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via http://ift.tt/2gaaglr:
humanbeanisnotamused:

alltheladiesyouhate:

do you ever watch something and think “this was written by a man”

i was up late night watching an episode of criminal minds fairly recently, for lack of a better thing to do. in the opening scene there are these two girls getting into their car in like a supermarket parking lot, not very well lit, in the middle of the night. another car drives up right behind theirs and won’t move out of the way so this one girl is like “im gonna go see what this guy’s problem is” and gets out of the car, in a poorly lit parking lot, to confront a man who was behaving aggressively to them.

so that was the precise moment i realised that episode was written by a man.

Books too. I mean, GRRM is a great author and usually is very good at writing women, but sometimes he just has a line and suddenly Daenarys Targaryen is a sixty something short fat bloke in drag.
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So, I’m currently making my way through Howey’s silo series. I just finished Shift, and it was… okay. There was some win, there was some fail (Anna was some misogynist nightmare, I swear), but the thing that really pissed me off was when Howey dragged the Holocaust into the conversation.

Now, I’m not going to say the inclusion was not warranted, when you’re talking about the annihilation of all but a few hundred thousand people, comparisons to genocides are perfectly valid. No, I dread whenever someone brings up the Holocaust because it’s either going to be a) trite, or b) entirely inaccurate.

Now, Howey managed to dodge most of a) but fucked up wildly with b). Firstly, Donald? You are not an inmate. You are an SS who honestly both didn’t know what he was doing and had no real way of knowing. It sucks, but it’s still kinda your fault. I did love the ‘it was not bad men who did this, it was an evil system’ and that fact that Shift explores how people who work in an evil system can so easily become corrupted without even knowing. Though Donald is still fighting, he’s still pretty much beyond redemption.

But there was one bit that absolutely pissed me off, because it shows that Howey didn’t do even a basic google reseach. There’s a bit where our reluctant proto-SS Donald remembers a photo from a concentration camp of a man driving a bulldozer which is shoving along a huge pile of corpses. Now, my degree was apparently good for something because I not only knew the photo, I could bring it up in my mind immediately. Which is why it pissed me off that Howey followed the reference with Donald thinking of how the man driving the bulldozer was clearly not bothered by what he was doing, that ‘it was just another job to him’.

Now, I had a hunch that Howey got so far the wrong end of stick that he was in another tree altogether, so I looked it up. Here’s the photo.

image

It’s from Bergen-Belsen, taken in April 1945. Do you see the problem? I do. Belsen was liberated in April 1945. That guy driving the bulldozer? Is a British soldier. And I’m pretty sure I can guarantee he wasn’t having a good day.

Howey didn’t even bother googling the picture. Because I did, and that was the first link I found.

*slow clap*

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But of all the various film slated for a remake that we are bewailing, why isn't Watership Down one of them? I think the fil is great, but every time I watch it I get the feeling that I'm watching the book on fast forward. This is a film that's begging for someone to take it and give it a proper, Lord of the Rings style adaptation in two or more films. One film, not matter how loyal and beautifully animated, is just not enough to do more than scratch the surface of this incredible book.
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Going on the example of this book, I think I'd be better off sticking to fanfiction, if this is an example of pastiches. I wanted to get out a big red pen and start annotating 'stop summarising the original' 'stop stealing lines form the original' 'for god's sake do something about the characterisation' and 'this plot makes no sense'.


Cut for spoilers )
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The gamers here might be aware of a game called S.T.A.L.K.E.R. They might not know that it was originally a film, called Stalker. Those who know this might not know that the film was originally a book, called Roadside Picnic (actually called something untypable because it was originally Russian and this keyboard doesn't do cyrillic).

By my still somewhat limitied exposure to all three types of media, THEY ARE ALL AWESOME.

I watched the film when I was something like fifteen, and I don't remember much except the intro and the vague feeling that I was watching something so incredible I couldn't take it all in. If you want to see what arthouse cinema can do when put in the hands of utter geniuses, watch Stalker. The entire film is run on atmosphere. Something like 75% of the film takes place in what looks like an old WW2 battlefield (for all I know, it was an old WW2 battlefield, the film was shot in 1979) just grass, bits of old tanks, and old buildings.

It is utterly alien, terrifying and generally all around worse than Galactus, Cthuhlu and three Reapers rolled into one. That is how good this film's atmosphere is. A fairly basic outdoor scene is made utterly otherworldly, and I can't pinpoint how it was done.

This is defintiely one of those films which to either get and spend your time in drooling awe, or don't, and wonder what the fuss is about, becuase if the atmosphere doesn't work for you, then it's pretty boring and nonsensical.

Also, for added creepiness, if you've seen the film, it's got a clear Chenobyl feel to it. In fact, one of the games was in fact called 'call of Chenobyl'. The film was made before Chenobyl.
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So, after Victory of Eagles, I was less then enthusiastic about the lastest installment in the Temeraire series, Tongues of Serpents. Another boat-trip, this time to Australia, woo-hoo. I had no interest in it (Harry Potter burnt me enough I didn't want to see another beloved series slide down shit hill), and it sat on my shelf until last month, when I decided I felt like a bit of fantasy, and I might as well see if it was any good.


Cut for Spoilers )
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Apparently there's goign to be a Lone Wolf PC game out in 2013. Now, that's a long time, but fucking hell I've been waiting for that game since I picked up Flight From the Dark in 1999. A few months later I found Shadows on the Sand in a used book fair. Then a few months later I was as jammy as a fucking jammy thing and found the last four Second Gen books (those four together would net £200 easy). Then... nothing. I looked everywhere, I would have given a lot, a lot for these books and to find what would happen next and how I would defeat the terrible Darklords. Then I discovered Ebay and, several months and many hundreds of pound poorer, I finally had completed my collection. All 28 books of it.

Then (as it goes) the rights were bought again by mongoose publishing, where I ended up interning and got to proof read the new edition of book 11. And now I'm playing Skyrim with Lone Wolf, and I WANT THIS GODDAMN GAME.

Thank you.
skull_bearer: (Default)
Apparently there's goign to be a Lone Wolf PC game out in 2013. Now, that's a long time, but fucking hell I've been waiting for that game since I picked up Flight From the Dark in 1999. A few months later I found Shadows on the Sand in a used book fair. Then a few months later I was as jammy as a fucking jammy thing and found the last four Second Gen books (those four together would net £200 easy). Then... nothing. I looked everywhere, I would have given a lot, a lot for these books and to find what would happen next and how I would defeat the terrible Darklords. Then I discovered Ebay and, several months and many hundreds of pound poorer, I finally had completed my collection. All 28 books of it.

Then (as it goes) the rights were bought again by mongoose publishing, where I ended up interning and got to proof read the new edition of book 11. And now I'm playing Skyrim with Lone Wolf, and I WANT THIS GODDAMN GAME.

Thank you.
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There was an article in the Guardian about Roald Dahl today, apparently it's been 50 years since his first children's book, James and the Giant Peach, was published. It also seemed to be a moment for everyone to start bashing him, which bewildered me.

I grew up, like just about every British kid my age, with Roald Dahl. His stories were dark, twisted and clever. In many ways they have more in common with fairy tales and fables than, say, the Babysitter's Club. Larger than life characters, winning through trickery over brute strength, vicious, filthy, monsterous bad guys (dear lord were they awesome). Dahl had a knack of getting into the minds of kids and playing to how we saw the world: huge, confusing, and filled with people we'd love to see get their just deserts.
Cut for long and ranty )
So yeah, rant-rant-rantedy-rant. Leave my childhood alone.
skull_bearer: (Default)
There was an article in the Guardian about Roald Dahl today, apparently it's been 50 years since his first children's book, James and the Giant Peach, was published. It also seemed to be a moment for everyone to start bashing him, which bewildered me.

I grew up, like just about every British kid my age, with Roald Dahl. His stories were dark, twisted and clever. In many ways they have more in common with fairy tales and fables than, say, the Babysitter's Club. Larger than life characters, winning through trickery over brute strength, vicious, filthy, monsterous bad guys (dear lord were they awesome). Dahl had a knack of getting into the minds of kids and playing to how we saw the world: huge, confusing, and filled with people we'd love to see get their just deserts.
Cut for long and ranty )
So yeah, rant-rant-rantedy-rant. Leave my childhood alone.

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