's ANOTHER forgotten colony!  So they go check that out and it's from the same group who went up, but they're not Irish because they're scientifically advanced!  So they speak with normal American accents and have basically the same lifestyle as the crew on the Enterprise.  Except they reproduce by cloning!  You see, all but five of the original settlers died in a crash or something and the survivors were scientific peoples, so they just started cloning and at first they stopped people from inbreeding through drugs and punitive laws, and "now, after three hundred years the entire concept of sexual reproduction is a little repugnant."  Because that's how people work, right? Just put up a bunch of laws and stuff and eventually nobody ever wants sex ever.  But blah blah reproductive fading copy of a copy blah blah, and they need new blood!  So they're all "Hey you, want to give some dna?" and Riker is all "Oh fuck no, I'm too special!" and Picard is all "Yeah probably everyone's gonna feel like that so I won't ask around or anything."  So they steal some DNA from Dr. Crusher and Riker in a really ridiculous, needlessly dramatic scene.  And when Crusher and Riker find out they go kill their clones and the clone dude is all "What choice did we have, you wouldn't help!  We have a right to survive!" and the show is all "huh maybe they have a weird point here" and I'm like THE FUCK THEY DO.  They have a right to exist, they have a right to reproduce themselves, but they do not in any way have a right to impose on other people.  Some random dude who wants to make sure his bloodline survives doesn't have the right to force a woman to carry his baby against her will, that's just a more extreme version of what the clone people are trying to pull here.

So the crew goes back to the ship or something and have a meeting and go "What these dudes need is breeding stock....oh!  We've got those homeless Irish assholes in the hold!  Let's shotgun wedding this shit."  Not "Let's present the option to both cultures while informing the rest of the Federation that there's a Class M planet that could use some settlers."  Just straight up "bully these homeless people who've just had everything torn away from them into living with these assholes who have no sense of respect for other people and who clearly look down on them, but need them because their society is collapsing due to a lack of a genetically diverse population."  Then they go into a private meeting, just the two male leaders and Picard's group, and after a bit of disagreeing they finally settle on WHAT THE FUCK STAR TREK THIS BULLSHIT IS CREEPY AS HELL.

Ahem.  Sorry.  They settle on a plan where the Irish group settle the clone planet and monogamy is illegal now because we need lots of babies, so every woman, both the poor Irish women who have just had their entire lives ripped up and are thrown into chaos and the clone women who have a culture of finding sexual reproduction absolutely repugnant, have to have at least three kids by three different men.  None of these women, who's reproductive future is being decided on by a group of men and one doctor, are present for this meeting or have any say about what's going on.  We don't see the reaction of the clone women (who are probably gonna end up rape victims, because none of them actually want sex but they will be pressured into becoming broodmares by the (male) leader of their society), but we see one Irish woman's reaction.  She's the one who's had her father try to marry her off to every man he sees.  She's understandably furious that her father and Picard went around making all these grand plans without ever asking if the women would be willing to play along, and Picard is all "wtf you said you wanted a new home, here it is!"  She goes "Yeah, but I never said I wanted to be Eve!"  Because seriously who would willingly sign up for that bullshit.  Picard is all "Fine, I'll just take you to the nearest star base so you'll have lost not only your home, but your family and friends and entire culture as well."  Because that's not coercive at all.  Suddenly she has a complete 180 on her opinion and goes "Wait, that dude looks important.  He's rich, isn't he?  And I can have three husbands?  Ok, that makes up for everything," and wanders off to hit on people.

What the ever-loving fuck is going on here?!  Granted, a lot of Star Trek episodes are pretty doofy, but this is the first time I've been literally repulsed by the events of an episode.  It's like they tried to think of every possible way to make this episode as creepy as they could, or something.  And they put a cheerful comic-relief/happy-ending gloss over it just so you could tell that they gave zero shits about what a bullshit society they just created.  I thought Star Trek was supposed to represent some futuristic utopia, but here they throw this super-dark, seriously fucked up situation in our face and pretend it's all sunshine and rainbows.  Fuck, show.  Don't do that.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Canada Day!

Congratulations to everyone who lives in one of the most awesome countries in the world!  And Canada, happy birthday!  We'll throw up some fireworks tonight, have a time of it.  Meanwhile, have this!