And Yet

25/3/16 00:27
taste_is_sweet: (My OTP has issues)
So, Empire Online posted this thing about how Captain America: Civil War is a love story but Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes are not boyfriends (Which I found out via this Tumblr post originally by YouNeedToStrut). For those of you who aren't into links, the Empire post by Phil De Semlyen talks about how director Joe Russo refers to Civil War as a brotherly love story, saying:

"These are two guys who grew up together, and so they have that same emotional connection to each other as brothers would, and even more so because Bucky was all Steve had growing up."

Now, I made my own post about that whole 'Brotherly' thing back in February, generally going on the assumption that the Russos were madly trying to avoid a mass homosexual freakout. And then Sebastian Stan said this:

"I think it’s easy and generalising [sic] it to say that they’re lovers, when you’re forgetting that one has a lot of guilt because he swore to be the protector of the other, the father figure or older brother so to speak, and then left him behind." Adds the actor: "I have no qualms with it but I think people like to see it much more as a love story than it actually is. It's brotherhood to me."

Here's the thing. He's not wrong, and the Tumblr post I mentioned above has some thoughtful discussions on that fact. I know for myself that even way back in my Star Trek: Enterprise fandom days, I would occasionally wonder if we slashers were devaluing male friendship by interpreting the male characters' chemistry as romantic so much of the time. And I'm certainly aware that friends can love each other platonically.

And yet, I'm just so freaking disappointed.

It doesn't matter to me that the Russos' Word of God is that Bucket and Steeb are only friends. I'm used to creators overlooking or blindly ignoring aspects of their own work, especially when it veers towards territory they're uncomfortable with. Given what I've seen of Disney properties, it seems reasonable that even if the Russos were all over the Stucky like Red on Johann Schmidt, the mouse paying them would never, ever go for it.

But this is Sebastian Stan, who has played gay characters before and is actually playing Steve's long-lost whatever now. And if the actual actor who made Bucky Barnes live for us says Bucky and Steve are bros, not lovers, then...Then it's true. Then my wanting to see their relationship as anything other than that feels wrong. Illegitimate. Not a reinterpretation of canon, but a desperate scrabbling for something that never existed.

It's weird. I shipped Danny Williams and Steve McGarrett even when Hawaii 5-0 kept throwing women at Steve like spaghetti at a wall. In Stargate: Atlantis, I happily wrote around the cannon Rodney McKay/Jennifer Keller relationship to keep him with John Sheppard. I love Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton shacking up even though they were both with other people in Age of Ultron (then again, I ignore a lot of things about Age of Ultron). But Sebastian Stan calls No Homo and suddenly I feel like a kid sneaking porn.

I wanted his approval, damn it. Not for me or my fic, because that's pathetic and creepy. But for the possibility that went into the fic. I wanted him to say, 'sure, that's cool,' and instead I got condemnation.

Maybe it is overly facile to see romance where there's only deep affection. Maybe we (female) writers are just picking out nonexistent subtext for all the same varied reasons we enjoy slash in general. Maybe we're just seeing what's not intended to be there, because we've been trained to (I urge you to read this brilliant essay on that subject). Maybe an actor's opinion about the character he plays shouldn't carry more weight than my own, but it feels heavier all the same.

This issue is that, as a writer who also writes fanfic, I'm always fighting the sense that my hobby is illicit; that I'm furtively dabbling where I don't belong. Allowing myself to do what I do is hard enough, without the knowledge that one of the actors who inspired it wouldn't accept my perception of his work. The fancy of tacit approval, no matter how spurious, is far more liberating than the certainty of its opposite. And honestly, I was expecting the guy who made his career playing troubled, gay sons to not reject the thought of a gay romance out of hand. Maybe seeing a romance in every love story is generalizing and easy, but that didn't mean he had to make it difficult.

The two seconds of the film wherein Bucky is happy
taste_is_sweet: (Please be Advised)
I'm just going to say it: this post has no redeeming social value whatsoever, and is entirely AmyCat's and foxfireflamequeen's fault. Because blaming people is fun.

It's their fault because FoxFire said I should watch the 2015 Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie, which I'd wanted to do anyway. But still. And AmyCat asked me if it was any good.

Yes, AmyCat, it was good. Not going to lie, though. The best part of the movie is this guy:

Plus, he's tall enough to see space.
Looks like a cinnamon roll; will actually kill you

Meet Illya Kuryakin, as played by Armie Hammer with those big, soulful eyes. He has an admirable work ethic and breathtaking anger management issues, as perfectly illustrated in his and Napoleon Solo's (played by Henry Cavill) first conversation.



In short, he is an absolute, giant bae. This is almost literally the conversation I had with my husband while watching that scene in the cafe:

Me: I had no idea Henry Cavill was that hot.

Husband: That's Armie Hammer. Henry Cavill's the other one.

Me: The hot one is Armie Hammer?

It was a reasonable error, because Henry Cavill is blandly good looking and I'd only seen Armie Hammer when he was blandly good looking in The Lone Ranger, where he was upstaged by Johnny Depp and a horse. Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger was fine. Pleasant. I'd go so far as to say not unattractive. But definitely nothing to write home about. Pretty much like the entire Lone Ranger movie.

Illya, however, has an accent, painful backstory and mental health concerns. And he doesn't lose fights. Ever. He's perfect.






Yes, in the second one you saw him push a motorcycle frame off himself, then carry it down a hill and throw it at someone. That's not his only super power either. In the beginning of the movie, Illya dodges bullets (as you do), runs down Solo's car on foot and then rips the trunk hood off with his bare hands. But it was the motorcycle-toss that got me thinking. Specifically about this guy:



And especially this one:



Here's the thing--it never made sense for me that the KGB/Red Room/Hydra would only create one Winter Soldier, or stop trying to perfect their version of the Super Soldier serum after it worked on Bucky Barnes. Even if you go with Bucky having global amnesia when the Russians find him (as in the comics), they go to a hell of a lot of trouble with building a memory erasing machine just for one guy. And we know from season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that there's more than one way to skin a cat make someone happy to comply via brainwashing.

So I've decided that Illya Kuryakin is another Winter Soldier.

Oh, for sure he's not in the same league. He's not about to walk off bridges or kick guys into jet engines. But unlike the original, Illya can act like an ordinary human, albeit one with extraordinary talents, because he has memories. The Winter Soldier is the ruthless, unstoppable stuff of nightmares because he's more a weapon than a man. Illya Kuryakin is one of the best spies the Soviet Union ever produced, because he's still a person. He can work in a team; he can have emotional ties; he doesn't have to stay in the shadows like a ghost. And if he risks falling out of his programming, all his handlers have to do is kindle a reset via psychotic episode, by reminding him of his shameful family history. A family history that of course never actually happened.

And if that doesn't work, there's always the chair.

The canon fits beautifully, as far as I'm concerned. Illya and Bucky are even around the same age, give or take one of them being frozen for a few years. I can easily imagine the Winter Soldier training Illya. I can certainly imagine the two of the becoming friends. That is, as long as they could remember each other. Because there is no part of the Winter Soldier's history that isn't tragic. Then again, even without Hydra and the Red Room, Illya's story is pretty tragic too. And fandom can't ever have too many tragic super powered Russians, am I right?

I'm totally right.
Burned not-actually Russian cinnamon rolls who will kill you

taste_is_sweet: (Run Bucky Run!)
Back in September, the YouTube Channel Honest Trailers did an 'honest trailer' for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I didn't know about it because I never really know about anything until it appears on my Tumblr dash (yes, I have a Tumblr account! Come be my friend!), but I saw the fake trailer and read the nifty Daily Dot article that went with it.



The nifty part is how the Russo bros are not only fans of Honest Trailers, but specifically made sure the movie wouldn't have any plot holes for Screen Junkies (who run the channel) to make fun of. Now, HT found a couple anyway, because that's what they do. But mostly, because of the Russo's diligence and paying attention to their own goddamn script, the parody actually praises the film.

For comparison, Age of Ultron didn't come off nearly so well, though the Screen Junkies were admittedly sympathetic with all the different threads Joss Whedon had been forced to pull on when he made it.

The thing is, though, why don't more producers and directors (and studios, for that matter, since they all ostensibly work together) do this? Making sure your film doesn't have enough plot holes to give a parody channel much to work with seems like a no-brainer. Hell, I try like hell to avoid plot holes whenever I write anything, and I'd love to be famous enough for my work to be parodied to thousands of viewers.

Well, okay, maybe not. But the point is that one of the big things I worry about with my own plots is what I call 'internal logic', which is just making sure that all the elements in the story make sense. I know that some films have that harder than others, especially when, say, setting up three different future plots at the same time the way AoU had to (Captain America: Civil War, Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War, though I still could've done with less Hulk fighting Iron Man and more justification for his out of the blue relationship with Black Widow).

But that's Age of Ultron. I don't think, for example, that Green Lantern necessarily had that issue. But it's internal logic was so poor, it ended up with a lot of other issues.



A lot of other issues.

Mrow!

17/10/15 19:55
taste_is_sweet: (He is a Ghost)
Promo picture courtesy of the awesome Taibhrigh
kotik_promo3

The fic goes up on October 23!

Read an excerpt here.

taste_is_sweet: (Totally Tasty!)
---This is hilarious because it makes perfect sense.

---You buy pants and a 'SSR' tee-shirt just so you can dress your kid like this for FanExpo Canada:

(He's trying to 'look weak' as pre-serum Steve Rogers, not actually sulking.)
I wish my mommy was like other parents

Even though the kid is not a MCU fan. (Isn't that why we have kids, though? To dress them up in adorable costumes?)

---You're going to FanExpo Canada, even though you live in Texas.

---You're hoping to get a picture of your kid dressed as Skinny!Steve with Hayley Atwell.

---You spend most of your Sunday making a magnetic shield harness and impulse-buy foam weapons so your kid can also be a 'Dragonslayer' at FanExpo Canada.

That foam shield you can barely see is attached to the re-purposed martial arts belt with magnets. Because I am just that obsessive good.
I did not make the tabbard. Or the necklace. Or the foam weapons. (I did make the child)

As you've probably guessed, I'll be in Canada until September 8, getting my geek on at the FanExpo. I'll try to remember to take pictures.

taste_is_sweet: (Captain America)
I seem to have a severe problem with bobbleheads.

You may think I'm kidding, Best-Beloveds, but it's true. Read on and weep with me.

My sad saga of sadness (and bobbles) starts but a few months ago, inspired by my dear friend [livejournal.com profile] brumeier's request for Captain America and Winter Soldier bobbleheads for her birthday.

Bru has a picture of the two star-crossed lovers long-lost friends here, along with Thor and Deadpool. Aren't they adorable with their little soulless black button eyes? Of course they are. So I decided to get my own.

They didn't have Steve and Bucky at my local Target, so I got a couple of mini-bobbles in 'blind boxes', which means you don't know who you're getting until you open the box. Like Schrodinger's Cat, only six bucks and plastic.

The first one I got was Thor, who'd been out of his blind box for about two seconds when my darling son grabbed him and twisted his head. To see what would happen, I think.

Well, mommy got pretty fucking peeved, that's what happened. Jav tried to fix Thor, but all the twisting in the world couldn't make him stop looking right.

Tis a bird! Tis a plane! Tis Iron Man!

Only somewhat daunted, I got Vision. He's very fuchsia, and was looking right straight out of the box. At least he's more subtle about it.

Fascinating

Of course, what I really wanted was Steve and Bucky, so I ordered them from Amazon. Steve came this evening. And came out of the box looking left. I tried to fix it, and this is what happened.

Bucky!

And this is all three of them together:

I wonder what it is over there

I love how Vision's more subtle about his gawking, whereas Thor doesn't care who knows what he's looking at. And Steve of course is just looking for Bucky.

I'm a little worried about getting the Bucky bobblehead at this point. On the other hand, he'll probably actually be looking straight ahead; he's always been the contrary one.
taste_is_sweet: (Boom Baby!)
Pretty much all of us know what February 14 is, but did you know that February 15th is International Fanworks Day?

Well, you do now! And if you don't, or hate clicking links (it could happen), IFD is a creation of the Organization for Transformative Works, who are the lovely people who gave us the Archive of Our Own, among many other things. But currently relevant to my interests is their IFD Drabble Challenge.

The rules are simple: On February 15, post a drabble/drawble/short vid/another media format about your favorite character(s) getting fannish over something. Because of course they would. Does Draco Malfoy secretly ship Snarry? Does Clint Barton admire Oliver Queen? (I'm sure they'd totally be bros.)

I've got a drabble all set to go, and so does my buddy [livejournal.com profile] brumeier. I hope you guys will play too. And if you do, please comment here with a link so I can read it.

Come on, FListies! Write about your beloved characters as the fangirls and boys we all know they secretly are. I'll love you eleventy (which is far greater than three).
taste_is_sweet: (Boom Baby!)
It's been nearly two months since my last personal LJ post, O, Best-Beloveds, which means I've spectacularly failed my New Year's Resolutions. (I did, however, post at least once a week to [livejournal.com profile] ushobwri for NaNoWriMo, but you need to be a member to read them. They were awesome though, just saying. And you should totally become a member if you haven't already. Seriously, all the cool kids are doing it.)

However, even if I haven't been posting anything here, I've still been doing, stuff like a stuff-doing thing, let me tell you. Baking giant chocolate-chip cookies, for example. And writing my gift-fic for the final Stargate: Atlantis Secret Santa Gift Fic Exchange ever. ::sniffle:: (Posting for that starts on the 14th, and the marvelous mods will be asking for more pitch-hitters imminently. JUST THROWING THAT OUT THERE.)

I also finished and posted my epic Captain America/My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic crossover of epicness for the [livejournal.com profile] intoabar community! (I posted about it here, and it was epic.)

Bucky and Steve are not, actually, ponies. But I did manage to turn a cracky premise into nearly 40,000 words of angst, because that's how I trot roll. I'm actually quite proud of it, so I hope you might give it a read if improbable fanfiction crossovers are your thing. (The Archive of our Own collection of Intoabar fics is here, if you're interested. And you should be, because the world needs more Hawaii 5-0/Teen Wolf fics like burning.)

Only With the Heart as the CA/MLP fic is called, also fills the 'Invisibility' square of my Hurt/Comfort Bingo Card, which you may note I've been killing this year, Sweetpeas. Or at least hurting quite badly with comforting afterwards. Heh.

Last but not least, I've been mainlining YouTube vids. This is one of my current favorites:

And there goes another $1.29 to iTunes, Oh, la la.

So, yeah, totally stuffy, or something. And always happy to give. I'm a giver. <3

Do you Lovelies have anything to share and/or crow about for me? I'll bet you do, Chickadees! And after all, it's the holidays and sharing is caring (Oh, la la).

taste_is_sweet: (Pony!Bucky)
Yes, I admit it: I write fanfiction. Which is a surprise to absolutely no one here whatsoever. (It's all written with joy and love and is only intended as an admiring homage and etc. etc. etc. please don't sue.)

So, since I've just outed myself as a fanficcer to absolutely nobody, I might as well tell you that I just signed up at the Into A Bar Community on Live Journal. And let me tell you, it will be epic.

Or chocolate and misery!
Best! Day! Ever!

This is how it works:

1) Choose a fandom character. They'll be going into a bar (or bar-ish environment), and they'll meet...
2) Another character from one of the other fandoms you've listed, which the community mods will choose via dice, dart-throwing, Ouja board, etc.
3) You make something about the meeting.

I am, of course, all about the epic, so naturally my walk-in is Bucky Barnes. And one of the fandoms I listed is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Now, I know what you're thinking--how could such an obvious pairing have never come up before? Because Captain America and MLP fit together like peanut butter and jelly, right? Or macaroni and cheese.

"That little guy from Ponyville, who was too dumb not to trot away from a fight. I'm following him."
Kid from Brooklyn

After all, MLP is all about the magic of friendship. And Steve and Bucky's friendship is nothing if not magical. And epic.

Steve would be a sickly little Earth Pony, who would come into his full Clydesdale size and strength after the serum. And he'd be plan brown. Like, the only MLP in existence that looks like a regular pony. Except for the red, white and blue shield on his butt.

And Bucky is Rainbow Dash.

"Ready to go to my certain death, sir!"
Rainbow Dash salute

(Only male, and dark blue and burgundy. Because yes, I have spent time thinking about this.)

And then, tragedy! Rainbow Dash Bucky breaks a wing and falls out of a train, and he can't grab the door handle because ponies don't have thumbs. Earth Pony Steve entirely fails to go on with his life by crashing a plane, and wakes up in Canterlot in 2011.

And then, three years later, Steve has a brutal fight with the Winter Pony in D.C....

"Who the hell is Twilight Sparkle?"
Winter Soldier with Apocalypse Twilight

All seems lost, until brave Pony Steve is willing to sacrifice his life in the name of friendship!

And because of his heroic sacrifice--and how he tells Rainbow Bucky, "'cause I'm with you, 'til the end of the trail"--Rainbow Bucky remembers Pony Steve and stops trampling him long enough for the deck of the helicarrier to break and dump Steve into the Potomac. But Bucky dives after him and pulls him out of the water! Only he still doesn't have thumbs, so he uses his teeth or something.

You made Fluttershy cry, you son of a bitch.
Epic trauma

Epic, I tell you. And magical. Like friendship!

Of course, with my luck, the [livejournal.com profile] intoabar mods will flip a coin and I'll get Arrow instead, which means I'll have to actually come up with something vaguely original that has humans in it. At least Stephen Amell totally rocks the shirtless, tormented assassin look.

Unfortunately, he poses for photographs like a corpse propped against the wall. But I'm good with angst; I can work with it.

Stephen Amell

taste_is_sweet: (And Counting!)
'Cause it's my birthday! (And also because I've got dinner in the oven.)

I turned 42 today! (Very, very early this morning, according to my mom.) And thank you very, very much to [livejournal.com profile] firesign10, and [livejournal.com profile] brumeier for her super-sweet congratulations post, and to everyone who left such nice comments! I got a little teary, I swear.

But still, 42. And aside from it being the answer to life, the universe and everything, I can't say as I feel much other than kind of old. I know I have Flisties who are older than I am, but, still. Maybe it's because I live in a city very, very skewed towards 20-somethings, but some days I feel absolutely ancient compared to all the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed kids running around getting university degrees.

Then again, I don't have to get a university degree anymore. \o/

But hey, birthdays are still awesome. And since it's also my awesome sister [livejournal.com profile] squeakyoflight's birthday, I wrote her fic! MCU fic!

I already added it to my H/C Bingo Card earlier this week, but I didn't actually tell anyone about it here, so I'm indulging myself and doing so now. It's called The Right Way to Fall. It's set post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier, because everyone who wants to write anything in the MCU fandom has to write a Winter Soldier fic these days.

Anyway, there it is. :) I'm quite happy with it, and I've been told it's good. I hope you like it. (And it's my birthday, so even if you don't you have to lie. Birthday rules! ::g::)
taste_is_sweet: (Bad Decisions)
In other words, Hurt/Comfort Bingo time, y'all!

Now, much as I totally adore H/C (seriously, I love it like kittens), last year I was only able to fill three squares of my card. Alas, I did not get a bingo.

I'm a little more sanguine this year, because I've already filled my first square, and will hopefully have my second square filled by Monday. I'm feeling pretty good about this, guys. Comfortable, even, as opposed to hurt. Heh.

And here's my card. (You notice the convenient links in the square(s), right? Right?)

Abandonment Issues blood loss Suicide Attempt bites Possession / Mind Control
Invisibility restrained hunger / starvation time travel gone wrong On The Run
branding poltergeist WILD CARD (Comfort Item) Telepathic Trauma Purgatory
pandemics and epidemics Captivity dystopia Forced Soulbonding Clones
Bruises Electrocution Taking Care of Somebody Grief Forced to Hurt Somebody

taste_is_sweet: (The Best Part of Disney Land)
I love Disney World.

I have to admit I didn't think I would. After all it's expensive, generally crowded and full of, well, Disney characters, many of whom I don't actually appreciate. The rides all skew to small children and to be able to truly experience the parks you need to get there before it opens, which means getting up at the crack of dawn.

But wow, it was fun. My son had a blast and most of the rides are just amazing (except Peter Pan's Flight. Don't do that one), and almost everyone who works there really, really love their jobs and are about the nicest people on the planet. It definitely earns its rep as "The Happiest Place On Earth".

Except for one problem.

See, one of the reasons I was nearly as excited to go there as my kid was the Marvel stuff. After all, Disney's produced a few Marvel movies (you may have heard of them). So I was all set to enjoy Marvel-themed rides and buy Marvel tee-shirts and blush at the Disney "Cast Members" (as they're called) in superhero outfits wandering around.

And especially to get this bad boy:

Plastic, yet still menacing
WS action figure

This particular figure is only available at The Disney Store. No problem, I figured. I'm going to the mother-lode of Disney Stores. I'll snap one up the first day.

This did not happen.

Nope, no action figures at the parks, except some really lame ones of Captain America. No tee-shirts except two styles for guys and also really lame. No one in costume. No rides.

Undaunted (well, not entirely daunted) I set out to find out what the hell was going on. I asked at the park stores; I went to 'Downtown Disney', which is an outdoor mall entirely devoted to Disney merchandise; I asked cast members at the rides. And this, after literally days of primary research, is what I finally found out:

1) The Disney Store is owned by a separate company to the stores at the parks. You can only find them in malls, and they carry different merchandise. Like Marvel Select action figures.

2) Universal Studios Orlando also have rights to Marvel characters, rights that they bought years before Disney thought it might be cool. Universal's Islands of Adventure has a Marvel section with rides featuring Storm, Spiderman, The Hulk and Doctor Doom. They have employees wandering around in X-Men costumes circa 1996. They have loads of Marvel action figures, including the Marvel Select that you can otherwise only find at the Disney Store.

3) There are Marvel things at Disney Land in California, but Universal very, very cleverly bought the exclusive rights to have Marvel stuff in their Florida theme parks. That's why Disney has to more-or-less pretend that their super successful films don't exist.

As you can imagine, Disney is working to change this. As I'm imagining, Universal is probably asking for Walt Disney's soul in exchange. I can't wait to see how the deal goes down.

And to get to the Disney Store and finally get my damn action figure.

taste_is_sweet: (Joy)
I'm not really writing a post today, o, best-beloveds, because I want to be writing other stuff, which is the kind of irony I can get behind. I'll be off in a minute.

But because I do love you, I'm embedding vids. So don't leave.

First, a video about living with cats and dogs that made me laugh:

Here's part one, which I posted before but is even funnier.



And a beautifully-done, bitter and brilliant vid examining the glorification of the military in the Marvel Movie 'Verse:



(Here's the whole song.)

And finally, because I'm a sucker for great songs, angst and editing, have a Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes Captain America: The First Avenger vid. The cuts are very fast, though, so beware if that might bother you.




And now I'm off to write. :)
taste_is_sweet: (Target Acquired!)
Raise your hand if you like Hurt/Comfort, which I'm sure you all do because anything else is as inconceivable as hating kittens (I love kittens; The icon is an in-joke with my sister [livejournal.com profile] squeakyoflight. No kittens were hurt during the writing of this post).

We love you, Bucky!
Bucky falls cropped & screened

For anyone not up on the fannish lingo, "Hurt/Comfort" stands for the wonderful creative exercise of tormenting the shit out of a favorite character--this is called 'whumping'--and then having your other favorite character(s) take care of him.

Often the whumpee is the hero. Almost equally often he's the Lancer, The Darkhorse, The Co-Hero and/or that one beloved character whom nobody else understands. But if he's popular, at some point someone is going to hurt him. Very, very badly. Occasionally even the writers of the original material, though rarely as frequently or as terribly as the fans would like.

Not bad, but he's still standing.
Hurt Steve

(And I'm using 'him' because I think I've read a fic where a female character was the whumpee maybe once since I started reading fanfiction. Not that I read fanfiction...Okay, yes. Yes I do.)

I'm bringing this up because the movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out recently (You may have seen it). And after watching, my brilliant and adorable 12 year-old niece, who previously said that Captain America was her favorite, has now switched her allegiance entirely to the eponymous anti-hero of the subtitle. Why? Because of the suffering.

Yep, she's within throwing distance of her teens, and she has already understood that, while horrible to witness in real life, physical and mental injuries improve the attractiveness of a fictional character exponentially. And the Fighting Man for Lousy Climates gets that in spades. Like the kind you could use to dig a deep hole to pitch him into.

I love my niece, and I love that she's been bitten by the H/C bug. I love that there's this wonderful fangurl in the making. I love that she will probably write fanfic herself someday, and I'll get to share it with her. I love how she makes me remember being a kid and telling my sister fanfic stories for hours on end without knowing what fanfic even was, and populating them with my fictional crushes at the time. And, yes, treating them mercilessly and loving every second.

I have a hypothesis on why, exactly, H/C is so awesome (and I'm sure especially awesome among women), but you should probably just read this instead. I admit, however, that most of the time I don't really care about the why. I just love it.

Like kittens. And don't we all love kittens?

Picture of Bucky having a very bad day courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] lastsongs at [livejournal.com profile] grande_caps; Picture of Steve's moderately-acceptable injuries courtesy of Swannee's Screencaps.

taste_is_sweet: (Vague)
Meet John: biblical, dependable, easy to pronounce and one of the most popular American names for the last 100 years. Name of kings, princes, presidents, philosophers and my brother-in-law, it conjures up thoughts of loyalty and steadfastness, simplicity and quiet strength. John will always pull kitties out of wells and get his gun and come marching home (hurrah!) and hold the line.

I'm sure it's for those reasons that John is also a name given to a hilariously astonishing number of fictional characters (There was even a John Doe TV series, but I'm not sure that counts). What I find especially interesting is that John is so often used as a first name for the lead character, when the fact its such a common name would imply that the author couldn't think of anything more interesting. Though I suppose that also works in the name's favor, since you could also argue that a John will be instantly more familiar with the audience than, say, an Anthony or Rodney.

A couple of weeks ago, [livejournal.com profile] brumeier and I spent a good half-hour coming up with as many fictional Johns as we could. We eventually branched into Jack as well, because Jack used to be a nickname for John.

Here, with a very few more recent additions, were what we came up with off the top of our heads:

(All the links go to Wikipedia, because that was easiest and there are a hell of a lot of links.)

John Sheppard (Stargate: Atlantis)
John Kennex (Almost Human)
John Diggle (Arrow)
John Garrett (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
John Dunne (Magnificent Seven)
John Connor (Terminator Franchise)
John Chricton (Farscape)
Johann Schmidt (Captain America Franchise)
John Constantine (Hellblazer Comic)
John Carter (John Carter of Mars Franchise)
John Snow (A Song of Ice and Fire Series/Game of Thrones)
John Winchester (Supernatural)
John Locke (Lost)
John Watson (Sherlock Holmes)
Little John (Robin Hood)
Johnny Blaze (Ghost Rider Franchise)
Johnny Storm (Fantastic Four Franchise)
Johnny Mnemonic (Johnny Mnemonic)

Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise)
Jack Harkness (Torchwood)
Jack O'Neill (Stargate: SG-1)
Jack Carter (Eureka)
Jack (Jack the Giant Slayer/Killer and many, many other versions)
Jaq-Jaq (Disney's Cinderella)
Jack (Oblivion)
Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China)
Jack Shephard (Lost)
Jack Power (Power Pack Comic)

Crazy, right? And that's just off the top of our heads. I'm sure you guys know even more Johns and Jacks we haven't thought of, and that's not including the countless Johns and Jacks who appear in fairy tales and nursery rhymes.

I also find it hilarious how SyFy named two characters Jack and two characters John in four different series, and that Lost had a John and a Jack (and a James!). I also love how Jack's last name was 'Shephard', likely for the same reason as John Sheppard on SGA. They roll trippingly off the tongue, do those J names.

So, did we miss any Johns or Jacks, O Best-Beloveds? Any other names that you see on fictional characters all the time? (James seems pretty popular too, as does Peter and Steve.) Any non-American ones? I'd love to hear 'em.
taste_is_sweet: (Please be Advised)
Hey, you--yeah, you with the skin-tight leather and angry squint. Word is you want to be a super villain.

What do you mean, 'whose word?' It's just, Word, all right? It is known and all that crap. Word on the street. Whatever. Can we continue, please?

Thank you.

Anyway, as I was saying, you obviously want to be a super villain. Yes, I can tell. It's the black outfit and the squint. No, you couldn't be a SHIELD agent. They use zippers.

All right, fine. Let's say that you're a SHIELD agent, but a bad one. I don't know--maybe you went rogue or something. I'm sure it happens all the time. Maybe Loki did his heartwash thing and now your eyes are all freaky and you turned on your friends.

NO, IT CAN'T BE...Okay, sure. It can be for love. Love is great. But you need weapons. Can we please get to the weapons already?

Nope, no guns. See? This is why I said you couldn't be a SHIELD agent; they pretty much only use guns. Well, Hawkeye doesn't but it's still a projectile weapon.

The zippers weren't the only reason, okay? Just the main one. You have buckles. It's a thing.

Hawkeye has zippers too. Seriously, go look it up.

Great. Are we ready now? Or do you need another twenty pages of backstory? Fantastic.

So, weapons. But not guns. Because you're a super villain. They have powers, or badass martial-arts skills, or magic, or their terrifying intellect. Or maybe swords or knives. No guns.

Maybe you should choose something else. I'm sorry, your intellect isn't that terrifying. Or worrying. 'Irritating' doesn't count.

You can't be Natasha. Because she already exists, that's why. And she's not evil.

I'm pretty sure that 'Mirror Universe' thing only works in Star Trek.

No, you can't be Khan either.

Yes! Yes, you can use a crossbow. A crossbow is great. Good idea. But Hawkeye's taken, and he's a good guy. Yes he is, that was Loki's fault. No, he didn't go rogue for love.

He doesn't use crossbows anyway. I have no idea why. He doesn't use guns either.

I never said that only super villains don't use guns. I just said super villains don't use guns. Hawkeye can not-use guns if he wants to.

A crossbow would be way cooler than Hawkeye's bow, absolutely. No, I'm not just saying that so you don't change your mind.

Sure, you can call yourself 'Eagle eye', what the hell. I agree that Hawkeye needs his very own arch enemy. That's quite kind of you.

No, you can't marry Natasha. Because she's a hero. And you can't--

You know what? Sure. You went rogue because of your love for Natasha. I'm certain it happens all the time.

Are we done with the weapon, now? You have your weapon? No backsies, right? You're a crossbow-wielding badass super villain. Now you just need a secret lair.

Not the Stark Building.
taste_is_sweet: (Bad Decisions)
I love the interweebs, I do. Oh, I do, with the unbridled passion of a thousand fiery suns. What did I ever do without the internet besides probably being way more productive? I can't even remember; it's just that awesome.

This is also another glimpse into the occasionally bizarre machinations of my brain (though at least not as bizarre as it can occasionally get). Let me show you:

Last night, I read this article on Cracked.Com, which I highly recommend not actually visiting unless you don't mind losing hours of your life. Many, many hours.

This particular time warp in written form was a list (Cracked.com loves lists) of 6 superpowers that would actually suck to have. The most awful was a Wolverine-esque healing factor. The author posited that having a healing factor that would allow you to survive almost any wound wouldn't = 'awesome' so much as 'horrific PTSD'. Which gave me ideas.

Always dangerous.
 photo Ideas.jpg

This will doubtless amaze anyone who knows me, but I kind of have a thing for (fictional! Dear God, fictional!) emotional and physical H/C, something that has served me well in the past. So instead of going to sleep at you're-an-idiot o'clock in the morning I started thinking of a story plot involving some poor schmuck who could heal really fast and how psychologically godawful it was.

At first I thought this'd be fanfic, but I decided I couldn't be that horrible to Captain America (or John Sheppard again). Besides, everyone knows that when you hurt Steve Rogers a kitten dies.

Most Marvel Universe fanfiction is known as the Great AO3 Kitten Massacre.
 photo Kitten.jpg

With fanfiction obviously out, I figured I'd write something original that took place during WWII, with my own original superhero. Canadian, of course. Only I couldn't call him 'Captain Canuck' or 'Captain Canada', because that had a) been done and b) was kind of lame. And since our national animal is not only furry and adorable, but also regrettably associated with female anatomy, I couldn't use that, either. So I went to the web to see what other nicknames for Canadians I could use.

And here my adventures began.

As it turns out, 'Canuck' pretty much encompasses the entire gamut of Canadian nicknames. But at least my fruitless Googling turned up Johnny Canuck, a Canadian equivalent of Captain America who kicked Nazi ass during WW II. Even cooler, the Wikipedia article link I found said that a publishing house called Moonstone had started a new series starring Johnny Canuck and a bunch of other Canadian superheros.

Naturally I zapped over to Moonstone, and discovered that they were selling the first three issues ridiculously cheap, so I bought them. Then, wondering if there were any more, I clicked on the link for the artist and discovered that he's Canadian too, and also actually famous.

Sadly, it seems that Northern Guard is no more, probably because almost no one outside Canada had heard of them. Hell, I used to live in Canada and I hadn't heard of most of them, either. But Mr. Templeton did have this really awesome list of famous fictional Canadians that made me feel better.

So all in all, while my research was technically fruitless, I did get some new comic books out of it and more warm fuzzies about my homeland. Which we could use right now in Texas, being as we're at the ass-end of a major ice storm.

Of course, it's still colder in Canada. But they're used to it.

(The photos are 'Thinking Woman Looking Up' by David Castillo Dominici, and 'Sad Kitten' by Tina Phillps, via Free Digital Photos.net.)

taste_is_sweet: (Gilded)
I took the kid to watch Thor: The Dark World on the weekend. I can say without any spoilers whatsoever that it is a gripping, exciting and surprisingly dramatic movie that, IMHO, didn't deserve the bad rap it's been getting from critics. I loved it.

One of the many things I loved about the movie at the time was how Thor (i.e., Mr. Chris Hemsworth the beautiful) spent a short scene without a shirt, giving the audience a long, pleasant eyeful of the results of his extensive workout regimen.

Here is a picture for your edification, because I'm nothing if not thorough when it comes to research. (I know the picture is from his first movie, but the only differences are that in Thor 2 he's wetter and wearing different pants.)
You're welcome.
 photo Thorshirtless.jpg

As I said, I loved it, though that love was as much from the knowledge that it was complete and utter fanservice as it was from getting to see the dimples above the man's ass. (And it was even acknowledged as fanservice, in case you were wondering--poor Hemsworth struggles through discussing it here.)

I've posted about fanservice for women (and gay men) before, and my feeling is still that it's about damn time we females and non-het males get some of our own back too.

Mostly, anyway.

The thing is, when I was enthusing about the movie to my sister [livejournal.com profile] squeakyoflight that evening, she told me that she didn't like that scene precisely because it was fanservice. Objectifying men as well as women is still objectification, she said. And no one deserves to be treated like an object.

At the time, my argument was that since North American (and world, really) culture is patriarchal, that it's impossible to objectify men the same way we objectify women. We were seeing Thor's power there, as much as just seeing his body. But I've been thinking about it since then, and now I'm no longer so sure.

There was a great deal of completely reasonable uproar about the gratuitous scene showing Alice Eve in her underwear in Star Trek: Into Darkness, and in that scene Dr. Marcus's near-nudity is at least barely (ha! 'Bare'-ly) justifiable (she was changing into a special suit for diffusing a bomb). Hemsworth's scene in TtDW is not. It exists for no better reason than for the audience to admire him.

Fascinatingly, in the video interview I liked to above, Hemsworth says that the idea for the shirtless scene came from Joss Whedon, who said the movie needed a little 'romance' (which is I guess what they call fanservice in Hollywood). Whedon, of course, probably knows something about the male gaze, given his reputation of being one of the only Hollywood feminists out there. (Though admittedly your mileage may vary on the 'feminist' part.)

So on the one hand: thank you, Mr. Whedon, for recognizing that not every member of the audience for a superhero movie is going to be a straight male. On the other hand: really? Is this what you're advocating now, purposely setting aside screen time just for ogling? And why is this supposed to be okay?

It's not okay. It's definitely pretty and certainly amusing, but much as I've joked about it and I admit I enjoy it; even I know it's really not okay.

But as long as it's continuing, I'll still be happy that the men are getting semi-naked too. Maybe two wrongs don't make a right, but they do make things a little more fair.

(Movie still is from The Everett Collection.)

taste_is_sweet: (Atlantis and the Storm)
This post is almost spoiler-free, but I feel I should warn ayway. :)

Let me say this immediately, lest anyone think this is a bad film: It is not, by any means, a bad film. I really, really enjoyed it. Guillermo del Toro obviously loves giant monsters and giant robots, and he is exceptional at world-building and visual details. Considering this was basically a live-action Anime, it packed an emotional punch that had me almost in tears at one point and actually crying at another. It was also scary as all hell in some places. Not because of the violence or gore (there's surprisingly little, considering it's giant robots fighting giant monsters), but because the survival of the robots and thus their pilots is so precarious. The Mary Sue has a very nice review of the movie here, if you're interested (beware some minor spoilers). It was a great movie and I'm sure I'll be seeing it again.

But (and there always is one, alas) for a movie that was so wonderfully surprising (I never expected to cry during a movie about giant monsters fighting giant robots), it was also surprisingly predictable. I mean, how many of you awesome flisties haven't guessed who's going to kak it from the trailer alone? And if you've seen the trailers, then the first death is pretty obvious too.

A hell of a lot is pretty obvious, actually, but that's just narrative stuff, and it was kind of fun being able to point out to my less movie-savvy son what was likely going to happen next because that's what happens in these kind of movies. A little less fun was how the young hothead was Australian, the twitchy, over-excited scientist was American, and the twitchy, uptight mathematician was of course a Brit. Or how the Russians were large, taciturn and smirkily aloof, and piloted a Jaeger (the giant robots) that looked like something out of Bladerunner as envisioned by Stalin. And that death we all saw coming in the trailer, which was the worst. Can't filmmakers ever think of using anyone other than stereotypes?

Though it was pretty cool that one of the two Russians was female. Considering that in the movie the whole world has been fighting the Kaiju for years and populations have been decimated, one might think that the sibling or parent/child teams chosen to pilot the Jaegers might include at least one pair of sisters, or a father and daughter (or, hey, a mother and daughter) instead of yet another pair of brothers or father and son. Don't get me wrong--Mako Mori is an awesome female character. But I really wish she wasn't one of only two. Charlie Hunnam is nice to look at, and Raleigh Becket, the character he played, was sweetly heroic. But 'Raleigh' is a perfectly acceptable girl's name, and the wonderful 'chosen family' relationship between the two main characters wouldn't have been diminished in the least if Raleigh actually had been a woman. Hell, I think it would've made the movie even better.

Less predictable, too, in the best way possible. And wow, would I ever love that.
taste_is_sweet: (That's me baby)
I got my new [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo card (do-dah; do-dah). It looks promising. And painful.

Here! It's under here! )

I have an idea that would fill the 'pneumonia' prompt, as well as two other prompts from different challenges, but my heart is with my original novels-in-progress at the moment. I would also love to be able to work all 25 prompts into one story, but the 'magical trouble' doesn't quite fit. ('Difficult pregnancy' might be a problem as well, come to think of it.)

I'm sure that once again I won't have anything finished before the point-less (but not pointless, heh) amnesty period, but this will be fun anyway. And if I'm really lucky, maybe I'll be inspired to write something that gets published. YOU NEVER KNOW.

(My previous two cards are here for 2011 and here for 2012.)

Profile

taste_is_sweet: (Default)
taste_is_sweet

June 2016

S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
1920 2122232425
2627282930  

Syndicate

RSS Atom
Page generated 21/9/17 17:49

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags