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Florida Project [Oct. 26th, 2017|03:53 pm]

I’m still obsessed with the Florida Project.  I think it’s because the movie did such a good job of creating a secondary world.  That’s what always pulled me into fantasy and role playing so it’s the same thing here.  My brain is starting to cool off.  It is just a movie.

I’m hating on the New Yorker illustration of Hailey and Moonee.  It makes Hailey seem monstrous and Moonee seem much more passive than she actually is.  Is Hailey a monster?  In a sense I suppose she is.  That’s a big gap in the movie, millennials sympathize with Hailey and older generations are disgusted by her.

Does it matter when she becomes a whore?  It doesn’t to me, but it does to a lot of other people.  If you notice, the Hispanic women in the movie are all in for helping Hailey when she’s a poor single mom.  When they realize she’s a whore the wall comes down. 

We meet Hailey when she’s in trouble because she refuses to be a whore.  This makes us on her side and sympathetic.  We cheer her on.  But she becomes a whore in a way that’s concealed from the audience, so we’re continuing to cheer her even after she’s a whore.  It takes a while for us to realize what’s happened.  Does that make a difference?  We don’t understand why all her Hispanic friends suddenly turn their backs on her, and we feel her pain and bewilderment. 

Then we realize what’s going on and we get it.  Or do we?  Here’s the typical depiction of Hailey and Moonee.

Moonee is a great kid with tremendous potential, but it’s obvious she’ll wind up like Hailey.  Hailey actually has potential but it’s hard to see how it could be realized.  She blocks everyone out with this wall of rage.  Her caseworker seemed sympathetic but couldn’t get a word in with Hailey shrieking obscenities at her.  I’ve been there, many times. 

Liberals are already on their soapboxes, “You don’t care, you need to care and give money.”  But it’s clear Hailey has a full TANF grant, food stamps and bus passes and a caseworker who’d like to help her.  It’s not clear that more money would help.  Hailey actually lands several windfalls during the movie and she immediately spends everything she has on useless junk.  She’s so conscious of her poverty that she immediately indulges herself every chance she gets. 

All Hailey wants to do is sit in her room, smoke weed and watch TV.  That’s depression.  I can relate and I am sympathetic.  But how do we fix it?  Send her to therapy?  She won’t go, because it would interfere with her TV watching.  If we threatened to cut off her money she’d go and just sit sullenly in the corner and then explode into wall of rage when someone tries to talk to her. 

Maybe we shouldn’t try to fix her?  Life isn’t offering her that much, so maybe staring at the TV and getting high is a natural reaction?  But life is what you make of it.  If she went to a junior college, she’d have more money through financial aid, and college life is fun. 

But she’d have to get off her butt and she doesn’t want to. 

Ignore her and focus on Moonee?  She’ll wind up in the system and that usually isn’t good. 

Some people are saying variations on, “Moonee will be fine, because I will adopt her!”  Is that the answer?  It works but still…you want to separate these two?

God put them together, maybe for a reason?

Wow, I’m off the deep end.  It’s just a movie kids.  Still…one lady at work was being a jerk and I almost blew her off.  Then I thought about Hailey and gave her another chance.  And it turned out she needed it.   

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Invisible Woman [Aug. 25th, 2015|06:04 am]
My niece decided to choose the Invisible Woman as her facebook icon and it made me think how much I've enjoyed the character over the years. Before i knew it I'd written a couple of pages about her.  Marvel and DC comics have both blown up their universes for their annual summer events and the whole thing seems so over the top that it seems to mark and end point somehow.  It's made me reflective about these little worlds I enjoyed so much.  Anyhow, here's the essay.

My favorite story with the Invisible Woman is a Spider-Man.  I don’t know when or where it was issued, it was only later that I realized how much I enjoyed it.  The story opens at the Daily Bugle.  Peter Parker is hanging around between assignments.  There’s going to be a charity event with the city’s elite and the paper needs to cover it.  Their regular paparazzi is out sick so the editor grabs Peter and tells him to get his camera and get over there.

Peter goes home and puts on his best suit but still feels woefully underdressed when he arrives.  But he dutifully works the event.  He’s a little uneasy because he doesn’t like paparazzi and doing the stalker thing, but with his super speed and spider sense, which is essentially super intuition, he’s actually very good at it.  He’s worried the paper will find out if he does too good a job and reassign him permanently.  But he focuses on the task at hand, and decides to worry about that later.

The star of the event is Susan Richards, the Invisible Woman, founding member of the Fantastic Four and one of the rare superheroes without a secret identity.  She seems completely at home in this world of wealth and privilege and is very much the grand dame.  Peter follows her and gets a few pictures, but nothing that does her justice.   She’s credited as being a great beauty and Peter is struck by this as he tracks her through his lens.

She is also an old friend.  One of his oldest friends and he’s struck by the strangeness of this life he leads.  He has to pretend he doesn’t know her because of his secret identity.  She’s very busy as the star of the event and he has to hurry to keep up with her.  He’s essentially stalking her, and he feels a growing sense of shame. 

He can’t get a good shot, which is ridiculous because long ago Susan was poor and worked as a model to pay her way through college.  She had been very, very successful and had only been hindered by the fact that she put her education first.  So if he could just identify himself as an old friend, and ask her, then getting a good shot would simple.  But of course he can’t do that because of his secret identity and so he winds up stalking her.  He feels even more ashamed.

Too make it worse, he can tell that he’s making her uncomfortable.  She’s very aware of her surroundings as a good superhero should be and is perfectly aware that he’s following her.  He can tell because he’s fairly alert too. 

Trouble breaks out as trouble always does.  Everyone hides behind Susan because she’s a superhero and she gathers them in a safe place while fending off the bad guys.  She’s very much the cool professional in charge because, well, she is.  Peter tries to do his usual sneak off in the confusion and change into Spider-Man thing, but Susan’s in superhero mode and spots him trying to sneak off.  She herds him back with the other civilians and when he tries it again, asks the group to keep an eye on him.

So he has to watch while she risks her life to protect him.  It’s a tough fight too, and he’s dealing with this sense of wrongness about his whole secret identity issue, and asking himself what if she gets killed, and is he going to watch her die to protect his secret identity?

Finally there’s an explosion creating enough confusion for Peter to switch into costume.  He jumps into the fight and Susan flashes him a smile.  They settle into a quick routine (they’ve worked together a lot) and beat off the wave of bad guys easily.  There’s a lull in the fighting and Susan turns to him and says, “Hey, you were at this party weren’t you?”

Peter tries to play dumb with the usual “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” and she looks over the crowd of civilians .  She says she doesn’t see the photographer who kept trying to sneak off.  She looks at Spider-Man and asks if she needs to go looking for him.  Peter looks at the ground and mutters that the photographer is fine.

The attack surges in again but they’re ready for it and pound the bad guys mercilessly.  The villains retreat in panic and the police arrive and take everyone back to safety.  Peter takes advantage of the confusion and switches back.  He starts photographing, much more comfortable since this is now a crime scene.
Susan is talking with the police about what happened and when she’s done she stops to pick up one of the energy weapons the bad guys were using and studies it.  It’s a perfect shot, her in uniform looking thoughtful, framed against the smoke and flames.  He takes the picture and she looks up at him and smiles.

Many, many, years later and in a different series, there was a scene that echoed some of this.  At the outbreak of the Civil War event the Avengers hosted all the superheroes in their mansion to talk about whether they should comply with the Registration Act.  Susan is talking up the Act explained how her life as a public superhero has worked out well.  Spider-Man has some questions as he’s always been focused on his secret identity.  They’re off by themselves talking with her calling him Spidey and he calling her Sue.  Finally he says, “Actually Sue, its Peter.”

“Peter,” she says.  She smiles and  gives his shoulder a squeeze.  “Peter, I like this Registration Act already.” 

One last one, this one from long ago.  They’re having a car chase, always problematic in Manhattan.  Susan is at the wheel and Peter is crouched in the passenger seat grumbling that she’s driving too fast.  Suddenly she yells at him to take the wheel.  She jumps onto the hood of the car and stands there, engaging in a superpower shoot out with the bad guys.

Peter grabs the wheel and tries to control the car, but it swerves from side to side.  Susan yells at him to drive straight, that he’s ruining her aim, but he keeps swerving.  He makes it through one turn but loses control in a second one and crashes the car into a fire hydrant which shoots water all over them.

Sue is furious and demands to know where he learned to drive.  Peter explains that the thing is, he really doesn’t know how to drive.

“Wow,” Susan says, “You really are a New Yorker.”        
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sexist rantings re: General Petraeus [Nov. 9th, 2012|08:31 pm]
I hope I'm not spoiling the story for you, but General Petraeus, hero of Afghanistan and current head of the CIA just announced that he's been having an affair, and has resigned his post in disgrace.  I google imaged everyone like a good sexist, and well damn.  Infidelity is wrong. 


Okay, ladies, you need to be a little thinner than your husband.  Not a lot thinner, but noticeably thinner.  Now you can skip this if your husband is a big loser, or if you're a bigger winner than he is.  But if he's a big famous guy and you're a lesser light, the rule applies. 

Also, if your husband is a major political power player, and has been mentioned for the presidency, you need to show some basic fashon sense.  Not a lot, but some.  You don't need to have The Stylist, but you need to have a good stylist. You don't need to go the It Salon, but you need to go to a good salon. 

This is unnecessary. 


Ignoring the weight, consider the hair and clothes.  This doesn't need to happen.


She is half of a major Washington power couple.  She's in the public eye.  Maybe if her husband wasn't thin and fit and always in uniform it wouldn't be so bad, but it just is.  Someone on her husband's staff, or her staff, or a political advisor, needs to take her aside and just, do an intervention or something.  I mean this is what he married.


It's impossible to maintain this of course.  But it should be kept as some sort of a reference point.  Obviously he likes this.  He enjoys neat, well groomed, slender.  He's not some sort of chubby chaser.  A wise wife would bear that in mind.  Particularly if he's being hailed as a genius on the front page of the New York Times and Washington Post, and being 'mentioned' as a presidential possibility. 

Also, if this shows up to write his biography,


Immediate and extreme action needs to be taken.  Preferrably involving pepper spray and a baseball bat.     

Her title was, All In: The Education of General David Petraeus.  Oh boy.   

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Weird books [Oct. 21st, 2012|09:51 am]
I'm researching for my new book and am emersing myself in the 1930's.  So much fun!  Anyhow I'm reading lots of fun books. The best so far is the Spear of Destiny by Trevor Ravenscroft.  It's a famous conspiracy book but one I've somehow missed reading until now, and it's sooo good.  Ravenscroft was a British occultist whose mentor was an Austrian occultist who studied white magic and grail lore in Vienna in the 1900's.  While there, he struck up an odd friendship with a tramp who was a young black magician, potentially one of great power, who was also studying grail lore.  The tramp's name was, what for it, Adolph Hitler.  

What follows is a wonderfully rich tableaux of occult weirdness, black and white magic covens, satanists, magic architecture, music, even operas.  Mystic books found in obscure used bookstores, enchanted paintings that reveal true enlightenment, angry confrontations in sidewalk cafes, trips to see mad wizards in the woods, it just goes on and on. 

There's not a shred of evidence that any of this is true, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  This is grand conspiracy theory and has nothing to do with boring facts.  I really have a feeling that J.K. Rowling has read the book, as there's a considerable echo of Dumbldore's prewar friendship with the German black magician.     

Pre Great War Vienna is such a rich and decadent background in itself, and when you add an overlay of secret societies of black and white magicians dueling to control the new century, well, my next project's planned. 

I'm half way through Spear of Destiny and we just learned that one of Hitler's mentors studied in Mexico, where he learned secret rituals of Aztec peyote blood magic.  Because those are the best kind you know.

The book's almost too rich.  I have to read it in small doses.  Well it's an obscure nitch, but if you like reading weird conspiracy books to get ideas for modern fantasy stories, this book is a must read.

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returning [Oct. 9th, 2012|06:14 am]
Gone 5 years?  Wow.  Okay, So life go weird with the new kid and job change and all.  Will try to post regularly again.
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Buffy comic [Jan. 25th, 2007|07:30 pm]
Pretty Willow art from Dark Horse here. Interesting Buffy art here. Are those Rorshock cards? Uh oh, Buffy in therapy.  These are presented as by the site as desktop wall paper and may not be part of the actual comic, but they look cool anyway.  They sure look like covers. 
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Buffy Comic [Jan. 9th, 2007|10:00 pm]

Very nice cover shot of Buffy #2 here.  A detailed description of #2 with lots of spoilers can be found here.  Beautiful cover art though, makes all the grief about the comic worth it for me, just to get art like this. 

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fanfic award. [Dec. 20th, 2006|07:21 pm]
[Current Location |happy place]
[mood |happyhappy]


I won the Crossing Over award for best miscellaneous fic!  ~Does the happy dance~  Thanks everyone who voted and for whoever nominated me.  It's a wonderful Christmas present.  ~Does the happy dance again~  I hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season.  

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Buffy Season Eight [Dec. 7th, 2006|11:45 pm]
[mood |happyhappy]

You can see previews of the comic here.  It looks good.  I'm not sure I like the explanation of the Immortal, but it is a Whedon approved explanation.  Oh yeah, the pages contain spoilers for season eight so be warned.  

Hey, a Buffy spoiler warning!  I thought I'd never see one of those again. 

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SMG's career [Dec. 6th, 2006|11:30 pm]
[mood |weirdweird]

I know it's silly but this article has been bugging me.  Buffy's return, with a whisper, not a scream
And this one hasn't helped.     That scream you hear: Gellar’s career dying 
There's more where those came from, but you get the idea.  SMG has made one well received movie.  Southland Tales.  It seems to have disappeared.  See the details here.     The case of the missing cult movie

Well she's got plenty money.  We were watching her on Conan and the wife said SMG's nesting.  She's putting her carrer to oneside to focus on hubby and home and getting ready for baby, and that SMG is so talented she could get her career back like that ~snapping fingers sound effect~  My wife kind of identifies with SMG.  Maybe, but I worry.  I feel some sort of vague connection to her career and want her to do well.  And she's sort of not.  

The good news is she's got Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing coming out, which costars her with Alec Baldwin.  It's been renamed Suburban Girl and she get's billing over Baldwin!  See here.  

IMdb says she has four other movies coming out this year, so her odds are good for a hit.  But one's animated so it's voice only.  The Air I Breath has her playing the spirit of Sorrow.  Okay, but I sort of wanted her to do something fun, like comedy.  Having her play the spirit of Sorrow, well, just sort of depresses me.  

Alice is based on an award winning horror video game, where an adult and insane Alice is trapped in a horror version of Wonderland.  Hmm, could be good, but it's horror again, and it's the sort of thing that's tricky to pull off.  On the plus side, a bloodsplattered Alice in Wonderland should be very controversial, maybe with pickets and protests, and other stuff that gets lots of free publicity.  

She stars in Addicted, but IMdb lists the following plot outline,  "A woman's life is thrown into chaos after a freak car accident sends her husband and brother-in-law into comas. Thrills arrive after the brother-in-law wakes up, thinking he's his brother."

Everytime I read it, I shudder. A freak car accident, comas, amnesia, false identity?   If it were a comedy maybe, but it's listed as a thriller.

Oh well,  I'm sure she has very talented agents who plot her career path for her, and of course she's a very experienced actress who has everything well in hand.  I just worry sometimes.  

Everybody think good thoughts about Alice.   

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