Friday, June 17, 2011

Girl w/t Dragon Tattoo Poster (NSFW)

Okay. Okay. From my understanding, having neither read the books nor seen the Swedish films, Mara's character Lisbeth Salander is like this totally badass, punk-goth, technowizard, tough as nails broad, and also gets raped at one point. And that the books deal with issues of violence against women and specifically, rape. So, part of me is really NOT okay with this poster. Because it shows her all vulnerable, but in a "sexy" way, with the oh-so yummy Daniel Craig behind her (protecting? Comforting?), in short Hollywooding a character who is supposed to be sexy because of her essential "je ne sais quoi"/not-giving a fuck attitude, not because she's HOT. Plus, sexualizing a rape victim. So there's that. But then, it's also not good to define someone by their victimhood. With the I Spit On Your Grave poster debacle, this was an issue, probably more so because the protagonist's rape is the impetus for the entire film. So actively highlighting her fuckability on the poster is pretty, well, fucked up.

But then. But then.
This poster is so hot. I mean. Daniel Craig, for one. And then, Rooney Mara. 

Rawr. But then I feel like a bad feminist for thinking it's hot.  And then I'm like, "No, it's fine, they're sexy! I can't help it!" (which, yeah, I can't change what I respond to visually). Which is the absolute, horrifying brilliance of it all.  
This poster is problematic not just because it shows the female protagonist half-naked while the man remains clothed, not just because she's in a position vulnerable to his; it's problematic because of all of those things and the fact that it IS sexy. Something about this image is effective.  If it wasn't such an attractive poster, I might not give a hoot. But that's the brilliance of advertising; it uses images people respond to sell a product, regardless of the message that image might be sending and/or reinforcing.  So for me to say I'm not going to think critically about it because I like it is not smart and it's not going to solve anything.

We can't just ignore the unsavory aspects of pop culture when it has to do with a product we like.  If we turn a blind eye to our favorite artists, then we're hypocrites and we're not accomplishing anything.  Now, I'll probably see the movie.  I guess my point is, go ahead and like what you like, as long as you acknowledge the problems inherent in liking said thing and don't give something a pass because it happens to suit your personal tastes.  


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Canucks Fan WTF

This blog has photos of Canucks fans RIOTING after Game 7 last night. RIOTING. People.

What. The. FUCK.

Rioting? Really? Okay, I know I've told many of my sports fans friends that just because sports are not my thing doesn't mean I can't appreciate sports culture, but then something like this happens and I just....I just can't. I don't get the hero worship of accused rapists, I don't get why you would be a fan of the Yankees versus the Sox. Do you know any of them personally? Did you all grow up in the city you're supposedly representing? What makes one team better than another on that level? Yeah, they're all good at what they do, mostly. Which is cool. For example, I get really into the Olympics, because holy shit, the human body's ability is amazing. And I get that playing sports is fun. But. You didn't fucking see me starting a riot when Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring didn't get Best Picture at the Oscars. Why? BECAUSE IT'S NOT ACTUALLY IMPORTANT. It's not.

If you're so fucking angry, how about you riot about something that ACTUALLY MATTERS. Like the unemployment rate. Or the attack on reproductive rights. Or that fact that gay people still can't get married. Or the fact that our military is fucking intervening left and right and our families are DYING abroad for NO REASON. How about you put that anger to use?

But no. Your sports team lost. They lost a game that they could potentially win next year.

I hope several hundred arrests were made and those thoughtless dude-bro idiots are fucking ashamed of themselves.

Apologies to my sports loving friends and family. I know you're not all crazy. But sometimes I wonder.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Heaven Is Silly

So I'm rusty writing wise, but I've been itching to get this idea out of my brain. Debate amongst yourselves! Or with me. Or with yourself. It's all good.


"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark," -Stephen Hawking

“Over the course of human evolution, as each group of people became gradually aware of the enormity of its isolation in the cosmos and of the precariousness of its hold on survival, it developed myths and beliefs to transform the random, crushing forces of the universe into manageable, or at least understandable, patterns. One of the major functions of every culture has been to shield its members from chaos, to reassure them of their importance and ultimate success.” - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow

It is in our nature to question, and that makes us different from every other organism on the planet (that we know of). That may be a good case for divine intervention having a hand in our creation, but disproving the existence of god and/or an afterlife is a fruitless task and not what I’m concerned with. Despite our inquisitive natures it seems we are often reluctant to question our cultural traditions and beliefs and instead rationalize them to a comical level. When I was a kid, I believed in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. On my way to adulthood I stopped believing in them because, well, they're NOT REAL (though I was thoroughly disappointed. I mean, a fairy that pays you for a naturally occurring process you have no control over? How about a period fairy? Hell to the yes.) I think we would do well to question our beliefs a little more often, specifically the belief in an afterlife. But then, Santa Claus isn’t the last bastion between the tiny speck of dust in the cosmos that is humanity and nothingness. Belief in an afterlife can be that cozy warm blanket keeping the never-ending night at bay. What people may not realize is that such a belief, while heartening, can also reinforce negative patterns.

We are taught that many shitty things are simply “a part of life.” And that’s that. Of course, there’s not a whole lot you can do about your taxes and that sort of outside circumstance, but it seems like people just sort of accept the status quo of life without ANY challenge. Perhaps our complacency is in part due to the ingrained belief that one day, somehow, everything will be alright. One day, when we die, God/whoever will welcome us into heaven and all the parking tickets and traffic and bad sex and unfulfilling jobs and hunger and disease and war and all the shit we put up with in our corporeal lives will have been worth it. If it were true, it would be AWESOME. Seventy odd years of on-off suffering with occasional sparkly moments of joy in exchange for a never-ending Ecstasy trip when I kick the bucket? Sign. Me. Up.

(More after the JUMP. JUMP! JUMP, YOU FOOLS!)