entertainment

Society is a Fictional Monster

The other day, I was scrolling through iwastesomuchtime as I do, indeed, waste so much time, when I stumbled upon a picture. I had seen this picture several times before, but I typically ignored it and continued on with my day. This time, however, I was in a particularly thoughtful mood so I saved it to my computer and thought I would revisit it. This is the picture in question:

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Well, I guess it’s more of meme. Whatever. It’s not that it was really weird. I mean, people complain about this crap all the time. It’s that it really says a lot about what’s going on in society.

Way back when, people used to be scared by and comforted with the lie that all the monsters, all the bad guys in the world are easy to spot. They are as ugly and frightening on the outside as they are on the inside. This is the way people have thought since the dark ages and an idea repeated frequently in pop culture today (primarily in children’s movies). Form a young age, we are taught that the monsters are out there, but we are also taught that they don’t look like everyone else. And that’s a sort of comfort. Imagine how frightening it would be for a child to look out into the world and know that anybody they see, any random normal Joe on the street, could be the sort of villain they see in the movies.

It’s worth noting, of course, that the pictures in the first column are of bad guys and the pictures in the second column are of good guys. At some point, the monsters started becoming the heroes. Of course, they made the monsters pretty so we would be comfortable dealing with them, even romanticizing about them. But they still aren’t human. Humans have always had a tendency to look down on things that aren’t human, so why the sudden glamour? Or, if you will, wtf happened?

Here’s what happened.

We stopped being comforted by the monsters. As a society where the monsters are obvious and we don’t do a thing about them, where the media tells us every ugly thing going on in the world, we need to feel pretty. We need to believe that there aren’t as many monsters as we thought. That some of these so called monsters can actually become, well, human. In the pictures of the left column, we see clear, smiling faces. And in most of the given examples, the majority of the bad guys look just like the good guys. Two eyes, a nose, a mouth, oddly perfect skin. The works. but even though they look just like everyone else, even though their evil isn’t on display, our heroes still know who to fight. In a world where many people may be losing grasp of who to fight and who to trust, this is something that is very comforting.

Now, you may be shaking your head at this. I’ve read too far into it, haven’t I? You will not be convinced that there is any sense to my ramblings! You want the horror!

Well. Allow me to convince you.

Image this: You are standing on a crowded street. You have been informed that someone on the street is a monster. You have a gun. The monster appears. It is this ugly mangled thing. Your heart is pounding. People are screaming. You pull the trigger. The beast is dead. End of story. Restart. You are standing on a crowded street. You have been informed that someone on the street is a monster. You have a gun. Nothing changes. The monster is there. You feel it, but you can’t see it. It looks just like everyone else, You don’t know who to shoot. You can’t see the monster. Now you have a monster who looks like everyone else in the middle of a big city. Now we have a story.

Yes. My argument is flawed. Sue me.

The point I am trying to make is in the real world, monsters look like people. The creepy-looking guy isn’t always the killer and the princely figure isn’t always the hero. Whatever their original (usually fetish related) intent, movies and books these days are beginning to reflect that. And that is in no way a bad thing.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Have a lovely day.

That is all.

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World War Z Review Type Thing

Title: World War Z

Director: Mark Forster (Stranger Than Fiction, Quantum of Solace)

Stars: Brad Pitt, some other people, Peter Capaldi’s in it too

Watch if you like: Zombies, Good movies, The Walking Dead

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I’m not sure I can express in words how awesome this movie is. But by golly I’m gonna try

Before I saw the movie, I was skeptical. The trailer was okay, and I had never been a huge zombie person. After seeing the film, I now regret having those dirty thoughts in my mind. It proved me wrong in the best way possible. It didn’t just exceed my already low standards, it completely wowed me. This is by far my favorite zombie movie of all time and one of my favorite movies, period. Why? I’m going to tell you somehow.

At the start of the movie, we as the viewers are just as confused as Brad Pitt (Gerry) and his family and the people of the world (starting in New York). You get a basis of the man and his family so you know just enough about them to start to care a little bit about them. The opening of the movie has a very light tone. This changes so quickly and absolutely it feels real. It changes to quickly and absolutely that – despite knowing the general role of the hero and his family in a blockbuster – it is easy to have real fear for what might happen to them. There are several parts in the film when it really seems like Gerry is going to lose his family.

As the story unfolds we get more about Gerry and his character. One thing becomes abundantly clear from the start: Gerry can think his way through anything. Yes, he is a badass. But he’s also a genius in this zombie apocalypse. At one point he wraps newspaper around his forearms to avoid getting bitten. I never would have thought to do that. In all these films how is it no one thinks to do that? (Please let me know if I’m wrong about that). And even though he is a thinker, he’s capable of reacting, of making split second decisions. What’s perfect is the whole movie you know he’s scared and you know he’s getting desperate. But he has to keep his cool – and that not only makes him realistic and dynamic, but it makes him just that much more awesome.

This story takes a slightly different take on zombies in that not everyone is eligible to be bitten. The zombies straight out ignore some people. I’m not going to tell you why because it’s fun to try to figure it out. There is actually something tangible – something that people can actually do to protect themselves – other than grab a gun and hope for the best. Because this zombie thing is just a disease created in a lab – and every disease has a weakness. The problem is finding it.

On top of the cool story stuff, there are some hugly badass moments. Like these:

 World-War-Z-NewPosterWorld-War-Z

I can’t resist doing a paragraph looking at the technical aspects of the movie. The story telling was masterful, the acting wonderful. But the cinematography. I will admit, there were a couple of shot that were questionable. But for the most part, each shot made sense and flowed into the next and really gave us the feel we needed to get from each scene. There are a number of wide panning shots so you never forget how many zombies there actually are, medium and long shots on the streets to throw you into the chaos, and a healthy dose of close ups so you never forget just how scared everyone actually is. It’s all edited together in a way where each shot multiplies or decimates what you felt in the last shot. In a good way. So it all comes together in a well edited, well directed, and well acted movie. I could create another post entirely going into the script.

Back to general story and emotional stuff. By the end I was exhausted becasue I spent the whole movie literally on the edge of my seat, trying to think through the problems with Gerry. I was scared for his family, scared for all the people who had not been effected. The movie made me feel something and connect – and that is something both difficult and fantastic for me.

One of the best things about this movie is how I felt after I saw it. I felt fulfilled. This movie delivered in every way it set out to deliver. This is both exciting and inspiring. It made me want to go and create something. This, for me, is one of the best things a movie can do.

So, in case you did not get the message, I would highly recommend this film.

Go and see it. If you have seen it, share you opinion. Right now. I must know.

Doctor Who: A Female Doctor

Some people have expressed disappointment due at the fact that the 12th Doctor is not a woman. A controversial topic, I am actually quite glad the 12th Doctor is a man. It’s not because I believe the part should only ever be a man. Not at all. I just don’t think now is the right time to introduce the Doctor as a woman. Here’s why:

If a female Doctor were to be introduced, it would not be becasue they looked at her and they actually felt she was the best person for the part. The lead writer can’t see a woman in the part, which would mean there would be a huge disconnect in the writing, and the show would suffer for it.  Sad, but true.

Sara Jane Smith and K-9 in Classic Who

Sarah Jane Smith and K-9 in Classic Who

People have also been saying that young girls who watch the show need a cool role model, and young boys need to see strong women. They say that because The Doctor has never been female, the show does not provide this. This is actual, good and proper, bull shit. If you can’t find a female role model in this day and age, then you aren’t looking in any of the right places. Really, if you can’t find a female role model in Doctor Who then I’ll have to ask if we’re watching the same Doctor Who. My favorite companion of all time is Sarah Jane Smith – becasue she was cooler than the Doctor! She was strong and independent and she didn’t need no man. I loved the fourth Doctor with Sarah Jane Smith. As much as I love four, when she left I started to lose interest. I could go on about the women of Doctor Who. But I’ll let you imagine that conversation and skip straight ahead to Clara. She has been the hero of every single episode she has appeared in. She has saved that Doctor more times than can be counted. If that doesn’t spell out a good role model then I don’t know what does.

Now, if the Doctor actually was made female, the dynamic of the show would shift considerably. The show needs to show leads of different genders for it to work – two girls or two guys would just be boring. So a female doctor would need a man in her TARDIS and becasue of her sheer competency, the man would be rendered completely useless. It would be weird and a bit unpleasant to watch.

A good enough excuse to use this

A good enough excuse to use this

UNLESS he became the Robin to her Batman. She would need to save him or take on a motherly role or else it would just be weird. Knowing Moffat, this dynamic would not happen at all. It would probably be a romance type deal. Which could either make her some awkward sex figure or provide an overly flustered girl girl. Which could be funny if Moffat would not inevitably hurl her object of affection of a tall structure of some sort. Or he would give up and just have a female companion anyway which would, again, be very boring. And, a female Doctor, being so new, would require a ton of exposition. Moffat, like any writer, hates dealing with exposition. So he ignores it all together. Which would be bad.

And finally.

The point of women on the show is not to say you have to be in the obvious position of power to be strong. They succeed with the doctor, sometimes becasue of the doctor, and – lately – despite the doctor. The Doctor would be absolutely nowhere without the female companions. That’s what’s brilliant about them.

Basically, the viewers aren’t ready for a woman, the writers sure as hell aren’t ready for a woman, so now is a terrible time to make the Doctor a woman.

So what do you think? Is the show ready for a female Doctor? Do you ever want to see female Doctor? Share your thoughts in the comments!