Monday, August 1, 2011

Get Your Square Peg Outta My Round Hole, Thanks

If someone had asked me in the last few weeks what is a major threat to America's cultural and social stability, I'd have naively pointed out the shenanigans with our Congress deciding whether it's a good or bad idea to send the message to our upcoming generations that whether one should pay one's bills or not is a responsible soliloquy.  Watching some of the floor speeches in the Senate today does not give me any great amount of confidence in our fearless leaders.

Why are they fearless? They're stupid, and I'm fairly certain several of them are hung over. I've always been convinced all legislation is a Monday or Friday effort. For the younger readers, you'll learn that Friday workers have getting drunk later that day on their minds. Monday workers are just hungover or still fairly drunk. These aren't ideal conditions.  Anyway, several members of our more deliberative chamber of the Congress (the Senate) are unaware that the debt ceiling has nothing whatever to do with authorizing the taking on of more debt. It is a Constitutional gambit where our adult politicians tell the Secretary of the Treasury that he may cut checks to pay the tab on things we've already bought.  Failing to raise the debt ceiling simply means we default on our loans.

The government doesn't get to declare bankruptcy such as I'm aware.

Anyway, I'd have been wrong. Dead wrong. Well, undead wrong I suppose is more apt.  Novelists and movie producers are the death knell.  Apparently, our fiction writers aren't taking sufficient stock of how to write good fiction according to a certain harebrained feminista of skepchick notoriety.  Yes, if you're a fiction writer, do me a favor and make all of your characters plastic and unrealistic by ensuring that you see no continuum of personalities in the universe.

All women characters you miracle into being have to be just so, else you've severely damaged women everywhere. It's not as though on a planet of some 7,000,000,000 people there might exist one or two women who are, you know, emotionally under-developed as teenagers. It's not as though some might lack confidence or a good sense of self worth.

And maybe I’m spoiled by the Hermione Grangers and Eowyns of the past few years.   But I’ve come to expect more from female characters.   It really bothers me that this movie depicts a girl who falls in love within days and then proceeds to spend the rest of the movie supressing [sic] everything about herself for this boy.   And the worst part is that this is considered as a ‘happy ending’ for her.

No. This will simply not do. All women at all times are strong, and your writing should reflect that. Stop fucking up my society by having characters who have different shades of flaws and weaknesses. Please. Do not make characters dynamic; allow not for growth, since one can, of course, run into running. That crawl, walk, run shit is only for other people - not the women in any of your books. Please, please, please stop writing characters that develop and mature.  I know it's fiction you're writing, but I can only suspend disbelief for so long.

Oh, and Congress, get off your ass and stop piddling around with inconsequential issues like unfucking our economy. We have imaginary people running rampant inside book covers. They're ruining everything.

Turns out I didn't have to write any of this.  A strong feminist answered this profoundly stupid literary critic several years before her stupidity was even dreamed up.  Fuck, I really am starting to think Miss Cleo was onto something more than fraud.

Here's the rebuttal circa 2007.  Oddly, four years to the day tomorrow . . . fucking prescience right there.


Copyleft said...

The olden days of relentless, ignorant stereotyping were indeed a problem. What the "strong female" demands are wishing for, however, is only Stage Two of the acceptance process.

Stage One is making ignorant, negative cliche characters as a matter of course. Stage Two is making nothing but "positive role models" out of a newly-found sense of shame and guilt.

Remember how many "positive," squeaky-clean, do-no-wrong black characters cropped up in 60s and 70s TV? That's Stage Two. Remember the fawning over "Will & Grace" for showing an openly gay character in a positive light? Stage Two.

Stage Three is where the REAL progress happens, though. That's when minority characters are shown to be just as flawed as anybody else. Not perfect, not magical... just real. Selfish, shortsighted, lazy, what-have-you. Once the compulsion to make apology characters goes away, you can start treating people as Just Folks.

Having "strong female characters" is still special handling. Having FLAWED, fully HUMAN female characters is what true equality looks like.

Justicar said...

I've always been annoyed by gay people who say we're your doctors and lawyers and teachers and friends. Yes, we are that. We are also your muggers, drug addicts, drunk drivers and assholes.

Turns out being gay isn't a magical immunity to being a douchenozzle. We're just like everyone else.

Gay marriage? Sure. Why should the straights be the only ones to suffer marriage? Make us miserable too!

ERV said...

I feel my feelings about 'Twilight' are best described from a scene from the timeless 1999 'South Park' episode, 'Chinpokomon'. *ahem*

Sharon: Randy, we cant allow our son to watch this stuff!

Randy: Well, its not like its vulgar or violent.

Sharon: No, but its incredibly stupid, and that could be worse on a childs mind than any vulgarity or violence.


Justicar said...

Gosh, how gauche a dismissal. I mean, goodness gracious, just not liking is so bohemian. Dismiss not a stupid story on the grounds it's stupid; nay, dismiss it after inventing a stupid reason to argue it's stupid.

It's not as though, say, reading this series with my three girls provides me an opportunity to discuss character traits, to include their flaws, and thus provide me a segue into healthy ways one should entertain viewing herself.

No. Heaven forbid that teenagers have dialogue with their parents about literature and then, you know, the parent type people get a free pass at discussing otherwise awkward-to-teenager-to-bring-up issue by having the discussion metaphorically in regards to an imaginary person.

Meh. What the hell do I know about literature though?

John C. Welch said...

My big beef about twiight is that it's really, really shitty writing. Fecal. Brown and stinky. not even a properly formed turd, but the kind of spray you get when it feels like your ass is taking a piss.

Brown shitty bowel-water. That's Stephanie Meyer's writing to me.

The rest of it...meh. The stalking = love thing is annoying, but fuck, if anyone wants to believe stupid shit, I say let them, and give me their info, Ima make money off 'em.

Justicar said...

Well, Twilight and I have had a longstanding agreement: it doesn't talk about me to its friends, and I'll do the same. In fact, if we meet in public we've agreed to pretend to not know on another.

Knowing that skepchick has taken it to task as a threat to society kind of makes me feel like I should pretend to Twilight's friend out of principle.

Seriously, a writer inks a shitty story with an annoying character and this is a threat? My girls are somehow able to read the series and fail to turn into doting, desperate shadows.

Of course, when we read books, we *talk* about them and their elements and characters and I let the girls just pick apart the players.

Two words for you, skepchick: active. reading.