seal: (Default)
[personal profile] seal
My current feelings about certain broad popular cultural or even broad popular sub-cultural excretions are so filled with asperity, I'd probably do best to just eschew it all for a while.
It's clearly not healthy when I have more cynical thoughts about the fast & bi-curious than the average film reviewer who gets payed for flashing his acid reflux syndrome on page.

I'm not going to bore anyone with any film reviews, but what the hell is up with these two old corpses that suddenly have been re-vamped and polished up to appear in every other movie production:

1) The female hetero sexual alibi.

Wikisealia: A female character in a movie whose only purpose of existence is to ensure the predominate male viewership that the two male characters in charge of the storyline, are not boinking or wanting to boink each other, in spite of having all the tension, all the meaningful glances, all the punch-filled juicy comments between each other.

This is why slash was born, and these movies deserved slash, but do we really deserve these movies? and does the female sex deserve to so painfully rarely see it happen between two women?

Dudes and Dudettes, I went to see the Fast & Bi-curious because I wanted to see Michelle Rodriguez, she was prominent in the very amusing trailer, and that trailer lead me to believe that she would be having a healthy portion of the cake factor in the movie. I had no other expectation, I promise! AND THEY KILLED HER AFTER 15 MINUTES. Instead: enter two males with clenched jaws ogling each other, and one "sister" who's the hetero sexual alibi.

So not overjoyed.

2) The Omega Geek (who gets the very hott galaxies out of his league girl)

Wikisealia: The Omega Geek is a geek who is not very successful or cute, often not even that talented nor socially skilled, who gets the beauty queen in spite of all these ailments.
What makes the Omega geek unlike other geeks, in real life or on film, is that he is supposed to be impersonating a "nice guy" but no evidence of his niceness is ever provided in the story. He is however a complete pushover and continues to be so as the storyline unravels. In the universal Wikisealia Nice Guy 101 it is revealed that a primary and common trait for a truly nice guy, is that he doesn't completely judge girls by their looks, he is in fact capable of feeling interest for a girl who isn't a beauty queen and perhaps even (gasp) primarily look to personality chemistry and secondarily to looks when it comes to socializing. This doesn't mean that a nice guy primarily looks for ugly chicks, it just means that he converses with any chick that is a nice chick, whether she is ugly, plain or pretty.
The Omega Geek, per definition doesn't look at ugly or plain chicks, his glance is always to the ûber-beauty, and by sheer audacity he wins the lottery over those alpha and beta males who also only look at the juiciest rack.

A supplemental category to the Omega geek is sometimes the "faux plain girl". This is a girl who is played by an actress, physically much more attractive than the lead playing the Omega Geek, but the story and everybody in it treats her as if she's plain, and thus she is modeled to fit the storyline, in spite of what the audiences eyes tells them.
However, in such recent examples as Nick and Norah's infinite playlist, Hollywood has dropped even the slightest pretense of plainifying the actress and just put together an outright gorgeous woman with an omega geek.

Okay, we all need to dream, but why the fuckety-fuck does it always have to be a male dream?
Has anyone seen an even mildly mundane looking woman put together with an attractive male on film? And don't start with that big fat greek wedding. She was actually attractive, just in a human way, and the guy was perhaps with some good will a tiny bit more attractive if you're into that sort of bloke, anyway, NOT COMPARABLE. And YES, Ellen Page is a "faux plain Jane". She is in reality an actress who's low key pretty instead of outright gorgeous. But she is, beyond doubt pretty to the point where she could do some modeling if she wanted.

Look, I managed to b-b-bore you without any film reviews!

Also, I finally decided to read Cassandra Clare's "City of Bones". I was in a benevolent mood, thinking to myself "hey, she supposedly wrote some good slash in her day, and even if I'm not that into most slash, because they write women so craptastically in it, I DID find the "Very Secret Pervy Hobbit Fancier Diaries" mildly amusing back in the day, even though I'm also irritated that so few know that Cassandra Clare, previously Cassandra Claire, actually based the whole language and idea of those writings on the mildly amusing and decently original best selling idea of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones' Diary. In fact, had I known that the main bulk of Cassandra Claire's/Clare's best writings on the internet were pastiches of other published and famous peoples' writings, I might not have even tried to read the first installment of her "Mortal Instruments".

I do read a lot of YA books, and I've read some good and some bad ones, and there really are some fantastic writers in the YA field, so it pisses me off that such a tenuous writer as Cassandra Clare gets such a hype. The only thing that book had going was that it was an easy read. The ideas have all, with no exception been used before by better writers, and that's actually fairly okay, because in YA urban fantasy people re-hash ideas all the time, BUT, they don't try to pass them off as unique. What surprised me the most is perhaps the mediocrity of the language and how boring the characters were. All the people in the book are shallow, surface oriented sketched stereotypes, most of them are of course pretty or attractive, and the writer makes you never forget it through oversaturated descriptions. The plot, of course, is weak, since the whole point of the book(s) seems to be to describe very attractive semi-supernatural people.

I probably deserve to be disappointed because of my starry eyed hope in a person who got famous through LJ to be a really good writer, but there it is.
There probably is some truth to the back-rubbing rumor of the Sci-fi/Fantasy writing community, and it is unfortunately true that so much of it is not up to par with good writing. That doesn't mean that there isn't some really good writing in the genre, but it does mean that plenty of the writing around is not half as good as the people themselves think...and I guess RaceFail 09 on Livejournal taught us who followed it even a little, just that.

I've refrained from writing about my life and what's happening in it for a while, because I've grown superstitious with age. There are 3 things in the air, one is writing oriented (and so so very early in its phase, it really does disqualify from mentioning even), the other is job oriented and fairly minor, the third is educational and medium sized. Every single one of these three may backfire in my face any day now, and that's why I'm not writing about it yet, even though I have the urge.
I probably will write about it later, either to moan or to cavort. Sorry for being Ms. Vague McVaguerson for now.

Date: 2009-04-28 07:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maybe women are just better looking than men.

Date: 2009-04-28 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes Patrick, that must be it. There are no mundane women out there, we're all Catherine Zeta Joneses, Kate Denningses and Halle Berries, and the contrast just gets more jarring when the Seth Rogens of the world get the Katherine Heigls.

CO ??

Date: 2009-04-28 07:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Have you been to a Vox Feminista show? Do tix usually sell out?
I'm aiming to be there Sat.-Sun. & see Vox at the Mercury Cafe and was wondering.

Re: CO ??

Date: 2009-04-28 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I haven't seen them, so I don't know how fast the tickets go, but since you'll be in Denver this weekend I might try to go in to the Mercury Cafe from Boulder. My email is, if you want to try to set something up.

Date: 2009-04-28 07:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've avoided Cassandra Clare's "work" for the reasons you mentioned. It really grates on me that she has a career despite this being virtually common knowledge.

The plot, of course, is weak, since the whole point of the book(s) seems to be to describe very attractive semi-supernatural people. Sounds kinda like Twilight.

Read Daughter of the Forest, as I've been telling you. And I think you already read George R.R. Martin... have you tried The Lies of Locke Lamora?

Date: 2009-04-28 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My brother recommended Locke Lamora, too. Hmmm...

Date: 2009-04-28 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I enjoyed Locke Lamora and read all the other stuff (except the Marillier book, since I've only been able to find the 3rd installment of that trilogy in the stores so far) but I make a point of trying to follow YA lit a bit for both hobby and work related reasons..and that's why I read City of Bones.

Meyers is actually a somewhat better writer than Cassandra Clare stylistically, but I realize by saying that, that all the Cassandra Clare fangirl-sycophant-hordes are going to threaten me with murder for writing that.
Edited Date: 2009-04-28 08:55 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-04-28 09:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Does she actually have fangirls? Seriously, I'm not trying to be insulting toward her, but I honestly haven't seen her name mentioned without venom ANYWHERE in years.

Date: 2009-04-28 09:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
you probably know more about the fandom world than I do, so if you say that she gets some heat, then that's probably true, and she deserves it.

The only thing I know is that the Mortal Instrument books are supposedly on the NY bestselling list (I know I know, that doesn't mean shit when it comes to quality...), and that some people threw a hissy fit when the same books got recommended alongside Stephenie Meyers books on some big book site, due to them being "of the same type", and the hissy fit people were insulted on Cassandra Clares "behalf" as a writer.

Date: 2009-04-28 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You mean I have zero chance of landing the hot buxom babe of my dreams?! NOOOOO! That's it I am so going gay...oh wait...

Date: 2009-04-28 10:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Of course you stand a chance, you're a guy! Haven't you been watching movies??

(plus, you're cuter than any of those omega geeks on film)

so, no, no need to become gay at all!....oh wait...

Date: 2009-04-28 09:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
By they way, if you wanna see a double-whammy, watch gay films where, usually, apparently ugly homos only exist as the bitchy but sagacious older "Auntie" types and the main characters are hot even if they are nerds or geeks (when was the last time you saw a geek with a six pack?)!

Date: 2009-04-28 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ouch, that's depressing...
I really wish so much of male gay culture didn't seem to be some kind of gorgeous creme frosting on the whole patriarchy cake, but I do know of some really intelligent and critical gay reviewers who say that too. do you spot a fake geek the easiest way?

- you tear off his shirt to check for the sixpack!

Date: 2009-04-28 10:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lol, I talk linguistics for an hour, if he is still conscious, we have a genuine geek! If he is enthusiastic, well I may have a future Mr. Marco!

Date: 2009-04-28 11:55 pm (UTC)

Re: The Omega Geek

Date: 2009-04-28 11:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Something that has always made me uncomfortable: the scene in Revenge of the Nerds where Louis tricks Betty into sleeping with him. Apparently he has skills, and she is so in love with Nerd Cock that it--in the diegesis of the film--completely excuses the fact that he has just raped her.

Re: The Omega Geek

Date: 2009-04-29 12:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm so happy I never saw that movie, right about now..but yeah, the whole omega nerd/geek thing on film is springing from a fairly gray shaded tradition in movie history.

Re: The Omega Geek

Date: 2009-04-29 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They also paint an unreal picture, as a nerdling I always assumed I would come out on top because that ones in the movies I have to work my ample behind off in order to stay in the upper strata...

Date: 2009-04-29 04:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've just been catching up on some of your back posts, what with the whole no-LJ thing for a while. So if you see belated comments turning up, now you know why!

But I'm glad you said that about Cassandra Clare—I couldn't even finish reading it. The plot sticks were so enormous I was amazed that the characters didn't realise they were tripping, let alone what they were tripping over. I mean, I know we're frequently blind to what's going on in our lives, but that blind? Cha!

And yes, so many clichés, with nothing new or different added—not even the pomo awareness of their own clichédness! And no compensation in the form of interesting, well-rounded, nicely-drawn characters—or even mildly intelligent ones. I'm glad I didn't finish reading it.

The only reason I picked it up at all was because of the Very Secret Diaries, which were hilarious no matter how much they were using the work of others both in subject and style. If she could have pulled the same thing off in this...well, she didn't, so there's no point thinking about it.

Date: 2009-04-29 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't finish it either...ahem. I read two thirds or so, and then I skimmed the ending, and then I gave it away. It was just too silly and meh. I guess her only stroke with brilliance was to mix Bridget Jones diary style with Lord of the rings film character style.

Is she even aware of how mostly everything else in the YA section and plenty in the urban fantasy section is better than her stuff? Does she read?

She's in the same literary critique group with frigging Kelly Link for heavens sake.

Date: 2009-04-29 05:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm having zillions of reactions here and probably won't clearly articulate any of them.

First of all, I think that this sentence "Okay, we all need to dream, but why the fuckety-fuck does it always have to be a male dream?" is exactly true.

But in a way, the presentation of the nerd getting the girl dream is almost unfair to nerds. Like, when the guy is a genius and respected in his field kind of thing, and yet he is not complete until he gets a pretty girl, TOO? This is like the "high powered executive who thinks she has it all until she realizes that she really loves babies" one. At what point will mere success be sufficient, you know? (though in the former, he gets to have his brains and the girl, whereas the executive usually has to think of a different way to be high powered successful, like working from home so she can be with the pwecious). And of course the nerds now aren't necessarily smart nerds, too busy with their brains to master social graces; instead they're just socially awkward for their own reasons.

I want to say that I think Sarah Jessica Parker is honestly ugly, and she may provide a counterpoint to your "faux plain" girl. I don't have any feelings about her as an actress one way or the other, but watching everyone treat her like she's a gorgeous fashion icon is always puzzling to me.


I love when you go on

Date: 2009-04-29 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's the generic thing in film and other socio-cultural contexts though, that no person, regardless of gender is complete unless they have a (preferably attractive) partner, but for women in film it is threefold; successful, attractive and have a partner. I just think the male omega nerd gets off awfully easy compared to the nonexistent female nerd. In real life we do know that the female nerd/geek exists in variously successful incarnations, but they're like the dirty secret of the film world, or they get to play extremely tragical comical sidekicks, on very rare occasions.

Sarah Jessica Parker to me is mainly odd she's the female version of James Woods or Steve Buscemi or some other ugly-attractive film personality..but I wouldn't call her downright ugly...she still has those blue eyes and the figure, in spite of the long angled face.
There are women with unusual looks in film, as long as they have certain criteria in place (like the figure) they're able to make a career just by being unusual counterpoints to the generically pretty, as you pointed out..but it doesn't feel the same as the very realistically plain/weak chinned/chubby guy geeks you can spot fairly often on film.

Re: I love when you go on

Date: 2009-04-29 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
SJP started off as a geek in a tv show called "Square Pegs" so maybe I can't look at her regularly. I liked her in that, I think.

Have you ever seen "The Big Bang Theory"? Sarah Gilbert (I think) has a recurring role on that. She's my favorite character.

Re: I love when you go on

Date: 2009-04-29 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I haven't seen SJP in Square Pegs and not Sarah Gilbert in TBBT either, have to check both of them out now!

Re: I love when you go on

Date: 2009-04-29 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Square Pegs, to be clear, may well have stunk to high heaven. I was 14 and not the classy discerning critic I am now.

TBBT has its moments, and the geeks are geeky, not just socially inept. It is not the best comedy, not least because the writers are writers and not science nerds, so the in-jokes are a little dumbed down for my taste (I don't like it when I know what they're talking about, because then it rings false, if that makes sense) but still: GEEKS.

Date: 2009-04-29 08:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't think Fast & Furious is the kind of movie to watch if you're not into stereotypes and clichés. Like many movies made in the US it's aimed at the US audience, and thus has to keep things simple and easy to understand. There are a lot of movies that can be considered part of popular culture that doesn't make use of these cookie cutter plot devices, and for some reason a lot of them seem to be produced in other parts of the world.

About the slash thing, I'm not sure I'm following you there... To me slash is just as much cultural stereotype as the ones you described, only it's aimed at women instead of guys. Combine that with the sexual paranoia that is common in the US of A and you get the reason why it's not a common theme in popular culture movies.

Date: 2009-04-29 05:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's not the cliches I have and issue with in the fast and the furious, I had very little expectations when I went to the movie, but they killed off the best and coolest character after 15 minutes! She was my main reason to go. The rest are just musings about how the female heterosexual alibi is back in certain hard core action movies again. This movie is not only aimed at a US audience, it's so painfully only aimed at a US male audience. The rest of us should not think movies about fast cars worthwhile.

Slash arose due to tensions between supposedly heterosexual male characters on film and tv, and these tensions were so exciting and powerful, that love stories and sex stories started to be written about two (in main culture hetero)characters, and it became a pretty powerful subculture, written mainly but not exclusively by women for women. But it all started with two supposedly heterosexual men on the screen, being more interested in each other than in any woman. I think the first real slash pairing were Kirk/Spock in old style Star Trek, long before the internet even.
Edited Date: 2009-04-29 05:53 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-05-06 08:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Fast & Bi-Curious

Heh. Love it. :)

The heterosexual alibi thing is a given. Been around for decades; quite possibly predating even Spock and Kirk. Think Westerns. Hell possibly even Dorothy's role in The Wizard of Oz (there were some smouldering glances there between the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, let me tell you...)

However in movies like The Fast & The Furious (having not seen the most recent iteration of the franchise) I suspect it's the presence of Vin Diesel more than anything else. He's one guy who sets both my and [ profile] tooticky's bi/gaydars pinging every time. I think any female character and any actress portraying said character would be in danger of appearing a heterosexual excuse when in an ensemble with him and any other male. Even I (in my oh-so-very-straight way) find him oddly mesmerising... perhaps in a similar way that many ostensibly straight women rabbit on about Angelina Jolie

Date: 2009-05-06 08:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Tooticky also suggests Stealth as a containing another shining example of the heterosexual excuse character. Possibly the title of the movie was slyer than we first thought...

Date: 2009-05-07 01:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] made me curious now, I haven't seen it...

Date: 2009-05-07 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"fast and bi-curous" was actually an expression created by a reviewer in one of the Denver newspapers after seeing the film, so I'm not the only one making this observation! I don't know if I have a very active bi/gaydar, but I'll agree with you that there's something truly odd with Vin Diesel, maybe I've been thinking up until now that a person so over the top testosterone and yet with that kind of sotto vibe, should be gay, if nothing else...

Angelina has a bi streak if I remember correctly, right? (the only odd thing with her, for me, is that there's such a hype around her..I am somewhat underwhelmed, although she has an intense aura and a HUGE mouth...)
Edited Date: 2009-05-07 01:58 pm (UTC)
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 12:57 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios