Archive for June, 2013

Man Of Steel Review: ‘He Will Be An Outcast.’

Posted in Uncategorized on June 21, 2013 by theladycateye

I liked Man Of Steel. 🙂

In fact, it brought a smile to my face. By the sound of some reactions, you would think that there was actually no story behind it, and *just* destruction. It was there. Mind you, yes: There was a lot of destruction.

*SPOILER*

Metropolis was nearly annihilated. Might as well have been…

Clark definitely should have saved a lot more people. That is what he does. I didn’t see a whole lot of that in the film. …Yet, he also was trying to stop the “world machine” from destroying the entire planet, sooooo I can understand why that story and character decision/action was made.

As for the Jonathon Kent, and the actions he took to protect family, I have to agree 100% with my friend, Denny Upkins here. Sometimes one does have to remain in the closet. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having to do what you can to protect yourself from a world that might not understand you. Of course, Clark COULD have saved his father. But that wave and nod that Jonathon gave Clark was not because he wanted him to hide himself from the world. Jonathon did this A. Protect his son, first and foremost. & B. To relay the message and gift of timing. That moment was not the time. Jonathon was not about to make a compromised that could have put Clark in a dangerous position. If that’s not love, then I don’t know what is.

Originally, I was dead against the death of Zod, especially how it was handled. After conversations with my friends on Facebook, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am still very mixed on the choice made by the writers to have Superman kill him. But I do say this: Superman was put into a position where a compromise had to be made. There wasn’t anyway else in sight to stop him. At the same time, I do feel that it very much compromised Superman’s character in a way. YET, as my friend Jessica Leigh Carroll pointed out, this also could be the laying down of the groundwork for Superman’s moral compass. Since it was in self defense, and he didn’t have any other way out, perhaps compromising moment can help Superman to strive to be a better man. And perhaps he’ll spend the rest of his life making up for it. If anything, if Lex Luthor makes it to the sequel, Clark’s action of killing Zod can be ammo or a tool that Lex can use to psychologically torment Superman.

One of aspects of this film that I found to be very special was the spotlighting of Clark as the outcast teenager. Since this is one of my first blog posts, bare with me as I take a second to briefly analyze a few of the Smallville scenes from this film:

There was something that struck me when watching the conversation between Jor-El & Lara Lor-Van

Lara: He will be an outcast

Jor-El: How? He will be a god to them.

Both them of in the case with how Clark grew over the course of the movie are right.

Clark was and is, in someway, an outcast.

Lara

Lara knew this. She knew that her Kal-El would be alone in the world.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In life, we all have to travel our own path; finding our own way. She knew though that he would be the only one who knew what he was going through in the sense that he is not human, but Kryptonian. And the humans might fear and never understand him; probably resulting in death.

While that may have been true, Jor-El believed that his son would strive towards something that others would aspire to.

Both are right. Clark’s journey in discovering who is was not easy, nor will his future be. Yet, in spite of everything Clark has been through, he still sees the good humanity and lives as best he can by the ideals of truth, justice, kindness & yes, The American way. In the face of adversity, growing up he always showed something that not many do: Restraint. He could have seriously injured all of the kids who ever bullied him. He didn’t. He knew that even though he could hurt them, that he would not  give into his lowest instincts. Even though he had to compromise that promise later in life, If that’s not strength, then I don’t know what is.

YoungClark

Clark has always struggled to do the right thing. I feel Jonathan gave Clark a compass in his earlier years to navigate through the burden Clark may have felt in learning the ropes of the responsibility of having his powers. In order for Clark to be a symbol of good for the human race to strive toward, he had to make some tough decisions, namely one being not to save his father. In a way, even though he saved the bus full of his classmates, he learned a valuable lesson about the consequences of what could and would happen if other people knew about the power he possessed.

YoungerClark

Martha Kent’s guidance on having Clark focus on one thing, not only helped focus his senses and powers, but gave him sense of being able to block out the negativity he faced from his classmates and the bullies and bigots around him.

ClarkKentMOS

Though I personally have more research to do on Superman myself, I feel Superman really is the a character everyone, fictional and real alike, should strive towards. Though we may not always be able to show compassion to those who challenge us, Superman shows us that we can still hold our ground and maintain our ideals. Even though Clark was faced with a tough choice when it came to ending Zod’s terror and ended up compromising a part of himself, I still feel Clark consistently does everything in his power to be the best he can be. In the end, that’s what will have been important. 🙂

Crispin Glover’s ‘What Is It?’ Film & Privilege

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013 by theladycateye

After seeing Crispin Glover’s films, What Is It? & It’s Fine! Everything Is Fine., and then discussing the films with Sean McKeever on Twitter, there are a couple of issues that I have with both of these films. Today I’m going to focus on What Is It?

Glover has said in many interviews, as well as in his Q&A session after his films, that What Is It? is his psychological reaction to the corporate culture that surrounds the film industry. He says that anything that doesn’t fall within or between what is perceived as good and what is perceived as evil by these corporations gets excised from films.

Having said that, there is pretty obviously much controversial imagery in his film from a man in black face, to snails being salted, & people with down syndrome getting hit on the head with rocks, and nazi imagery to name a few.

The very point of the screenings & then the question & answer session after the showing of the film is to question what was just seen. Hence the title, What Is It? Considering question like “What the hell did I just watch?” and “Should I be watching this?” or “Is this morally right?” definitely get some sort of conversation started. But how much conversation? Personally, I’m not so sure the question that are being asked really address some deeper cultural issues that exist within What Is It?

First of all, let’s address the fact that this entire film is a product of Crispin Glover’s mind & psychological processes. A mind that has its own experiences with its own world view. Now, this where people might stop me and say “Wait a second! This wasn’t his intention!” But this needs to be addressed: Let’s take a look at the privilege that Crispin Glover has as a white male.

Much of what is shown in What Is It? is imagery that was rendered long ago to be socially unacceptable. For good reason. It’s not just merely ‘offensive’ to an audience. Much of the imagery is down right degrading to people of color, women, & other groups. Historically, black face was partly used to make people of color seem less than human the other seems possibly to make fun. Note: My fellow brothers and sisters of color, let me know if I’m missing something or call me out here if you need to. Of course audiences are not going to want to watch something like black face in a film ever again.

Note: ….Though I do personally wonder just how much Robert Downey Jr. got away with black face in Tropic Thunder…but that’s a different discussion for a different time in a different place.

Sean Mckeever, award winning comic book writer, pretty much nailed it in a conversation I had with him over twitter an hour before writing this review:

“One wonders what exposure to issues of race and gender exist in the mind that produced that.”

Bingo.

Not a whole lot of artists I’ve met really take into consideration the exposure they’ve had to issues or race, gender, & gender identity.

Again, of course it’s not Crispin Glover’s *intention” to have something come off as racist or misogynistic or ablist. No one is going to make something hateful for hateful sake. …Unless one is an asshole.

But take into consideration that it’s not so much as merely questioning why images that have been rendered taboo can’t or won’t be shown in films anymore. A better question that should be addressed is this:

What lenses of gender, race, able bodied, disabled, gender identity, or a combination of any of the above, is a film like What Is It? being viewed through?

And though this is a psychological product of the mind of a Caucasian male that is part of this modern western culture, just how much has this mind questioned or sat with these thoughts & images and questioned where they come from? What lens they’re viewed through? Or asked itself “How much of my actual psychological reaction IS a byproduct of my place in this current culture?”

Unfortunately, I had to leave right after What Is It? was finished due to a stomach ache I had. So, I did not get to ask him or address this issue.

Fortunately, Crispin is returning to NYC later this month to screen his films at the IFC theater. I will do my best to address these issues of privilege with him in his Q&A session of What Is It? when I see it again.

They Will Never Forget How You Made Them Feel

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013 by theladycateye

A post I wrote a month ago, but resonates:

Emotions

The episode of MTV’s Awkward. “*That Girl* Strikes Again” was a little triggering & completely relateable. I love this show. It reminds me of what it was like for me as an outcast & misfit all throughout grade school. I was Jenna Hamilton. And on some level, I still am.

I’m going to confess something: I never did fit in with any of the groups of friends I had back home growing up. Not because that was or is my attitude, or me being over emotional. In fact, quite the opposite. I spent so many years trying to find my way socially. I put a lot of energy into finding a group of people or a perhaps a friend that would see me for who I really am, and I would see them for who they are and we would always be there for one another–even at our very worst. I witnessed so many friends, acquaintances, & classmates that had these bonds that didn’t seem to come as easily to me as it did to them. What I really wanted and still very much want is connection. Someone who is at my level of awareness & sees more to this world than meets the five senses; sees the truths of the world that some can’t or don’t want to see. I long for relationships that are built on compassion, understanding, & truth. Something layered, real and tangible, and I won’t settle for less. I never thought that was a lot to ask for. No one is perfect, obviously. What matters is that bond; the connection.

You have no idea how blessed I am to have some of the friends that have entered into my life the last three years. You know who you are.

On the other hand, I enjoy my own company, and my knack for doing something different has led me to exactly where I need to be.

Still though, no matter how much time passes, certain experiences that left an emotional mark–maybe not a scar, but a mark can spark a slight triggering reaction deep inside of us. We don’t or can’t just “get over it,” like many who don’t understand, though well intentioned, seem to misguidedly suggest to us. In tonight’s episode, Jenna’s lack of interest in feeling the need to dress up for Halloween lead some social climbers to post up on her school’s bulletin board two lists: One labeled “The Hot List” & the other “The Not List.” Jenna’s boyfriend, Matty and her best friend, Tamara & her boyfriend, Jake made the hot list while, of course, Jenna was listed #1 on “The Not List.”

It had a subtle triggering effect on me because when I was in 6th grade a classmate of mine (who I won’t name here) put together a purple notebook that she called “The Cool Book.” She wrote everybody’s name in it, starting with–you guessed it–all of the names of those in the ‘in-crowd’, then everyone else in the last few pages. Everyone’s name was in that book, except for mine and a couple others. When I confronted her about why she wrote most of our class (class of 2006) and left me out, she wrote my name in it. Boy, was that a mistake. “The Cool Book” was like a year book, only not. It was more like a rating system. It would get passed around from class to class where others would write how they really felt about the person.

I remember getting the notebook and looking at the page with my name on it, and finding some pretty nasty things written there about me. I remember how I felt. I cried really hard when I got home that day. I told my teacher the very next day, and the classmate who wrote it had to take it home.

I share this, not because I’m hanging on to this memory & not letting it go, or to hold a grudge, or to feel sorry for myself. I share this story because I want to let others who have gone through, or are going through, similar experiences to know that they are not alone. I have been there and you will not be made to feel that way around me.

Most of all, I share this because I want others to know that it’s these little things that build into bigger things later on in life, and spreading joy & happiness & showing someone compassion & kindness, rather than trying to send them negative energy, hatred, & trying to diminish their light, can have a tremendous effect on the core of a persons very soul.

To close out with a quote, that I started with, by Maya Angelou:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

― Maya Angelou

I’m Talking To You

Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013 by theladycateye

I’m not exactly sure what to say in my first blog post, other than I’d like to create an atmosphere of love, kindness, acceptance, & belonging for those that feel they’re alone and feel that they will be forgotten. You won’t. My objective here is to shine a spot light on the truth of people, story characters, & to give a voice to the marganlized, the misfits, and misunderstood–just as the title suggest. Even though that probably sounds a bit corny…. I guess ‘truth’ can be perceived differently, depending on ones perspective. When I use to term truth, I see it as not merely a subjective phenomenon that so many individuals carelessly discard and disregard like an unchecked ego, but as an aspect of existence that connects everyone. The truth is both internal and external. I’ve always been curious about the existence of existence, and it will be interesting to see what is within us and outside of us. After all, life and the universe are about balance. It’s particularly important when we’re talking about ones perspective as well.

Having said that….

Who am I?

My name is Elena.  But you can call me whatever you want. On Tumblr, Twitter, & the inner & outer reaches of the interwebzverse I’m known as JesterWitch. And with that knowledge, you can even call me Jesty. ;-)

I’m 25.

I am an avid geek! I read comics, I watch cartoons, I create works of art, and am a HUGE Batman fan, more so of Joker & Harley Quinn, but have more of a huge appreciation of the communities of Gotham City in general.

I’m originally from Anchorage, Alaska. I moved to Astoria, Queens, NYC five months ago. I attend SUNY Oswego and am studying creative writing in upstate Oswego, NY. I hope to jump start both an online entrepreneur tea business & a career in episodic television at some point. I came to NYC to give myself that chance. I struggle, like many, with staying on task, but I’m taking things one day at a time. I am, after all, not without my own personal emotional baggage.

My main goal this year is to get my writing portfolio started & finished, and to find a way to attain self-employment. I won’t put too much pressure on myself, like I have the last few years. I’m going to give it my best though.

Storytelling is my absolute passion. It’s always been my dream to become a published writer.  My ultimate goal is to writing for episodic television, specifically for animation and live action programming that appeals to teens & YA–and  to some degree, writing for comic books. Having said that, I feel a very deep connection to perpetual underdog characters whom are teenagers & young adults, especially characters whom are torn in two different directions, and need to make a choice. Characters that are or have been bullied, wounded in someway, & have to constantly & consistently fight the prejudice, discrimination that’s working against them every. single. day. All because they are different in someway. It is never easy to deal with, but for lots of us, it gets better or will get better. Even if it doesn’t, know that you’re not alone.

All of my stories are character driven.

Issues of women, people of all ethnicities, LGBTQ’s, & anyone who feels like an outsider are all things I’d like to explore in different mediums of story telling. That’s one of the many reasons why I started this blog.

I strive to speak the truth in everything I write. The truth about the different groups of people that exist in the world is very important to me. One thing I definitely am aware of and know for a fact:

I have a lot to learn.

A good friend of mine, Denny Upkins once said “Just because you’re a minority in one aspect, doesn’t mean that you’re not privileged in another.”

As a white female, who struggles in some aspects of my life, I will never know the true struggles that a woman of color has to face on a daily basis.

The best thing one can do is:

LISTEN.

No. Really listen.

Understand that we are all human and that everyone deserves respect & for their stories to be heard.

Part of what I hope to accomplish with this blog is focusing on & spot lighting characters, stories, & any news in comics, television, & film, that are about young people. That’s not to say that I won’t be focusing on anyone but teenagers and young adults! I do see a lack of blogs that focus on specifically youth characters within comics, television, & entertainment in general. Maybe I’m wrong. Don’t quote me on that. LOL!

This is a space where all my readers are safe to be themselves. You will never be judged here.