fireez: (Comics - Comic book nerd)
I'm going to head this off by saying: this is one of the best, if not the best comic books I've ever read. Yes, it's even better than the original Watchmen. There, I said it. SACRILEGE. But then, while Watchmen has this wonderful moral dissonance and deconstruction of comic book tropes that made it outstanding at its time, this one has something that is of even more interest to me personally. It's kind of like... Cold Case in comic book form. Watchmen posed its questions about ethics and personal morality in a somewhat cerebral, detatched form. This one gets up close and personal. Watchmen was philosophy, this is psychology. What happens when good people are confronted with horrible things? How do people deal with the dissonance between their ideals and the actual reality?

Spoilers for Minutemen #4. In which I explain why I have been flailing. )
fireez: (Marvel Movies - Loki)
OK. First off, a fic rec that has nothing to do with the actual subject of this post, but if you're into Avengers fandom, go and read Head, Heart, Lungs. It's an amazingly good and sweet Tony/Steve/Bruce OT3 fic, and it really sold me on Stark Spangled Banner.

On to the real post, which is kind of the long version of something I posted on my tumblr.

So it's no secret I have a thing for tragic villains. I have a long, long list of them. I'm not sure where it started, but I remember reading Guy Gavriel Kay's "Tigana" when I was 15 and having all these huge FEELS for it's bad guy, Brandin. I do think it was the first time I actually came across a villain who was given the same attention the protagonists of the story got. He was given a characterization beyond "he's evil mkay". He was given motives and reasons, and what's more, those motives and reasons were actually understandable. It didn't make what he did any less horrible, but you knew why he did it. There was a certain degree of empathy given to him. In the end, he was a person. A person with a terrible flaw that led him to do equally terrible things, but a person nonetheless.

And I've been into that kind of character ever since. Like I said, it's a long list, from Brandin, Alex Krychek and Gul Dukat (well, until they fucked it up with the whole Par Wraith thing) to Adrian Veidt, Magneto and Loki. And Theon.

He's a good example of why I like some villains and not others. In the current second season of GoT, Theon has made some really bad decisions and done some equally bad shit. But I don't hate him like I hate Joffrey. Because unlike Joffrey, who is simply a narcissistic, privileged little shit without even a seeming of morals or a conscience, Theon is struggling with what he does. He still does it, and he's still a dick because he does it, but his dickery is fueled by an all-too-human flaw, and not some psychopathy.

Psychopaths... just aren't all that interesting to me. I'm more interested in how good people can go bad, why the best intentions can lead to the worst results, and what pushes a person over the edge and leads them to do things they never thought they could do. And that's why the flawed and tragic villains with a motivation will always be more interesting to me than those who are doing it simply because they can.
fireez: (Marvel Movies - Cap)
Small things can make my day worse. A sentence, a word, even a look.

But small things can also make my day better. Like getting a comment or a kudos on one of my old fics, the ones where I'm surprised people are still reading them. And what's best about that is that I know it's actually a give-give thing. Someone is giving me the warm fuzzies by leaving a note on my work, and I've given someone a story that made their day better, even if it only was for the 10 or so minutes it took them to read it.

Sometimes, I think the real reason why I write is that I want to somehow give back what I got - the enjoyment I got out of reading a good story, and the minutes and hours for which I was able to escape whatever trouble I was having and slip into a world that wasn't this one.

Reading and writing is escapism, but I don't think that escapism is a bad word.
fireez: (Marvel Movies - Loki)
“I have to say that if you are a reader that just wanted your favorite characters on tap forever, and never cared about the creators, then actually you’re probably not the kind of reader that I was looking for. I have a huge respect for my audience. On the occasions when I meet them, they seem, I like to think, to be intelligent and scrupulous people. If people do want to go out and buy these Watchmen prequels, they would be doing me an enormous favor if they would just stop buying my other books. When I think of my audience, I like to have good thoughts and think about how lucky I am to have one that is as intelligent as mine and as moral as mine. […] The kind of readers who are prepared to turn a blind eye when the people who create their favorite reading material, their favorite characters, are marginalized or put to the wall — that’s not the kind of readers I want. So, even if it means a huge drop in sales upon my other work, I would prefer it that way. I mean, there’s no way I can police this, of course. But, I would hope that you wouldn’t want to buy a book knowing that its author actually had complete contempt for you. So, I’m hoping that will be enough.”

- Alan Moore on fans who buy Before Watchmen.


This confirms once and for all that Alan Moore is a huge douchecanoe who has reached levels of arrogance and detachment that are honestly astounding. I might actually comply with his wish, not out of respect for him, but out of disrespect for someone who thinks they are so high and mighty that they can insult the people who pay for their bills. Because yes, without us, the readership, Mr. Moore would just be another failed artist who drives a taxi and dreams of being famous one day.

Then again, I might not, because I don't actually give much of a fuck about what the author of something thinks of me. I'm pretty sure that a number of authors would have contempt for me, if they knew who I am and what kind of beliefs I hold. But that does not give them the right to dictate if I buy, read and enjoy your stories. If you put your story out there, well, you better be prepared that EVERYONE reads it. Even people you personally wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

Another thing that irks me is how he paints himself as some kind of martyr. He wasn't marginalized or put to the wall. He was asked, several times, if he wanted to be involved. He declined. Did he really think that DC would just bow down and say “okay then, we'll never do anything with this HUGELY FAMOUS AND POPULAR universe and characters that we own the rights to”? And they do own the rights to them, like it or not. Yes, the way they obtained the rights was a tad shady, but I think I've mentioned before that other authors have been fucked over way worse. Also, this is pretty much the way things are in the comic book business. Characters aren't property of their creators, but rather of the publishers. Else, we wouldn't have 60+ years of Superman, Captain America etc.

I don't think that me buying the prequels somehow makes me less intelligent and/or moral than if I wouldn't be buying them. This has nothing to do with intelligence or morals. It has to do with loving a set of characters and wanting to see what other people might do with them. Same reasons I read fanfic, really. But yes, I don't care about the creators. I care about the world and the characters. With some authors, I really do buy everything they write just because I think they're brilliant. Alan Moore is not one of them. Usually, I buy books for the stories, and not because I give a fuck about the person who wrote them. That's how this storytelling thing works. You are not as important as your story. If you can't deal with that, well, you should've become a different kind of celebrity. If you want personal fame, writing is really not the way to go. With writing, your stories will always be more famous than you. People will care more about your main characters and their lives than they care about you or your life. Deal with it, or choose a different profession.
fireez: (Default)
Terry Pratchett did a report on medically assisted death.


fireez: (Marvel Movies - Loki)
(I'm bored, so I crosspost)

The Pervocracy - the praises of phases

I really liked this article, because I am in the same boat. I've so far led a quite varied life, and I've had quite a number of phases. And I don't regret any of them. Each and every one of those phases has left me with something valuable. Also, I don't think I've "outgrown" any of them in the sense of "I left those childish things behind". It's more that I am no longer as interested in them as I once was. Back when I was in that phase, it gave me fulfillment and joy. Now, I'm finding that fulfillment and joy in other things.

I also don't subscribe to the pov that says that if you stop being something, you never really were a REAL something in the first place. For instance, I no longer say that I'm pagan. I don't think that it means I was never a REAL pagan, because I was. Same with Christianity. Yes, I used to be a REAL Christian. And a REAL atheist. Now I'm a REAL agnostic. I'm pretty sure a lot of people would, if they read this, say in their head "well, no, you weren't". Because religion is one of those things that you are supposed to find and then adhere to for the rest of your life, and everything before was "just a phase". What bothers me about this isn't the "phase", but the "just". As if having been a Christian, an Atheist, a Pagan didn't leave me with important memories.

Some people, when you stop being X, will accuse you of being a sort of traitor to the cause. This, once again, is especially true with religion. But it's equally true with every other belief and life choice that will get you flak from those who are not X. For instance, I'm no longer childfree. I also used to be straight. These are the most controversial of my "phase changes". I'm not supposed to talk about them, because people who are (for lack of a better word) breeders, and those who are homophobic, will use my example to harass people (tho it's stupid to use me as an example if you're homophobic, because I changed from straight to pansexual). As in "well, Fireez changed her mind, AND SO WILL YOU". Um, no. Yes, I did change my mind. But that was ME. That wasn't anyone else, so no, you cannot use me as an example to try and convince anyone else that they will change. Because they might not. See, there are some things about me that so far have not changed. My love for animals, for instance. That's been with me my whole life. Everyone has these constants, just as everyone has phases. For some people, their childfreeness and sexual orientation are constants.

And now, for the fun of it, here are some of my phases:
- Trekkie
- amateur astronomer
- Catholic
- horseback rider
- Atheist
- socialist
- manga fan
- re-enactor
- Pagan
- vegetarian
- straight
- libertarian

Gimme some of yours!

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June 2014

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