redwoodalchan: Artwork lifted from Pokemon wiki; character belongs to Pokemon (pic#4865891)
 Why, you might ask? I was inspired by this video about the Hunger Games, which explains all about how similar the Hunger Games is to reality shows we watch today. I have no particular interest in or experience with reality TV beyond "The Amazing Race," which I watched for a number of years in middle and high school (and probably isn't the best show to prove my point anyway, since the way it's structured seems like it would make things more difficult to stage and manipulate). "Hell's Kitchen" is perfect because it combines a topic I'm interested in with the sort of reality-TV atmosphere that the video above is referring to.

So far I've watched the first episode of the first season. First all the contestants had to cook a meal for Gordon Ramsay, some of which he appreciated more than others. The contestants took the opportunity to say a little bit about who they were and where they came from. Then they were split up into two teams, Red and Blue, and had to serve a restaurant full of people. I think the people who cooked the worst dishes initially were sent out to serve the guests.

Ultimately the Red Team lost the competition, and so Elsie, the best of the worst on that team, had to pick two people to potentially eliminate. The one who ended up being eliminated was a lady named Carolanne (or something), who could actually cook but had no experience in a professional kitchen. I suppose Gordon Ramsay thought it wouldn't be believable if she won the game. The other person considered for elimination, Dewberry, was depicted as having a nice conversation with Elsie ahead of time, and he claims that if he's ever in a position to choose someone for elimination he might pay Elsie back for trying to throw him out. I rather suspect that some part of that was staged, or at least manipulated to make it look like a bigger thing than it was. Elsie, for her part, is someone who was depicted as fairly sympathetic early on (she's apparently a mother of a fairly large blended family) but might become less so in light of her having to eliminate someone. There are some people who are fairly resoundingly unsympathetic, though (on both teams), and I'll be interested to see how long they last.

Also, I counted no fewer than three contestants from New Jersey. Represent! XD
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
I'm rereading a book from my youth that features a charismatic German politician who also happens to be an extremist environmentalist and animal-rights activist and he wants to rule the world.

Fuck that, all it's doing is inviting unkind comparisons to Hitler (and the market for unkind comparisons to Hitler is supersaturated and has been for years now).

You know what I want? I want a charismatic extremist BRITISH politician!

"Good day, my name is Sir William Winston Arthur John Paul George Roger Stephen Percy David Attenborough Orwell Downing Dio Lambert Stamp Gilbert Sullivan Hardy Martin Yorke! I'm the badass Prime Minister of the UK who's going to make England the greatest country in the whole world! Yes I know Scotland and Wales and Ireland will probably object to this, but I know I'll win them over with my buxom charms! And I'll tell the world about how awesome the cultures of India and Africa are so they'll forgive my country for its empire building! I am a Mary Sue, after all! I'll also secede from the EU and commandeer all its resources and silence anyone who gets in my way with force, because these colors don't run! Did I mention I'm super-environmentalist and my granddaddy invented both the ALF and the ELF? Oh, and also I love to listen to Iron Maiden because seriously who doesn't love Iron Maiden!"

In all seriousness, while I admittedly don't know much about German life or politics, a lot of the plans this guy in the book has don't map onto anything I'd associate with Germany. For instance, the guy decides to secede from the EU because he thinks they're ungrateful to Germany. From my admittedly limited understanding, though, Germany is a happily dominant member of the EU. It's the UK that's talked about seceding.

Maybe it's because Germany has a long history of animal rights and environmentalism? And the UK doesn't? I briefly looked at animal-welfare standards in the UK at one point and they seem pretty strict. Besides that, organizations like Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front were initially British organizations, and the leader of PETA is British. As for environmentalism, there's an internationally-renowned climate research institution at the college where I studied abroad in Norwich. Venturing outside of England, you can see windmills peppered across the highlands of Scotland, and forest-restoration plans are very common in certain parts of the UK. Clearly Germany doesn't have a monopoly on concern for animals and the environment. It is true that Germany currently seems to be doing better--but that doesn't mean the UK COULDN'T do better--in fact, the stage is set for this hypothetical British politician to plan to overtake other European countries for renewable energy and environmentalism!

Is the idea that Germany has a "dark past" that this politician must work to overcome? The UK has that too! At one time the UK had an empire that spanned multiple continents, in which human-rights abuses and racism were rampant. The author could have easily mined that, especially if he had his (British) politician propose a second empire. But...nothing. Instead it's Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, and Nazis, Nazis, Nazis, on and on. Yes Hitler was a murderous antisemite. The thing is, murderous antisemites exist in Britain too. They're just not as high-profile. We know, for instance, that the UK refused to grant asylum to Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust during World War II.

I'm just sayin'.
redwoodalchan: (pic#7810517)
Have they forgotten that my Harry Potter Abridged series isn't meant to be a serious discussion of the books? Like, I tried to make a joke about Voldemort emulating Hitler in the first chapter of DH and they just had to turn it into a thing about how the Nazis bombed the orphanage he grew up in. Yes, that's a theory that's out there, and it does make sense; but a) it's fanon, not canon and b) it's not half as funny as mocking Rowling's utter inability to write her villains as convincing Nazis! What's it to them whether it finds its way into my parody or not?

And I'll admit I've been known to incorporate bits of fanon I like into my Abridged series, but the focus, first and foremost, is on making fun of the stupid crap that's in the books, not on rewriting the series to account for every theory the DTCLers have ever entertained. If I really think a fan theory is important and want to talk about it, I'll write an essay on it!

Also, I wish they'd stop fighting each other about what this or that Slytherin or Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw is really like, when the essential problem is that we have no way of knowing what Slytherins and Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws are really like or really think or feel about anything because we never get anyone but the Gryffindors' side of the story. To be fair, that's not limited to DTCL, but it's still stupid and I wish people would stop (this might make a good rant in its own right, thinking on it...).
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 So there's a YouTuber called Film Theory who did a video on how Christian Grey treats Ana the same way cult leaders treat their victims. It's quite interesting.

Warning: Abuse, rape, etc. (obviously) )
redwoodalchan: Character and screencap are from "Shiki" (pic#5113210)
I know this wasn't intentional, but once I saw it, I couldn't unsee it.

Read my thoughts on the matter )

I'm impressed--Meyer's done a pretty good job of writing a story about a woman tempted by sin. If only we weren't supposed to view her and her little friends as the good guys....
redwoodalchan: (pic#5898571)
 Mayamada is a London-based clothing and comic company for nerds, which is based around anthro characters the designers have come up with. I first got acquainted with them at the Hyper Japan Christmas market I went to in London last weekend, when I bought a copy of their graphic novel for a secret Santa present. If you're like me and you enjoy anthro characters but never really got into the sexual aspects of the furry fandom this is the website for you (we see all manner of furry and not-so-furry creatures but virtually none of them are sexualized in any obvious ways).

The only comic they have that seems to be available on the market is called "Samurai Chef," which is a pretty clever little twist on the Iron Chef concept, with two teams preparing dishes--but the object is not to eat them but to see how well they stand up to being attacked by the judge, the Samurai Chef in question! Obviously this isn't a comic that provokes thought or makes bold artistic statements, but it's cute and wildly entertaining. Pretty much all the anime AND all the chef archetypes you care to name are in this comic and are all instantly recognizable: the strong, silent type; the motor-mouthed, overeager announcer and his meeker assistant; and so on. I'd say it was light-years better than Twisted! but that would be damning it by faint praise. What I will say is that it pretty much ended up being everything I had hoped Twisted! would be--a tale of wacky anthro creatures having fun, creative adventures that you could just relax and enjoy.

If you want to buy these people's stuff, I wouldn't know how easy that is because I haven't actually tried ordering British things from America. You're welcome to give it a try if you want to get something, though. And if you ever do happen to be in England and at one of the events they attend, I would recommend checking them out.
redwoodalchan: Character and screencap are from "Baccano!" (pic#5236477)
 One thing I've come to notice from walking in sporking circles is that not only do multiple sporkings of the Hunger Games trilogy apparently exist, but someone's started sporking Divergent on Das_Sporking as well. Now, I can't attest to the quality of either of these works, but from my understanding both series have their good points and their bad points--they're not notoriously awful works like Twilight or the Fifty Shades series, which a good chunk of people enjoy ironically if at all. I'm beginning to think that part of the reason people are so eager to spork them is less anything specifically pertaining to their actual content (though that may have figured in, at least when this trend began) than that it's simply become "cool" to spork stories like that. Something about them makes them an easy target nowadays, in other words.
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
 So, Railrunner. What exactly does he do throughout the course of the story?

-Remorselessly and sadistically murders people in the most gruesome way he can think of
-Enjoys every bit of it
-Thinks of humans (by and large) as useless insects (not that he admits it, but still)
-Can manipulate people's limbs to get them to do things against their will/kill themselves
-Eats (near as we can tell) nothing but meat and sweets
-Will kill any enemies he doesn't consider his worthy opponents in the blink of an eye
-Is single-mindedly determined to torture and kill said worthy opponents

You know who else does all these things? Legato Bluesummers from "Trigun!"

Tip from the experts: if your oh-so-noble, chosen one Jesus analog hero has anything remotely in common with one of the most notoriously-evil bad guys in the popular anime fandom consciousness, YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING VERY WRONG!
redwoodalchan: Character and screencap are from "Shiki" (pic#5113210)
So say Renesmee really is the Antichrist out to kill everyone. What makes you think Leah alone would be spared? Is there any qualification that Leah is more powerful than the other werewolves? If Renesmee kills the other werewolves she could probably just kill Leah as well. Seriously--I'm getting the impression that the only reason why you say that is because you actually like Leah.

Book Meme

Nov. 30th, 2012 05:13 pm
redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)

 

See what I have to say )

 

Meme taken from shamanicshaymin.

redwoodalchan: Neville "My Immortal" Joke (+ Trevor) (pic#3263283)
 You know, there are times when I think TVTropes just criticizes a thing without realizing why it's a thing. The Draco in Leather Pants page for Harry Potter, for instance, is excruciating for me to read because it seems to assume the worst of everyone who liked Snape, Draco, or Slytherin and disliked one or more Gryffindors they regularly interact with. I've seen people on that site try to argue that people only ship Snape with Lily or think Lily was ever unfair to Snape because they're misogynist and think Lily should have ended up with someone who was racist toward everyone but her, or that fans of Snape were racist themselves because one person who happened to like Snape made a racist comment once that was only tangentially related to Snape in the first place (I'm not trying to argue that her comment was okay, of course, but if she's racist that's her problem and it shouldn't be treated as the problem of all Snape fans). Most likely, 99.9% of Slytherfen don't think that way at all--they probably aren't even considering "racism" when they prefer Slytherin. If my own fandom experience is to be believed, they're just sick and tired of seeing Slytherin and its inhabitants get bashed in book after book and so they feel compelled to sympathize because no one else will (I'll probably write a longer article addressing this point sometime in the future). 

I'll never understand TVTropes' approach to certain things. The notion that Rowling might have not actually represented Slytherin or her bad guys all that well never seems to cross their mind. And I don't get it--they're perfectly willing to point out how bad books like Twilight are, but you're not allowed to voice opinions on that site that differ from what the writer of Harry Potter believes, because Harry Potter is just that good? Really? 

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