"Reports of my LJ death have been greatly exaggerated"

Hey look at that, I just made a post. It only took over 2 years lol. I've finally found a way to easily post and have spent a chunk of today looking at my profile, posts, interests and memories. Some things have really changed! I joined LJ around the time the final HP novel was released and then made very sporadic posts, with some of them involving superheroes.

I had originally created this journal as an outlet and as a way to connect with others in fandom so I could stop being a lurker. I realised that I was not the best blog writer and found interaction to be tricky (no one needs to read your walls of textual venom, damsel!) but I still had a great time.

Then I watched The Avengers and found myself so utterly enraged by it (I now officially hate the Avengers movies and Iron Man movies forever and ever and refuse to watch their future movies since I utterly loathe Tony Stark) that even though I still have my draft in my computer I couldn't finish and post it. I had so many drafts of other things but couldn't finish them and found myself so disconnected from the MCU fandom because of my opinion on this sticking point that I decided to bow out for awhile and focus on other life things/fandoms for a bit.

I noticed like a time-frozen super soldier how things have changed and since LJ is now a quieter place and everyone has joined tumblr (which I might do later) I decided to commit to doing this post. It has a little less pressure attached to it.

Since I first joined LJ many things in my life had changed. I left university because I was miserable in my cage. My dog died. I began a traineeship which eventually became a job. I finally had the means to leave an extremely dysfunctional and toxic living situation and finally found that peaceful and safe room of my own. I began some self reflection and when I have the opportunity to do so I will get tested for some neurological/psychological stuff. I even finally went on an amazing US holiday in NYC and GA (I had never left my hometown or have been on a real holiday before) and finally felt for the first time in my life not just happiness but a real sense like not only was I the master of my destiny but that everything wasn't going to turn to shit. I began to draw and paint again and was fairly committed to it (unlike my poor nearly empty DeviantArt account attempt). I even became an auntie!

I have made my peace with the MCU because I still love the Thor and Cap movies and really like Agents of SHIELD. I have also discovered many other fandoms to enjoy so I have places to go to if it's needed.

I don't know if I will use this LJ more regularly now that I can use my iPhone or if I will be more committed to other means of communication but here I am, in this moment, at peace with myself and able to write about it. Not to mention finish a post!

5 Things 21 Jump Street Gets Right

5 Things 21 Jump Street Gets Right (AKA Kiss my arse you know who you are)

Note: Originally I had written this when I have only seen the trailers to the Avengers movie and did not have a good impression while still on a high about how much I unexpectedly enjoyed 21 Jump Street. I had finished the list but held off posting it because I wondered if I should edit it slightly and make it just a 21 Jump Street love post without any digs at other stuff. But I just saw the Avengers movie last weekend and all bets are off (A post on that movie later). Besides, there aren't too many digs so it shouldn't matter too much.

21 Jump Street is a lowbrow dudebro comedy about two completely idiotic and incompetent white guys who are cops. No seriously, I'm being quite honest - this movie is not high art or necessarily the one glorious exception if you hate lowbrow dudebro comedies featuring idiotic and incompetent white guys who are cops. Take my love with a grain of salt, not as a plea to run out and watch it. I not only love it, but I actually learnt some things from it. I have been annoyed with aspects of the Avengers trailer and find the Steve/Tony section of the fandom almost unbearable most days, despite having liked the ship quite a lot in the past. I also once read a Steve/Tony fic that utterly enraged me (although it was more of a final straw that broke the camel's back because there has been others that I also really hated but didn't rant about). This is about 21 Jump Street but is clearly also applying to other things in life.

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Writer's Block: Idiocracy

Larry, Moe, or Curly -- which one is your favorite stooge? Who's the biggest stooge you interact with in your everyday dealings?

View Answers

Hey hey hey, lets not forget Shemp, Joe and Curly Joe!

That being said, is it terribly predictable of me to say Curly? I also love Larry a lot but Curly's bizarre tics and off with the pixies aspect always made me laugh quite a lot. I aspire to impress someone someday by doing the that funny shoulder spin that Curly would sometimes do. (You throw yourself onto the floor and while lying down and using your shoulder as the pivot on the ground, you run around in a full circle).

I spend most of my time while watching the Stooges cringing and wincing in pain but I still love their silly nonsensical slapstick humour, it's the reason why they resonate with children and admittedly my sense of humour can be a little juvenile. Also, they were the first comedians in the US to point out the evilness of Hitler and the Nazis through their films, they actually beat Chaplin's The Great Dictator by several months with their short "You Nazty Spy!" (Makes sense too, since the Stooges were Jewish comedians). One of my favourite Stooges shorts is "Fire Alarms", as a person who works in a government job linked to firefighters and employee safety, it's especially amusing and frightening. The nursery rhyme "Three Blind Mice" always reminds of the Stooges and is one of the many reasons why it's one of my favourite nursery rhymes.

The biggest stooge I interact with on a daily basis is most definitely a Moe in every way. Cranky and bossy and possibly a little too slap happy. That person is obviously me, duh.

That said, while I don't know how successful the remake movie is going to be (out this year in April I think) I do intend on seeing it since the Farrelly brothers understand slapstick so hopefully it should work, especially since the little information I gleaned from the publicity actually sounds pretty promising. I almost wish that the Avengers movie was starring them instead of a group of unlikeable characters masquerading as heroes I should care about. The Stooges trying to save the world while being the Avengers sounds like a more amusing prospect than watching a group of characters I normally like acting like a bunch of childish douchebags while still hypocritically appealing for the audience to take them seriously as a group of adults who are responsible heroes. At least the Stooges were always working on the premise of being hopelessly childish and toon-like, it's the reason why their wordless 5 second cameo as a group of firefighters in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World was so funny.


Double Feature Saturday: The Hunger Games and 21 Jump Street

Warning: I bitch a tiny bit about the Avengers trailer (forgive my negativity, I saw it twice)

Last Saturday I went to see The Hunger Games and 21 Jump Street. I have never read the Hunger Games trilogy and it wasn't until last week that I learnt what 21 Jump Street was all about (LOL showing my age and how sheltered I am). I was feeling a bit restless and decided to see two movies in one day again because they got some pretty damn good reviews.

I'm glad I did, these two movies were great. (I'll try not to be too spoilery - this is only a short response to the films).

The Hunger Games
Before I say anything about the movie, I must say this. If Bella from the Twilight saga ever got into this competition-to-the-death she would just sit on a rock and cry. She wouldn't even try to hide for as long as possible like smart Foxface, she would just literally sit down, turn herself into a huge target (for Edward and/or Jacob to save!!!) and cry, because she is that ridiculous.

Katniss Everdeen, however, is a huge massive BAMF. Katniss is prickly, strong, caring, protective and a born survivor. (She's also an archer, if that's your thing). She is capable and competent, with strengths and flaws. Her strengths are numerous and never apologised for and her flaws feel natural to her character and linked to her life experiences. While the books were in first person perspective, the movie chooses to avoid using voiceover and depict Katniss through strong visuals and some pretty damn good acting. We don't need to be told what is going through Katniss's head, we get shown.

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic dystopian universe and explores issues about power, privilege and the power of social discontent and rebellion. I found the contrast between the privileged Capitol and the disadvantaged Districts to be done very well. It manages to show us that despite being the bad guys, for a lot of us in a first world country, our life is actually more like the Capitol, especially with how on their side, the Hunger Games are just this fun and gory reality TV show.

The movie also does a really good job of depicting the unsettling violence in this universe without either falling into desensitized gore or glamourising the violence into that fuzzy, Hollywood video-game violence. The first initial moments of the games is really, really unsettling and it manages it stay M rated, so it's a pretty amazing feat.

I don't know if I want to read the books or not, or even if I will watch the sequels, because I'm aware that this series, like any other blockbuster series that try to tackle pretty big themes can have some severe limitations or just some outright fuckups*. That said, I enjoyed watching the movie. Seriously, a non-fan enjoyed the movie, that's pretty nifty, right? The only way I knew that it was an adaptation besides the publicity is the fact that it is a pretty long movie.

*The controversy surrounding Jennifer Lawrence being cast as Katniss shouldn't be ignored, no matter how brilliant she was as Katniss. It's not the fact that a white actress was cast as Katniss, (that is plausible and not entirely offensive or wrong in itself), it's the fact that Caucasian actresses were explicitly preferred in casting while the character could actually be interpreted as anyone who identifies as a WOC or especially has multiracial ethnicity. If there was a thing as the perfect golden opportunity for an open-audition-all-ethnicities casting, this was the time to have done so. It's not really about the hair colour.

21 Jump Street
Look, let's just get this straight, this movie is a pure lowbrow dudebro comedy (It has Superbad's Jonah Hill if it clarifies anything) about two idiotic white guys who are cops, so take this with a grain of salt. If you're going to do a stupid parodic dudebro comedy, this is how it's done.

21 Jump Street is a movie that makes fun of action movies, high school movies and the premise of the show itself, not to mention the fact that it's an uncreative mining of past nostalgia due to a lack of ideas. It does all of this really well but to avoid making it just a relentless bitch-out of tropes without any real point being made, (like some comic book writers who I will not name), it also shows us why some of these tropes can be so much fun to watch. It also makes sure to lose the potential heartlessness of some deconstructions and parodies by actually treating the main characters as people, (even if they're stupid lowbrow comedy characters), instead of just fodder and setup for jokes.

Despite this comparatively short response, I actually took a lot more out from this movie about how you write characters. I was irresistably reminded of that stupid-ass Steve/Tony fic I had a massive rageout from last year and some other stupid Steve/Tony fandom/fanfic assholery I came across and couldn't help but feel that this movie actually gets it better than most a goddamn lot some fic writers, so I'm pretty sure that I will soon make a new post about what 21 Jump Street does that others could learn from about writing characters. You can't blame me really, I had to see the Avengers trailer twice and it left me with lots of feelings, none of them good. Actually ragey feelings really. No seriously, I am more excited about The Three Stooges* movie than the Avengers. I don't know why, but this is definitely a different feeling from the nervousness I had when Captain America hadn't screened yet and all we had were some slightly unpromising press.

*This is actually not fair to the Stooges, I love the Stooges, even though I spend most of my time wincing in pain at their slapstick. That being said, my favourite comedy team from the classic cinema era are definitely Laurel and Hardy.
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Writer's Block: Meow vs. Arf

Cats or dogs-- which do you prefer, and why?

From the ages of 4 to I don't know, maybe 22 or so I was all about Team Dogs. I loved cats too, because I was the kind of person who liked animals more than people but I just loved dogs more. It's the whole animal stereotype thing and opposites attracting. I was finicky and solitary who liked to observe from afar, didn't like being told what to do and kept stuff close to my chest so dogs with their pack instinct and their inability to keep any emotion from appearing really obviously on the surface appealed to me. (I can be hilariously bad at reading people's emotions). When I got older and slightly more self-aware I realised that personality wise I was more like a cat stereotype so these days cats and dogs are a little more even. Also, when my dog died a few years ago it was pretty upsetting so I don't plan on getting another dog any time soon. (I'm also not at a good time in my life practicality-wise to have a pet just yet). I do like patting my neighbour's sooky cat* though, although it scared my mother half to death when it followed her into the house once and hid in my dog's favourite place.

*Seriously, that cat is like the most love-and-attention starved cat I have ever come across. It practically crashed into a fence just so I would come over and give it a cuddle.
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Christmas Card

I made a new update on my deviantART account.

It's a Christmas card for my mother. Warning: Ridiculously cutesy picture involving a twee anthropomorphic mouse wearing a silly holiday outfit.

I have been drawing a bit more than just this but they're on tiny A7 cards and I didn't think they were worth the effort of scanning and tinkering with on the computer to post.

By the way, since it's the holiday season, here is a recommendation of mine:
Mrs Santa Claus
I first saw Mrs Santa Claus when I was 11 years old and it had stayed in my mind ever since. After all, how often do you find an Angela Lansbury Christmas musical tv movie that had a very strong feminist/unionist/child rights message and valued the existence of women and their relationships with each other so much? (The TV Trope term Soapbox Sadie came from this movie, in the adorable form of young suffragist Sadie Lowenstein). The movie is absolute total fluff and the closest thing we have to an antagonist has the most hilarious villainous character motivation that must be seen to be believed.

That's all!

Good news, everyone! (Melburnian bookstore lovers)

So I said goodbye to my favourite bookstore...

Only to find out that it's reopening in a new location:

Reader's Feast @ Georges
162 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
(between Swanston and Russell Streets)
Also accessible from 195 Little Collins Street

The opening date isn't confirmed yet but it's meant to be early December.

Squeee, I'm so excited I could lose my shit!

(Screw Borders, this store is worth saving)
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Amusing Discovery of the Day

I came across the webcomic Max Overacts today. It's a comic about a boy who wants to be a great thespian someday and basically sees every moment as an opportunity to hone his craft, much to the exasperation of everyone around him. I love that it fills the hole that Calvin and Hobbes left in me not because these stories are identical (they're not except that they're both winners in art and writing with a mischievous yet precocious little boy at the centre) but because I find stories that actually have the kids as protagonists to often be more amusing than the ones where kids just sort of act as a bland mirror for the adult characters.

I found out about this comic on Comics Alliance. Now, for those Marvel Comics readers, take a look at the strip featuring Max and his parents. Check out his dad.

Okay, now read this interview with the webcomic's creator Caanan Grall. Especially the part on creating characters and character design.

I thought it was hilarious because when I first saw the image of Max's dad, I thought to myself, "Huh, I bet this artist would be able to draw a rather nice Steve Rogers". (I then found out that he drew a very nice Booster Gold). So to find out the creative process made me laugh pretty hard. Then I laughed even harder when I realised the exact wording of what Grall actually said, and I quote, "Max’s dad went through the shlubby type of look before I just went ‘To hell with it. Max’s dad is Captain America. Bam!"

Now I'm of the firm belief that while Max is living his life and dreaming big his dad Mr Fogherty is kind of like his universe's Captain America, or an AU!Steve where he actually got married and had a kid. With a lot of mental gymnastics you could argue that Mrs Fogherty is an AU!Sharon (though Mrs Fogherty has light brown hair) but when you consider that she's an artist (Oh, I like how in this comic we actually find out the mother's career earlier in the comic than the dad, I actually haven't found out what Mr Fogherty does yet*) she sounds like she could be an AU!Bernie Rosenthal with lighter and straighter hair or something. My mind sure goes to such weird places.

*Clearly he's a superhero, duh. With experience working as an illustrator, WPA muralist and comic book artist, natch! And a military past!

Writer's Block: The happiest movies on earth

What is your favorite Disney movie?

When I was younger I was someone who kind of liked animals far more than people, so keep that in mind ;) My top choices in no particular order:

1) The Lion King
This was the first movie I ever saw at the cinema. This was also the most rewatched video of mine. Simba's reunion with his mother was really moving.

2) The Fox and the Hound
This was a supremely bittersweet movie and the story about a friendship that could only last for a short time is a pretty heartbreaking topic for children. It's also oddly a movie that could work as a slash ship. What?! Just saying...
But as I'm thinking about this I should also note that I loved how female characters are present in this movie. Tod's mother may die but her final moments in the opening scene were about her proactively doing everything she can to protect Tod. Tod's human caretaker is a sweet and motherly older woman who is also tough and can stand up for herself and for her dear little Tod, until it was truly time to let go. Tod's animal surrogate mother figure is a gorgeous owl named Big Mama. Vixey is shown as being a more experienced character instead of being an ingenue which is a cute and plausible change and Tod's idiotic blustering and subsequent hissy fit after being quite owned was meant to show that he was being an idiot and that men maybe should not try to act like they know everything, when they kind of don't.

3) 101 Dalmatians
I loved how Pongo and Perdita were both portrayed as active parents when it comes to raising their family and as active partners in a relationship after they became a couple. I like that Pongo is caring. I like that Perdita is a tough protector. I liked that Pongo and Perdita were in this together.

4) Lady and the Tramp
While this romance is very much a product of its times, when I watched it again as an adult I appreciated this story as very much about a young woman's sexual coming of age. And yes, this was very much about a sexual coming of age, trust me. I loved how sexuality is not just simply about reproduction as the goal for having sex but as something that could also be enjoyed for its own sake. I loved that Lady had sex on the first date, breaking the cardinal rule that a million dopey articles on relationship advice for women have. I also love that this movie shows that you can have a pet dog and a baby living in the same house, after all the drama and anxiety.

5) Mulan
The first Disney movie starring people that I loved (the second in chronological order but not in quality is The Princess and the Frog), mainly because it was the first time I encountered an Asian heroine I could identify with who got to be a hero and a protagonist. I especially loved that Mulan wasn't a clear cut tomboy or a clear cut girly girl because you know people, girls who don't fit tiny boxes perfectly do exist! That and Shang was really really hot and I liked that Shang and Mulan's relationship while not romantic for the majority of the movie was something that developed and was about the evolution of respect. Not to mention the light exploration of gender roles!
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Things that probably only bother me, but damn, it's my blog and I'll rage if I want to!

Huh, the title could become two great LJ tags. I think I'll do exactly that. That and I find the Kelis song mentioned in this post to be the best rage-filled song ever to listen to and sing along with when mad because it has screaming and the words "I hate you so much right now!" in the lyrics, even though my anger isn't the same as the song's rage about being a woman scorned. (Is there a song expressing cathartic rage about nerdier or social issue topics? I NEED THAT SONG)

So I like to read Steve/Tony fic and I was doing my usual reading new fic from the ship LJ comm this week when I came across a certain College!AU fic that well...

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