Monday, April 25, 2011

Dead Parents = Infinite Success

I learned a lot of things from movies and shows I watched as a kid. Power Rangers taught me about teamwork, Looney Tunes taught me about comedy, and numerous alien flicks taught me to never trust the government. There is a certain group of films that had a massive influence on me and most other kids my age. Some of the things I learned from these films were beautiful and I still live my life by those ideals. But some of the things I learned were disturbing and completely wrong. Disney lied to us all.

Disney movies really messed up my generation. All of the 90's Disney films shared many themes: dream big, love conquers all, be happy being yourself, when destiny call you must answer, and more sickening sweet life lessons. But I pulled one thing in particular from these stories: In order to succeed, your parents have to die.
Seriously, think about it, every Disney hero and princess is missing either one or both parents. Apparently fairy tales are just full of broken families. I supposed there has to be some type of turmoil or sorrow the main character has to overcome in order to defeat his/her big foe, but still, does it always have to be a dead parent? Why can’t they just overcome being poor, or inequality, or a dragon that’s trying to eat their faces? The tragic death of a parental unit is not the only motivation in the world.

And this way of thought gets worse when you factor in comic book heroes.

Spider-Man - Dead parents and uncle murdered.

Batman - Parents killed right in front of him.

Superman - Birth parents killed, along with his entire fucking race and planet. (He was raised by wonderful adoptive parents, so that's good.)

Cyclops - Parents go missing when he's, like, ten. (Turns out they were kidnapped by aliens. Y'all know how that is.)

I spent a significant amount of my childhood wanting to be a superhero and worrying if that decision would get my parents killed. Marvel Comics recently launched a new Spider-Girl series, starring Anya Corazon as the latest Spider-Girl. The promoted as a series with "The Most Exciting & Surprising Start to a New Series You've Ever Read!" Guess what happens in the first issue?

Did you guess? Here's a hint: It wasn't a fucking surprise. Her dad is killed and she swears vengeance on the people who killed him. Wow, what a surprise. Its not like that same story has been used to motivate EVERY SINGLE COMIC BOOK HERO IN THE LAST HUNDRED YEARS! Don't get me wrong, it is a good series, but that beginning it was so unoriginal that the writers of The Cape would roll their eyes. (In case you're unaware, The Cape was a short-lived TV show that was essentially a poorly done rip-off of Batman. And they totally under-used Summer Glau. Those Bastards.)

Honestly, I had no idea how much this idea had affected me until this past year. I love to read memoirs and auto-biographies. In the last few months I’ve read the stories of Tina Fey, Kathy Griffin, Craig Ferguson, and Sarah Silverman. They are all incredibly talented comedians that I adore and their books were highly entertaining. But I was surprised by one thing they all shared. They parents all lived to old ages. Some of them are still alive. They didn’t die when the kids were young, they didn’t go missing, and they didn’t turn evil. They were just normal parents who worked hard to raise their kids. I know, this shouldn’t be such a huge surprise but, I was a little taken aback. Clearly, Disney had seriously mind-fucked me.

So, get this guys, you can find success and fulfillment without having your parents die! I know, awesome, right? I was happy to see that in the latest Disney movie, Tangled, both of the Princess’ parents live to the end. Of course, Rider was an orphan, so his having no parents might cancel out her having both. I don’t know, its gets kinda confusing there. Anyway, I hope we've all learned that health or liveliness of one's parents does not have an inverse relationship with one's success.  Actually, it is probably in you best interest to keep you parents alive. You're going to need somewhere to crash when you nemesis eventually destroys your house. Trust me, if you're a hero/princess, your house will be destroyed.

P.S. I might do another post about how Disney truly screwed with my generation's idea of romance and love. What did we learn about love? If a guy kidnaps you, its because he loves you. If a guy lies to you, its because he loves you. And if you need to leave your home, family, and everything you've ever known to be with a guy you think is kinda cute. Do it, because he totally loves you.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Doctor, The Legs, The Nose & Mrs. Robinson

Right now, I'm watching Doctor Who Rewind on BBC America, a recap of season 5. Which I certainty need because that season 5 threw me fora timey-wimey loopy woopy. This will be followed by the American premiere of "The Impossible Astronaut." I know I could have downloaded the show and watched it by now, but its nice to watch it on television for once. Plus, I wouldn't be able to type this up while watching if I were watching on my laptop. Tonight, I will be journalist any and all of my random thoughts while watching the latest episode. It might be annoyingly unintelligible or incredibly hilarious. Most likely, an insane combination of the two. Of course, this will make zero sense if you don't watch the episode. Alright, here we go.
(Obviously, there be Spoilers.)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Many Apologies

How excited are you for tonight's Doctor Who premiere? I've decided that I will try writing down my thoughts as I watch it. Some friends of mine on live journal have enjoyed it when I did that. Of course, that was for Glee, so this might be a slightly different experience. But I'll give it a try.

So, that whole posting once a week thing kinda flopped, sorry. I'm still reading, just been busy. I'm a good bit into my reading list, but I am behind. Plus, I've acquired more books since making that list, because I have no impulse control. It's a good thing I never drank liquor in high school, because I would totally be an alcoholic by now. It turns out writing a humorous book review is harder than I expected, so bare with me. In order to make up for my appalling absence I will post a piece every day for at least a week. Yep, you have at least seven more of these insane ramblings coming though Saturday. Get excited.

Edit: Karen Gillian (who plays Amy Pond on Doctor Who) was the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. In case you were wondering, she was Adorable.

Friday, January 7, 2011

52 Books

I apologize immensely for my disappearance. All the usually obstacles got in my way: school, laziness, writer's block, Dalek invasion, vampire revolution, and tons of hot guys asking me out. (A few of these may be exaggerations or complete bullshit.) I actually have 30 unpublished works in my drafts folder. I've come to the realization that I worry about trying to make them "perfect" but I really need to chill out. I actually wrote up a Christmas themed piece, but kept editing it and ended up missing the holiday. Since it's January 7th, most people are tired of Christmas, so I'll put it away. If this blog is still up in December, I'll share it with you guys then. I do plan to post more regularly, like once a week.

Here's an overly simplified list of the posts I have almost ready and you will be seeing soon:

-A series about all those unusual nerdy crushes I seem to develop.
-What does your favorite Disney Princess say about you? (I'm not posting this one until I see Tangled, so I can include the newest Princess.)
-Another Disney-related post on how certain Princesses and "Heroines" get ignored.
-Why I think every professional badass on TV is based on Batman.
-Overexposure destroys great characters. (or Marvel is fucking up Deadpool.)
-An assessment of the new shows I've seen in the last year. (The ups, the downs, the confusions.)
-Reasons to not be ashamed to tell people that you absolutely love Glee.
-Internet series that make network television look like it is written by a 4 year old.
-A writer should be required to pass an SAT-style test on the X-men before being allowed to write the for the Mighty Marvel Mutants.
-Hipsters and geeks have more in common than we think.
-How the misuse of classic monsters (werewolves, vampires, etc.) makes me rage.
-Give Maria Bamford her own TV show already!
-If I could conjure a patronus . . .
-Sorting the characters from my favorite shows into the Hogwarts houses.
-How to turn your costume party into a musical.
-Comparisons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to world religions.
-Shows canceled before their time. *sniff*
-Why I believe that Adrian Monk was a secret regeneration of The Doctor.
-If my favorite cartoons are made into live action versions, the actors that showed play them. (Ex. Alex Kingston as Ms. Frizzle. Right?)
-More than 50 years after women's liberation, ladies still get the shaft when it comes to media.
-Representation of different races on television and why Hollywood sucks at it.
(I realize that the last two are more serious ideas, but don't worry, I'll still try to make you laugh your ass and make you think at the same time.)

I also plan to do a series of letters to prominent people that I admire, much like the Dear "Joss Whedon" post. I'm already working on Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, the Daily Show Correspondents, Kristen Bell, Cathrine Tate, Stan Lee, Neil Patrick Harris, Craig Ferguson, and Neil Gaiman. I'm sure more will make it on this list and I am taking suggestions.

Last year, I was also slacking in my personal reading, so I've set a goal. I'll try to finish one book every week all year. That's 52 books. The year started on a Saturday, so hopefully I'll finish a book every Friday and have a post up that night or the next day at the latest. This will ensure that I'll have at least one post up a week. My dad gave me a decent video camera for Christmas, so I am considering making videos for the book reviews. I'll give it a try, but honestly, I think I'm more entertaining in words than as an audio-video component. The books can be novels, sci-fi, fantasy, historical, biographies, anthologies, and comics. Textbooks don't count, but any book with a narrative that I have to read for school does.

Last night I went through my bookcase to collect all of the books I had not yet read. I expected to find around 20. Then I would probably find maybe 10 more at my parents place and possibly borrow some from them. I would complete my collection by buying new books or going to the library. I actually found 52 books. First, how weird is it that I found exactly 52? Secondly, that is so fucking pathetic. I call myself an avid reader and I have over 50 unread books in my apartment. Last summer, I made a promise to myself that I would not buy anymore books until I had read all the ones I already owned. Clearly, I failed. Perhaps, this mission will rectify that. I am almost done with the first book, When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris.Hopefully. That post will be up Friday or Saturday night.

Under the cut I've listed all the books I hope to read.
Edit: After recounting, I realized that I have 53 books on this list. Oh well, I guess the last one will be for bonus points.