Wednesday, 28 May 2014

And another thing...

So, generally the stuff I talk about here isn't particularly ground-breaking and I don't intend it to be. My last post was about how Two and a Half Men is shit, and that's not exactly an insanely off-the-wall opinion to have. What I want to say today, though, will be trickier because it has a lot of buzzwords that make people's hackles rise as soon as they hear them.

I read an article on inspiring feminist digital campaigns yesterday. Some of them were awesome, you know? Good work, fellow boob-havers, march on, etc etc. I was sort of going to gloss over this part, but since I'm giving examples to the contrary in a moment on the same sort of thing, let's be fair and say that it's a VERY GOOD DAY when Amazon is compelled to stop selling t-shirts that encourage rape and violence.

I mean, REALLY. You can't try to hide the message by making it a pink t-shirt, you tools. It would take someone a deal braver than I to wear one of these ironically, and I think it would take an actual caveperson to wear them proudly.

Scroll down a little further, though, and there's a similar story which rubbed me the wrong way. Apparently I get all hot and bothered about t-shirts, whatever, that's something to jot down for my future therapist. I have already written the second part of this entry, all lit up with righteous fever and defending the freedom of speech and stamping my feet about silencing a portion of the community just because someone doesn't like it, and yes, you could call me a hypocrite for wagging my finger at one example and overriding another, but come on: there is a difference between arguing the merits of suggesting a good idea for keeping one's calm is to punch one's wife, and arguing against the wholesale removal of Disney t-shirts because the girl option didn't include the alternative of being Thor or whatever.

I think we can all agree that the rape tshirt removal wasn't censorship - like, I'm sorry, are we offending the rapist portions of the community here? GOOD. But there's more to these Disney t-shirts that were forced off the line. Let me show you them:

So, the one on the left is the girl's choice, and the one on the right is for boys. Apparently this means 'Girls can't be heroes'. I suppose no one thought of buying the blue one for their daughter.

None of the heroes on the red t-shirt are women. They're the Avengers, and though I cannot back this claim up with comic book knowledge, my thorough awareness of the movie (Read: I watched it a bunch of times) tells me that the only female Avenger is Black Widow. If you're going to get pissed off that there's only one girl in the Avengers, go and tell Marvel or whatever. Maybe Disney started off thinking: Okay, we'll have the boys on the boy t-shirt and Black Widow on the girls' t-shirt, grand, good, marvelous.

And then they saw Marvel's Black Widow.

Okay, so she could have been zipped up and cleaned up a bit and de-gunned or whatever, but she still looks like she's made up out of boobs and black leather, and while that's cool with me (Costumes. Aw yisss) and more than cool for teenage (and older) boys, it probably isn't what the very same people who had these tshirts removed from sale want to see on their daughter's chest.

I have gone WAY off topic. Again. I am trying to get to a place to segue in the stuff I wrote earlier, but I keep galloping off in the other direction.

I'm not going to be able to find a smooth way into it, and I don't want to erase it because it felt important when I was writing it. I think in the end I was kind of mad that Disney, who seem to be taking such strides in the right direction with their movies (Tangled had the princess rescuing the prince, Frozen's act of true love was between sisters) getting slammed for what was probably an off-hand decision. Sometimes a t-shirt is just a fucking t-shirt.

There is no easy way to segue into what I wrote before, it'll have to be a smash-cut. Here it is:

They're telling you censorship is a victory when it never is. They're saying that their freedom costs the voice of others, and that isn't freedom, that's profane and they're only doing it because someone is watching. No one is forcing them to put these clothes on their children.

A solution could have been to make both versions of the tee for both genders, because you know what? Some girls want to be rescued. Yeah, sorry. For as many women there are who don't think men should be allowed to be saviours, there are girls who grew up with their minds in a tall tower, their hair tumbling down the vine-strewn sides, waiting to be rescued - not because they were tricked into that damn tower or because society made them think they had to brick up the doorway themselves, but because they wanted to be there. And for as many princesses there are, there are self-rescuing princesses, like me, who realised one day that 'Hey, if I hook my hair around this winch I can just climb out myself.." and then off they go to find a Prince, or a thief or a sailor or whoever they want. Whoever I want. Even if that's just me, because you don't need the Prince in the story to finish it.

And you know what? Silencing everyone because you don't like what you hear doesn't lead to evolution. It just leads to silence. That's not the answer, otherwise what are we all doing here? Why have a voice if you can't speak? In the end words are just words, and the only one who can give them power is you, how you react to them, what shapes they weave in your mind when you read them and you can't blame someone else for how you react. That's a whole different world of brothers and fathers and rape cultures and victim blaming and all of it is important, but not all of it is important all the time - I mean of course, that perhaps you're not angry because a little girl is wearing a t-shirt that says 'I need a hero' emblazoned across it. Let them want a hero, if that's what they want. We're not all Buffy, some of us are Snow White and what am I even saying, I'm doing it too, I've just realised. Look at where we are. Look around at how far we've come. It's not always a Princess in that tower. Sometimes it's a Prince. So why can't a boy who knows at ten who he is better than I will ever know myself wear a t-shirt that says 'I need a hero'?

Look how big the world just got.

And now, some pictures of the Avengers as women:

Okay, this is just what they'd look like if they were POSED as Black Widow always is.

And.. yeah, pretty much just because it gives me a lady boner.

No context.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Insert Dr Horrible's part of 'On the Rise' here.

So I have this big post I'm working on, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but since I underestimated my incredible powers of procrastination, confounded further by an attention span which can only be likened to that of a goldfish, it--

Ooh, something shiny.

Sorry, what was I saying? Oh yes. The big post. It's taking more time than I thought it would, mostly because of my inherent need to waffle on about things to a ridic extent. I touch-type extremely quickly, which means that something I had intended to confine to a sentence morphs and bloats into an entire page of alarmingly sharp tangents and mini-rants which have nothing to do with whatever it is I'm writing.

They announced the list of what fledgling shows have been cancelled about a week ago, and also which new and ongoing shows have been renewed. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty pissed about it all.

I watch all the shows. All of 'em. I'm supposed to recap them, but a good 90% of the time I do not, because I am the laziest person on the planet. There were some promising new sitcoms, in particular I was enjoying 'Surviving Jack' and 'Growing up Fisher', which have both been taken out back and shot in the head.

Look, sitcoms these days are generally just vaguely amusing ways in which to kill 22 minutes. I'm not holding them up to sky-high standards, but there's a big difference between a likable cast with chemistry and motherfucking Two and a Half Men, or Anger Management, both of which make me actually feel depressed thinking about them. The idea of watching an episode is mortifying.

Look what being on this show did to the kid. He's literally turning into a caveman and/or an inside-out conker shell.

I have watched episodes in the past, mostly because I think it's dumb to offer an opinion on something you've never experienced yourself. I'm pretty sure I'd love zorbing, but I've never done it, and thus I do not give my opinion on the greatness or shittiness of rolling down hills in giant inflatable balls. So, because I've watched Two and a Half Men, I am allowed to call it as I see it - and what I see is hell. There is nothing funny about it. Not even in the slightest. It's soul-sucking. The poor writers have just given in to the banality of it all and written out every (even tiny) sliver of reliability or redeeming quality in John Cryer's character. I actually hate Alan Harper. There is also revulsion in there. He has become what they used to joke he was, which I guess makes him a joke. A bad, unfunny joke.

"Hilarious." She deadpanned, knife in hand.

There have, so far, been TWELVE seasons of this shite, and not even Charlie Sheen's meltdown could stop it. I like Ashton Kutcher's body as much as the next perv, but I can't even LOOK at you anymore, Kutch. I can't do it.

Speaking of Charlie Sheen, he moved on to another depressing sitcom in which he STILL plays a guy named Charlie and we're STILL supposed to be able to suspend our disbelief to such an extent to believe that attractive women want to have sex with him. Why the fuck is he called Charlie in everything he plays, anyway? Can he just not deal with a character name, or is he just admitting he plays himself in all these fucking shows?

Anger Management is in its second season, and it's just hit SIXTY episodes. That 'clunk' noise you heard was my jaw hitting the desk. Firefly gets cancelled one season in, Game of Thrones only lets us have ten episodes a season, and fucking TWO AND A HALF MEN has been on for TWELVE SEASONS and Anger Management is on a SIXTY EPISODE PLUS SEASON?

Fuck this. Fuck everything. Everything is shit.

I only had to watch two episodes of Anger Management to nail it for what it is - shit. The characters are so painfully generic it makes my teeth hurt just thinking about them. Let's see, we've got the old, white homophobic racist; the pretty, dumb, mean girl; a guy who looks like Shaggy and who is a stoner; and a gay male fashion designer. WOW. That's some GROUND-BREAKING STUFF, they really threw the book out of the window to come up with these exiting new characters. The only thing in this awful, awful show that isn't predictable is, again, how in the hell Charlie Sheen gets to bang a new beautiful woman every episode.

Impossible. There's never any plot.

I'm going to go and wash the rage off me now, with fire and brimstone and those little shell-shaped pumice stones.


Friday, 2 May 2014

I would have preferred to find a dead body. Or a serial killer. Or the dead body of a serial killer

"Ey, blanca. You in the bad part of the garden. Forget what you saw and keep walking, bitch."

This happened to me today.

It was pretty awful.

We're having our annual ten minutes of sun in England at present, and thus I was inspired to try and pull up some of the weeds that have taken over my back garden in a complex and insidious society. Once I'd yanked the large, more powerful players in the Game of Weeds, the smaller ones came out easily.

I was left standing on the battlefield. Alone. Victorious.

Around me, the strewn corpses of my fallen enemies lay in varying degrees of wilt, littering my garden with their flimsy little bodies.

No problem, right? In England we're supplied with a big green bin in which to dump all our gardening folderol, and so I waded towards it, a great lump of my weed massacre under one arm, and lifted the lid with my free hand--


No. It was just a spider BIG enough to be a rat.

I guess when you don't open a bin for six months, the King of all spiders moves in and makes it his territory. Actually, he was more of a drug lord cartel leader than a king. He had murder in mind as he looked at me with his cluster of gross eyes that might as well be FISH EGGS and wrrrrkkkkk that's why I don't eat roe anymore.

Kingpin druglord spider had no fear of me. It just looked at me as I froze, and sniggered when I let the lid go and ran screaming through the neighbour's fence, leaving a Jen-shaped hole in my wake, as is necessary in all comedic situations.

I think the fucker had a machete too, you know.