Wow, I've irritated some other geek on the internet
darthyan
Let's just say I haven't felt this oddly flattered in ages.

First some background.

I sent a pm message to kylenne explaining why I felt that Kael'thas's fall into darkness was actually pretty logical a few weeks ago. Basically I stated that when your exposed to a substance that warps your brain and erodes morality it's not far fetched, and Kael thas was always one of those guys who'd do whatever it took, even if it was stupid and reckless (lets be honest, engorging fel energy is stupid and reckless. look at the orcs). She responded by blocking me from ever sending pms (something that no one else has done even on the rare occasions that things have gotten to politics or heated debates.) Anyway, now she's on live journal complaining that I was defending an "ablist" interpretation and defending bastardization. While I doubt she'll see this, I still feel obligated to express just how petty her "ohh wahhh you dared offer a different interpretation you're a meanie" spiel is, and why I still stand by my belief that kael's descent into madness was well done. I mean when I got a stronger reaction than most other people I've encountered on the internet (which is many) than I kind of have to marvel at it, and to be honest I haven't really had a lot to post about so I might as well use this. I'd reproduce the part of the message that got sent, but evidently the block she had means I can't access the pm.

Anyway, Kael'thas made it clear he would do WHATEVER it took to help his people. What's the expression......Oh yeah the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Often times villains do actions they believe to be for the greater good. While it is true that Kael'thas was dealt a crappy hand, he still made it clear that if a method came that he thought could help his people arose, he'd take it. THis left it open for him doing morally reprehensible acts if he thought it would help his people. Now lets consider the following.

1.) Illidan promised to help him avenge Quel'thals by killing Arthas and destroying the frozen throne. Illidan failed, and the shock of loosing it all, facing the wrath of kil'jaeden and getting his butt kicked wouldn't have helped his low sanity (he freely admitted as much to Maeiv, and I doubt the skull of Gul'dan helped his sanity; getting your assed handed to you in your moment of greatest triumph probably wouldn't either). Witnessing a potential savior fucking blow it would leave Kael wondering what options were available. Due to the lights failure I doubt he'd go back. Now Kil'jaeden's offering him something similar that may work...........Kael could easily go "Oh well desperate times desperate measures"

2.) The more you do horrible actions, the easier it becomes. It's called jumping off the slippery slope. As kael did more desperate actions it became easier to just say "oh it's for the greater good."

3.) Fel energy is actually corrupting, and was stated to be addictive. Kael'thas's brand was far more potent than the blood elves of azeroth and he was consuming in larger quantities. As quoted by a guy on TVTROPES, it's possible for a good decent woman to become so addicted it's possible she'd sell her children in child porn for the money needed for a fix.

4.) In the trailer for fury of the sun well we see a band of blood elves moving towards him (and their token jungle troll) and kill him (well it's implied anyway.) During the battle he said lines that implied he still cared. But now the people he's fighting to save have told him point blank "WE DON'T WANT YOU!!!! FUCK OFF!!!!" After he's done all this for them, they reject him. Now factor in the circumstances of his rebirth and the violence of his demise, and his minions saying he's been off since Delrissa brings him back Maybe he just thought that after his people rejected him only his followers were worthy of salvation and his people would need to be converted by force....... Maybe they mucked with him when bringing him back. There's plenty of possibilities. and 4 to 5 years happen off screen so we don't see the whole effect of his transition

I understand that some people like Kael'thas, but to react with the sheer amount of force and attitude she did shows that she is as immature as she claims me to be. While it is okay to have your views, one must be willing to concede that there is a possibility that they might be wrong, and that maybe the opposition has a case. I've debated politics and never been blocked like she has. Her friends responses of "kill him with fire for Kael" only show that they too do not tolerate dissent or the possibility that the direction they liked might not be the only alternative.

So in summary this guy from tvtropes sums up how I feel about Kael'thas.
"It's actually a fairly accurate discription; Kael's story is one of succumbing to addiction, plain and simple. It only looks like character derailment because a good four or five years of it take place off screen. But as someone who's grown up around drug addiction his whole life, this troper found Kael's development to make perfect sense. When you've seen a good, decent woman fall so far into addiction that she'll rent out her children for use in child porn just so she'll have money for a fix, the thought of a fantasy prince selling his people to the devil after years of abusing magic hardly seems far fetched."

Here's her reaction in a nutshell.

YOU BIG MEANIE HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT THE PATH I HATE MIGHT ACTUALLY BE LOGICAL!!! U R N FANBOY FOR KNAAKKKK!!!!!!



Xmen First Class
darthyan
This is easily one of the best movies I've seen all year, despite it's continuity holes.

Pros: 

1.) The Actors: The acting is phenomenal. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy alone carry this film; their interactions allow the audience to genuinely feel that they are the best of friends even though they only interact for a few months at most. Magneto's obsession with taking down Sebastian shaw (the monster who took his mother away from him) was compelling and we could easily understand why Magneto wanted to take him down. His fall into darkness is also compelling and there is a tragic irony in Magneto getting so consumed by his hatred that he becomes little better than the nazi who took his mother away. I was actually thinking "no no no Erik what are you thinking" when Magneto announced that he agreed with Shaw's philosphy. Even then I could understand him; he risked his life to try and save humanity, and they repaid him by trying to blow him and his friends up. Come to think of it anything fassbender does is fucking awesome.

2.) Magneto kicking the asses of the Nazis in the bar scene. PURE FUCKING WIN!!!!

3.) Even when you knew something would happen it was still affecting. Angel's turn to the Hellfire club was something I saw coming (okay I read about it on wikipedia but I wasn't sure if it was accurate) and I still wanted to fucking strangle her when she left her friends to join the Nazi SOB Big Bad.

4.) Darwin's death was genuinely moving. When I sat in the theater I was hoping that he wouldn't die. While most blacks are killed for canon fodder (an annoying trope) this time it serves a purpose; it shows the other students that this is not a game and that the threat is real. Darwin also dies in an act of bravery which had actual meaning. Which Made Angel's sipping Champagne with Kevin Bacon (the guy who murdered Darwin) more irritating and increasing my contempt for her. god I hated the bitch so very much.

5.) Shaw's Karmic Death: VERY WELL DESERVED!!!! It was what made Magneto's Face Heel turn more bearable since Shaw is easily the worst monster in the series (outclassing stryker, the guy who LOBOTOMIZED HIS OWN SON!!!!)

6.) Mystique and Xavier's relationship: Very intriguing idea and well done. 

7.) Xavier's getting crippled. When It happened I literally stared in shock at the screen. I thought It wasn't going to happen until the sequal but damn. The tragic irony is that it comes at the hands not of his foes but the very individuals he loves the most.

8.) Hugh Jackman's cameo.

9.) The opening with the lab scene. That was easily what got the attention of everyone in the theater.

Cons:

1.) The continuity holes are jarring

2.) It got a little slow in the middle

3.) Mystique turned a little too quickly and finally her romance with Beast felt wasted

Still it's a great film and one I reccomend whole heartedly.

In defense of the dresden files
darthyan



One of the most common charges levelled against the Dresden files series is that is mysogonistic. While it is possible to understand where these critics come from, this interpretation isn't entirely accurate.

Point 1: Sexism only gets you into trouble

Harry's sexism is not something that makes his life easier; in fact it often makes it worse. In the first two books his sexism induced secrecy damages his relationship with the police, thus making it harder to stop the supernatural meneces that are ravaging Chicago. His refusal to share information with a female trainee also results in that trainee's death at the hands of a werewolf, meaning that his allegedly "protective" actions ultimately hurt those they were meant to help. It is not until he finally realizes that nothing good can come of this and starts opening up that things get easier for him. For instance, Harry's plan in book 3 to defeat the villain Kravos involves temporarily dying (so that an imprint/ghost can be created to help him) and then being revived with CPR. The most available candidate is his newly half vampire girlfriend susan. Even though she could easily loose control and kill him, he ultimately trusts her with resuscitating him, confiding in her and asking her help. Ultimately the plan works perfectly; harry is revived and with the help of his own ghost he manages to overpower Kravos and kill him. By fully trusting his girlfriend, he was able to succeed, whereas his earlier secrecy and mistrust only hurt him. In book 5 the villain nicodemus lampshades that Harry tends to do stupid things when women are endangered, and Harry (after giving nic what he wants due to not wanting a woman to die) actually acknowledges this. In book 7 he acknowledges that his attitude is backwords and retrograde, and in book 10 he has to restrain himself from attacking the Denarians after they brutally torture a 12 year old precisely because he knows they want him to do so. 
 

Point 2: Female Characters

There are several women characters in the series and while their portrayal is somewhat dodgy early on, they do become far more solid as the series progresses. First up is Harry's partner Karrin Murphy. At first she seems overly judgemental and intolerant of Harry, but even as far back as book 1 it's implied to be Harry's own damn fault. When he stops being secrative and actually fills her in on the important details she starts to trust him more and more. Her background also gives her a legitimate reason for her hostility; if she fails in the SD division, she looses the job she's worked to accuire for years. Harry's advice on the supernatural is the only thing that has kept her afloat as long as she has, so his secrecy ultimately hurts her a great deal. while her accusations of murder in books 1 and 2 may seem far fetched and irrational, they aren't given the circumstances. In the first book he was seemingly the only wizard in town, and he withheld information, something that gaurentees that the police will be suspicious; in book 2 he also lied about his relationship with one of the victims despite an earlier promise. Yes her crying in the first book is somewhat annoying and cringe inducing, but people can sometimes crack under pressure, and murphy is facing a lot of pressure not only to do well, but to try and fit into a male dominated field all while some guy whose suppposed to help her is advising her to be more feminine. She also demonstrates a high degree of intelligence; in book 2 she incapacitates the werewolf loup garou while simultaneously proving that she is far smarter then harry gives her credit for (she uses a method mentioned in a report that he firmly thought she would never ever read) and after saving Harry's life lampshades how stupid he was for thinking she was trying to shoot him. In Aftermath she singlehandedly comes up with a plan to save innocent people from the Formori armed with only stealth and a pistol, which succeeds admirably. Her skills as a detective are also shown to their fullest. Plus she kicks ass many times.

second is Susan Rodrigez, Harry's first girlfriend in the series. At first, she appears to embody the worst sexist traits; shallow, manipultive, and overly sexy. As books 2 and 3 progress, this is fortunately proven wrong. They form a genuine romantic relationship, and she even gives up her memories of Harry to save him from his fairy godmother (Again, it makes more sense in context). Even after getting turned into a half vampire she displays a high level of emotional control. rather then aangsting repeatedly, she decides to use her abilities productively, and when she and harry break up she calmly explains why it will never work. there's no angsting. She also ties up her old life without a fuss. Hell, she manages to keep her problem under countrol for almost a decade. She also displays physical strength post transformation, managing to hold her own against another villain with the strength of a fallen angel behind her.

the final protagonist female is Molly Carpenter, Harry's apprentice: Molly's a well rounded character. She's kind, loyal brave and wants to help people. At the same time she's impulsive, reckless and somewhat short sighted, many of which are common in teenagers. She displays high levels of magical talent, and while harry is somewhat protective of her the main reasons have nothing to do with sexism. Reason 1 is that she's under the doom of damocles with harry (he made a deal to keep her being executed), meaning that if she fails he dies with her. Another reason is that Harry wants to be a good teacher, unlike his first mentor Justin DuMorne (an abusive jerk who later turned out to be a total monster). Harry wants to be a better teacher then his mentor, and molly gives him the chance to do so.

Point 3: The Evolution of Harry throughout the series. There is no denying that the Harry dresden of the first book is a mysogonist. He irrationally believes women are more violent and hateful then dudes, and he dismisses murphy's legitimate concerns. At the same time, he does grow. As mentioned earlier he was willing to trust Susan to give him CPR despite the fact that she could easily kill him, showing that he believes she can control her emotions and impulses. When his freind's daughter inadvertantly screws up the minds of two people, he does not say that her weakness was due to being a woman, but rather due to being a hot heade teenager (and lets be honest teenagers can be pretty hot headed). He even acknowledges that it's a bad thing about himself, which is far more than most people with that kind of attitude can honestly admit. His later interactions with Murphy also show a more mature attitude; the only time he consideres not asking her to get involved is in Turn Coat, and that's because the villain Shagnasty is an obscenely powerful demigod who's torn apart a group of werewolves; as powerful as Murphy is, she's only a mortal, and while he has no problem asking her to get involved vampires are far less powerful then shagnasty and can be matched by mortals. He even learns to restrain his overly chivalrous impulses in book 10, while his admission of having a hard time understanding women is just that; an admission of his own weaknesses. Now some might say that improvement is not enough, that he should overcome it. No offense, but prejudice is rarely overcome completely; some elements may linger. Compared to most people with prejudices Harry has changed largely for the better.

Point 4: Narrative voice: finally, people use the voice to say that the author also endorses the character's views. first of all, first person perspectives are not unbiased. If the events and actions of the characters supported it maybe there would be a case, but as i mentioned earlier his views are repeatedly proven false, they get him into trouble and make his life harder, and they are repeatedly challenged by others (his male friend michael calls him out on his flimsy excuse to avoid having a real relationship with susan beyond dating. So it's safe to say that the character's flaws are only the flaws of the character, not the writer.

I am not advocating that everyone love the dresden files. there are plenty who don't and i acknowledge that.
 still, they are not mysogonistic as people claim.

Nick Mamatas Star Wars Part 1
darthyan
 When I was in the US, I purchased the book star wars on trial, and it was a fun book. The only problem was Nick Mamatas's essay, which was insulting, rude, condescending, whiny, and which missed the point a lot. I sent Mr. Mamatas a message, and he never responded, so without further ado, I will discuss it right now.   




1.) Why didn't Obiwan tell Luke that Vader was his father. Nick, do you really think a teenaged boy would be able to handle the knowledge that his father was mass murdering psychopath? Also, given that Luke is known to stick to his decisions to help people no ifs ands or buts, and that they think Vader is beyond redemption, there is another possible reason. they were worried that if Luke found out then he would try to save his father rather then trying to kill him, and since they considered Vader beyond redemption they likely thought it would lead to disaster.

2.) Why Vader didn't tell Luke right away. Vader didn't really have any opportunities to tell him until Cloud City. The opening credits make it quite clear that Vader's been chasing Luke since the end of episode IV, and has only just caught up with him at the start of episode V. Hell they don't even exchange a single line of dialogue until the fight on cloud city. Now, you may argue that vader could have drilled it into the mountain with his guns but that would not work for many reasons. a.) Considering all the thing's Vader's done to Luke (torturing his love interest, killing his mentor, killing his childhood friend, trying to kill him, ordering the murder of his foster parents, and leading the cause Luke admitted to hating before any of the above atrocities even happened) simply telling Luke "I'm your dad" is not going to instantly persuade him to abandon his cause and friends (who he cares for greatly) to work with the guy who wronged him greatly. b.) Vader probably thought that Luke wouldn't accept it until he had broken Luke down physically and mentally (his original plan was to capture him with carbonite). 

3.) Why they didn't tell him leia was his sister. That would have raised a lot of unwanted questions that could have let everything out before they were ready.

4.) Why the empire didn't find luke as a baby: The force is not a gps locater. It does not allow you to find everyone in the galaxy.  Luke did not sense Darth Vader's Power and Han Solo's plight from across interstellar space. He had a premonition of danger/vision of the future in which both Han AND Leia were tortured. He did not sense who the source was, or how powerful it was. He also had it before they even arrived on Cloud City. I have to wonder if he saw the same film everyone else did, or if he just lied.

a.) It's also implied that unless you have been trained your powers either don't manifest at all or manifest to such a small extent that it's barely noticable (Qui gon didn't even suspect anakin of being able to use the force until he revealed he could pilot a podracer, and even then it took the midichlorian test before he knew HOW powerful he was.) As such, Luke and Leia would not be sensed. Also, given that Vader despised Obi Wan, considered himself Obi Wan's superior in every way, and had more then enough troops to nullify any traps, wouldn't he have gone to tatooine with his soldiers if he sensed Obi Wan? Therefore the rational answer is that he didn't sense his master then. He also would have gone to dagobah. 

Mamatas might argue that their politicial pull would allow them to find Luke but this is flawed for two reasons. 1.) Tatooine is an isolated backwater in the middle of nowhere with no importance to anyone besides the Hutts, and is so unimportant that the empire that they don't even bother sending troops until episode IV. The chances of palpy, vader, or any agent visiting the planet or hearing news of Luke's existence are both pretty low (palpy and vader are the only ones who would find the info important.) 2.) Given Vader's violent hatred of anything remotely related to his past, it's a safe bet to assume he'd try to stay away (I mean honestly, the guy flew into a rage at the mention of HIS BIRTHNAME. He sure as hell ain't gonna visit the world where he spent a hellish childhood. Plus since they think both kids are dead they aren't even going to bother

5.) Why Owen bought the droids: It's been twenty years since he's seen them, they have nothing unique about them to seperate them from countless other droids that look exactly like them, and the only one he's familiar with has a different appearence. Why the fuck should he recognize them?

6.) Obi Wan and the Droids: Given Obi Wan's prejudice it could be simple bigotry.

7.) Leaving Luke with his Uncle: First off, there is the anonminity that I cited above, and the second is the fact that they need Luke to grow up with a real family, so that he won't develop his dad's issues. Owen is a guy they can trust so voila problem solved. 

8.) Leia: Given that leia didn't have Luke's circumstances, they would have had to make  a cover story (i.e she was a war orphan they adopted out of pity. Believable since real celebs do that all the time for publicity stunts). If they have a good story they won't do a midicholrian test, which is supposed to be super specicific.

9.) The alleged inferiority of tech: First off, why are three sets of wings better then two? More isn't always better. Plus seeing as the Rebel's are a band of guerilla fighters they could simply be using second hand tech. As for why no references: Why the fuck should there be.

10.) Motti's athiesm: He's referring to Vader's abilities, and even then the jedi were pretty aloof and rare.

11.) Why Artoo has no rockets: He does look more battered, and there is the fact that he's seen combat a lot if three p o is to be believed. 

12.) Why hide luke on tatooine: So he can grow to adulthood in relative safety? This isn't rocket science.

13.) Star Wars "ruining" cinema: I'm sorry but that's like saying Arch duke ferdinand's death was the sole cause of world war I. there is no way of noing what would have happened had wars never been made; Jaws showed that blockbusters could be popular. Also; sturgeon's law was just as applicable in the 70s as it is today, meaning that there were a lot of bad films then as well. And what of films such as lord of the rings, philedlphia, saving private ryan, and many more. At worst star wars was one of many contributing factors.

Overall, Mamatas just comes across as a whiny pompous holier then thou soap box speaker who acts as if his way is the only one.





Not everyone likes Star Wars. I am cool with that. What I am not cool with is people using blatant logical fallacies and acting like everyone who does is  a moron. Also, he argued a different issue then the one he was supposed too. 

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