Walt Disney Animation Studios have been on quite a roll these past few years, churning out instant classics like Zootopia, Big Hero 6, Wreck-It-Ralph and Frozen. It makes us forget the not-so-long-ago days when only Pixar was the animation studio owned by Disney anyone expected great things out of. Today, the two studios stand toe to toe in quality. Now Walt Disney Animation Studios is releasing an official synopsis and character details for its newest film, Moana, which you can read down below:
“Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes Moana, a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auliʻi Cravalho) meets the mighty demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder.
Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, The Princess & the Frog) and produced by Osnat Shurer (Lifted), Moana sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016.”
In addition to the official synopsis, Disney has released images and details for each of the main characters in the film.
Temura Morrison (Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones) voices Moana’s father, Chief Tui, the gregarious and well-respected leader of the people of Motunui Island. Chief Tui wants Moana to follow in his footsteps as leader of their people, but fears his daughter’s draw to the ocean and the world that lies beyond their reef.
Nicole Scherzinger (Cats) voices Moana’s mother, Sina, who always has her daughter’s back. Playful, sharp and strong-willed, Sina appreciates Moana’s longing to be on the water, but also wants to protect her daughter from the fabled dangers beyond the reef.
Jemaine Clement (Despicable Me) provides the voice of Tamatoa, a self-absorbed, 50-foot crab who lives in Lalotai, the realm of monsters. The conceited crustacean wants to be more than a “bottom feeder” and overcompensates for this perceived shortcoming by covering himself in all things shiny.
Rachel House (Whale Rider) lends her voice to Gramma Tala, Moana’s confidante and best friend, who shares her granddaughter’s special connection to the ocean. Although her son Tui, the chief of Motunui, is a no-nonsense leader, Gramma Tala most definitely dances to the beat of her own drum.
Alan Tudyk, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ lucky charm (Zootopia, Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6), is behind the voice of Heihei. Heihei is one dumb rooster—the village idiot, in fact. When the clueless chicken accidentally stows away on Moana’s canoe, he lands a front-row seat for her epic journey. Other characters include the Kakamora, described as “an intense team of crazy, coconut-armored pirates who will stop at nothing to get what they want,” and Pua, Moana’s loyal pet pig with the energy and innocent brain of a puppy. You can see their images in our gallery below.
Are you excited about another potential Disney classic? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comments.
Images: Walt Disney Animation Studios
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is easily the most beloved camp cult movie of all time, playing a nearly-41-year-long uninterrupted run in movie theaters all over the world. For Rocky fanatics, those who faithfully show up at midnight movie shows week after week, the movie isn’t just a movie—it’s a way of life, a personal statement about letting your “freak flag” fly. Which is probably why fans reacted with, shall we say, some slight hesitation when news hit that Rocky Horror was getting a remake for broadcast television. How could the sexually charged musical, one that was so “of its time” back in ’75, be remade in a modern context? On network television, no less!
Well, this past weekend at Comic-Con International in San Diego, producers Lou Adler and Gail Berman of 20th Century Fox, along with director Kenny Ortega, debuted the first half hour of the new Rocky Horror Picture Show to a packed room filled with hardcore fans. I counted at least two fans dressed as Columbia in the audience, and a Dr. Frank N. Furter or two. And by the time the half hour was up, I think most fans in the audience—including this old-school Rocky fanboy, who spent many a Saturday night during his teen years at midnight RHPS shows—were totally won over.
The new version starts differently from the original, but is also a nod to the shadow casts all over the world, who dress up and act out as the characters in front of each screening. In the original movie, the opening song “Science Fiction/Double Feature” is sung by the character of Riff Raff, represented only as a pair of red lips. Shadow casts instead have one of the Transylvanians, a woman usually credited as Trixie, do the honors on this song. For the new movie, a character credited as “the Usherette” sings the song, a clear tribute to the shadow cast-created role of Trixie. This change signals that things are going to be different, but also still kind of the same.
From this point on, things proceed pretty much as in the original. We’re introduced to our new Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, straight-laced fiancées now played by actors Ryan McCartan and Victoria Justice, with the songs “Dammit, Janet” and “There’s a Light (Over at the Frankenstein Place).” Here’s where I’m going to get some heat from hardcore Rocky fans, but vocally, these two left both original Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon) in the dust. While the original two actors were more than fine, McCartan and Justice knock it out of the park, and bring the right amount of self-aware camp to the part of these two uptight do-gooders. These new kids have got some pipes.
We then arrive at the mysterious castle in the middle of nowhere on a dark and stormy night, where Brad and Janet meet Riff Raff, now played by Penny Dreadful’s Dorian Gray, Reeve Carney. Upon hearing of his casting, I though that Carney was too traditionally good looking to play the hunchbacked manservant, but he does a truly killer impersonation of Richard O’Brien’s original version. When he and his sister Magenta (Christina Milian) break out into “The Time Warp,” any doubts I had about this version were pretty much erased. Again, without disrespect to the original, but the choreography and costumes for this version of “The Time Warp” blows it out of the water. If I have one complaint, it’s that the new actress who plays Columbia, Annaleigh Ashford, doesn’t have the pixie-ish look and attitude that original actress Little Nell did.
And then comes the pièce de résistance, as Dr. Frank N. Further makes his big entrance with the song “Sweet Transvestite,” now sung by actress and trans rights activist Laverne Cox. This was the casting that started to make people interested in this project, and Laverne Cox takes the role and makes it her own. From her look down to her vocal style, she is absolutely not doing an impersonation of Tim Curry’s version of Frank at all. The arrangement for the song is different, a bit funkier, and perfectly suited for her talents. It’s the showstopper it needs to be, and although we didn’t see any more footage of the film after that, it pretty much seals the deal that this version of Rocky is legit.
There were other fun things sprinkled throughout the footage we saw; for example when the Usherette sings the “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” and name drops old sci-fi and horror classics, she does so while walking past the referenced films’ original posters. (It’s clearly an attempt to let younger audiences know that lyrics like “it came from outer space,” “the day the Earth stood still” and others are callbacks to actual movies.) Also, there are cutaway moments to a movie theater audience supposedly watching the film, shouting back lines at the screen, as a nod to the audience participation part of the Rocky theater going experience. It’s not done that much—if they did it as many times as they do in the actual theater, you wouldn’t be able to hear the movie at all. But it’s done enough to be a nice touch.
And having Tim Curry, the original Frank N. Furter himself, appear in the part of the Criminologist/Narrator, is like the cherry on top of it all. It’s clear that Curry isn’t quite his old self ever since his stroke back in 2012, and a lot of the lines the Criminologist had have been reduced, but Tim Curry can still gave a side-eye like nobody’s business.
Of course, we just saw 30 or so minutes of what is sure to be a 90-minute film, so I can’t judge it entirely. We still haven’t seen Adam Lambert’s Eddie, Ben Vereen as Dr. Scott, or see how they handle some of the racier elements in the show that come later. But judging from what I’ve seen, I don’t think Rocky fans have much to worry about. The original will live on—no doubt, it was always be used in theatrical presentations and shadow casts. But for fans who want to hear really well done versions of the songs, this new version might be their new go-to option for viewing at home. And its always good to have options.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show will premiere on Fox on Thursday October 20 at 8/7.
What do you think of this new Rocky? Are you excited now, or still not sold? Let us know in the comments down below.
Images: 20th Century Fox
Howdy, folks. Due to SDCC and other conflicts, the three of us just couldn’t get together this week to record a regular weekly episode. We will be releasing a Small Council podcast or two and, of course, Kevin and Bonnie had their daily SDCC updates so check those out if you haven’t already. We’ll be back next week and rest assured, Wendy and Brent will put Kevin on the spot for all the juicy details of his time at the convention. See you then!
"I was inspired a lot by, and I know this is a controversial book for some readers, but “Crossed,” the Avatar book? I think it hits home for so many people, considering how freaking crazy it is, is that beyond the initial outbreak in that we don’t really know why everyone has turned into sociopaths or depraved deviants, everything that happens around it is super realistic. When someone is disembowled, it looks really real and it feels threatening. That actually figured into my thoughts; what if you take away the component of “this couldn’t happen because there is no plague-like outbreak,” what if it was just people doing it because they wanted to do it? Because people are fucked up?"
- Max Bemis
Warning for Violence and Gore
( Read more... )
What started me down the path of professional wrestling fandom was not Hulkamania, Cyndi Lauper videos, the Attitude Era, or anything else you might expect it to be for someone my age. No, for me the gateway was Shirley Crabtree. Now, to hear that name, you might suspect I’m talking about an old girlfriend or something, but much like Johnny Cash’s Boy Named Sue, this Shirley was no lady. Standing 6 foot 6 and weighing in at 375 pounds, Crabtree was better-known as Big Daddy, a sort of English version of Dusty Rhodes, with bleached-blond hair, working class background, fatty physique, and patriotic ring gear. And before I knew he was a real person, he was a comic-book character, appearing in the British kids’ comic Buster. I was living in Ireland at the time.
Image: Fleetway via Comicvine
I should note that unlike comics over here that tend to be one story about one hero, UK comics featured multiple stories and characters under a unifying brand. And for kids, these stories were often akin to our Sunday-paper funnies, in length and style/genre, but compiled in a larger weekly comic. Big Daddy was a hero who helped kids in trouble, always in his wrestling entrance gear complete with Union-Jack cape and tiny hat, and always saving the day with the catchphrase “E-A-S-Y!” When I found out he was a real person, my very young mind was blown. When I was told what he did was fake, I was dismayed. It was my father, who wasn’t necessarily a fan, who assured me that just because it’s fixed doesn’t mean we know who will win, and besides, it means they aren’t really hurting and injuring each other. In some ways, it was easier to like it then when we thought all of it was fake, rather than now, as we see the damage done to bodies over time, and the rash of early deaths that has plagued the business.
I first saw Hulk Hogan when he was a guest star on The A-Team, a show that in and of itself was not unlike the then-WWF, with its larger-than-life, cartoonish heroes and gunfire that rarely actually hurt anybody. It led me to wonder who would win in a fight between Hogan and Mr. T, and on this topic my father was less helpful: “It depends who was faked to win.” Way to puncture the air out of that one. Around 1987, Ireland finally got two European cable channels, expanding our lineup to a whopping 8 in total (two Irish channels, four English, and now two mostly English-language European). One of them, Sky Channel (now part of the Murdoch/Fox empire) aired World Wrestling Federation, beginning big with WrestleMania III. And all I knew about that was Hulk Hogan was going to fight a giant who had never been beaten. I’d never seen Andre before, but there was an overall impression that this would be Hulk’s biggest challenge. It ran until midnight and I wasn’t allowed to stay up that late as a 13 year-old, but the next morning, the kid that did came in screaming, “Hogan won! He did a bodyslam!” Some classmates still sniffed that it was fake, but I was way passed caring about that complaint.
Once I saw WWF, with its physiques that resembled comic book characters or He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, I couldn’t go back to British wrestling. UK matches had rounds like a boxing match, and a solo commentator who seemed half asleep; WWF went till one guy dropped, and had Jesse “The Body” Ventura as a bad-guy commentator taunting the regular announcers. I wasn’t a sports fan, so the further the characters got from real life, the better: Kamala, The One Man Gang, Demolition, Koko B. Ware, and all the guys with crazy gimmicks were what hooked me. Like superheroes, they had cool skin-tight outfits and special “powers,” manifested in unique finishing moves. Hell, some of them even did seem to have super powers–Hulk Hogan’s “hulking up” was like He-Man recharging with the power of Grayskull, while Undertaker derived invincibility from his magic urn. Sure, it wasn’t real, but neither are comic books. When I visited the U.S. and was introduced to the NWA, it took me longer to warm to it because their characters were less ludicrous, though the Road Warriors held instant appeal (and were snapped up by the WWF not too many years later).
With time, I started to look at the subtext of some of the characters, and ask myself why I cheered for Hulk Hogan. He was, after all, something of an embodiment of conservative Christian values that were not mine, and his style was mostly barely legal punches; meanwhile, a supposed bad guy like Honky Tonk Man kept thanking his fans and saying they were a beautiful audience. Jesse Ventura, a heel commentator, started to make sense to me when he critiqued the bland jingoism of some of the heroes. Before long, I was rooting for the bad guys, who had the cooler, scarier gimmicks anyway, and were often free to be more entertaining. When we were asked to send Hogan “get well” cards, I sent him one telling him to go to hell and not get better; I was rewarded by a form letter thanking me for being a good Hulkamaniac, and that he was coming back to reward my faith in him.
I think I was but the first of many; in time, the business changed to reflect that the fans did indeed want more bad guys, right around the same time the comics industry noticed that characters like the Punisher and Deadpool were gaining more popularity that Superman and Spider-Man. Even Hulk Hogan turned bad, which was unthinkable. The business was growing up with me–those of us who’d become fans during the mid-’80s explosion of WWF were now being catered to in our young-adult years with characters swearing, flipping the bird, drinking beer, and engaging in sex-scandal storylines. Alongside the cartoonish Undertaker and Goldust, we had fake porn stars and pimps. WWF, now WWE, regularly had its female personalities do Playboy pictorials. Again, comics mirrored this with the “Bad Girl” trend–it was fitting that Chaos Comics, who published Lady Death and Purgatori, also put out Mankind and Undertaker comics at the time.
Still, even during this Attitude Era, and the burgeoning movie career of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (who’d been “Rocky Maivia” to us fans mere years earlier), wrestling fandom wasn’t cool outside of our own group. Not even nerd-cool. After touring with Marilyn Manson, Courtney Love made a crack about how she was sick of playing for guys in WWE T-shirts, and that tended to sum up the general sense I got that such shirts were effectively date-repellent (we didn’t know yet that The Rock was slowly expanding the female fan base). When reality shows like Tough Enough and documentaries like Beyond the Mat finally showed how physically tough the wrestling lifestyle actually was, I think we turned a bit of a corner perception-wise. Anyone who thought it was somehow all an illusion now had concrete proof that “fixed” and “fake” were not remotely the same thing.
Over the past decade, an increase in all sorts of people getting online via mobile devices has expanded nerddom generally in many directions. Where previously it seemed like it was mostly male computer-philes who were finding each other and connecting their fandoms, now everyone was. It’s made the community a lot more diverse, as more people who were once afraid to express their nerdy obsessions found many, many other people in cyberspace who shared them. And both wrestling and wrestling fans have benefited from that…A LOT.
Nearly four years ago, I took the reins of a popular nerd website and added a wrestling column, and you’d have thought I brought on the apocalypse. Variations on “This site used to be cool but now it’s all about wrestling and fast food!” dogged me there for three years; meanwhile, CM Punk was doing videos on grammar for Nerdist, Seth Green and the Muppets were appearing on Monday Night Raw, and Max Landis filmed an eloquent defense of why wrestling storylines resonate (see above). Today’s WWE fanbase is mostly, apparently, males in their 40s, and a large subsection of Mattel’s toy line is aimed at them. And Sheamus got to be a Ninja Turtles villain, proudly, where Kevin Nash’s role as Super Shredder in The Secret of the Ooze had not been so touted. Dave Bautista is now Drax the Destroyer, and The Rock will be Black Adam. Within nerd circles, wrestling no longer needs to be defended.
And that works for me. Because 20-plus years of it got exhausting.
Featured Image: Cyndi Lauper
Speaking of CM Punk teaching you grammar…
Marvel Studios had a major presence at this year’s Comic-Con panel in Hall H, with the long awaited introduction of Brie Larson as Captain Marvel and the revelation of Star-Lord’s father. But one of the overlooked bit of news out that panel is that Marvel has apparently redone the intro sequence to its live-action films, and you don’t have to wait to see it in theaters!
JoBlo has posted the new Marvel Studios video, which builds upon the page flipping Marvel logo that was introduced in 2002 with the original Spider-Man movie. The biggest difference in the new version is that it plays up the live-action heroes as opposed to their counterparts in the comics. Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and Black Widow get some significant face time, but the new sequence also gives Black Panther, Ant-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy prominent spots as well. There are even a few famous lines from The Avengers in script form, including Nick Fury’s line about bringing the team together, and Bruce Banner’s “secret.”
Michael Giacchino composed the new theme for this sequence, which is only fitting since he is also providing the music for Doctor Strange. That’s likely where we will see this video used on the big screen for the first time. You may notice that Spider-Man isn’t in this video; we wonder if that is due to some legal issue pertaining to Marvel and Sony’s shared rights to the character, or if Marvel is just waiting for Spider-Man: Homecoming to add him to the lineup.
For comparison’s sake, here’s the previous version of the Marvel Studios opening that debuted in 2013 in front of Thor: The Dark World.
Brian Tyler composed the theme for that intro, which really grew on us over the last three years. But if that theme had to be replaced, then Giacchino was the right guy to do it.
What do you think about the new Marvel Studios intro video? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Featured Image: Marvel Studios
1, It's not perfect. People who are more important to listen to on racism than me have some issues with Patty as a character; I can see those issues, and think that they could have been solved better (& could be solved in sequels). I do think, though, that Patty was not treated anywhere NEAR as badly as Winston was in the original.
2, I actually liked the gross-out jokes; in a film starring four guys those wouldn't even be commented on.
3, Holtzmann getting to do the slow-mo BadAss Action Hero shooty bit actually made me fill up. How many times do women get to DO that? And it was SO perfect, and there were no Male Gaze "this girl's doing it for you boys" tits'n'arse close-ups while she did it; she got to be the power fantasy that's usually reserved for men, but for ladies. I can only think of two other characters in recent years who have done that: Furiosa and River Song. There are countless, COUNTLESS male versions of this.
4, I loved that the film took all the pre-release criticism it recieved, and incorporated it into the film, every time with a big finger in the face of dudebro sexist arseholes everywhere. From characters reading internet comments to Slimer and Lady Slimer getting a Thelma and Louise moment, each bit was pitched beautifully.
5, Like Andrew says, it was fabulous to have a movie about a group of people where none of them are on the arsehole-with-a-heart journey that Bill Murray always plays. In fact, none of the four leads are arseholes, and none of them is a sexy lamp either. They're PEOPLE. Yep, it is 2016 and the fact that a film with four female leads doesn't make any of them into a total cliche is worth commenting on (note: while elements of Patty's character can be argued to be cliched, she's bookish and a history nerd; those things do not fit the stereotype).
Genuinely, while it's not perfect, I think this is the best film I have seen in ages. It's fun, it's funny, it's got a heart the size of New York, and you should all go see it.
See this film if:
- You're alive.
Don't see this film if:
- You're a sexist dudebro, or a gamergater, or otherwise an example of a person who has no humanity.
Scores: Acting: 9/10, Script: 9/10; Technical 10/10, Feels 10/10. Overall 9.5/10
If you liked this you should watch: it again. I did. And I very, VERY rarely see a film more than once in the cinema on initial release.
Star Trek Beyond
1, I liked that the script gave all the characters something to do, and that none of them felt incompetently handled, or incompetent at their jobs, both of which accusations could occasionally be levelled at Original Trek. Also, Scotty actually using Scottish words (I nearly typed "sounding like a Scotsman" then, but Pegg's accent is... variable) was grand.
2, I loved how they handled the death of Leonard Nimoy. The fact that the one thing Spock Prime brought with him from the alternate universe was a
3, I loved Jayla, and hope she will appear in future films. Given that they have said they are not going to recast Chekhov, and that she is now in Starfleet Academy, this could be an organic way of helping the gender balance a bit - they still need to bring back Chapel and Rand as well, mind.
4, Spock calling McCoy "Leonard", and his heartfeltness when he thinks he's going to die. Just... Oh the feels. Karl Urban continues to excel as McCoy, and Zach Quinto's Spock is pretty effing awesome too. I loved McCoy in all his crotchety grumpy glory, and he got to be the wise old bird a lot here, which is a role he fits well.
5, Idris Elba is his usual stunning self both in and out of his face-obscuring make-up.
6, I was one of the many people in the cinema clapping with sheer delight at the Beastie Boys saving the day. And yes, it was a bit of a cheesy thing referring back to the first Abrams film like that, and calling it "classical music", but I don't care. And choreographing the explosions to the music was beautiful, and totally fits with the excuse the plot uses for the music being there.
See this film if:
- You're a fan of original Trek or Voyager or both, and you want to see Trek on screen actually be what it has always been in your head.
- You want to see what Spock and McCoy are like together without Kirk as a buffer zone (adorable!).
- You like the idea of Chekhov's gun being the Beastie Boys.
Don't see this film if:
- You don't like things going kaboom lots.
- You like your scifi incredibly cerebral.
- You can't handle Simon Pegg's "Scots" accent.
Scores: Acting: 8/10 (but 10/10 for Karl Urban), Script: 9/10; Technical 10/10, Feels 10/10. Overall 9/10
If you liked this you should watch: Star Trek II & III & IV as a set, or VI
It can't be browser settings re: external images, because monksandbones sees the RSS feed images fine and they have the same source.
Meanwhile, *I* have no trouble seeing them from my reading page. I got kayloulee to check, and she also has no problem seeing the pre-doughnut photos. It can't even be freak hemisphere-based image problems, as both Jamethiel and K are in Aus.
Can I ask if any of you are subscribed to copperbadge on DW, and if so, do you see images on HIS crossposts?§
In the wake of this weekend’s Comic-Con 2016, the nerd movie news is still flying fast and furiously. And today’s big story is all about one of the biggest heroes in pop culture history, Star Wars‘ Han Solo. Plus, the latest intel and images from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Jason Bourne, and The Flash movie!
Oh, come on. You didn’t really think Disney would stop at one Han Solo spinoff movie, did you? That’s right, it looks like the most famous smuggler in the galaxy is getting an entire prequel trilogy. (Which can only help me in my lifelong attempt to wash the taste of that *other* Star Wars prequel trilogy out of my mouth.) We’ve just learned that Alden Ehrenreich, pictured above in Rules Don’t Apply, has signed on to star in three films as the captain of the Millennium Falcon. Well, here we go again…
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Following their onstage appearance in Hall H in full costume, James Gunn has shared photos of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s Ravagers. “Ravagers R Us,” says the director via Instagram, “starting at the top left, around in a circle: Brahl, Oblo, Scrote, Narblik, Gef the Ravager, Kraglin, Wretch, Half-Nut, Taserface. Photos by @steveagee.”
Meanwhile, Agee has shared a pic of the Ravagers’ crazed leader Yondu, embodied by Michael Rooker; who sported his character’s full costume, makeup, and newly acquired fin at Comic-Con…
Never seen a Bourne movie but your significant other wants you to see Jason Bourne with them when it opens this week? Matt Damon has got you covered. The star recaps his trilogy of super spy movies in a mere 90 seconds in the following video. (Glad to hear Damon using his voice so much in this featurette, because word is that he speaks a mere two dozen lines in the film itself!) Now just think what he could do for you if he had two minutes…
The nerd wars over which Flash is better—TV’s Grant Gustin or the Justice League movie’s Ezra Miller—began in earnest this weekend when the latter’s first trailer was released at Comic-Con. Now we hear that the speedster’s first solo live-action feature film has landed its leading lady. Kiersey Clemons, pictured above in 2015’s crime series Eye Candy, will play Iris West. The actress has also been featured in this year’s Neighbors 2 and in TV’s Extant and Transparent.
Finally today… We have the latest trailer for Ben-Hur, a film that was not at Comic-Con—though I’m sure the cosplayers across the street from the San Diego convention who were pretending to be religious detractors and calling attendees sinners will just love it. As will all who appreciate a lengthy CG chariot race…
What do you think of today’s top stories? Let us know below!
Featured Image: Lucasfilm/20th Century Fox
Images: 20th Century Fox, MTV
Yesterday I went to sleep at 9:30pm and today woke up... merely human levels of exhausted. Like, yawning through work, mild headache, difficulty focusing tired, instead of about to collapse tired. Sigh.
Anyway, I have nothing to report or update, so instead let me just share some cool things.
1. I saw a rec for this story on twitter and it's turned out to be absolutely amazing. Part fanfic, part poem, part parody, part original SFF: Especially Heinous: 272 Views of Law & Order SVU. Ostensibly it's a short reaction/reivew/summary of every episode of L&O: SVU that's ever aired, but really it's... something else entirely. A factual description of what happens on the show, and a description that has nothing to do with the show at the same time. Over the seasons it develops its own plot, with its own AU and shipping, and the ending is straight out of fandom's greatest desire.
It's difficult to summarize this story, or to pick one except to demonstrate all that it is. I'm torn between quoting something profound and something hilarious, since this story has both. The hilarious bits are mostly one-liners, strewn like punctuation. I literally laughed out loud every time I hit one. But I'll have to quote a sequence without them:
“Misleader”: Father Jones has never touched a child, but when he closes his eyes at night, he still remembers his high school girlfriend: her soft thighs, her lined hands, the way she dropped off that roof like a falcon.
“Chat Room”: Convinced that her teenaged daughter is in danger from cyber predators, a father takes a crowbar to the family computer. He throws the remaining pieces into the fireplace, strikes a match. His daughter complains of a light head, a burning in her chest. She calls him “Mom” with tears in her voice. She dies on a Saturday.
“Contact”: Stabler discovers that his wife believes she saw a UFO, back when she was in her early twenties. He lies awake all night, wondering if this explains the memory loss, the PTSD, the night terrors. His wife wakes up weeping and screaming, on cue.
“Remorse”: At night, Stabler makes a list of the day’s regrets. “Didn’t tell Benson,” he scrawls. “Ate more burrito than I had room for. Misspent that gift card. Hit that guy harder than I meant to.” His wife comes up behind him and rubs his shoulder idly before crawling into bed. “Haven’t told my wife today. Will probably not tell her tomorrow.”
Just. READ THIS STORY. It's so good. It's part essay, part fiction, part fanfic, and wholly wonderful.
2. One of my friends who started out as a nail polish blogger has been quietly making jewelry for the last few years, and now, finally, has launched her own store on Etsy. I'm super excited about this because she is, like me, a child immigrant, and getting herself to a place where she could admit to being an artist and taking a risk has been pretty huge. Anyway, this is her store.
The jewelry is all pretty affordable and she ships worldwide. For me highlights include: this Slytherin owl, sunflower bracelet, rose guitar pendant and the steampunk owl.
And of course, if you know people who might be into this kind of jewelry, spreading the word would be appreciated.
3. So I've recced emungere's fics here before - I think I've read her Hannibal stuff dozens upon dozens of times by now - and now I'm reccing her original fic (which I... don't think I've done before? Maybe I have). She's about to release the 4th book in her original series, and so for a day the first book was free on amazon. However I am a giant failboat who's been buried under stuff and I didn't realize this was happening until it was too late to fit it into a post.
So, Songs You Know By Heart is now 0.99$, which I think is still a pretty sweet deal. I enjoyed this book a lot, it deals with a lot of weird issues regarding consent and does so reasonably well, I think. If you want any spoilers I'm here for that, of course.
4. Two small things happened lately that made me think the universe doesn't ENTIRELY hate me. A few days ago in one of my mad dashes in between a billion things, I had to go to the pool (therapy for my back, which is now on a very specific schedule since I have a therapist for a while), and when I got dressed after swimming -> hot tub -> shower, I found a clean pair of underwear in my pool bag. I cannot describe from a gesture from above that was. I hadn't packed it! Because I forgot, as usual. My pool bag is like 50% clothes and objects that I really should have taken upstairs and washed but keep forgetting. And here! A clean pair of underwear! O_O I felt blessed.
And then today, my building at work, which is a pokestop, had a lure module plugged in by someone who wasn't me. I went to buy a soda and spent like 20 minutes sitting on the porch catching pokemon. It was SO GREAT. Which is to say, inkstone has started pokestop! For all the Pokemon Go gamers who are on DW.
Full circle is what it is; Michael has learned some of the most important things you should learn on a Pro You path. He’s back, healthy, with a shift in perspective. It is truly amazing for Tom to witness and experience all of what Michael is learning and share his experience with all of you. Goal accomplished! Enjoy, and thank you for listening!
*Not all exercises are suitable for everyone and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. Any user of the exercise program assumes the risk of injury resulting from performing the exercise. You should always speak to your doctor before you change, start or stop any part of your healthcare plan, including physical activity or exercise.*
The long-term implications are even more unsettling. Because of the 2002 McCain-Feingold Act and the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling in 2009, the roles of the national committees have been greatly reduced since the 1990s. For the Democrats, serious research is done by American Bridge, and polling and independent expenditures related to television, online efforts, and fieldwork are done by super PACs. There’s just not a lot, comparatively speaking, for the Russians to have found in the DNC’s servers. What is ominous is the Russians’ willingness to aggressively hack one of the major political parties in what appears to be an effort to manipulate the results of an American election.
If the Russians can get in to the severs of the White House, the State Department, and the DNC, then it is possible they can retrieve the digital and data infrastructure of the Democratic Party and its allies in organized labor and liberal interest groups. They have now crossed over from simply infiltrating documents and data to exfiltrating documents to shape public opinion and the democratic elections that determine control over the power of the state.
Could the Russians wipe out the voter registration rolls in an effort to shape the electorate to benefit Donald Trump? Just last week the Illinois State Board of Elections announced it had been hacked, “most likely from a foreign (international) entity.”
And what about the Democrats’ advantage in data and analytics? It depends upon the integrity and security of the data. What if hackers installed malware that severely damaged NGP-VAN, the system that Democrats use for targeting and contacting voters? In 2012 the Republicans tried to create a similar system; it was a disaster, causing chaos in its get-out-the-vote operation.
Consider that in 2002, Republican operatives jammed the phone lines of Democratic phone banks in New Hampshire, possibly costing them a seat in the U.S. Senate. Hackers might be tempted to try something similar, gumming up Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts across the battleground states. Or, more stealthily, they might prevent some voters from showing up in voter contact lists.
It made me laugh. I'd never had anything like this happen, or heard of it happening. It turns out that escalators are exactly the kind of thing white canes are good at -- I always put the cane on the step ahead of the one where I'm standing so I can feel, I can get a bit of warning even if I'm not paying attention (because I can see well enough to be fine on escalators anyway if I'm not daydreaming) and it tends to work very smoothly.
Still, I appreciated the guy's unobtrusive, effective help that only lasted a second and didn't interfere with my own plans about how I was getting around (as a person who's probably more sighted than I look when I'm using my white cane, sometimes overhelpful strangers surprise me and cause more of an obstacle than I had before, unfortunately).
I laughed a little at the sheer delight of it, told him he was kind, and moved on thinking about how once I get this immigrant book out of the way (it seems now like I never will, urgh) I might take all my thoughts about the sighted class -- I've been offered lots of classes on living with sight loss but I don't think it's me who needs them, it's everyone else! -- and make that into a book or something too. Since I can't actually get a job teaching the class, which is possibly the thing I'd most love to do (besides be an astronaut or something even less plausible), I could maybe put it all in a little book.
The next thing I had to do was buy my train tickets, so I got in line to do that. Just then I got a text so I took my phone out and I could swear that the middle-aged white man who'd just joined the queue behind me was glaring at me. But I chalked it up to either his bitchy resting face or just me being paranoid because I do worry about doing anything when I'm out that complicates the perception of me as a blind person. Of course, totally blind people use phones too but it's another thing that subverts people's expectations of us and I'm aware of the potential animosity that can be caused by anything that does that.
So the line crawls along, there's a big group of students or tourists or something who seem to be going to London and are having to have peak and off-peak tickets explained to them. Eventually I'm at the front of the line and someone calls "next please!" from what seems like miles away. It's certainly on the other side of this group of European young people who still don't have their tickets but do all have rucksacks and bags everywhere.
And this part of Piccadilly station is really badly organized; there's no way for people who want to leave with their tickets to get out except to walk past the queue of people waiting t buy tickets. So I see a man walking towards me from what I can presume is the ticket seller who's just shouted for me and because she's way down the other end and there are all these people and their bags at one of the nearer ticket counters, I'm waiting for this man lwaving to walk past me before I attempt to go to the ticket seller because there's no room to do anything else. (And indeed I still end up bumping into somebody's bag anyway as I tried to get past this big group of people.)
But as this man gets past me and I start moving toward my ticket seller, the grumpy-looking guy behind me says "go on love!" in his grumpy northern-man voice. I can't help bristling at this, and snapping "yes I was doing." I add a "thanks" that I hope is understood with all the sarcasm with which I intended it but I worry that it's to mitigate the possibility that he was telling me to be nice and not to be mansplainy or ablesplainy like it seemed to me. (Or even just to be impatient but in an impersonal way.)
And then I was annoyed that I do expect sexism and ableism so much that maybe people would legitimately be able to say "but I was just trying to be nice!" and I am in fact an ungrateful bitch.
But then I thought about how this contrasted with the other thing that'd just happened. I didn't mind being singled out and helped then (even when it was help I didn't strictly need). I was pretty convinced this grumpy man wouldn't have been as grumpy if I weren't younger and more feminine than him even if I weren't carrying a white cane.
We never interact with people as only one of our identities unfortunately. I don't know what it is about me that makes people react to me like they do. I can't react to them except as a combination of all the other interactions I've had and what those have led me to expect. Of course it's not fair to each new stranger I might encounter and maybe react to a bit more snippily than they think is warranted. But it's hardly fair on me, either.
Anyway, I'm really going to have to think about writing that book! Like I need another book to be writing...
This happened solely because Ramin announced that he was playing a show at the London Palladium, so of course had to go and buy a ticket the minute they went on sale. (Said sale turned out so chaotic that I ended up with two tickets because I really wanted a VIP ticket which sold out immediately only to become available again half an hour later when I'd alreay bought a normal Stalls ticket, sigh.)
The things I will do for this man. Oh well, trips to London are never a bad idea. I booked my plane tickets so late this time that it was impossible to find cheap direct flights, so I had to deal with a layover in Vienna. Gave me some time to hunt for Pokemon at the airport though!
( Read more... )
We came, we saw, we waited in line, and then we conquered. What a year it was at San Diego Comic-Con 2016! We figured that after last year, and the lack of any Star Wars stuff this year thanks to Celebration, that we’d be in for a more subdued news year. This just proves what a bunch of dummies we can be sometimes. It turned out to be a gargantuan weekend for all manner of nerdy news, with trailers, clips, reveals galore. But who won? Who rose above the noise to reign supreme? Who was the winner of this year’s Comic-Con? While there are no official awards to be had, we love fictitious ones, and we’re handing them out to the best and bravest in this special Nerdist News wrap-up! Click below to watch!
Marvel seemed to take an early lead on Friday after debuting the new trailers for their Netflix series Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders, and they looked truly amazing. And they cleaned up the evening on Saturday by dropping a new trailer for Doctor Strange, revealing the characters in Black Panther, showing some sweet Guardians of the Galaxy footage, dropping some Spider-Man: Homecoming awesomeness, and topping it all off with the reveal of Oscar winner Brie Larson taking on the title role of Captain Marvel. Marvel definitely had a hell of a year.
But let’s not discount DC Comics and Warner Bros. Following the *ahem* divisive reception of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, they had to bring it in order to be back on the playing field. They ended up truly wowing with their first trailer for next year’s Wonder Woman movie, which showed the warrior woman can really dominate her own solo film. Next, they showed they could bring some levity to the field with some choice footage from Justice League, and even had a new Suicide Squad trailer for two weeks from now.
So while the two major comic book movie studios vied for supremacy, we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge Pokémon Go was the real-real winner.
Let us know who you think won Comic-Con in the comments below. Let’s discuss!