Athena Andreadis gives Peter Jackson and Tolkien a much-deserved whipping in Hagiography in the SFX Age: Jackson’s Hobbit
Tolkien may have disliked Nazism on record, but his work says otherwise. It is telling that in his universe dark skin and lack of mainstream beauty equal moral depravity (them honorless swarthy Southrons!) and “blood purity” is the sole criterion for legitimacy of rule: Denethor can never become king, no matter how capable he is, because he comes from a line of “lesser men”. Propagation also looks fraught, given that none of Tolkien’s races seem to have more than about one woman – and they’re all pedestalized, fridged or both, with rape the most frequent cause of death (an odd obsession for an otherwise ultra-prudish permanent-Victorian-by-choice).
Ekaterina Sedia talks about fashion and geekdom, Fashion is a Foreign Language.
Part of it is probably because fashion is still at its root perceived as deeply feminine, and geeks are notorious for despising al things traditionally feminine – from the cult of technology to women often trying to be “one of the guys” (of which I wrote before, like here); in that regard they are not different from the rest of the society, but traditionally feminine women are often less visible in geekdoms, and I won’t even start on the whole “fake nerd girl” thing because ugh. There is also of course contempt for the mainstream, and fashion is a very mainstream form of non-verbal communication. So out of this confluence, we get a group of people who are not simply uninterested in fashion but contemptuous of it.
Ronan Wills wonders what the fuck happened with Ubisoft in White Man’s Bullshit: Far Cry 3
Cut to E3 2012, when I found myself sitting slack-jawed in astonishment as I watched Ubisoft’s conference live-stream, showing footage of a half-naked “tribal” woman gyrating against the protagonist’s mighty Aryan pelvis. “You are a warrior.” she purred, in an accent hovering somewhere between Nigerian and Eastern European. “Every man who fights you dies, and every one of them deserves to be killed”. Then the hero got up and announced to the waiting assembly of gun-toting soldiers- who were apparently watching all of this- that he, a white American, would lead them to victory against their enemies.
What the fuck happened, Ubisoft? Did someone spike the office water supply?
Here’s an amazing article about rape tropes in romance. By amazing I mean, uh…
In Romance, though, sexual force more often than not rehabilitates the hero for respectful, loving, monogamy. The reader has the choice to vicariously experience that subversion of real life rape, to participate in the fantasy of the hero’s ultimate suitability by consenting to what the heroine does not. Of course that also means that the reader can choose not to give her consent, to find the violation unacceptable, but in either case, the choice is hers. And it is a choice she is not afforded in real life rape or even in the context of the fictional narrative (in the position of the heroine).
If the key to sexually and politically liberating women from patriarchal double standards is teaching women to say yes when she means yes, then perhaps these Romance rapes can offer more than what the novel itself promises (which often conforms to a socially traditional domestic model).
No fucking thanks.
Larry reviews the final volume of Waste of Time, the all-around shittiness of which should come as a surprise to nobody.
My own opinion of the series has fluctuated between a diversion during my last semester of grad school in the Fall of 1997 (it was a change of pace from reading Hitler’s memoirs and speeches for my grad seminar/research) toward it being a repetitive, poorly structured (and written) clunker of a novel/series. Three years ago, I wrote a series of posts on re-reading the Jordan-penned books, most of them for the first time since the release of the ninth book back in November 2000, and the re-reads did little to improve my deepening dislike for the series. Yet the first semi-posthumous release, co-written by Brandon Sanderson, I thought at first was a marked improvement. That was before I began to understand while reading the second co-written volume, Towers of Midnight, that the planned three-volume conclusion to the WoT series was terribly flawed in terms of narrative structure, characterization development, and prose. Therefore, it was with some trepidation that I ordered A Memory of Light and read it over the past three days. Unfortunately, it is one of the worst-written books in a series renowned for its mediocre, clunky prose.
Arthur B pits himself against a couple of cheap/free self-published books, poor bastard.
So, how exactly do you fuck up a buddy cop story in which one of the buddy cops is Dracula? Well, although the typos did annoy me, they aren’t actually the main problem with the book. Part of the issue is that Saunders is incredibly cavalier when it comes to, for instance, having Dick in the narration say something flippantly homophobic (“John Wayne – well, he was nothing more than a limp-wristed, bow-legged, horse-buggering cross-dresser who sat to pee”) or otherwise saying stuff which makes me think there’s going to be depressing sexism (“even though I’m not in sexual predatory mode at present” – I don’t want to see what happens when Dick Pitts goes in sexual predatory mode, thanks) or uncomfortable racial appropriation (“My brother [...] occasionally commutes into the language of Black Panther Gangstah’ when he wants to make a point”, said of a decidedly Caucasian individual) coming down the tracks. These things slide into the text casually enough that it doesn’t feel like Saunders is specifically trying to do anything specific with this stuff and it’s just how he wants his super-cool detective protagonist to talk, and I felt deeply disinclined to explore further to find out whether it gets any better.