• SWTOR: Having Way Too Much Fun With Adaptive Armour

    Back to playing SWTOR yet again. I'm hoping to finish all the classes (5 to go), which is much easier to do nowadays. I was lured back because of the new content, but other than viewing the trailer, I haven't even checked it out. Instead, I've been spending my time on my long neglected characters, as well as creating new ones for my class completion goals. This play is all preempted by time spent at the GTN finding the perfect outfit for my ladies. Priorities. I have them.

  • WWAC: #TouchYourselfTonight: Let’s Take Deadpool Seriously for a Moment

    It’s unlikely that my sister-in-law will ever see Deadpool. She does not like violence. She’s also just rung the bell after six years of fighting cancer. She’s beaten the disease, but that doesn’t make hearing the “c-word,” much less watching someone else deal with it, very easy to handle any time soon. Meanwhile, a friend has just stepped onto this path after her mother’s recent diagnosis. Another sister-in-law works in an oncology ward. My former boss’s cancer returned after more than a decade. My mother just passed away from a disease that was not quite cancer, but it was close enough, eating her away from the inside. Cancer is a vicious disease that has touched far too many of our lives. No one is immune. Cancer is no joke. Yet, in a movie that is one inappropriate joke after another, I was struck by how prominent Deadpool’s cancer battle was to both the storyline and the characters themselves and how seriously it was taken.

    Read more at WWAC
  • Lost in a Feeling

    I'm late to the Island. Or rather, I wasn't ready for the Island when I first tried to watch Lost. I'd caught two or three episodes back when it first aired. I distinctly remember watching the episode that revealed Mr. Eko's past. I liked it. I watched another episode much later, one featuring Locke. I liked him too.

    But that damn polar bear. That damn black smoke.

    I wasn't ready.

    Over a decade later, and with encouragement and support of my friends (by that I mean me flailing at them and them having to relive all the pain), I discovered what it truly means to get lost.

    Oh the black smoke and the polar bear and a myriad of other things are still extremely WTF about the show, but they are all cursory. They are not things to get hung up on and seek explanations for. In fact, in the year or so undertaking that this six season watch has been for me, I have carefully avoided reading almost anything about the show, and my friends kindly did not spoil me, providing over comfort and understanding and "I told you so"s when appropriate.

    Actually, a few seasons in, I did read The Lost Will and Testament of Javier Grillo-Marxuach, where the Lost writer and producer of two seasons answers the simple question: did we make it up as we went along? It was a spoiler free essay that proved to be extremely enlightening and furthered my growing fascination with the show. I was already hooked by then and the insights only dug the hooks in deeper. I am amazed by how the show could so seamlessly keep itself tied together, even when some strings blew into the wind. The visual and linear consistency--even when time travel became a thing--was astounding. Yes it became convoluted and no one could have stepped into the show part way through and understood anything, but for those who watched from the beginning, it was all there, connecting and interconnecting, from small moments, to big ones, literally start to finish.

    In Grillo-Marxuach's essay, he writes that the executives wanted explanations for everything, and they wanted scifi--but not too scifi. The character backstories were created to fill in the blanks around the strange occurrences on the mysterious island. But those very stories--those characters--became the heart and soul of the show--as it should be. I say again and again that good characters are what draw me into a story, and Lost had no shortage of them.

    Moreover, this was a gorgeously diverse cast where the lead was the standard white guy, but he did not get to be the hero. There was no tokenism. There were no overused tropes (well, there were a few, but I'll overlook them as they weren't prominent and frequently used plot devices). Everyone had a role to play that left no room for Jack Shepard (shut up Bioware) to walk in and save the day, even though he tried hard to do so--which itself was an amazing part of the storytelling.

    I finally finished the entire six seasons last month. There were a lot of tears and a lot of flails over the time, with much of it happening in that final stretch. Facebook, in its infinite oafishness, did accidentally spoil me a few episodes shy of The End when a friend shared a link warning me that the Netflix version of the final episode was 18 minutes shorter than it should be. Facebook felt the need to share other posts about Lost, one of which asked "Were they really dead the whole time?" Thanks, Facebook.

    In truth, I wasn't mad, as it wasn't at all surprising. I suppose that was the source of the controversy when the finale first aired. I have not looked into it and don't really care to any more than I care to delve into the main unexplained aspects of the entire series. I like inconclusive endings and knew from the start that was what I was getting into. I am also not fond of forced happy endings for the sake of happy endings. This felt... right. It was bittersweet. An end but not quite. Happiness even in loss.

    Perhaps some saw the ending as a waste of time, having watched all of that to learn it wasn't really real. But we don't know what is on the other side, and I want to believe in something sometimes. Perhaps not mysterious islands, but... something. Second chances maybe? A chance to grow and learn who we are truly meant to be? Or who we are meant to be with?

    I am glad I watched Lost. Glad I watched it now when I could truly appreciate it... and then... let it go...
  • WWAC: #WheresRey: Why Do We Still Need Fan Outcry to Get Hasbro to do What It Should Have Done in the First Place?

    ​In a not so shocking sexist merchandising twist, fans learned that the latest edition of Star Wars Monopoly would not include Rey, the main character of The Force Awakens film. After the fan outcry, Hasbro announced that it would remedy this issue by including Rey in the updated version.

    You don’t have to dig much deeper to consider the message that is being delivered by Rey’s omission and shelves and displays that are bereft of the female characters of Disney’s major intellectual properties. Black Widow didn’t get to ride her own bike after The Age of Ultron. Gamorra didn’t get to be a Guardian of the Galaxy. And Honey Lemon and Go Go Tomago were the “plus two” in Big Hero 6. Why? Because Disney and subsequently its licensees have determined that boys think girls are yucky and girls only care about princesses when it comes to merchandising.

    Read more at Women Write About Comics
  • WWAC: Dejah Thoris: Addressing the Princess of Mars

    I never expected to be excited about an issue of Dynamite’s Dejah Thoris, but the princess of Barsoom has slowly been growing on me over the years. I knew of her vaguely through the limited contact I had with my brother’s pulp fiction books and comics, but she was a distant character when compared to the likes of Conan and Red Sonja. Yet, along with Sonja and Vampirella, she has been leading Dynamite’s collection of powerful pulp women for quite some time.

    Read more at Women Write About Comics
  • WWAC: The Truth is Out There: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    There was a moment during The X-Files season ten premiere that made me sit up and cheer. It wasn’t seeing Mulder or Scully’s face again after all these years. It wasn’t about seeing an alien space ship crash, or an alien autopsy. The moment didn’t include explosions or romantic tension between our beloved protagonists. It was a moment that involved a single name:

    Henrietta Lacks.

    Read more at Women Write About Comics
  • WWAC: TIFF In Conversation with Tatiana Maslany

    The lights dim and the screen brightens to reveal Tatiana Maslany, expertly portraying a paranoid Alison Hendrix ill-prepared for the neighbourhood pot luck dinner, opposite Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning, who must now take Hendrix’s place at the party after interrogating her husband. Sound strange? Then you have missed out on the critically acclaimed, unabashedly Canadian science fiction drama called Orphan Black and you must remedy this right away! Orphan Black boasts a stellar cast of characters, of which Maslany plays–as of season three–11 of them as she explores the ways identical biological structures can be expressed so differently. Each clone has an entirely unique personality that Maslany brings to life in this often amusing, shocking, tearful character study of the life choices and outside influences that make us who we are.

    Read more at Women Write About Comics
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