Monday, June 30, 2008

Beach Invasion Fail

Heh Heh heh.

(I don't know how to embed videos, sorry.)

Top 10 obscure SF novels - go vote now!

Here. Ok it's not just obscure books, it's obscure books with a focus on strong gender relations and decent women characters. Some books include other minorities usually overlooked in sf and fantasy. You can vote for 10 books now, which they'll use to whittle down the top choices to a shortlist. I only know 3 of the books.
And yay the two I nominated are included! With my comments, yay!

Bat stuff

Batman and Robin is a really rubbish movie. But notable for it's Bat butt shots at the start. Much like this.* I was rather confused by Barbara (why not be related to the Commissioner? Why not be a redhead?) attending a school named Oxbridge....given that Oxbridge is the name of Oxford and Cambridge universities.... and I'm still at a loss as to why she felt the need to fly to America and arrive at Bruce's place in her school uniform....

Note to movie makers: There really aren't many school uniforms like that you know...

Still. Bat butt.

Now make a Goddamn Batman movie. Go ooooooon.

* I will keep plugging this.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I have updated my link list

And have included links to some people who comment here..please let me know if you don't want to be linked. More will be going up over the next week.

All links are going fine except for one which for some reason won't work, and I can't for the life of me figure out why not. The html code is the same as the other links so I can't figure out what's happeneing. Anyway the link is this. I urge everyone to go and have a peek. It's comics related but don't let that put you off.

I also am planning to post some more comics and comic movie reviews later - am off to see the Hulk this afternoon, hurrah!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Things that are wrong

mm. Not to put a downer on the last post, I am still in a pretty good mood but me being me can't let things that aggravate me slip by.

Mika's song: Big Girl (you are beautiful). or more accurately the video.
So instead of fetishising skinny girls we're not fetishising fat girls? How is that better? I do get the sentiments of the song, honest I do, I know there are gorgeous fat girls out there, just like there are gorgeous skinny girls. But making it just about the fat? Or just about the skinny? How is that a good thing? Maybe I'm too cynical.

Apparently we gave Mugabe a knighthood. I'm quite frankly flabbergasted. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe he's never had a good human rights record. And yes, damn right we should be taking it off him, but he should never have been given one in the first place.

Oh god. Should I even dissect this? I think there's a moral duty to do so but I think it should be perfectly fucking obvious why that article and headline is not acceptable. Should everyone offended by this crap explain why it's awful? Or is it enough to point out that it's hideously racist and xenophobic? What do people think? Oh and don't read the comments unless you want to get really angry.
On a side note:
"News of the security setback came as the Government yesterday admitted that installing 100 per cent airport-style screening at rail and Tube stations was “not feasible”."
Have the people writing this ever been to a London tube station? Jesus fucking H christ.

You know, I could spend all day highlighting the crap that goes on. But I won't. If I spend too much time on it I'll have sky high blood pressure.

Things that are right

It's summer! And that means all sorts of fresh locally grown fruit for the eating. I am getting through a ridiculous amount, it's great!

Me and the boyfriend went on a moth watching course last night. It was really interesting and we saw two particularly cool moths.

That large bugger is an elephant hawk moth. I never knew they came in pink! More information here. We also saw this one:

That one's a flame shoulder moth. And I thought it was really pretty. I found out moths and butterflies generally live between 5 days and a few weeks, unless they are shutting down for winter, and at adult stage lots don't actually eat. I think this is awesome.

What else have I been doing? I've been too busy to blog much anyway. For the last month I've been busy every weekend, either with friends or family visiting, or me visiting people in London (currently a 6 hour round trip), or going to stay with friends in Devon and spending all my money. I slept in till 11 am today. veyr lazy but I haven't been able to do that for weeks and dear god it was nice not to have to do anything. To have a whole day to myself with no obligations or committments. Bliss.

I have now bought myself a Wildhearts ticket to their 15th anniversary of the Earth vs The Wildhearts album, which is going to kick the biggest amounts of ass ever. Especially as I'll be going with school friends I haven't seen in at least 5 years!

And the most awesome thing to make me happy recently is the Go Elephants! project in Norwich right now. Lots of baby elephants painted in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways situated around the city. Me and the boyfriend shall be going on a hunt tomorrow to find them all.

Happy summer everyone!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

If you have to ask..

Then the answer is no...
Is it ok to have a secret Tory crush?
(From The Guardian website, a newspaper that supports a leftwing/liberal view).
For non UK readers - The Conservatives are the right wing party in the House of Commons, they are known colloquially as Tories. They are traditionally the party of the rich and privileged. They are also traditionally homophobic, sexist and racist. They do not like the welfare state. They introduced section 28 in the 80s banning schools from 'promoting' homosexuality with the net effect that teachers didn't dare talk about homosexuality lest they got the sack. The majority of them wanted the legal time limit on abortion to be reduced. They don't support the green movement. They are the only party to have had a woman Prime Minister but this is no reason to support them as Margaret Thatcher is the devil incarnate. Mortgage rates doubled, if not tripled when she was Prime Minister. They shut all the mines thus destroying a lot of northern and Welsh communities. They do not believe in the rights of the worker and they do not care about those in poverty. They don't see the need for a support network. they opposed the minimum wage. They were in power for 18 years from 1979 and in the early 90s a lot of corruption became public.
Boris Johnson is a Tory.
There is also a high possibility they will get in at the next election, in which case goodbye rights.
So, no, if you also support a leftwing or liberal point of view it is not, ever, ok to have a Tory crush.

Tyr = the win

Oh yes. If you like your epic metal check them out. I think they're Norse. Anyway they've got at least 3 albums , called How far to Aasgard, Eric the Red and Ragnarok. I like them so much I think I'll even buy the album.
After years of loathing all new music I'm so pleased I've found stuff I like. Turns out the reason I've been going wrong is by listening to the radio playing indie crap. As soon as I bought a metal magazine with a free CD called Battle Metal, I found the stuff I liked. It's not like the death or goth metal that I'd heard in the 90s, this is so much better. Less (if any) screaming and more tuens. Awesome. Ina similar vein I've also found Alestorm (Scottish pirate metal and unbelievabely good fun), Ensiferum and Turisas. Must find more.

Boris Johnson = wanker and mouthfrothingly bad research of the day

There's been this free festival in London, originally called Respect, now called Rise, going for the last 10 years or so, and it's central function and role is as an anti-racism festival. That delightful new London mayor, Boris Johnson, has decided it will not longer be anti racist.
Info taken from The F Word.
Why? I mean, what possible reason could he have to disallow them to promote it as anti racist, except for the fact that he supports racism?

And while we're at it, stupid research of the day award goes to this article.
  • 90 people do not a good sample group make.
  • "Scientists at the prestigious Stockholm Brain Institute in Sweden also found certain brain circuits linked to emotional responses were the same in gay men and straight women." So the imnplication is that gay men and women are overly emotional now are we? As opposed to straight men and unfeeling dykes?
  • "suggest the biological factors that influence sexual orientation - such as exposure to testosterone in the womb - may also shape the brain's anatomy." Does it really? Are we certain of this or is it just conjecture? Why the hell are we researching what makes people gay anyway? It doesn't fucking matter. we are what we are and I cam't help feeling that the research is being done so that people can choose not to have gay children. Fuck off.
  • "identified differences in spatial and verbal abilities related to sex and sexual orientation. Tests have found gay men and straight women fare better at certain language tasks, while heterosexual men and lesbians tend to have better spatial awareness." Bollocks.
  • "The results could explain a University of London study earlier this year that found gay men and straight women share a poor sense of direction compared with heterosexual men, and were more likely to navigate using landmarks alone." Fuck off fuck off fuck off.
  • "some mental disorders affect men and women differently. For example, major depressive disorders are far more common and persistent in women, while autism is around four times more common in boys than girls." Could this not be a diagnosis problem?
And where's all this research on bisexuals then? Not that I want to be dissected but there's a lot of us out there. Or do we not fit into your straight/gay landscape? How do they know none of the straight men or women in the study were in the closet?
Angry angry angry angry.

Monday, June 16, 2008

You know what's wrong?

Everything. I have had 4 ulcers crop up in 4 days. I had a fight with my boyfriend late last night, I got no sleep, I've got no money, I feel like I've had a bloody long day at work, I feel like I've been teetering on the edge of a mighty big blow out for the last couple of months, and right now I'm full of rage. And the one thing, the one problem that I really care about I can't do fuck all about, I've got to just sit and wait.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wel, doesn't this look just all sorts of kick ass?

Courtesy of Digital Femme.

Really not gonna go and link to every WFA post. Really.

Linky Linky Spoiler time

Interesting. I got into comics after Spoiler 'died'. I have never been a Batman fan, in fact I think Batman sucks. Recently I've come round to thinking that his supporting cast are awesome, but he still sucks. Unless he's in a group book, like Superman/Batman, JLA or Trinity. But for a long time I thought Batman and his family were utter rubbish. I had zero interest in reading about him. And even thinking that, when I saw a Batman comic in the library, with a female Robin, I was really really impressed. Because to me, it means that women aren't sidelined. It means we are not treated as the (inferior) 'other' and we are as good as and can achieve those roles traditionally reserved for men. That is important. It means a breakdown of elitest patriarchal ways of thinking.

I don't hold that female versions of male heroes are automatically second rate rip offs, as some of my (non comics reading) friends think Supergirl is. (Unless you've got a Supergirl who can't fly, can only take large leaps, and isn't as strong as Superman, then they're a second rate rip off and I have no interest in reading about them). Female versions of male characters are characters in their own right.

So, back to Spoiler and the female Robin. I think having a female Robin is especially important because, whether I like him or not, Batman is one of the premier superheroes. And for him to have a female sidekick speaks volumes. I don't mean to say that what I aspire to do is to be able to break into the boys club, to be treated as an honourary man, because I think that the frame of thought where men are the pinnacle of all expertise and the ultimate-best-thing-ever is wrong. I don't want to prove that I'm as good as a man, although for a long time whilst growing up I did want to do that, because that frame of thought assumes that men are better than women, and that we should treat the two sexes differently, because they are inherently different. And I think that's a flawed way of thinking.

This isn't about having female role models. I don't need women to be my role models. Growing up, I wanted to be Spiderman and Superman. Their sex didn't come into it, I just wanted to be them. They were the awesomest characters ever. I didn't feel the need to have a female superhero to look up to, but I recognise that other women do want female role models.

I think what I'm trying to say is that it's important that women are visible in traditionally male arenas. Whether that be in the engineering industry, the chef-ing industry, goverment or the superhero arena. If we didn't have a female Robin, or a female Superman, or a female Batman, or a Wonder Woman, or a female Question, or a Buffy, or a Power Girl or female Speedy, or Lady Flash, think how bad that would be. For women to be always excluded from this area. For women to not be allowed to take part, to not be good enough, to hero. To ensure that this doesn't happen, women have to be 'allowed', at leats initially, to take on a male role. Allowed is the wrong word. It assumes that those in power are trying to beat down on women, are being tokenistic about including women. I'm sure there are some who think like this, but I'm equally sure there are many many more who don't. Tokenism sucks. Tokensim is having one woman on an otherwise all male team, just to be polically correct and right on - I'm thinking Cheetara and Smurfette here.

The good thing about having female equivalents of (big name) male superheroes is that it (should) mean that they are in the big leagues. The danger of having brand new female superheroes is they could be seen as small time stuff and not taken seriously.

So as to the return of Spoiler, I say yay. I didn't buy the Robin issue where she returned, but I have the Robin/Spoiler special on order. When I can afford it I'll pick it up. But she still should have gotten a trophy case. And Tim should have insisted on one.

EDIT: This seems to be on similar lines to my post. A bit.

2nd EDIT: As always, other people's thoughts and comments are appreciated!

Flash year 1

Perfect. Just perfect.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Where's WFA?

I miss When Fangirls Attack. It hasn't been updated for aaages. I gather from the May 27th post the contributors have life problems going on and that's cool, I don't expect it to be updated constantly. But still, I miss it. Where else can I get my comic geekery from? Come back WFA :(

And I'm too skint to buy fresh comics. Working my way through the old Flash ones, but it's not the same. Mostly cos Wally is a dick. Roll on when I get to Bart's arrival.

EDIT: Hurrah theres a new post up, hurrah!

2nd EDIT: Of course, I realise could go looking for the women/comics posts myself, but I'm lazy.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

For the love of god DC

I'm really really bored with all these Crisis-es. Really bored. It's been, what, 2 or 3 years of buildup? Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, 52, then Countdown, now final crisis. Have a I missed anything? 52 was good,I enjoyed that. I just wish they'd collected the extra bits at the end of the comics, the history of the DCU bits and the origins stories, into the trades. Or into another book I coudla bought. grrr.
anyway now they've killed off J'onn J'onzz. why? just to spice things up a bit? god i'm bored with all this.
and I couldn't get a copy of manhunter #31 or the robin/spoiler special because my shop had sold out of both in one day. grr. got them on order now which is ok.
I did get the new Buffy and supergirl issues though and my god they were good. Kara is now her own person, she's not a pale imitation of Clark. the storyline and Kara herself has depth and maturity. It was really really good. and the Buffy one was also fantastic. it took a while for this comic to get into the flow of things, but Wolves at the Gate has been a really really good story arc. Giant mecha Dawn fighting realy Dawn on the streets of tokyo! with a tail! Buffy jumping off the building to save Willow was also made of cool. and Dracula and Xander's conversation at the end. and buffy comforting Xander. so many good things. so many! loved it.
i also forgot to get Trinity #1. Should I buy? Should I wait for the trade? but oh how I love those 3 together. hmm. what to do, what to do.

Nominate your favourite 'obscure' sf/fantasy books

over at feminist sf- the blog
The idea is (from the post itself):
I’m thinking of this as a nomination post where every person gets to nominate F/SF novels that they feel are obscure or underrated from any time period and explain (as briefly or wordy as you like) why they belong on the list. It can be Urban Fantasy, Hard Science Fiction, High Fantasy, Military Sci-Fi, YA Fantasy… whatever sub-genre you want just make sure that it’s something that is obscure or underrated. It can be an obscure novel by a famous author or something by someone no ones ever heard of. It just cannot be a novel that’s won a major F/SF award or been a bestseller because that seems to defeat the purpose of the list. Other than that use your imagination and common sense.

closing date is the 11th June. I figure at least some of the people reading this blog like sf and judging from the comments left you're all feminists! Go forth and nominate, or at the very least go find lots of good new books!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Notification of Comments

How do I set this thing up to email me when a new comment is left? If anybody's out there and reading please help! (I don't find blogger's help function very useful or I'd ask that).

Sunday, June 01, 2008

What the fuck

So. Angry.

Peition to stop the closure of the Special Baby Care Unit at Queen Mary's Hospital Sidcup Kent

Please can any UK residents reading this go have a look at this petition and consider signing it.

Friday's batch..

I got more comics. There's a surprise. Spoilers ahoy.

Huntress \2. Oh my god this is wonderful. Helena is brilliant. This story is where the tough women in comics are. This is the type of woman I want to read about and this is the art I want to see. The rape sub plot initially ground on my nerves, (as in: oh look we need to show a way to do something bad to a woman, I know let's rape her. Lets yet again show women they are in constant danger of being raped. Every single minute of every day, because they'll never be safe you know and we can't let them forget it).
Anyway. The reason I ended up being ok with this was due to the way it was resolved and the way in which Helena dealt with it. Also, it wasn't included as a threat to the protagonist and it did serve to show the power dynamics within the family. So not *entirely* gratuitous. And Helena is made of fiery ruthless steel. She is solid and tough. Cross her at your peril.

Batman Confidential \17. Part 1 of a 5 part story arc, doncha know. Oh win. Oh this was an utter joy to read. I love Babs as Batgirl and I loved this story. And I couldn't help but be impressed that both Babs and Selina had many different facial expressions through this. And none of them come hither and fuck me expressions (except for Selina in the club at the end but that was in context and very much appropriate). And Babs in the last shot? That was a muscular back. Not a waif or with impossibly proportioned hips and arse.
Cannot wait for the next one. Now if only Batman doesn't show up and spoil it all...

Teen Titans \59. Oh Rose is so going to destroy them. She's going to go through them like a whirlwind and they'll never know what happened. Did I mention how much I love Rose? She smokes, she drinks, she has casual sex, enjoys it and doesn't apologise for it, she doesn't apologise for who she is and she couldn't give a shit what other people think of her. My kind of hero. Next to her many other heroes appear to have a rather large stick up their arse (I'm looking at you Cassie and Tim).

All star Superman \11. Read 3 of these now. I don't like it. I figure it's meant to have a silver age feel but the dialogues horrible. I'm not buying this again.

Booster Gold \9. With the JLI reunion I expected more. I'll see how this pans out next issue. Of course, if every single persons topped using the adjective 'sweet' to describe Ice I might be happier. She can't be that nice she was with Guy after all.

I decided against buying the Robin/Spoiler issue. I'll think I'll just start getting the Robin trades.
I also picked up old Cloak and Dagger issues yesterday. Hurrah for finding a new shop selling old comics! I'm loving that team. I'll postulate on them at a later date.