August 17th, 2017
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 09:45pm on 17/08/2017 under ,
1. States Remove Confederate Monuments

Following in the footsteps of Baltimore, many other cities across the United States have taken preliminary steps to remove their own Confederate monuments. This includes statues and plaques and the like, as well as schools, highways, and other facilities named for Confederate soldiers, even holidays. All told, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified about 1,503 items as of 2016. Moreover, the vast majority of statues and physical markers are located in what can be considered southern states; of the 718 monuments and statues, about 300 are located in Georgia, Virginia, or North Carolina.

As you already know, Charlottesville’s city council voted to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the newly-minted Emancipation Park. It was this decision that led to the violence that occurred over the weekend. As of right now, the statue’s removal is on hold as the city tries to figure out how to move forward after the protests and tragedy of the weekend. Gainesville, Florida has already moved one statue, and is in the process of raising funds to remove a second. One North Carolina statue was knocked over by protesters in response to what happened in Charlottesville.

This is actually a big deal. A historic event. Keep in mind these monuments have been around since the 1800s. So they are over 100 years old. The removal of the monuments to the Confederacy has opened up a nation wide debate on the topic. A debate that everyone from Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State to Robert E. Lee Jr, V, descendant of the Confederate General have participated. Interestingly enough, Rice thinks the monuments should stay where they are and Robert E. Lee's descendant thinks they should be put in a history museum depicting the horror of the times.

You'd think it would be the opposite, it's not.

Asked about the value of preserving statues that honor slaveowners in a May interview on Fox News, Condoleezza Rice argued against what she called the "sanitizing" of history. "I am a firm believer in 'keep your history before you' and so I don't actually want to rename things that were named for slave owners," she said. "I want us to have to look at those names and recognize what they did and to be able to tell our kids what they did, and for them to have a sense of their own history."

"When you start wiping out your history, sanitizing your history to make you feel better, it's a bad thing," the former secretary of state added.

Rice's defense in favor of preservation is rooted in an argument that is the basic opposite of the reason white nationalists are rallying for Lee. They believe it to be a persistent reminder of a positive history. Rice, on the other hand, believes preserving monuments to the darker moments of our past ensures future generations are acquainted with history and charge forward rather than backward, away from the mistakes of their ancestors, rather than into their fading bronze arms.

To be clear, Rice has not yet voiced her opinion on this particular statue. But hers is an interesting perspective to consider at a time when a small but vocal group of racist bigots is drawing attention to one of the darkest times in our nation's history.

I am curious to see what she'd have said after the events in Charlottsville.


Lee, a great-great-grandson of the Confederate hero, and his sister, Tracy Lee Crittenberger, issued a written statement on Tuesday condemning the "hateful words and violent actions of white supremacists, the KKK or neo-Nazis."

Then, Lee spoke with Newsweek by phone.

"We don't believe in that whatsoever," Lee says. He is quick to defend his ancestor's name: "Our belief is that General Lee would not tolerate that sort of behavior either. His first thing to do after the Civil War was to bring the Union back together, so we could become a more unified country."

The general was a slave owner who led the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War and who remains a folk hero throughout much of the South.

"We don't want people to think that they can hide behind Robert E. Lee's name and his life for these senseless acts of violence that occurred on Saturday," Lee says.

The Lee heir says it would make sense to remove the embattled statue from public display and put it in a museum—a view shared by the great-great-grandson of Jefferson Davis.

"I think that is absolutely an option, to move it to a museum and put it in the proper historical context," Lee says. "Times were very different then. We look at the institution of slavery, and it's absolutely horrendous. Back then, times were just extremely different. We understand that it's complicated in 2017, when you look back at that period of time... If you want to put statues of General Lee or other Confederate people in museums, that makes good sense."

Then there's this statement from the Mayor of New Orleans...

But there are also other truths about our city that we must confront. New Orleans was America’s largest slave market: a port where hundreds of thousands of souls were brought, sold and shipped up the Mississippi River to lives of forced labor of misery of rape, of torture.

America was the place where nearly 4,000 of our fellow citizens were lynched, 540 alone in Louisiana; where the courts enshrined ‘separate but equal’; where Freedom riders coming to New Orleans were beaten to a bloody pulp.

So when people say to me that the monuments in question are history, well what I just described is real history as well, and it is the searing truth.

And it immediately begs the questions: why there are no slave ship monuments, no prominent markers on public land to remember the lynchings or the slave blocks; nothing to remember this long chapter of our lives; the pain, the sacrifice, the shame … all of it happening on the soil of New Orleans.

So for those self-appointed defenders of history and the monuments, they are eerily silent on what amounts to this historical malfeasance, a lie by omission.

There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it. For America and New Orleans, it has been a long, winding road, marked by great tragedy and great triumph. But we cannot be afraid of our truth.

As President George W. Bush said at the dedication ceremony for the National Museum of African American History & Culture, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.”

So today I want to speak about why we chose to remove these four monuments to the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, but also how and why this process can move us towards healing and understanding of each other.

So, let’s start with the facts.

The historic record is clear: the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause. This ‘cult’ had one goal — through monuments and through other means — to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity.

He's not wrong. You should really read the whole thing. After listening to the Mayor's speech, I re-affirmed my view that yes, those frigging monuments need to come down. They should have been torn down in the 1960s. No, wait. They should never have been erected in the first place. Apparently there's a memorial to a Nazi sympathizer and collaborator in NYC, why it's there, I've no clue. Particularly in NYC of all places. Although changing place and street names may be a bit more problematic from a logistical perspective. (Yes, I know, I'm possibly the only person on the planet that obsesses over logistical matters... But, say you are looking for a post office located on Robert E. Lee Avenue and suddenly it has become Forest Hill Avenue. You're GPS can't find it and neither can you. Granted, if I were African-American I would not want to be living on Robert E Lee Avenue or passing down it every day to work. So, yes it should be changed. It's just a bit problematic. I bring this up because Governor Cumo wants to change the place and street names in New York. Now, why New York of all places had places and streets named after Confederate Generals is beyond me.

2. North Carolina Protest Arrest

In the days since Charlottesville, cities across the country have taken steps to remove Confederate monuments. Baltimore removed all of theirs in the middle of the night earlier this week. And if you haven’t yet watched the video of protesters in Durham, North Carolina, who refused to wait on their city and toppled a Confederate statue themselves, I recommend doing so. It’s highly catharticOne woman, Takiyah Thompson (you can see her coming out from behind the statue in the GIF), was arrested for her part in the protest. She’s currently out on bail, but this morning, a group of about 200 people gathered outside the Durham courthouse to oppose her arrest. And many of them (about 50 by some accounts) also went full Spartacus and lined up to turn themselves in to authorities.

3. How America Spreads the Disease that is Racism by not Confronting Racist Family Members and Friends

There's a nifty chart, see if you can identify where you fall on it.

Racism Scale Chart.

I can't reproduce the chart, sorry, I tried. You'll have to follow the above link.

If you fall below “awareness”, then this is a red flag that racism is a problem for you. If it is not a problem for you, but find that it is a problem for your family members and/or friends, then it’s time to address it or it will continue to spread throughout America.

Like alcoholism, an alcoholic cannot thrive without their enablers. It is the same white Americans who enable their relatives and friends who are racist. It is important to identify and recognize that racism is a mental illness and recommend that individual to a psychotherapist as needed.

There is no easy way to contain a disease, but if we can identify the symptoms, then we can put a stop to it through education and awareness.

This is why it is very important to talk to a diverse group of people constantly. I remember ages ago being challenged by my friends, when I muttered that if only I can be around people who agreed with me all of the time. They said, a)that would be boring, and b) how would you know when you are wrong?
August 16th, 2017
rahirah: (Default)
August 14th, 2017
shadowkat: (tv slut)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 10:54pm on 14/08/2017 under
All caught up on Game of Thrones now..just a few things or questions/answers really...

major spoilers )
August 13th, 2017
shadowkat: (tv slut)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 06:44pm on 13/08/2017
Eh, television friending meme from tv talk.

Name (see above)
Location Brooklyn, NY (USA)

Favorite currently airing shows: Great British Bake-Off, Game of Thrones, Nashville, (by current, I'm guessing during the summer which I'm watching now? Because not up to figuring out all together.)
Pilots you're most looking forward to: The Defenders, The Gifted, Star Trek Discovery, The Orville,
Other shows you maybe haven't mentioned yet: The Doctor Who Christmas Special, Sense8 Two Hour Movie Wrap Up premiering in 2018, Lucifer S3, The Expanse (which is taking up space on DVR), The 100 (ditto), Legion S2,
Top Five finished/canceled shows: Buffy, The Wire, Sense8, Farscape, The Good Wife (Oh wait, did you mean this year? Vampire Diaries, The Great British Bake-Off, Sense8, can't think of anything else.)

Other Hobbies; Writing novels, reading books, movies, cooking, sometimes I hike, long walks, sometimes I water-color and draw, yoga, listening to music,
What sort of posts do you post in your DW? Pretty much whatever I feel like at the time - see title of journal, although I am trying to pull back from discussing politics because it makes me unhappy and stressed out. I keep deleting political posts due to a tendency to ...well...pontificate, rant, and beat people over the head with my opinions. Apparently when it comes to politics at the moment, I've zero patience for the other perspective. (Trump getting elected pretty much crossed that line in the sand.)
Anything else interesting: I published a novel, it's called Doing Time on Planet Earth and available via Amazon. I'm technically challenged, so couldn't get it on the other electronic platforms.
August 12th, 2017
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Uhm...whoa? A demonstration of what happens when a country's democracy implodes.

What’s it like to watch a country implode? To see a democracy destroyed and an economy crater?

Since 2014, American journalist Hannah Dreier has documented just that in Venezuela, once one of the world’s wealthiest nations and still home to what are believed to be the planet’s largest oil reserves. She wrote for the Associated Press about what it was like to live in a place with the world’s highest murder rate—and the world’s highest rate of inflation. About the breakdown of hospitals and schools, and how the obesity epidemic that plagued a rich country was quickly replaced with people so hungry they were rooting through the garbage on her doorstep.

Most of the time, few paid attention, at least in part because Dreier was the last U.S. journalist even to get a work visa to live in Venezuela; when she moved there to cover the story, she says, “I felt like I had walked across a bridge as it was burning behind me.”

2. Ugh.

Rise of the Valkyries

sure to rise the hackles of any nice kind good person on the planet )

Ugh, and here I thought it was going to be a cool article about Norse Mythology. Not so much. Instead it's an article about demonic female nazis.

3. And just in case the above article wasn't bad's more fodder.

Read more... )

This is the Science Fiction and Fantasy community's response.

Yes, these examples are fictional. And yes, it’s far more important that we fight white supremacy in the real world, by donating to organizations like the NAACP, having tough conversations with our family members and friends, showing up to protests, calling our representatives – or just refusing to shut up when we see bigotry. However, fiction can make us feel less helpless, and it can remind us what we stand for. With science fiction, fantasy, and comics in particular, these imagined worlds and heroes can remind us what kind of person we want to be, and what kind of future we want to create. We need those reminders, and those inspirations, on days when it’s easy to despair at humanity.

As Jemisin tweeted before she signed off to do some work, “Ideas can change the world.”

Hmmm...this is another answer to a previous post that I wrote pondering the artist and writer's responsibility to inspire change and to write about this things in a constructive manner. (As opposed to a destructive one.)

4. 2019 - two women superhero films in a 30 day span

Hmmm...they are making a movie with Silver Sable and Black Cat, two lesser known female superheroes in the Spiderman books.

The movie is set to hit theaters on February 8, 2019 – four months after Sony’s Venom, and exactly one month before Captain Marvel arrives on March 8, 2019.

This release date means Silver and Black comes out only 28 days before Captain Marvel (thanks, February!), so we get two women-led superhero movies in less than 30 days. Yessss.

Aside from that, though, I’m not sure what to make of this choice. On the one hand, February is traditionally a cinematic “dump month,” when studios release their films with lower box office expectations. I don’t love the idea of Sony dropping this film – with its two female leads, helmed by the first black woman to direct a big-budget superhero movie – in a cinematic graveyard. After D.C.’s lackluster marketing for Wonder Woman, I’m out of tolerance for studios constant underestimating and underselling of women-led and women-created films. Prince-Blythewood, who’s doing a rewrite of Thor: The Dark World scribe Christopher Yost’s script for Silver and Black, wrote and directed an honest-to-goodness modern classic with Love & Basketball. Maybe have a little faith in her?

5. New NASA Space Training Video Featuring Gina Torres Makes me wish I was a whole lot younger and could train to be an astronaut. Well almost. I'm claustropic and 6 feet tall, not conducive to astronaut training.

6. Hollywood Summer Blockbuster Films Flopped at the Box Office via the Guardian. (Hmm, should tell Hollywood, they don't think they flopped.)

The defining lesson of this year’s flop crop: there’s no such thing as a sure thing. We’ve watched studios incrementally move away from original, creator-driven projects seen as “risky” (meanwhile, the first-time director Jordan Peele’s Get Out is the most profitable film of the year, with a $175m payday on a measly $4.5m budget) towards franchises and other projects ostensibly boasting built-in audiences through brand recognition. But this summer, audiences drew a line under what they’ll buy into on simple merit of nostalgia or the sunk-time fallacy, and now the chickens of failure have come home to roost.

2017 was the year that moviegoers finally rejected presumption. This year saw a crop of films boldly positing themselves as franchise-starters crash and burn on arrival, learning the hard way that audiences don’t want to spend 90 minutes on what feels like setup for something they’ll get in two years. The Dark Tower condensed seven novels of knotty Stephen King prose into one incomprehensible package that then positioned itself as Act I in a grander, dumber vision with its final minutes.


While public discourse continues to rage over the position and utility of identity politics – the championing of marginalized groups along lines of gender, race and sexuality – executives have found that the topic isn’t so embattled in cineplexes. Girls Trip, Wonder Woman and Get Out all earned public goodwill by offering someone other than a white man their moment in the spotlight, and proved that audiences aren’t afraid of diversity. Quite the opposite, in fact; white men have been calling their bankability into question left and right. Once upon a time, the mention of Will Ferrell, Tom Cruise or Johnny Depp would have been enough to sell The House, a Mummy revival or another lackluster Pirates of the Caribbean flick. But with no wattage to hide behind, The House face-planted and the latter pair failed to meet earnings expectations, despite objectively large sums.

Which leaves the confounding case of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. On paper, it should have been huge: an unfamiliar story in a time when audiences grumble over Hollywood’s lack of creativity, a ravishing sci-fi spectacle with enough CGI to make Avatar look like a student film, a cast featuring a supermodel and a pop star bringing their huge followings to the table. Perhaps in practice, it was all too outré to sell to the American people, an incoherent mishmash when compressed into ad form.

Maybe critics wield more power than conventionally assumed, as the majority of reviews warned that the complete bafflement of the ad campaign carried over to the film itself. Either way, the most expensive independent production of all time had to rely on overseas markets to make its money back, settling for a $37m haul in the US. (Things are just peachy in China, Hollywood’s twin to the east; its entertainment economy keeps growing as US films develop a foothold, with Wolf Warrior II’s nearly $600m take setting the national record for highest-grossing film of all time.)

Hmm...rather interesting. I admittedly have only seen one film in theaters this summer, and that was Wonder Woman. Nothing else really appealed to me. And movies cost $20 bucks, without treats. Cheaper to rent on demand or subscribe to HBO monthly.

7. The Hugos Awards are Announced

Best Novel: The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books)
Best Novella: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire ( Publishing)
Best Novelette: “The Tomato Thief” by Ursula Vernon (Apex Magazine, January 2016)
Best Short Story: “Seasons of Glass and Iron” by Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Saga Press)
Best Related Work: Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016 by Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer)
Best Graphic Story: Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image)
Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form: Arrival, screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis Villeneuve (21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films)
Best Dramatic Presentation – Short Form: The Expanse: “Leviathan Wakes,” written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, directed by Terry McDonough (SyFy)
Best Editor – Short Form: Ellen Datlow
Best Editor – Long Form: Liz Gorinsky
Best Professional Artist: Julie Dillon
Best Semiprozine: Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, and podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
Best Fanzine: “Lady Business,” edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan
Best Fancast: Tea and Jeopardy, presented by Emma Newman with Peter Newman
Best Fan Writer: Abigail Nussbaum
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Ada Palmer (1st year of eligibility)
Best Series: The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)

Hmmm...for once, I'm actually intrigued by the winners. (I don't really care that much about awards, highly subjective things, but this years slate of winners is rather intriguing.) Best fan writer surprised, it's the blogger I'd been following for a while on LJ, but stopped once I hopped over to DW, because I couldn't figure out how to add her blog to my reading list on DW. Abigail Nussbaum of "Asking the Wrong Questions", she does a lot of insightful reviews of sci-fi and fantasy, and meta on the above. She also edits a OnZine with sci-fi stuff, and is an Isralie programmer/coder.

I also tend to agree with the winners for dramatic presentation, best series, and they left off the one who won non-fiction memoir category -- it was Ursula Le Quinn, whose book I'm considering purchasing.

So for once, I'm intrigued. And most of the winners were women. Take that you white supremacist male asswipes. (For those not in the know? The Hugos have been plagued the last few years by a lot whingy white male supremacist types who think they can aspire to their heroes of yesteryear, but alas do not and are rather unreadable.)
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 06:43pm on 12/08/2017
1. Hmmm..this article sort of comments on what I was talking about in my previous post but in a different way...

Caitlin is not Groot: Finding Proper Communication Adaptations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Read more... )

So do writers have a responsibility to do this?

2. Reading Between the Lines Church -- wow, just, wow.

3. Five Mythic Eclipse Monsters Believed to Have Messed with the Sun and Moon -- hee. The US is in full eclipse mode.
My brother is journeying to Kansas to see it with an old high school friend.

I really don't care that much. But bought glasses at a cheap price in case I end up being in a situation where I'm looking at the sky.

[Above three links are courtesy of conuly.]

4. Sigh. The political stuff in the US ranges from the frighteningly comically absurd to the just plain old frightening. And it's completely divisive and triggering no matter how you look at it. The country is even more divided than it was last year at this time, the two sides HATE each other. The only way to remain sane is either to avoid completely, or to poke fun. group has decided that maybe sharing a meal with the other side will help...

Sharing Dinners with the Opposing Side for peaceful and uniting political discourse.

5. View on Nudity Grin and Bare it

The veteran German leftist politician Gregor Gysi wants his compatriots to take off more of their clothes. He is angry that the long German tradition of therapeutic nudity in the open air is being undermined. Only this summer the nudist portion of one of the beaches in Berlin was brutally shortened by the authorities, and the mostly elderly users are furious. They are right. Mr Gysi argues that public nudity can be much less erotic than a bikini and that the beaches he remembers his mother taking him to in his East German youth were places where women of all shapes and ages could enjoy their bodies for their own sake.

It was, he says, the “pornographic gaze” of westerners after reunification that destroyed the pleasure of nude bathing, which had always been more widespread in East Germany and – he claims – something promoted more by women than by men. Of course the east was then a tyranny in which there was little frivolity or choice on offer. For all but the most confidently young and gorgeous it is more fun to choose a bathing costume than to make do with what nature has provided, so in a consumer culture this is now what people do.

But there is a useful lesson in humility and in the appreciation of life as it is when you let it all hang out, even in some cases flop out. It is neither concealment nor display but simple acceptance of who and how we are; something valuable has been lost with the sexualisation of nudity, and you do not need to be German to see this.

I did notice this when my family briefly visited Berlin (east and west) in the 1980s, before the wall came down and during the Cold War years. The Germans seemed to have no issues with nudity, while the British and Americans, really do. Also noticed that the French had no issues with it -- women bathed topless on beaches in France, but in the US you receive a fine. (I personally blame the Puritans...)

Also neither German nor French films have issues with explicit sex, at least they didn't use to as far as I could tell, while US and British did. This may have changed, overseas, not certain.

But as a teen visiting France in the 1980s, I picked up science fiction mags covered with nude photos. And many of my French girlfriends went topless.

Thanks to oursin for the link.

6. I apparently can't metabolize sugar well. Had a bowl of ice cream, okay two bowls, and a cookie and my nerves feel frazzled, I've broken out in hives, and felt a bit sick. Seriously?

7. The Great British Bake-Off As We Know it is Over

And apparently PBS isn't picking it up. Damn. Just, damn. Also PBS has no plans to show more than one more season of the series. It's shown four of the seven seasons. The last four. It may pick up one of the first three.

Oh well, we do have the Great American Baking Show spun off of it...

Thanks to petz for the link.

8. Norwegian Site That Makes Readers Take a Quiz Before's an update on how it is working

When my former colleague Joseph Lichterman wrote about a Norwegian news organization that makes readers pass a quiz on the article before they can comment on it (one of the most-trafficked stories in Nieman Lab history, by the way) the site — NRKbeta, the tech vertical of Norway’s public broadcaster — was lauded for its creativity. But NRKbeta’s editors and journalists said it was too early to tell if the program was a success.

But now, five months in? NRKbeta’s team says readers may have treated the quizzes on 14 articles more like reading comprehension games than as a gateway to the comments section.

Hmmm...sort of wish we employed that on fanboards.

(Thanks to yourlibraian for the link)

9. Most Watched Television Series Around the World in 2017 according to Parrot Analytics

Actually wasn't that surprised by the results if I think about it -- since all of them have been mentioned by people on social media sites. Vikings is amazingly popular with people online as is Suits. I honestly don't know why. The other ones, I sort of get, for the most part.

[Thanks to yourlibrarian for the link)
shadowkat: (Default)
I don't know what to call this entry, nor am I even sure how to address this or what I think in regards to it. bothered me and it's clearly been bothering me since I started reading reviews and interacting with folks online as far back as 2002. So it's not by any means a new issue.

I read two reviews over at Smartbitches that were deliberately posted back to back in order to show how an incident or issue in a book can completely ruin a book for the reader. Now that in of itself doesn't niggle at me, there are things that just throw people out of books. OR bug them. But in this instance, both reviewers got up on their soap-boxes, did a bit of a rant, and gave the book a D or F, regardless of how well written or entertaining it was. They even went so far as to get upset at the writers for not commenting on or examining in more depth this horrible thing in their story, not being social activists with their storytelling or at the very least being aware enough not to do it, and just mentioning the thing in an off-the-cuff, blase fashion.

The reviews can be found:

1. Wedded Bliss by Celeste Bradley, Review done by Carrie

Wedded Bliss is an incredibly enjoyable story with one horrible problem that ruined the whole book for me. I’m going to start off by describing the plot and why I liked it, and then I’m going to get into the problem. There will be a history lesson and ranting. Prepare yourself.

Unfortunately this book has one terrible problem for me, and as I said, it ruined everything.

Katarina is repeatedly stated to be rich because her mother owns a sugar plantation in Barbados.

[The writer goes on to provide a history on the horrible slave conditions on sugar plantations on Barbados.]

2. Perils of Pleasure by Julie Anne Long

Confession: I spent a long time thinking about how to grade this book. Here are the three grades I swung back and forth on. Let’s call them Without Incident, With Incident, and But is the Incident Equivalent to an Entire Book. (I’ll address the Incident later.)

Without Incident: B minus

Lengthy depiction of the plot.

With Incident: F minus

This was the Incident:

“You know nothing of farming,” Colin said. It sounded like a warning. She wanted to say, How do you know? But he was right, so she simply waved a disdainful hand. “I learn quickly. I can certainly fire a musket, and I daresay I should hold my own against an Indian or a bear. And I thank you for your concern.”

…he smiled a little, no doubt picturing her in battle with an Indian or a bear.

The first time I read that, I definitely smelled a musk in the air. When I read it again, in disbelief, it felt a bit like falling on a knife.

I actually stopped reading the book after that for a few days. I thought about that line quite a bit. It followed me around like a big toxic miasma, probably more noxious than bad gunpowder. My main question was, “why?” Why drop that in there? What was it for, what does it achieve? Why couldn’t Madeleine just “hold her own”, full stop? Plus – the conversation was about farming. Why would Madeleine be needing to shoot Indians and bears in the course of farming? Was her farm on their reservation? Does she mention Indians in the same breath as bear because both are supposed to be equally savage animals?

Okay from my perspective these are relatively accurate historical items, those characters would say and think that way back then. The historical novels take place in the early 1800s. In the early 1800s, Native Americans were called Indians (blame Columbus and the Europeans Explorers for that misnomer) and people were afraid of them - it may not be nice, but it is history, they were the equivalent of today's view of Syrians. And yes, upper crust, classy ladies obtained money from nasty plantations they never visited. And lived off the profits of horrible things. That's still happening today. There are actually other things in both books that reviewers mention that would have bugged me more to be honest.

And I do understand having issues with something...politically incorrect? I'm not sure politically incorrect is the right word? That just turns you off, and throws you out of a book. Or makes you angry. I've had that happen to me. (notably with the contemporary best-selling novel Me About You).
Anyhow, despite how it may appear this post is not about issues people have with romance novels or historical accuracy...but well, in the second review...the reviewer goes on to state the following:

Perhaps it is historically accurate for someone like Madeleine to speak of shooting Indians as par for the course. But I somehow feel that writers of historicals are uniquely placed to help retell histories from the perspectives of those whose voices have been suppressed or stories misrepresented. Every time a person of colour appears in historical with his/her own agency, motivations and fully-fleshed individualism, it is a push-back against the dominant narratives that we’ve lived with for centuries. I shall not say more, as this topic has been covered at length by far more eloquent and insightful commenters, which I am grateful to encounter regularly in this community.

I've seen the comment in bold mentioned in various venues and in regards to various television series etc and it brings up a series of questions that I've been pondering for a long time and don't really have any answers to.

1. What responsibility does a fictional writer truly have in regards to the reader? Outside of telling their story the best way they know how?

2. Are stories supposed to have an altruistic or socially just purpose? Are they meant to morality plays? Can they just entertain? Is there a responsibility in ensuring the story doesn't reinforce stereotypes or unjust tropes?

3. Are stories in essence merely reflections of our society, our culture? Do they hold up a mirror of sorts to us? Showing both the nasty with the good? And what responsibility does the reader or viewer have to the story they are watching, reading or listening too? Are we meant to passive onlookers? OR are we meant to interact and question what is being told?

4. What would happen if we avoided all the stories that made us uncomfortable? Or uneasy? Or censored them? What if we cut out or edited out the offensive bits? Would that make what the story is in essence commenting on go away?

On the other hand, does white-washing or telling the story in a way that reinforces certain stereotypes and excessive damage? Does the writer have a responsibility to use the proverbial soap box they've been provided for better ends? To promote better understanding?
Does the reader have a responsibility to avoid books that...may not do that?

I don't know. I know in the US right now there's a bit of a push-back against the edict of telling more socially aware stories, and not reinforcing negative stereotypes. That's actually, at least in part, what the battle over the Hugos and now Dragon Awards was about. In genre, you see it more than in literary fiction. Because literary fiction tends to address and contemplate these issues more.

I also have seen this push-back in Britain in regards to the whole Doctor Who casting, along with other things.

And on the Buffy fandom, there was some push-back in the other direction, in regards to how the writers handled the death of a lesbian character, along with that relationship, which previously had been handled well. Not to mention considerable rage and push-back regarding a sexual assault, and how it been handled. In Buffy, I thought the push-back made sense, but at the same time...from the writer's perspective they were challenging their audience, and perhpas showing a reflection of the culture that we were in at the time. The writers didn't want the viewers to be comfortable.

Also, years ago, there was a massive kerfuffle on live journal in the sci-fi fandom in regards to how a female white science-fiction writer was writing POC and homosexual characters in her novels. Many critics felt that she was not handling the characters with care and reinforcing negative stereotypes.
Of course at that time, someone, can't remember who, posed the argument that maybe it was up to the reader to question this, not the writer. The reader to see something that didn't work, see a reflection of that also in their own life, and deal with it. Which...I'm sort of on the fence about.

I keep wondering as readers and viewers what are our responsibilities to the content that we interact with daily? How critically do we interact with? Are just passive viewers who...let it fly by. Or do we question it? And to what degree should we? Also, should we be critical of creators of content that are merely reflecting the world and our culture back to us? Should we not be critical of the world and culture it is reflective of? I mean, wouldn't it be more pro-active and for more useful, to try
to change a discriminatory ban against immigration than rail about a book that depicts immigrants in a negative light? On the other hand, does the book make things worse? And if it the best response to write and publish a book or series that counter-acts its message? That actually appears to be what Amazon is doing in response to HBO's Confederacy, creating their own AU series that questions HBO's.

I don't know the answers. Just that it's not quite as clear cut as I'd like it to be. When it comes to human beings, few things are.
August 10th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] rahirah at 08:59pm on 10/08/2017 under ,
Mood:: 'exhausted' exhausted
shadowkat: (Default)
1. Christopher Eccleston Interview highlights diversity of casting in the arts and disadvantages of working class roots

Worth reading for this great little quote.

Life imitates art, and art imitates life. Eccleston brings up the point that inclusion and diversity in the arts is important to look at as a barometer for how everything else is going. Stories generally serve one of two purposes. They either show us what we are, or they show us what we can be. When we think critically about pop culture, it’s important to examine it from both those perspectives in order to move forward.

I admittedly tried Doctor Who because of Eccleston, and he remains my favorite Doctor.

2. Rally Cat at Cardinals Game - thanks to cactuswatcher for the link. It made me laugh, although I fell in love with the cat and wanted it.

Note to grounds crew man: "A cat is not a football. It doesn't even look like a football. Nor it is a dog. If you treat a cat like a football, do not be surprised if you get clawed and bit repeatedly. Just saying."

3. David Tennant talks about the new Doctor Who, takes pot shots at Brexit, and at Trump..making me adore David Tennant. Who is my second favorite Doctor, although I've loved him in other things. He's amazingly versatile actor. It also helps that I agree with his politics and think he's a lovely person.

David Tennant Gets Political...and rather humorous )

I loved his joke about Brexit. Particularly after reading in Reuters this week that New York City is apparently going to be the big winner, after brokers flee the London markets. Not sure how I feel about that.

Read more... )
August 9th, 2017
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 09:22pm on 09/08/2017
1. The only drawback of binging the Great British Baking Show is ...I start to crave the things they are baking or to bake myself...which isn't something I can do at all for various reasons. But I keep having fantasies of doing gluten free, grain free versions of all the items. LOL!

2. This youtube video about Sense8 cheered me up considerably, thanks to shapinglight for the link.

3. Ava Duvernay is bringing Octavia Butler's sci-fi novel Dawn to the small screen

“[A]fter war has culminated in a nuclear apocalypse and the near extermination of the human race, the survivors are rescued by an alien species and kept in suspended animation on an Earth-like spaceship. Lilith Iyapo, a black woman, is the first to be awakened and is chosen to lead her people into an uncertain future. She is faced with a choice: adapt or die. But, what good is survival if it comes at the cost of humanity?”

4. The Best Tweet on Our Impending Doom

No comment.

5. Disney ends Netflix Deal in 2019 in order to start its own streaming service

Disney CEO Bob Iger just announced that the media giant will be ending its deal with Netflix, pulling its programming from the streaming platform when their deal comes to a conclusion in 2019. The ultimate goal is to host the shows and movies on Disney’s own streaming service, which will launch around the same time. It’s incredibly disappointing news that could potentially pose some small upside—and make no mistake, the upside is small.

Netflix not only loses out on Disney features like Moana, Lilo & Stitch, The Emperor’s New Groove, and more direct Disney properties, but will likely also lose its Star Wars offerings (e.g., Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). But the biggest potential loss of all is Netflix’s current lineup of Marvel shows: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher. Remember: Disney owns both Lucasfilm and Marvel. There aren’t exactly too many details out yet about the deal’s end, but it would be safe to guess that Disney wants all those major, award-winning properties on their own streaming platform.

There’s an interesting conversation that’s popping up as well regarding the proliferation of streaming services. For many people who are trying to cut off their dependence on cable television (either as a cost-cutting measure or otherwise), the competing streaming services represent a potential higher overall cost. After all, Netflix isn’t quite the one-stop-shop anymore for streaming movies or shows. But one company having less of a monopoly is supposed to be a good thing, right? We’ll see, I guess.

I think it may backfire on Disney. Because I can't afford to be on that many streaming services. Nor do I need to be. And Disney isn't broad enough for me. I'm only really watching the Marvel series from Disney.
August 8th, 2017
shadowkat: (tv slut)
Went online, read briefly about politics, got pissed, decided to drink chamomile tea and watch the end of the continental cake episode of S5 (S1 in the US) Great British Bake Off and episode one of S7 Game of Thrones instead. Comforting and oddly cathartic.

Horrible sinus tension head-ache all day long. Possibly due to lack of sleep the night before due to horrible gas pains, in turn due to, god knows what. Frustrated at work, so been working on my mystery sci-fi novel about a society controlled by competing corporations.

So..Game of Thrones at least in Season 7 is weirdly comforting.

It's so far off book at this stage that I'm beginning to wonder if GRR Martin has chosen to just let the television series finish the story, and give up entirely. Can't say I'd blame him. The television series is a lot better in some respects. (Less meandering, more cathartic action.) I think Martin wrote himself into a corner, not that he'll ever admit it.

Anyhow, not sure anyone else is still watching it or saw the first episode yet? My co-workers and the folks on FB are all ahead of me. So, I'm being careful not to get spoiled.

spoilers for episode one, Dragonstone, Game of Thrones S7 )
August 6th, 2017
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 09:36pm on 06/08/2017
1. Halfway through Season 1 of the Great British Bake-Off, I ran across a rather painful bit in the third or fourth episode. Possibly the only time I almost had to quite watching. I can't watch people being humiliated on television or anywhere. It's why I can't watch most reality shows and most situation comedies.

What happened, was on a very hot day, with 80-90 degree heat, the contestants are requested to create a baked Alaska. (I have no idea how 25 degrees C translates to F. I'm guessing it's at least 85 degrees.) The night before, two of the five freezers had broken down. So there was limited freezer space. Two of the freezers were full. So Ian put his ice cream in the freezer containing Diana, Chetna and Kate's ice cream. It had enough space for his. Diana, with about twenty minutes remaining, took his ice cream out and put something hers in, assuming he was taking up space in her freezer and everyone had their own. Leaving it to melt. When Ian completed his meringue and went to get his ice cream...he discovered it melting on the counter top, so it turn out to be blotchy mess. He felt there was no way to salvage it and threw it in the bin and left the tent furious. Diana said, well didn't you have your own freezer?

Ian was booted out. And I was not happy with Diana. The next episode, it is announced that Diana has fallen ill. And that's the only on-air explanation provided.

Now, a lot of people had gloppy and melting ice cream, so yes, he could have provided something. But I think he probably would have reacted differently if he hadn't discovered it sitting on the counter when he'd put in the freezer. I'd have gotten upset too. I think the judges were put in a difficult position...because a lot of the bakers had gloppy ice cream that week.

I went online to see what really happened... Ian Watters baking controversy.

Apparently there isn't much agreement on what happened. But Watters doesn't blame Beard, so much as the producers and editors. He's actually fairly laid-back over it.

It does explain why the show has gone out of its way to avoid a re-occurrence of friction among contestants. And when there's ice cream involved, each person has their own freezer. Also, Sue, Mel and sometimes another contestant will go out of their way to help someone. Unlike most reality television, Bake-Off goes out of its way to avoid friction and humiliation. Which is why I love it, except of course for that episode.

2. Big Little Lies - HBO Limited Series, written by David E Kelley, directed by Jean De Vallee, starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shaliene Woodley, Laura Dern, and Alexander Skarsgard. Adapted from Australian writer, Lian Moriarity's best selling novel Big Little Lies, which is a satirical mystery set in an upper-class suburb of Australia. Here, it is an upper class suburb of Monteraye, California.

Quite good. It was filmed in an interesting manner. The series starts with a murder at the elementary school's big fund-raising benefit. We aren't told who was killed, why, or by whom, just that a murder happened. Then interspersed with various parental interviews, people who not part of the cast and just happen to know the leads by reputation or as acquaintances, we watch how it all came about.
Half-way through, I figured out the why, and finally the who, the only surprise was the murderer. Although it wasn't really a murder, so much as voluntary manslaughter.

The murder is the least interesting part, and it's less about that...then it is about women struggling in suburban lifestyle in a ...male dominated narcissistic competition driven society.
It's not a nice picture of suburban life. Or rather it has a Lynchian take on it, ie, the dark waters beneath the surface.

I can see why it got a lot of nominations. But, it the mystery is rather obvious and almost too neat.
Also there's three-four subplots, including the mystery, that get connected in an almost too easy fashion.

The performances are spot-on for the most part. Particularly Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Alex Skarsgard, and Shaileen Woodley.

And overall, I loved the direction. But the writing and preachy at times, and a bit obvious or heavy handed.

The series is biting criticism of a specific contemporary romance sub-genre, a la the 50 Shades of Grey subgenre. With the powerful beautiful troubled man, and smart pretty woman, and the wild sex -- not quite being what you think.

It's also a biting critique of our ego-driven society. And it contains somewhat graphic depictions of rape and domestic violence.

So, if any of that are triggers for you? You might want to avoid.

3. I decided to get the 30 day trial on HBO am streaming HBO series. I don't know if I'll continue after the 30 days or not. Plan on streaming S7 GOT this week.

Right now, hearing it blaring in the apartment over my head. Seriously.
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 06:51pm on 06/08/2017
1. How do you insert images into a post without using photobucket? I tried using flicker and it did not work. The only thing that worked is photobucket and apparently I can't use that any longer.

2. Is there a British version of an American Biscuit and what is it called? Note the American version of a British Biscuit is called a cookie and the reason we call it a cookie, is well, because our biscuit isn't a cookie.

I was pondering this while watching the Great British which they were doing savory biscuits and I thought, I don't like those..then realized their idea of a biscuit is not what I'm thinking of at all.

I have a craving for bread, but can't eat bread...I blame the Great British Bake-Off. Going to try an almond flax roll.
August 5th, 2017
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 02:32pm on 05/08/2017
A few nights ago I had a dream that stuck with me days later, most of my dreams don't...they flit on like so much mental floatsome. And I don't usually think much of dreams, since more often than not they fall into the category of incoherent theaterical productions the mind puts on to entertain itself while the body sleeps. But occasionally one of these stage plays will resonate long after its completion, and upon awakening, pester with its seemingly incoherent ramblings.

In my dream a man was heckling his son, niggling, criticizing him, to the point that I watched him shrink into himself. I remember standing up half way through it, furious. And I began to scream or shout the following into the crowd that had gathered witnessing this: "How dare you! He's your son! You are supposed to support him. To encourage him. To brace him up. Not tear him down. He's a part of you. How did you feel when your father did this to you? Did it help? Is it helping now?" And the man was silent, everyone was gaping at me...and then the alarm woke me up.

Prior to this dream I had a series of encounters offline and online with people who I felt were tearing me down. Heckling in the corner of the room, at least this is what actors, performers and entertainers call it. The "heckler" in the room. There's all sorts of books and rules written on how to handle the heckler. Because like or not, there will always be someone heckling. It's a given. Part of life as an entertainer. No matter what I or you or we do in life, someone out there will take exception to it or be offended. There's no avoiding it.

But the true heckler in the room I realized was in myself. Sitting there in a corner seat in my brain. "You can try that," the heckler would state, somewhat snidely, comfy in his arm-chair, "but it's not going to turn out well." Or, "go ahead and publish that story but no one will buy it", or "you aren't doing all that great in this job are you, haven't even gotten promoted yet?" The heckler sees all the nasty things and feels the need to point them out.

They'll read a post and somehow locate the one inaccuracy. Or watch the standup comedian, and heckle them for not being funny or delivering. They may turn on their cell-phone and start scanning messages during a play, or a movie that they find boring. Or they'll be that negative one star review on Amazon or Good Reads. And I think we've all been, if we're honest, hecklers in the room ourselves.

My father used to tell me that I needed to learn to produce or grow thicker skin. Not to let the turkey's get me down. Not to pay attention to the negative reviews. Be stoic, he'd say. You're too thin skinned. Too sensitive. And I've watched him, and my brother, and others...and I think aren't we all to some extent?

It's hard not to focus on the heckler. Harder still not to reinforce what they say. Particularly if it seems a mere echo of what I've said to myself. In a sea of faces all laughing at the joke or complimenting a story, there's that one voice that is discordant standing out. It's like reading through a series of posts on a social media site...among all the lovely ones, there's that one negative post can't somehow ignore be it about a favorite television series, movie, character or politics.

I keep thinking about my dream, and how the heckler, for me at least, is always there, in my head. Echoing back at me all the negative criticism that I hear, rearranging it, re-coding it for maximum effect, often with surround sound to replay in my ears. I'm told we can't change our minds in the literal sense or get rid of the heckler...but we can perhaps change how we handle the heckler or at the very least lower the volume..or I can. I can, or so I've been told, change how I react and cope. Impossible as it sounds.

Yet the feeling somehow persists, hence this post,...just a phrase little more...and I see in my mind's eye, that foggy shadowy figure standing in the back of the room, often the corner, heckling.
August 4th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 09:45pm on 04/08/2017
Okay I swear I'm pulling back from social media and the internet this weekend, just not apparently, tonight...

1. To Fix the NYC Subway System, Fix the Schedule.

One hundred and thirty years ago, North American railroad engineers standardized time zones to impose temporal order over a vast continent, and avoid crashing trains into each other. Not long after, the New York City subway set the world standard for glorious, 24-hour service.

These days, human-driven rail in NYC is feeling its age. In the first four months of 2017, just 63 percent of the city’s subway cars arrived at the end of their lines within five minutes of their scheduled times—bringing “on-time performance” down 21 percentage points since 2012.

The effects on passengers are well documented: Lost time means lost appointments, jobs, and wages, perhaps billions of dollars annually. Crumbling infrastructure, nonstop construction, signal slow-downs, labor costs, and riders themselves are the oft-heard explanations for why the trains can’t run on time.

But there’s another, largely overlooked element that is worth paying attention to, some operators and analysts say. Even in the absence of signal failures, door-holding, and sick passengers creating delays, drivers are struggling more than ever to stick to the scheduled running times on the busiest lines. Not only do timetables measure delays (i.e., whether trains are arriving “on time”), they may also be causing them—because people are not machines.

I hope management looks into this. So far all the governor and management is doing is hiring and creating yet another layer of management. Because, if something isn't working properly, the obvious response is to hire more people at a senior management level to puzzle over how to fix it.

2. Kerfuffle over Diveristy in Roman Britain

In recent years, researchers have turned to ancient DNA from burial sites to better understand ancient populations. Last year, a study of nine ancient Roman skeletons in Britain found a lot of similarity with British Celtic populations. One skeleton, though, showed much more affinity with modern Middle East populations.

This is a more direct picture of the past but it’s still an incomplete one. First, the number of bodies available to sample is often small. Second, the number of samples that yield DNA after hundreds or thousands of years are even smaller. And lastly, the amount of DNA you can get is usually a tiny portion of the genome. “You have to be very careful about what assumptions you bring into your study,” says Jennifer Raff, an anthropologist who studies ancient DNA at the University of Kansas. For example, a recent intriguing study of 90 Egyptian mummies showed they were more genetically similar to modern Middle Easterners than central Africans. But of course only the wealthy were mummified, so it’s not a complete picture of ancient Egypt.

Geary, the historian at the Institute for Advanced Study, is studying ancient DNA from cemeteries around Geary, the historian at the Institute for Advanced Study, is studying ancient DNA from cemeteries around present-day Lombardy in Italy. He is very careful about how he presents his work and avoids speculation in his talks. While his research has turned up two distinct groups of people, he told me he resists giving them names that identify one or the other as the “real Lombards”:

I was talking to one of our board of trustees at the Institute—a billionaire who has an interest in what we’re doing—and I said, “Well, we have this central northern population and this southern.” He said, “No, no, you can’t call them that. You’ve got to give them names. That’s how you’re going to get attention and funding.” But of course that’s exactly what we mustn’t do because then one falls into this ethnic discourse that we are trying to avoid.

Applying these labels—and maybe even the act of resisting labels—is a matter of historical interpretation. Genetic data is subject to interpretation like any kind of data. When something as trivial as a five-minute children’s video can inflame the culture wars, so will any genetics study that even touches on notions of race and ethnicity.

3. The Global Food System Still Benefits the Rich at the Expense to the Poor

Ramen noodles in Sweden, wheat bread in Tanzania and Chilean wines in China. The cross-Atlantic transit of the potato and the tomato from the Andes to Europe, and back again as French fries and pasta sauce. We think of the world as globalised and sophisticated in its food tastes, and our palettes as curious and ever-expanding. Food spreads cultural acceptance and understanding.

But the spread of food also exposes a darker underlying history of globalisation and industrialisation. Patterns in the way that food is distributed around the world follow colonial-industrial trends from the past. And while global trade has helped lift many out of poverty, it has not done so evenly. It has kept a colonialist imprint on the planet in a different way: with differentiated access to nutritious food and the rise of obesity and other food-related health problems.

Beyond adding unusual grains or fancy foods to their palettes, wealthy shoppers might have their pick of green beans imported from Kenya to the UK, or beef and grains grown in Uruguay by US farmers.

Meanwhile, eaters in developing countries are more likely to eat "exotic" foods like white bread, maize or rice. These are less nutritious because of the way in which they are processed. In addition, exotic food crops tend to require unsustainable farming practices, like using more water in places where it's already a scarce resource.

To escape these patterns, a new way of engaging with the complexity of food systems is needed. We need to adopt an approach that recognises that challenges are systemic and that they can't be solved with silver bullet solutions.

A more systemic approach could help shift the global food system because it recognises that food production must become more environmentally sustainable and must be designed in a way that meets the needs of the world's people in an equitable and just manner.

Understanding the food system as a complex system with interlinking social and ecological aspects is an important step that resilience thinking brings to the table of food system governance.

Read more at:

This has been a problem as long as I can remember. When I was in high school and participated in a mock UN (my dream job back then was to be a delegate to the United Nations.), we were the country of Ghana, which meant we didn't get to do much but listen to the other countries bicker. But we did a lot of research on how Nestle was selling a poor milk substitute to Ghana and killing their children as a result. (This resulted in my personal boycott of Nestle products for a very very long time.)
All for the corporate buck.

Remember studying up on it again, when I was considering applying for a job with Bill Clinton's foundation, but alas I'm not an ecologist or a botanist or an agricultural expert. We are a consumptive society though. And when I was broke and unemployed, I realized how hard it was to buy healthy foods. The cheap stuff is the heavily processed, grains, additive laden, and filled with sodium and salt. I couldn't afford my diet back then. Actually my unemployment probably in part lead to my latter illness. For example? A hot dog or a burger is about $1.99 at McDonalds or Burger King, while a salad was $5. At least it was back then.

4. Inhumans is apparently awful

Early reviews are in and the new Marvel Series "The Inhumans" is deemed simply awful. (Not surprising considering how silly the trailer looks.)

A review posted on Spoiler TV absolutely rips apart Marvel’s Inhumans, which is set to be the first TV series to debut in IMAX when it comes out on September 1st (the show will air on ABC starting September 25th). If this is what we’re in for, however, I don’t think many people will be lining up for the pleasure of paying to see it:

Simply awful. I’m so disappointed since I generally love everything Marvel does. But this is absolutely terrible. The dialogue is atrocious. The fight sequences are shockingly choreographed. The sets (or more-so the obvious green-screen) aren’t that crash hot either. It’s only saving grace is Lockjaw who is adorable. As one of the few people that actually liked Iron Fist, I can easily say that this is Scott Buck’s worst work yet.

Well that's a bit disappointing. Although, considering it's by the same guy who did Iron Fist...which I was also among the few who sort of liked it, not all that surprising.

5. New York Public Library Offers Free Streaming of Films From Criterion Collection with Library Card

Now, where did I put that library card?


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