In which I’m late to the party, but still have things to say.

I’m probably one of the last people in my circle of friends to’ve seen Frozen.  That’s cool, I’m used to it.  For the last 10 years, the only movies I’ve seen in the theatre have had Harry Potter or The Hobbit in the title, or were Quentin Tarantino films.  I’m fine with that, really.

So, Saturday Frozen came out on DVD and my dad got it for the kids.  My 8y/o got it set up upstairs and we had a snack/movie time combo wherein we watched and ate popcorn on the couch instead of our usual snacktime at the table.  The 3y/o was incredibly good for the majority of the movie, shoving popcorn into my mouth because she was sure I was hungry.  It was a lovely late morning/early afternoon.

Over the last several years, it’s become a bit of a custom in our house for me to have the imdb app open on my phone when we watch something for the first time (I know, it is for many of you, too) so that I can read them the trivia or answer who voices certain characters.

I also read the reviews, which is a bad idea as frequently they’re of little use and are essentially longwinded YouTube comments, y’know?

Anyway, this time I read a handful of reviews and ended up ragequitting the app.  Let me tell you why.

(If you’re also tardy to the Frozen party, there will be some spoilery talk from this point on.)

First of all, I read this review:

Once again we have sit through another politically correct, contrived work that Hollywood and it’s biased writers produce these days as comedy and amusement. Once again we have the females at the fore, that in itself I do not have a problem with.

What does stand out in this entire piece of sexist, male-bashing indoctrinating piece of work is the endless, unrelenting “Male-Bashing”. This has got to be the worst so far. If this attitude increases any further, why do they bother writing in any male characters at all because all they do is hold them up to ridicule, abuse (The princess smacks a male just for fun).

Just about every action undertaken by any male in the obnoxious animation is loaded, no, flooded with endless bumbling and incompetent behavior that could only ever be generated by a staff of writers who have determined and specifically designed that entire movie to display and promote it.

Surely we should see the END of this unrelenting and viscous male-bashing that Hollywood has now enshrined into every movie those biased bigots now generate. Surely seeing your Father or Brother of Grandfather being continuously made to look a complete fool is way beyond a joke. It’s viscous, biased, sexist and downright unforgivable. Please vote accordingly. I gave this movie a ONE for that reason. It is sickening.

 

Now, this makes me angry for several reasons.  I have sons (three of them) and two of them watched Frozen with me.  One (the 8y/o) thought it was effing amazing.  He was singing along to Let It Go during the closing credits and asked if we could watch the full length versions of the songs on the videos that were in the Special Features.  He is typically a very boy’s boy sort.  He loves playing racing games and Halo with his older brother.  He’s usually asking for NERF guns for his birthdays now, and all of this is fine.

The 7y/o, on the other hand, thought quite a bit of it was scary. He enjoyed the songs, but was worried when he thought Elsa was turning into the villain.  This is not a startling thought for him to have, as Disney movies frequently portray a woman as the villain of the piece.  He is also into NERF guns and superheroes (my kingdom for the chance to never have to sit through a Toby Maguire Spider-Man movie ever again), but is equally into Lalaloopsy and having tea parties with his little sister.

My point in mentioning these things is to let you know that at no point did my male children feel like this movie was “bashing” them by virtue of having been born with a penis.

IN FACT, the scene the “reviewer” above is mentioning was this one:

 

anna punches hans

And ALL THREE of my kids that were watching the movie cheered along with me.  My 3y/o daughter said “HE GOT A KNUCKLE SANDWICH!” and the 7y/o replied “He sure did.  He deserved it!”

Because he did.  Hans so totally deserved that knuckle sandwich, and I’m glad that even though we don’t advocate violence in our house, they realize that HE was the actual villain of the story (and it was a delightful instance of throwing the usual tropes on their heads, something we don’t typically see in Disney films) and that he should be lucky he got off with just a punch in the nose.

Now, as troubling as I found the above review, I can understand it.  There will always be men out there who think that a strong woman is all about making men look bad.  There are also women who subscribe to the same theory, but whatever.

What I found even more bothersome, which actually had me so upset I was close to crying were the several reviews written by women who knocked stars off their total because ELSA DOESN’T END THE MOVIE WITH A MAN.

But one could even forgive Frozen this, if it wasn’t hindered by a second missed opportunity: It doesn’t give Elsa a love interest, no prince to win her heart, no man to love, who would love her back.

and

It was a huge missed opportunity on the part of Frozen not to give Elsa a love story. Nothing in the world could have been more beautiful than if this character, who spends a lifetime (not to mention most of the movie) utterly alone, would have finally found romantic love. It could have been “the most beautiful love story ever told,” if a prince had finally begun to see past her dangerous side, helped her realize her goodness of heart, and shown her the romantic love that she’s been denied her whole life (which, at the age of 21, would be an aching longing for her indeed).

wait what mal

I don’t…

I srsly can’t even with this.  Here I was all excited and applaudy because we’ve got another Disney princess (like Merida) who doesn’t need a man/relationship to make her happy, and people are complaining about it.  Aren’t we supposed to be teaching our daughters that they don’t NEED a relationship to be happy and fulfilled?  Aren’t we supposed to be letting them know that the keys to their happiness lie inside?

Then why are we getting all pissy cos a princess ends a movie happy on her own?

 

Comics vs Graphic Novels (or, This is Why I’m Currently Punching You in the Junk)

By now you are probably aware that I have strong opinions about…well, pretty much everything. This includes the terminology people use for their reading material.

I see a lot of people using the terms comic and graphic novel interchangeably and this bugs the shit out of me. Is it technically correct? I guess. But words HAVE MEANINGS, and I’mma teach you the proper way to use these terms today to avoid being on the receiving end of an internet cock/boxpunch from me.

cockpunch

Okay, so.  Is the book you’re reading:

  • Floppy and bound in the center with staples?  This one is easy.  That’s a comic (fucking dur, amirite?).
  • A large paperback or hardback collecting five or more issues of a monthly (or whatever the publication schedule) series?  Guess what?  THAT IS A COMIC.  Yes, it can also be referred to as a Trade Paperback or Compendium or Collection or Anthology, BUT it is still a COMIC.
  • A self-contained story with a set end that is NOT part of a larger overall arc?  That is a graphic novel.

If I hear ONE MORE PERSON talk about how they’re “reading the Walking Dead graphic novels” I’m going to lose my goddamn mind.

THAT SHIT IS A COMIC.

And just because you’re too much of a pretentious douchebalrog to admit you’re reading COMICS doesn’t make it any less a comic.

Now, maybe you’re not calling it that because you’re an asshole at all.  Maybe you just didn’t know.

Maybe this is what you’ve always heard people refer to them as.

All right, that’s fine.  It pains me, but that’s fine.

But now you know the difference.

To sum up:  Know your terminology and I won’t have to lose my shit.

TWD

maus

chew

ny4

sandman comic

twilight

No one wants to play with your ball. Take it and go home.

Chances are good you missed the drama this evening.

Or, according to my twitter feed, you missed it (if you’re not one of the five people involved in the discussion).

I’m not going to name names (but my replies are all still in my twitter feed if you want to check them out), but what happened was that my girl Susie was set upon by someone who found her twitter handle offensive.

Now, you know that Susie started the Insatiable Booksluts blog, and that her twitter name is @thebooksluts, right?

I have always found the name of the blog to be hilarious and irreverent and a way to make “slut” not such a bad thing.  Being slutty for books?  THAT IS THE MOST FABULOUS.  And I thought that before we were friends and LONG before I began contributing over there.

So, basically what we have here is someone who told us we’re bad feminists because we use the word “slut.”

you_are_doing_it_wrong

I told her it was probably for the best that she missed Cunt Week (and I’m being supersrs here, it’s prolly a good thing she missed it, or her head might have exploded), and then this whole thing kind of blew up (which, let’s be srs, I was hoping would happen when I baited her with that line) into us being told that we’re kind of wrecking the future by using such misogynist language.

Now.

I have strong feelings about this.

When I was a kid, I was allowed to speak however I wanted at home, as long as I watched my mouth in public.

I was told that words only have the power you give them.

This is what I’m teaching my children.

Whatever other problems I have with my mother, the only word I ever saw make her cry was when her now ex-husband called her a “dumb cunt.”

I won’t let that word hurt me.

I won’t let the word slut hurt me.

I won’t let being called a twat, or a bitch or any other gender related pejorative hurt me.

Because I own them.

I am a total bitch.

I’m a bookslut.

I’m a cunt.

And I hope my daughter grows up knowing that these are just words.

And that they can’t hurt her any more than I’ve allowed them to hurt me.

So, yeah – maybe our terminology is offensive, but don’t tell me we don’t have the right to take these words back.

Fuck you.

WTF do I call this, anyway?

So, I read Megan Abbott’s upcoming The Fever on Saturday (it was SO. GOOD. but isn’t out til June, so you have to wait for my review) and then hopped around online reading other early reviews for it while it was still buzzing around in my brain. Turned out to be a bad idea, cos I kinda became a shouty (which autocorrect just changed to snouty and now I can’t stop laughing) ragemonster.

It was for the same reason I became a shouty ragemonster after reading reviews for Abbott’s Dare Me last fall.

People didn’t like it because they went in expecting a typical YA novel, and their expectations weren’t met because it WASN’T YA. Just because a book’s protagonist has not yet reached the age of majority does NOT make said book young adult reading.

I ranted to Kat about it via DM for at least an hour, then texted Heather about it cos I remembered she’d had an ARC of Dare Me and SHE told me that the promo materials MADE IT OUT TO BE YA.

Um…?

the dudeSo then I went off on a tangential rant (this was a long, shitty, ranty weekend, I’ll tell you what) about how I fucking hate when the marketing people put books in the hands of THE WRONG READERS because they’re trying to move more books. This happened with The Flame Alphabet, which was made out to be some fast-paced thriller, but was actually nothing at all like the blurb made it out to be.

Luckily, Heather is good at getting my rants back on track cos after I paused in my Poor Ben Marcus spiel (to give my thumbs a break), she said:

Okay. So what IS YA, then?

And I had to pause again, because it wasn’t a question I had an immediate answer for. I considered being all Potter Stewart-y and just answering “Well, I know it when I see it,” but that feels wrong somehow.

Instead, I said “idk. But I’mma crowdsource this bitch.”

And that’s what I’m doing now.

What makes a book YA for you?

Personally, I think it has more to do with pacing and Bildungsroman-y elements than with the age of the characters, but I’m willing to concede that I may be wrong here.

Help me figure this out.

Team Go Fuck Yourself, We’re Eagles

So, I was reading this book earlier today (I know, shocker, right?) and even though it was annoying me with weird repetitiveness, I was totally ready to let that stuff go (kinda) until I read this:

WRONG

GODDAMNIT, THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED.

And then I had an epic fit of nerdrage that was barely contained totally not contained at all, not even a little before it was time to start writing this post.

Listen.

sam is tired of your shit

  1. “Hur, dur, it’s a PLOT HOLE!”  Yeah, okay.  Let’s say it IS  a plot hole.  Let’s assume that Frodo could’ve just hopped on the Gwaihir Express direct to fucking Mordor from The Shire.  Okay.  That leaves us with approximately 40 pages of book.  Fun!  Except not.
  2. It’s been said before, but THE EAGLES ARE NOT A TAXI SERVICE.  You know what they are?  They’re the eyes and ears of Manwë, fucking KING OF THE VALAR (the Valar are essentially demi-gods, shit, keep up).  Now we know this for suresies, but Tolkien also speculated that they MIGHT be Maiar (lesser gods, like MOTHERFUCKING GANDALF) in bird form.  Oh, you want to ask your brother to give a friend a goddamn piggy back ride for almost 1100 miles?  Mmmmhmmm.
    Yeah, no.

    Yeah, no.

     

  3. ELEVEN HUNDRED MILES  You saw that, right?  (btw, click that link up there, it’ll take you to Eric’s blog where he’s traveling from The Shire to Mt Doom on an elliptical machine – it’s totally worth it)  So, idk how fast a great eagle flies, sorry.  But I do know that a bald eagle can reach speeds of up to 75mph (source) HOWEVER, we have to keep in mind that the eagles would be bearing both Ring and Ring-bearer, so they prolly couldn’t travel faster than 35mph or so without there being a hobbit wreck of some sort.
    ring-laden eagleOkay, so doing that math, that puts them at ~31 hours flying direct with no stops.  NOT POSSIBLE, but even if it were, there’s no fucking way they could fly the entire length of Middle-earth without being spotted by a single one of Sauron’s scouts.  Imfuckingpossible.
  4. They can’t just DROP the One Ring into the volcano. NONONONONO.  They specifically have to take the Ring to Sammath Naur (which holds the Cracks of Doom [still makes me giggle, cos I'm a 12y/o boy]) where the Ring was forged.  Given the size of the Great Eagles, there’s no way one could fit into the Chambers of Fire, so they’d have to land and wait for the Ring-bearer to go toss that shit in.  LIKE NO ONE IS GOING TO NOTICE A GREAT EAGLE JUST HANGING OUT IN MORDOR.
  5. Shut up.  See the title of this post and below.
    Boromir is also sick of your shit

Oh, and this happened:

dean

dean2